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Dawn Watson's Pet Tip of the Week: Fence Fighting

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor


Fence fighting. You may not have known what this behavior is called but I’ll bet you’ve seen it.


When a dog is left to his own resources outdoors, he may exhibit an annoying chain of behaviors. If you have a fenced-in yard Fido may spot movement outside of the fence and run the length of the enclosed area barking furiously. Eventually, the object or person will disappear from view and the dog will calm down and be quiet. But suddenly, another object or person shows up in “his” space and the barking starts all over again. That is fence fighting.


The way to curb your dog’s enthusiastic response to outside stimulus is simple: do not allow your dog outside unattended.


Watch from the back door or an open window as Fido sets up for the behavior. Call him before he begins barking. Reward him for being quiet. If he begins again, repeat the process. Do not allow him to “chase” whatever he sees as a threat.


A more involved method to break the habit is to go outside with him and issue a loud, “No!” when he begins barking. Have him come to you and offer a reward for calmness.


A dog’s protective instinct will be hard to influence. But with patience and kindness Fido will learn that being calm and quiet will reap rewards.


If you have questions about this or any other dog-related issue, please call or text 856.981.8957 or email There is never a fee for phone or email consultation.


Wado udohiyu, (Thank you very much in the Cherokee language),

Dawn Watson

Owner, Brother of the Wolf, LLC

Photograph by Bing, and Internet resource