How Can I Stop My Dog From Fighting With the Neighbor Dog Through the Fence?

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Q. My neighbor’s dog throws a fit of barking and growling whenever my dog goes near our fence line. It upsets my dog and he barks back. Should I be concerned?

Although some dogs that fight across a fence are truly a danger, the vast majority are aggressive only across boundary lines, not when off-leash around other dogs. However, the pent-up frustration of being unable to reach the dog on the other side of the fence can result in a fight if the barking dog ever does get access to his canine neighbor.

When Fence Fighting Turns Dangerous

One of my Pugs was recently a victim of fence fighting. My neighbors have a Rottweiler who barks incessantly when my dogs go outside. He spends the vast majority of his outside time patrolling, and the moment my Pugs step a paw in my yard, the barking and growling begins. While Willy was not bothered by this behavior, Bruce was extremely stressed-out and started barking back.

To manage the situation, I taught Bruce to come when called whenever the neighbor’s dog would bark. My fence is sturdy, but it had small gaps underneath, which I blocked off to prevent the dogs from getting at each other.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough. Unbeknownst to me, my neighbor had a friend’s Rottweiler in his backyard. I let Bruce out and both dogs started barking, which prompted Bruce to go investigate. Within a matter of seconds, Bruce had a seriously injured paw that required 10 stitches and four different antibiotics. He spent a month wearing a cone before the gash finally healed.

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