What to Do When Your Neighbors Don’t Trust Your Electric Dog Fence

From Today’s Herald Tribune, a story about Lucy the Doberman who is safely contained behind her dog fence but nonetheless upsetting the neighbours:

When in the front yard, if Lucy barks at passersby at all it is usually in a friendly greeting. She won’t even go near the invisible electric fence that keeps her several feet from the sidewalk. She’s just about the perfect dog. … Five people have complained about the vicious-looking and acting Doberman, he says, mainly because it barks threateningly as they pass on the sidewalk. With no visible barrier between them and the dog, he said, some people cringe as they pass.

So Lucy the dog is safely contained but the neighbours are scared nonetheless.  We can understand this, a big dog charging at you is scary even if intellectually you know they are contained.  And a lot of people don’t realise that you have a pet containment system in place.  Even though you might have a really secure system like the Petsafe Stubborn Dog Fence in place, they don’t know and will still feel threatened.

Here are a couple of tips that help you getting your neighbours as comfortable about the dog fence as you are.

The first is to get the dog to accept your neighbours as friends and vice versa.  The best way to do this is to all go on a walk together.  During the walk, the dog will come to understand the the neighbours are part of her pack and this should cut down on the barking and charging.  Conversely, the neighbours will come to realise that Lucy is a big sweetie.

The second is to give the dog another routine to channel it’s guard dog instincts.  Instead of charging at the fence and barking, the she can be taught another routine to act out, such as finding you and gently touching you.  A few hours with a good trainer with some follow up from the family should be able to get the dog to rechannel her energy into something more neighbour friendly activity than barking.

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