Fence-fighting with another dog or person in the backyard is frustration-based experience. If your dog is barking at people or dogs in the adjoining yards or spaces, you will have some hard work for a few weeks that will pay off for a lifetime. 

If you've known me for more than five minutes, you'll know that management and prevention are everything here...as usual...so we'll tackle that first:  

  1. go out with your dog every time and have them on leash to prevent them from practicing the unwanted behaviour
  2. proper fencing that blocks the view of the other dog
  3. planting dense evergreen bushes along the fence-line
  4. adding burlap to the fencing
Two German Shepherd dogs fence fighting.

Next, we have to teach our dogs what we actually want them to do:

  1. train a solid recall so that they come when called
  2. play the "Look at That" game when the other dog is out
  3. use a "Find it" food scatter to break the magnetic pull momentarily and give you time to help them get away

Lastly, we can use a Time-Out system if need be:

Simply leave a long training line (30ft-50ft) at the back door and attach it every time they go out. Here is the order of events: 

  1. The dog barks
  2. You say "that's enough"
  3. The dog continues barking
  4. You say "too bad"
  5. You swiftly but gently reel the dog in and bring them inside
  6. They have lost their backyard privileges until next time
  7. Repeat consistently for 3 weeks and as necessary

Check out the Quick Win on Backyard Behaviours for a more in-depth look at how to train your dog to be a backyard pro! 

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