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The first couple of days- Fence line Barking

With the overwhelm of the unpacking and stressing about our dogs barking or being a nuisance the first couple of days were exhausting. I spent a lot of time going out to the side fence when the other dog was there and let Duke sniff through the fence and, then I would say ‘let’s go’ and get him to come away from the fence. Of course, sometimes as soon as I would go back inside, he would go back.

At times, he would bark or lunge at the fence and the other dog would bark back or vice versa but I would calmly go out and say, ‘thanks Duke, let’s go’. Most of the time he would look at me and go ‘okay, cool’ and would come back but every now and then he would pretend he couldn’t hear or see me (standing right there) and he would continue to run the fence line. I always gave him the opportunity to stop when I asked but, on these occasions, where he was challenging me, I needed to change my approach.

So, what did I do? The first thing I did when he would go straight back to the fence was bring him inside and close the door. Simple but effective. The more he rehearsed the behaviour and got a reaction (from me or the dog) the more he was going to do it.

Second thing I did was go out with him and play in the yard, so I was more interesting than the dog behind the fence. This also made the yard about more than just the other dog and used his energy for good not evil.

Thirdly, I have a command I have used in different circumstances – “Go” and I have an outstretched arm with a pointed finger. I have used this a lot when he has been in a room he shouldn’t be in or if we are eating dinner and he is drooling next to me. I know he knows this command, so I used it at the fence – and it worked – almost every time.

If, after exhausting all these tactics, he was still adamant to go and bark, I pulled out the big gun – and for Duke that is the water spray. He hates it, again I have used this in the past and it is rare it comes out. He knows what it is and that I am serious – again as soon as he sees it he looks at me like ‘yeah, righto … I’ll stop now’ and he will come away – without me even squirting him, what is important here is what I have done immediately when he has stopped and that is PRAISE. “Good boy Dukey – lets go” ….

He is getting a lot better in the short time we have been here, and I don’t go out immediately if I hear him bark or I know the other dog is there, he isn’t doing anything wrong – he is doing what dogs do, but I am mindful that I don’t want the behaviour to become obsessive or annoying to the neighbours. I also don’t have the expectation it will be fixed straight away. Training takes time and repetition and patience.

As I mentioned I have taught Duke other words and commands over the last 3 years so I have the benefit of knowing he knows what I want. If you are having the same problems or have just moved or starting training then I would suggest you set up the situation with a long lead. This will give you the ability to (calmly) pull your dog away from the fence. If you need more help with this problem or have questions please feel free to send me a message or book an online or private lesson.!

Stay tuned for further updates!


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