Do you often witness ‘fence wars’ at your backyard? Despite having a fence to separate your dog from the outside world, they can still give one heck of a barking spree. It could be toward another dog or a running kid. You should know how to keep dogs from barking at the fence to save both you and your neighbours’ ears from the ruckus.
Why do dog barks at the fence?
Dogs bark because of a trigger, which can be physical, visual, emotional, or auditory. A dog that barks at the fence probably saw something on the other side. This is the case for yards with chain-link fences. Since the dog can see through the fence, a trigger can easily catch their attention.
For example, a running squirrel will send your dog on a barking frenzy. This could be followed by digging as an effort to escape and follow the moving animal.
On the other hand, fence wars are also common. This happens when two dogs on either side bark ferociously at each other. Your dog does this to defend his territory, which is a normal reaction. It’s like your dog saying, “this is my territory, go away!”
However, if your dog is wagging its tail and barking toward a stranger or another dog, excitement is the potential reason. The dog may be barking to get attention from the stranger if he’s not getting yours. Your dog is probably bored and looking for something to drain its energy.
Moreover, barking on the fence is also your dog’s way of fulfilling the excitement it feels outdoors. Some dogs also have the affinity to bark even if there’s no apparent trigger. It’s possible that the dog isn’t desensitized to the outdoor element, which triggers barking at the fence.
How to stop dog barking at the fence
Your dog barking at the fence may seem like an innocent behaviour until your neighbours start to complain. Instead of waiting for a complaint, you should do the following to stop your dog from barking at the fence:
- Block the view
The first thing you should do is to block the view of your dog. If you have a chain-link fence, you can install bamboo screens to block your dog’s view. Make sure that you tie it on the fence to prevent your dog from digging it out and barking again.
If you don’t have the time to install a bamboo screen, the instant solution is to tie a tarp on the other side of the fence. This will block the view while preventing your dog from chewing up the tarp. This will work long-term for small to medium dogs.
However, if you want a more subtle and decorative solution, you can grow lush plants along the chain-link fence. This may work unless your dog can dodge between the plants and reach the fence again.
- Supervise your dog
Next, it’s important to supervise your dog whenever you’re bringing them outdoors. It’s not wise to let your dog roam the yard for too long without keeping an eye on them. The moment you hear your dog bark, call its name to distract it. If the dog comes to you, give it a tasty training treat. Do this repeatedly whenever your dog barks at the fence.
Hanging out with your dog in the yard will also kill their boredom. You can toss a toy and play fetch with the pooch. This simple routine will stimulate the dog’s mind and give it a dose of exercise. The pooch won’t have the energy to bark at the fence as long as you keep it occupied.
- Consider using a wireless dog fence
One effective solution to keep your dog from barking and going near your fence is to install another barrier. This time, it’s a wireless fence with a perimeter that’s at least a few feet away from your physical enclosure.
A wireless dog fence utilizes a transmitter with a radio signal that connects to the collar your dog wears. As your dog approaches the invisible barrier, it will hear a warning beep. Most of the time, well-trained dogs will back out the moment they hear the beep. But if the pooch ignores the audio warning, it will receive an electrostatic correction from the collar. This will make your dog turn around and stop barking at the fence.
Remember that a wireless dog fence will yield the best results if you train your dog for it. Start by marking the perimeter with stake flags. After that, walk your dog along the barrier and call its name whenever it tries to go to the other side. You should also put the collar on your dog but turn off the static correction.
- Brush up its obedience training
Going back to basics will also help a lot in stopping your dog from barking at the fence. While your dog may learn basic obedience commands at a young age, it’s best to brush it up from time to time. Commands like ‘leave it’, ‘come’, ‘sit’, and ‘stay’ will do you a big favor.
Always perform refresher drills to ensure that your dog’s skills are intact. Of course, you should give rewards when your dog follows the command.
Overall, basic commands will be your upper hand in supervising your dog in the yard. It’s also the foundation of other training drills that you will need to perform later on.
- Desensitize the dog to the trigger
If your dog keeps on barking at the fence whenever it sees strangers, desensitization is the key. Ask someone your dog hasn’t seen yet to stand at the other side of the fence. When your dog barks, call its name to stop the behavior. If the dog comes to you, give a reward, and repeat the process.
Next, you can ask the stranger to stroll along your fence to ‘proof’ the training to your dog. This process will take weeks, and you should also ask a couple of strangers for the training to ensure that your dog will be desensitized properly.
- Take your dog beyond the fence
One reason why your dog keeps barking at the fence is that you don’t take it out too much. This excitement will fuel incessant barking that would be difficult to stop with training alone.
By exposing your dog beyond the fence, it will be desensitized to the scents and sounds. You can go for short walks and playtime. However, don’t make the outdoor space more fun than your yard. After the walk, go back to your yard and play with your dog. This way, your pet will learn that the area beyond the fence isn’t really that much fun.
- Keep your dog tired
When a dog is bored and has excessive energy, it will keep barking. Instead of letting your dog vent out its energy on barking at the fence, you should channel it to productive activities. You can set up a course in your yard to keep your dog mentally stimulated. You can start by a few cones, then you can go extra by setting up other agility equipment like tunnels, weave poles, and more.
- How to stop a dog from biting the fence
If your dog is barking and biting the fence, you should make the fence material taste awful. You can use a mixture of apple cider vinegar with water. Dogs hate the smell and taste of this, which will fix the fence biting problem.
A wireless dog fence will also help here since you can set up a perimeter that will stop your dog from getting near the physical fence.
Barking is an annoying problem that can put you in trouble with the neighbors. To prevent that, you should know how to keep dogs from barking at the fence as much as you can. The tips I discussed above will help a lot. Remember that training is necessary to correct any negative behavior of your pet.