Whole Dog Journal's Blog July 5, 2011

A Good Fence Would Save a Stitch in Time, or Some Other Mixed Metaphor

Posted at 09:13AM - Comments: (34)

I share a fence, across the back of my lot, with a family who has three dogs. The dogs are out in the yard about 23 hours a day. They bark a lot, especially when people with dogs walk by their home. Their yard is littered with things the dogs have torn up, like an old mattress that started out on the back porch.

This evening, I let Otto into the backyard to go pee. I heard the usual volley of barking from the back fence as Otto strolled around my yard. I was actually turning to go back in my own house to get a glass of water when I heard an odd noise. I turned just in time to see an entire plank of the back (wooden) fence plunk to the ground in my yard, and the biggest of the three dogs, a black male pit-mix-type, charge into my yard toward Otto.

Well, I went berserk. In stocking feet (and a skirt, no less) I also charged into the yard, running down the back porch steps while yelling and grabbing things to throw at the dog. Initially, he glanced toward me but kept running toward Otto – who, by the way, alarmed by all my yelling and strange behavior, started running away from me. I don’t think he even saw the strange dog until it was right behind him, he was so afraid of my antics. I threw a trash can, a broom, and a pair of shoes, and was also able to turn on a hose and start spraying water toward the dog – just as the two smaller dogs also came through the fence. I kept yelling “GET OUT! NO! GET HOME!” and spraying all the dogs with water. Faced with this unexpected onslaught, the neighbor’s three dogs – thank God – turned and ran back through the fence. I ran behind them, spaying the hose to make them move far enough from the fallen fence plank that I felt confident in bending down to pick it up and jam it back up against the fence.

I then ran inside and grabbed a hammer and nails and ran back outside and nailed the plank back on. Only then did I look for Otto.

Canine Injury

I found Otto quivering in the house . . . and spots of blood on the kitchen floor. I don’t know what happened, it all happened so fast. But he had a nasty laceration on his back leg. Did he get bitten? Or run into something in the yard in his panic to escape from his suddenly insane owner? I have no idea. Just a vet bill, a dog with a shaved butt and a few stitches (staples, actually), and a list of materials for a new fence.

Maybe I overreacted, but I’ve heard enough of the dogs frustrated barking (and then redirecting their frustration onto each other in short but intense-sounding fights) that I wasn’t going to take the chance that Otto get attacked by all three – or that I get attacked while trying to save him. All I know is that I certainly won’t take that fence for granted anymore. Ugh.

Comments (33)

I love how so many of you, Nancy included, continue to assume the type of dog based on its appearance. Whether a "pit-mix" as so many of you assume, or a lab-mix, shepherd-mix, etc., dogs that live in that kind of situation such as the three dogs in the story can and many times will react the same way. Living a life outside causes dogs to lose their sense of domesticity. They becoming, for lack of a better word, feral. The breed of dog DOES NOT MATTER. And for a dog journal to continously, albeit subtlety, write articles conjouring up images of evil dogs, just continues to fuel the bully-breed debate. I am disappointed in WDJ.

Posted by: Therapy Dog Mom | October 1, 2013 11:17 AM    Report this comment

I am a school bus driver. I often have parents with the family dog waiting at stops to meet their kids after school. Several years back I was at my first stop unloading 7 or 8 elementary students when I saw a large dog go up and over not one or two, but three very well constructed chain link fences. His yard was three houses from the corner bus stop. He immediately attacked the setter that was there with her owner while all my students watched. Fortunately, I had 5th grade twins who's dog it was that was doing the attacking and they were able with the mom's help to get things under control. Talk about feeling helpless! All I could do was watch. It seems it doesn't matter how good the barrier is, if a dog is determined to get out, it will. Owners need to be responsible for their dogs and take action when there are aggression issues. Just having a fenced yard isn't the answer.

Posted by: Lynn S | July 11, 2012 4:10 PM    Report this comment

My neighbors and I HAD a problem with a loose dog that was extremely aggressive. A large intact male of indeterminate parentage, about 70 pounds. This dog repeatedly attacked and tore up fences attempting to get in to attack our dogs. Tore off screens from ground level windows trying to get in to attack cats or dogs on the inside. On several occasions it charged people. This went on for a number of months. My neighbors to south could no longer let their children play in the yard. Both county police and animal control said the same thing : "if you can catch it we will come pick it up."

I checked the county and state laws; then had a talk with my neighbors. We all started carrying pistols when outside. One day the dog got in to the yard of my neighbor to the north, where it grabbed his 4 pound Shi Tzu. He shot it dead. Problem solved.

None of us "wanted" to kill this dog. We all decided the safety of our children, our pets and our selves was and is more important than the life of this dog.

Posted by: Kate S | July 11, 2012 12:23 PM    Report this comment

I would have done exactly what you did by using a hose or a trash can or whatever is available to prevent my dog from being hurt. Judy G,from New Jersey.

Posted by: zippykay | January 3, 2012 6:58 PM    Report this comment

I live on Hilton Head Island, SC and had a Lab who was bitten by a neighbor's Boxer on Christmas Eve in Bluffton, about 8 years ago. Now in my neighborhood in Sea Pines, a gated community with security guards, and you would think you would be safe, but you're not, my current Lab and I have been accosted 3 days in a row by aggressive dogs off leash, all of them growling, 2 of them followed us down the street growling while the owners stood in their yards calling the dog's name, and of course it didn't respond. I turned around, made myself big, stuck my arms out shoulder height (which I read somewhere to do to make yourself look bigger) and yelled NO! several times, also took a step or two toward the dogs. One retreated, but the other one didn't stop until the owner came and grabbed it by its collar.

I am still scared whenever an aggressive dog comes near and try to avoid walking with my dog where there are aggressive dogs. I have nightmares about the attack on my dog 8 yrs ago, and am now having nightmares and can't sleep because of these 3 instances. Sea Pines told me to try to take a picture, easier said than done. I do carry my camera now, and did see the one large dog off leash again last Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011, but wasn't able to photograph it off leash, as I was so scared I just turned around with my dog and got her back in the house. After which I called Security and they patrolled my street but never catch the dogs.

RDW - Is pepper spray legal in Hilton Head?

Posted by: MAH | September 23, 2011 9:37 PM    Report this comment

Sure glad I read this post and all the comments. I am going to add pepper spray to my dog bag.

I haven't yet had a problem when out walking my current dog, but my previous pair of Cockers were attacked by loose dogs on three different occasions, the most serious was a pit who got his teeth in my male Cocker's side, picked him up and shook him like a rag doll. Incredibly frightening for all and a big vet bill to repair the damage. That attack was so fast, pepper spray wouldn't have been any help, but in the other instances it would have been very useful.

Posted by: karen marie | August 7, 2011 11:38 AM    Report this comment

Are you for real? With your self proclaimed control of your physical and emotional selves I hope you have jobs where you are saving people and animals lives on a daily basics but I highly doubt it. More likely you are the anti-violence at any cost type who have never been in a violent situation. This is not a "marshmallow world" You have to realize that even you may be in a situation someday where you loose your frontal lobe thinking and go directly into survival mode. As humans we do still have that "animal" part of our brains. It's there for SURVIVAL. You will eat your words if it does. The first thing they tell you in self defense classes is to scream and make as much fuss as possible to startle your attacker so you can get away. I think the same holds true if getting attacked by an animal. Violence does not always bring about more violence. Sometimes violence is what saves your or your pets life. But you go on living in a marshmallow world. I hope the real world never comes knocking at your door. You are clearly living in a dream world and are not prepared for the real world. I hope you are never in a bad situation but if you are I can bet your flight or fight response will come out. If it doesn't God help you and your dog.

Posted by: KATHLEEN SMITH | July 7, 2011 5:19 PM    Report this comment

I think that the lesson the author was illustrating (cheeking your perimeter to ensure that it is secure, and properly caring for your pets) could have been illustrated differently, without targeting a specific breed or breed mix. There is way too much negative attention given to an otherwise good breed of dogs when cared for and trained (pit bulls in this case). Would I have done the same thing, yep, but that is aside the point.

Pit Bulls and other "bully breeds" as some people label them, are trained (intentionally or through neglect) to act the way they do (well behaved, or aggressive). This is no different than poodles, beagles, golden retrievers, and labs, all of which could have the same aggressive temperament when placed in similar situations.

When properly cared for any breed can fit into a household, including Pit Bulls. Stories like this point out one bad owner and one neglected animal who has turned aggressive and label pit bulls as a whole as being dangerous.

I will tell you that my wife and I foster dogs on occasion, and we have had both labs and beagles who have been aggressive toward our dogs, or toward humans. The dogs initially showed no sign of aggression when we first got them, but after a day or two it surfaced. You never hear about labs who get into this kind of trouble, it is almost always the "bad" breeds.

Posted by: Robert D | July 7, 2011 4:02 PM    Report this comment

I am sorry but I seem to be really put off by "someone's" comments out here in blogger land. First of all, you can live in the nicest of neighborhoods and still have neighbors that have junk and debris lying around, yards unkempt, fences not fixed, and animals uncared for and running loose in the yard. It is NOT an indicator that you are living in a "bad" neighborhood. You may simply have lazy irresponsible neighbors.

Second, you have been very lucky that you have not had a dog coming at full force and attacking your dog. I have. And believe me, your first instinct is to PROTECT your animal, not meander over to the hose as calmly as possible and squirt the attacker in hopes he might bite a little less agressively if only you are calm and less threatening to them. Would you act the same way if that same dog was charging your child??? No way.

I can tell you from experience, while walking my dogs I have had everything from American Bulldogs, Pitbulls, German Shepherds all the way down to Jack Russells charge my leashed dogs. The only way I have been able to interupt a charge and impending attack is to stop and yell as loudly, firmly, and agressively as possible, "STOP" "GET BACK" "NO". In most cases, the charging dogs stopped in their tracks and turned around to retreat. Luckily, the very few who didn't stop were slowed down enough to approach slowly and reduce some of their adrenaline the actual charge and chase caused.

Finally, if your dogs are running up to people and other dogs, they are obviously not leashed or trained well enough to come back when you call them. Therefore, anything that happens to them because of it, is YOUR fault. Not the person who is trying to protect themselves, their children, and their pets. They don't know if your animal is pet/people friendly or agressive so you can't blame them for their reactions. I assume if they are yelling and kicking at your dogs, they have some sort of fear that the encounter will be bad.

I volunteer in my local animal shelter as a dog walker and have personally witnessed unprovoked attacks from one dog to another. In these cases the handlers were calmly leading their dogs out for a walk when one dog turns on an unsuspected other and attacks for no reason. There was no screaming, yelling, agressive behavior, etc.

I would have reacted the same way Nancy! Glad you and Otto were not seriously harmed.

Posted by: KELLI B | July 6, 2011 1:59 PM    Report this comment

Wow, Nancy! How frightening. I'm glad to hear that you and Otto came through this with only a minor injury for Otto. It sounds very traumatizing for both of you. I think some of the bloggers are being unfair with their comments. In a situation like that, your instincts kick in and you do not have a lot of time to think. I shudder to think about the outcome, had you not been so quick to react. It's ironic that we all depend on you for advice about our beloved pets and hard to imagine that you could live next door to such irresponsible dog owners. You and Otto are in my prayers for no more incidents with these thoughtless people or dogs.

Posted by: mamajump | July 6, 2011 6:53 AM    Report this comment

The hardest thing to watch as a professional in the dog industry is when something like this happens. Otto's life was in jeopardy because the other 3 dogs are neglected not to mention Nancy herself could of been badly hurt. It's not just 'Pit mixes' out there, the rotties, let's not forget the new hybrids with the american bulldog and the mastiffs. These are all strong athletic dogs. They need to be exercised, need to be trained properly to be well behaved or 'THEY COULD POTENTIALLY BECOME A WEAPON'. And I am a firm believer that it is the owners responsibility. It's to late once a child looses his or her face. I know several people who are deathly afraid of dogs because of such an encounter when they were younger. It's an experience some will never get over. A properly cared for and well trained dog is amazing to be around and to have around. It is beyond words can discribe what a dog can bring to society, all breeds. Each one has its own unique gifts. Someone once told me they had the dog from hell. My answer was: "That puppy had the owner from hell." If you can't spend time with a dog, don't get one!

Posted by: Mona Q | July 6, 2011 12:20 AM    Report this comment

Aww, poor Otto! Poor Nancy! My goodness, I would probably have done the same thing! About 5 years ago we rebuilt our entire fence structure including a foot high kick-board base all the way around. I think our fence is probably illegal within the city limits of Chico... but it is high and it is sturdy. We told the neighbors what we were doing and asked for contributions to help cover costs... most of them were happy to help out. Still, we need to replace boards now and then, but I feel confident no one is getting in or out! I hope Otto heals quickly and I hope you never have to experience anything like that again!

Posted by: shagay a | July 5, 2011 8:49 PM    Report this comment

My neighbor has loads of animals he leaves unattended in his back yard. One of them is an aggressive male Collie. I had a chain link fence with slats running through it to break down the fence aggression his dogs had with my dogs....didn't work. I installed a 6' vinyl privacy fence along the back....best money I've ever spent. I don't allow my dogs to run the fence because I have foster dogs - I don't want them to learn that behavior. I go out with them. Funny thing is, people think I'm crazy because I'm always out with my dogs! The redneck behind me with all the out-of-control animals told me he's "a good dog owner" (yet he keeps a 9-mo-old JRT puppy on a chain. I've alerted animal control to this, they're haunting him. Excellent.) People are getting to the point where they absolutely do not care how their "stuff" (mental, physical, emotional) affects other people. If anyone's in the planning stages of getting a fence, get the 6' privacy. It's worth the money!!!!!!

Posted by: janisjunkie | July 5, 2011 8:25 PM    Report this comment

I replaced part of a chain-link fence with a solid wall and the rest with a wood fence that is a complete visual barrier. It makes a big difference even though dogs can hear & smell each other, if they cannot see through. My dogs were less interested in the dogs on the other side (and they were less interested in mine), no more fence fighting or chasing each other along the fence line. You can also mount panels of dog-ear lumber onto a chain-link fence if the fence is already in place. I think it's worth doing (and more attractive too!)

Posted by: dogsmom | July 5, 2011 8:24 PM    Report this comment

I have to agree with Suzi, although I do understand that you were protecting Otto and did the best you could in a new and stressful situation. I think that, now that you can reflect on the event, by acting with such fierce aggression towards those dogs you may have caused them to become even more aggressive towards Otto, but also turn on the crazy-acting human, i.e. you. Clearly adrenalin was high all around, but as humans, I think that it is our responsibility to try and diffuse (rather than escalate) any situation. The hose is a great idea since it is a constant deterrent that should force the dogs to withdraw. Throwing objects is an annoyance, nothing more and may aggravate them further.
Since Otto was really thrown by your reaction, I would spend some time making sure that he does not harbor a fear that this will "happen to his human again".
What a tough situation. I am sorry that you had to deal with it.

Posted by: POLINA S | July 5, 2011 8:09 PM    Report this comment

Whoo, Nancy, I can empathetically feel the adrenalin! And I thought because my colleagues didn't know about positive training or probiotics that I was not in Kansas! I hope Otto heals quickly, both physically and emotionally, and thank you for this important lesson about levels of understanding. I also hope we all can become more conscious about our role as caretakers of the earth and Her beings.

Posted by: Becky and Buddy | July 5, 2011 8:06 PM    Report this comment

Sending hugs to Otto for a fast recovery. If you are able to, get a couple of cans of Mace to keep in case this happens again. Mace usually stops any dog. I would have done the same thing to protect my dog, it's another case of bad owners.....sad, so sad.

Posted by: Sara G | July 5, 2011 7:57 PM    Report this comment

Are you sure you don't want to add a cinderblock wall to that side of the fence before putting up your 6' chain link?

Posted by: A_Noun | July 5, 2011 7:52 PM    Report this comment

Afterward: Otto's butt is healing nicely. The fencing contractor said a six-foot chain-link fence would be about $1,000 and he can get it done by the end of the week. We'll leave the old fence in place to provide a visual barrier. Parts of the GoldRush-era town where I live are quite nice, and I've met great people with great dogs here, but this is a POOR (and small) town in a POOR rural county, so we also have our share of dogs living on chains, poorly trained, unsocialized, and badly kept dogs, too. The owners of these dogs don't appear to have much interest in the dogs other than having them, and the dogs are so neglected that their major entertainment is barking at passersby and redirecting aggression at each other. As far as coming at the dogs with both metaphorical barrels blazing: Both my past observations of these dogs and the speed at which the big dog came through and straight for Otto left no doubt in my mind that I needed to mount a big offense, fast. (If Otto hadn't been out there, I also would not have been so over-the-top.) If all three had gotten through and gotten to Otto, I have no doubt that he would have been set upon in a matter of moments. If the dogs weren't so "supercharged" or were nicer pet-type dogs, I would have approached the situation much differently. I have tried in the past to make friends with them, dropping dog cookies over the fence, and they grab the food and keep on barking, growling, and the biggest one throws himself at the fence. Keeping a can of HALT on the back porch is an excellent suggestion and it's there now. --Nancy Kerns

Posted by: WDJ Editor Nancy Kerns | July 5, 2011 7:06 PM    Report this comment

A very friendly additional comment here...
This whole conversation, and all of the comments here, are wonderful and very helpful. My wife and I have talked so so so often about this whole issue, and it is wonderful that WDG has brought this to the forefront.
We may all think that our dogs are "just fine and so so so friendly!"... ... But to others... Well, they just may not be so friendly. All in the eye of the beholder...
We all love our own dogs... But just perhaps... Perhaps... ... the rest of the world doesn't feel quite the same.
Something to remember in our own back yards, neighborhoods, sidewalks, dog parks, beaches, walking trails, obedience/agility/discdog/rally trials, etc. ... ...

Posted by: R D W | July 5, 2011 5:54 PM    Report this comment

I have to admit that the first thing I thoughtafter reading this story was, was "why would she live in the sort of neighborhood that throws mattresses into the backyard and leaves dogs loose to tear things up?" It sounds like a horrible and unsafe place to live!

But throught the years I have had several dogs break into our yards....sometimes digging under, sometimes manipulating a fence (we are always on acreage and it is difficult to keep an eye on it all, particularly when it is covered with foliage). While the dogs snarl, bark and fence figh from the different sides of chainlink, I have never had any problems when they have gotten together. The fighting resumes when they are separated into their own yards again.

I would have used a hose, if possible, but I would never yell and act aggressive like that. Aggression breeds more aggression and you could have started a BAD fight. I have seen too many dog owners start screaming and flailing when a dog is running to wards them or their dog. This can cause the other dog to attack. I have seen seen it in my own dogs who have run up to what they think is a friend only to be screamed and kicked at. It casued my dog to get overly defensive and the situation escalates from there.

So repair your fences, but I would not advocate engaging in such aggressive and provocative reactions. Check with other behavioralists and I am sure they will agree. Poor Otto could have been seriously attacked due to your provocation. Please do not continue on this theme and encourage others to act similarly and perhaps cause even greater problems. Your actions were not correct nor appropriate from how your story reads.

Posted by: SUZI IRONMONGER | July 5, 2011 5:47 PM    Report this comment

I feel really bad for Otto and you to have gone through this. I would do anything to protect my dog as you did also. I think I might be safe and start carrying some of that Halt stuff.

Posted by: Bladesp | July 5, 2011 4:47 PM    Report this comment

It seems that in many of the comments, it is the result of incapable or poor ownership. The dogs are doing what they do natural. Dogs need stimulation and exercise and owners who understand the breed and needs, but do to at least three of the posts, the bully breeds are being acknowledged in the posts.

I too have a 'been attacked by a pit' story but I have no harsh feelings against the dog. The owner on the other hand, that is a different story because she actually came up to get her dog which I had by the collar and just left. Didn't say a word, ask if our dog was ok, etc. From that day forward, I carry a product called" Stop Cop" which is law enforcement grade peppar spray. I have had to use it twice and the dog stopped in their tracks -- and if the owner would have said anything, they would have been next.

It seems like we are on a slippery slope with these bully dogs, whether breaking through fences or attacking while on a walk. Shelters are over whelmed with them (I volunteer at our local shelter) and people who get them really don't understand what is needed on both the physical and mental stimulation needed as well as enclosures and restraints. Now there are a lot of very nice, non-threatening dogs out there, but is the stories where the dog breaks through the fence or mauls the child that puts a stigma on all the animals.

Posted by: Thomas P | July 5, 2011 3:29 PM    Report this comment

This really hit home with me. My neighbor has 2 pit mixes who are Extrememly frustrated. They get absolutely No exercise and run the fence, barking and growling (which leads to one of them attacking the other one) whenever someone is outside. Does not matter if the dogs are with me or not. My dogs have shown no interest in them at all.
Luckliy we have a double fence between us, but I do hear them body slamming their side of the fence and they also try to dig under. I have been filling those holes with rocks and then pounded rebar lengths in front of the rocks. If I was putting in a new fence I would have a chain wall poured with rebar reinforcers to prevent the digging under.

Posted by: NOLAhounds | July 5, 2011 2:47 PM    Report this comment

I learned something today. Make sure you own all 4 sides of your fence.

Posted by: Unknown | July 5, 2011 2:20 PM    Report this comment

When I moved to my new house last year, I put up an ugly 6 foot high chain link fence. Then I looked on the internet and found "Hedgelink" It threads through the ugly fence and creates a grass fence. It looks good. All the neighbors and anyone visitng like it and it is a privacy fence - I thought I was so smart....One evening, my three Rotties ended up in the neighbor's yard. They crawled under the fence. Thank goodness, they understood their "word" and I got them back with no problems. They did not roam through the neighborhood. Next morning, at 7 a.m. I had my contracter install 4 foot rebar pieces in the bottom of the fence. 2 feet are in the ground and two feet are "wound" in the fence. Can't get through now!!!! My dogs taught me that I had not thought this through. Now I feel confident that no four paws people can get in or out of my yard without my permission.

Posted by: Rochelle | July 5, 2011 2:18 PM    Report this comment

This is a most terrifying event! Without going into detail, I was the victim a few years ago of a neighbor's dog (pitbull mix... ...) breaking its rope tether on a back deck, only to meet me face to face in my front yard, with no one else on the street at all, snarling... I wound up in the ER with a big chunk of calf muscle missing and several stitches... And constant slight pain discomfort to this day after several years... And I am a runner/cyclist on Hilton Head Island SC...

I NEVER go ANYWHERE anymore without "Halt" type of pepper spray at my side! Glad that I don't as my sheltie and I have had a couple of other potential altercations since then... I have had to hold my sheltie puppy up over my head as a chocolate lab tried to get hold of him on the beach here... And a golden retriever tried to fight with him... I have a quiet, shy sheltie; he wasn't the provocator...

Dog Safety rules:
1. Never trust another dog unless you really know the dog
2. Never trust what dog owners say about the "trustworthiness" of their dogs unless you really know the dogs AND the OWNERS!
3. Always be prepared for the worst
4. Most important rule... Always be ready for fun with new dog friends... But be CAREFUL!

Word from the wise here... I have been there, done that with dog issues like this! Good fences, and good defenses... Two very ESSENTIAL things!

Posted by: R D W | July 5, 2011 2:15 PM    Report this comment

This is a most terrifying event! Without going into detail, I was the victim a few years ago of a neighbor's dog (pitbull mix... ...) breaking its rope tether on a back deck, only to meet me face to face in my front yard, with no one else on the street at all, snarling... I wound up in the ER with a big chunk of calf muscle missing and several stitches... And constant slight pain discomfort to this day after several years... And I am a runner/cyclist on Hilton Head Island SC...

I NEVER go ANYWHERE anymore without "Halt" type of pepper spray at my side! Glad that I don't as my sheltie and I have had a couple of other potential altercations since then... I have had to hold my sheltie puppy up over my head as a chocolate lab tried to get hold of him on the beach here... And a golden retriever tried to fight with him... I have a quiet, shy sheltie; he wasn't the provocator...

Dog Safety rules:
1. Never trust another dog unless you really know the dog
2. Never trust what dog owners say about the "trustworthiness" of their dogs unless you really know the dogs AND the OWNERS!
3. Always be prepared for the worst
4. Most important rule... Always be ready for fun with new dog friends... But be CAREFUL!

Word from the wise here... I have been there, done that with dog issues like this! Good fences, and good defenses... Two very ESSENTIAL things!

Posted by: R D W | July 5, 2011 2:15 PM    Report this comment

Not that it works in every case, but, having previous dogs next door make unauthorized visits, and currently living next to a rather pugnacious pup who is really terrific from a neighborhood security perspective but not so good with dogs next door. Our shared fence is 50 years old... so I work prevention... I've coordinated with my neighbor and deliberately befriended that dog next door... I don't allow my pack to fence fight... the dognextdoor used to come to the fence to start stuff... but... there was no fight from my side and everybody got a treat instead (still do)... so... the barking is now pretty friendly and the dognextdoor has gotten out several times, and he goes and waits by my front door for his treat... and then we walk home... not a universal fix, but might be a thought for some...

Posted by: lisas | July 5, 2011 1:36 PM    Report this comment

We have similar fence issues. We actually put up a wire fence about 1 foot away from the actual wooden fence so that the neighbor's dogs (2 Great Danes and a pit mix) could not antagonize our dogs or keep pushing on the fence. It's basically an added safety net if one of the boards loosens or when their dogs crash up against the fence.

Posted by: vetgirl12 | July 5, 2011 1:01 PM    Report this comment

My suggestion is to always use your emergency word, the one that has your dog unfailingly, immediately come to you first in any such situation. "Now" is a good word to use. Then, back up and go back inside, securing your own dog before moving the dogs out of your place.

Part of my fence came loose one Thanksgiving weekend when I was out. My neighbor's yard was large and enticing, and adult sister dog, mom dog and pup (10 months) used the loose end to "escape" and have a party. The neighbor came home from work, let his dog out, and .....chaos! Mother dogs can be feisty!! (None of my dogs were physically harmed, although the most timid one, who would never leave on her own, was wandering the streets until 4am.) The neighbor had a hole in his fence on the street side, and he thought the dogs got in that way, not from my yard, so he did not even tell me what happened until two days later.

It took me 2.5 years to retrain the puppy to accept strangers, as the pup was chased out of the yard and through the neighborhood. She is an escape artist! Naturally.

I no longer live there. Of course.

Posted by: HerdingTrainer | July 5, 2011 12:37 PM    Report this comment

Wow! What a nightmare! I think I would have done the same thing. I'm glad it was not worse.

Posted by: Lola C | July 5, 2011 12:20 PM    Report this comment

I certainly understand the shock of fence issues. I walked into our backyard with my three dogs recently, to find that they were pulling down their entire fence. Considering the first side they removed was a shared fence between our yards and they knew we had dogs AND a dog door, I was not very happy. Yes, that side was their fence (the other three sides around my backyard were ours) but some warning would have been nice.

Thankfully we were home when the demolition began. I certainly recommend that you own all four sides of your fencing even if that means your fence is directly next to your neighbor's fence.

Posted by: Furrykids | July 5, 2011 12:04 PM    Report this comment

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