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Training Blog

January 25, 2022

Stop Fence Fighting and Uncontrolled Barking

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Written by: Bob Guere
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Most of us have dogs that love to fence fight. There’s a ton of showing off, posturing, challenging, and very little risk. Pretty passive aggressive if you ask me. The dog in this video recently moved to a new home with his pregnant owner and her husband. He is two years old, and has an older mixed breed, very hyper sister. She however is totally obedient, just hyper-sensitive.

They have been having the worst time teaching him boundaries outside. He bolts out the back slider and rushes the fence whenever he hears or sees another dog…basically he’s out of control. When his dad challenged him by pulling him off the fence, he tried to bite him. Pretty typical, when dogs are challenged, if they haven’t learned self control they either fight or flight. He felt trapped, so he tried to fight. Not something you want to attempt without a professional assisting you.

As you can see in the video, the only way to stop the fighting was to get in-between him and the fence and back him off. This technique is blocking, vs holding (pulling him back, dragging away) and is always more effective because you remove the possibility of tension. Tension always accelerates excited behavior. I am blocking his fight/flight response with distraction (whistling, toys, the other dog) and by backing him off the fence, at which point he lays down and finally relaxes, even while the other dog continues to bark.

As for the barking, the same applies, when he starts to bark, stop any fight/flight behavior, and have him down/stay. The forced relaxed posture will always stop the barking. Not always right away, but eventually, usually within minutes. Patience is key. If he barks excessively at something, put him on a two minute time out, then let him up. If he starts to bark again, repeat. He will understand very quickly what is happening, and stop barking. Happy training!! ~ Lisa




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