In part one of this two-part blog series, we looked at the concept of “fence fighting” in dog. This behavior, which covers a number of aggressive things your dog may do when outside at the fence area, is not only potentially harmful to people or dogs, but is also a negative for your dog’s mental stress and mental state, and should be trained out if possible.
At Innovative K9 Academy, we’re here to help. We offer a huge range of dog training programs and classes to clients throughout Utah, from puppy school and group sessions to private training if necessary. While part one of our series went over what fence fighting is and why it should be prevented, today’s part two will look at some specific recommendations for how to limit and eventually eliminate this behavior.
Talk With Other Dog Owners
If your dog’s fence fighting is primarily with another dog at a neighboring fence, talking to the other dog’s owner may be the best way to head off the problem. By communicating and establishing some ground rules, you and the other owner can help keep both dogs safe and under control.
If your dog is fence fighting with a human, though, it’s best to exercise caution; humans generally aren’t as understanding about canine boundaries! For this, move to our subsequent sections.
For all forms of fence fighting, proper supervision is key. This means being outside with your dog as they play and keeping a close eye on them, especially if they’re playing near the fence. If you see them start to get too rambunctious, it’s time to call them inside and end their play session.
At least during the early parts of your attempts to train fence fighting out of your dog, utilize leashing as a way to keep them close. This will help ensure that they’re not able to get close enough to the fence to start fence fighting in the first place.
Over time, you can allow them to be outside on their own — but they should still have the leash on. That way, if they do wander too close to the fence, you can pull them away before things get too heated.
In many cases, fence fighting is due in at least some part to your dog being bored or seeking attention. One way to combat this is by playing attention-grabbing games with them when they’re outside. This can keep their mind occupied and help dissuade them from fence fighting as a means of getting your attention.
There are many different games you can play, but some favorites include hide-and-seek, fetch, and tug-of-war. As long as you’re playing with them and keeping them engaged, they’re less likely to resort to negative behaviors like fence fighting.
Stay Calm Around Other Dogs
If other dogs are one of the main reasons your dog is fence fighting, it’s important to stay calm around them. This means not yelling or getting angry, as this will only further excite your dog and make the situation worse.
In many cases, simply calmly walking away or turning your back on the other dog may be all it takes to defuse the situation. If you can’t do that, have someone else hold your dog (or keep them on a leash) while you talk to the other dog’s owner.
If All Else Fails, Seek Professional Help
In some cases, fence fighting may be too much for an owner to handle on their own. If this is the case, it’s best to seek professional help.
At Innovative K9 Academy, we specialize in helping dogs overcome all sorts of behavioral issues, including fence fighting. We can help you understand the root of the problem and work with you to develop a plan to fix it. Contact us today to learn more about any of our services to Utah clients.