Dog Fence Aggression and How to Stop it
By nature dogs are territorial animals, some are even bred and born to protect a certain area they picture as their property. Something that we perceive as dangerous and call dog fence aggression is perfectly normal for your canine family member. They see it as their job, a way to exercise their right to protect and serve, to stand as a wall between an external threat and the people they love. Now, sometimes this is a sought-after trait, especially with guard dogs, but more often it is unwanted behavior and can even jeopardize other humans or dogs.
So before we jump into how to stop dog fence aggression we need to determine why it happens in the first place.
According to an article published by PetMD, the main cause for territorial aggression is defending food, objects, people and of course, the property. Because of their need to protect, dogs often bark excessively or even exhibit aggression towards the approaching stranger which they perceive as a threat, even though it might just be your mother-in-law at the door. This is why socializing from a very young age is very important. Start when they are just puppies and continue during their late doggy years. Also, consider preventing your pet from greeting people at will. Training your dog to "sit" in the other room while your guests settle and then allowing him to say "hi" might be just the right thing to address your problem.
Expanding on the subject - dogs can also be aggressive out of anxiety or sheer boredom. If your dog lacks attention or is not exercised properly, he will find a way to entertain himself by giving the mailman a small heart attack and a run for his life.
Stimulate and train your dog
Dogs need to be stimulated both physically and mentally. Sometimes a walk in the park or a simple game of fetch is not enough, especially for working breeds that need mental stimulation as well. Introduce a form of an agility course in your yard, you don't have go crazy, a few Weave poles will do the trick. Give them a task and watch them solve the problem, award them with a treat afterward. Remember to occupy your pet even when you're not at home. Leave them something to play with or gnaw at. If your dog likes toys, be sure to give him a different one each day. This way you will ensure he has something new to look forward to and will prevent him from getting bored too fast. Set aside at least an hour of your time and try to wear down your pet with playtime and exercise.
This will deplete some of that stored energy that's been previously directed at people and cars passing by your fence.
Besides dog fence aggression, compulsive barking is another occurrence which is perfectly normal, especially if it's followed by a wag of the tail, but it can also be a sign of frustration and indicate a much deeper problem. Some dogs might bark when they want attention or they figured out that they will get what they want if they are very vocal about it.
This is why setting some ground rules and going through basic obedience training will help tremendously when dealing with a dog that is used to bad behavior. Pick a command and train your dog that he is allowed to bark on passing strangers until you issue the command. For instance, let's say you chose "hush" for your command. Let your pet bark a few times and then issue the command in a clear but normal tone. Reward him every time he obeys, this way he will quickly learn to associate the treat with good behavior.
Love your Neighbor
A neighboring dog may also be the source of your pet's frustration. If you have a chain link fence separating your yard from the neighbor's property, it can be tempting for your dog not to indulge in a one on one barking dispute that can last for hours and even end badly. Sometimes it doesn't even matter if your pet is well socialized, he can still be provoked if he's greeted with aggression from the other side. You can resolve this in two ways - either discuss a meetup with your neighbor and try getting your pets acquainted or resort to blocking visual contact with a privacy fence.
While the latter might not work since they can still hear and smell each other, an informal introduction on equal ground (such as a nearby park) might do wonders for you. We recommend going slowly and only consider off-leash activities when you are absolutely confident that both dogs are comfortable with each others presence. Pay close attention to their body language, wagging their tail compulsively is good while lifting their upper lip and growling is a clear sign that things are about to go South. Give it some time and be patient. Think of it as a peace treaty that's been long overdue. In the end, two sides might never reconcile so switch to plan B or talk to your neighbor about determining a set period of time so your dogs are never outside at the same time.
These tips should help
Hopefully, you've learned more about dog fence aggression and will use this article as a basic guide on how to solve it or at least control it. These tips should help both you and your pet in building a better relationship, a stronger bond, and a shared space without fear and tension. However, if your dog is not co-operating and is exhibiting anger, consider hiring or consulting a professional trainer.