If your dog runs to the fence and barks at the neighbors every time they step outside, you need to think like a dog to solve the problem. Dogs bark at passersby through chain-link fences for various reasons, including territorial issues, boredom, pent-up energy or curiosity. There is a need--or a perceived need--in your dog’s environment that you must meet to stop the behavior.
Bring your dog inside and don’t allow him to spend large amounts of time in the yard alone. Dogs are pack animals and want to be part of your family. Leaving a dog alone for long periods of time will lead to behavioral issues, including excessive barking at the neighbors through the fence.
Exercise your dog. Try to take her for a long walk in the morning and a long walk in the evening. This will relieve pent-up energy and boredom.
Introduce your dog to the neighbors in a positive, calm environment. Let the dog get to know the people at whom he is barking. If he recognizes the neighbors as people he knows who pose no threat, you may curb the barking behavior.
Meet your dog’s basic needs when she is in the yard. Your dog may be barking because she sees a person and she’s letting that person know that she needs food, water or shelter.
Provide an interactive environment for your dog in the yard, if he must stay there for long periods of time. Provide him with toys, balls and a place to dig.
Train your dog in basic obedience skills. It provides you some control of the dog, it gives the dog mental stimulation and daily training will help to tire the dog. A tired dog is less likely to bark at the neighbors.
Train your dog to the command “stop barking.” When your dog barks two or three times, praise her for barking and letting you know about a perceived threat. Then tell her “stop barking” and give her a treat. The dog can’t bark and eat at the same time and eventually she’ll come to associate the command “stop barking” with the treat and the behavior you are seeking from her.
Don’t yell at your dog when he is barking. The dog likely just thinks you are barking with him and your yelling will encourage his behavior.
It will take time for your dog to change his behavior. The longer your dog has been in the habit of barking, the longer it will take to change his behavior.
- Don’t yell at your dog when he is barking. The dog likely just thinks you are barking with him and your yelling will encourage his behavior.
- It will take time for your dog to change his behavior. The longer your dog has been in the habit of barking, the longer it will take to change his behavior.
Bethney Foster is social justice coordinator for Mercy Junction ministry, where she edits the monthly publication "Holy Heretic." She is also an adoption coordinator with a pet rescue agency. Foster spent nearly two decades as a newspaper reporter/editor. She graduated from Campbellsville University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English, journalism and political science.