When you have a fence separating your property from your neighbor’s, you may expect some level of privacy and security. However, if your neighbor’s dog repeatedly charges or damages your fence, it can be a source of stress and frustration for you.
The dog’s destructive behavior may result in costly repairs or replacements. This could impact your finances and cause you to be concerned about potential future costs.
Besides that, constant barking or aggressive behavior can create a noisy and tense environment, making it difficult to relax or enjoy your own property. This is especially challenging if you work from home or have young children who are bothered by the noise.
While some aggressive dogs pose minimal dangers to people and animals, others may be highly territorial and undisciplined. Understanding why your neighbor’s dog charges the fence and how best to handle the situation without attracting lawsuits is essential.
Before reading this article, “Neighbor’s Dog Charges Fence: What Can You Do,” check out: Best Portable Dog Fence for Camping: Top 10 Picks! (2023) and Dog Traumatized By Electric Fence. What Should I Do? (2023).
Reasons Why a Dog Charges Fence
Dog aggression and fence charging can occur for a variety of reasons. Knowing the factors that cause a dog to charge your fence will allow you to make practical decisions.
The following are the main reasons a dog would charge your fence:
Dogs are naturally happy and active animals that get excited at times. A dog may charge your fence to show its affection. Unfortunately, this excitement may be misinterpreted as noise and a nuisance. Before you start arguing with or complaining to your neighbor, try to figure out why their dog is charging your fence.
Female dogs with pseudocyesis are prone to maternal aggression. These dogs will frequently charge at people and animals they see walking around your yard.
If a female dog feels threatened, it will usually bark and charge at your fence. This could be a genetic issue, but it has been reported to occur more frequently after the first litter.
If some form of wildlife enters your yard, your neighbor’s dog may become more aggressive and charge your fence. The sequence of events could include chasing the target, stalking it, and repeatedly charging your fence, which it deems to be a barrier.
Dogs are generally energetic pets, and when left unsupervised for an extended period of time, they may begin to look for ways to mitigate boredom. If your neighbor isn’t home for an extended period of time and leaves their dog alone outside, the dog may find that charging your fence simply gives them something to do.
Encourage your neighbor to address their dog’s boredom before contacting animal control or the police.
Reaction to the Dog in Your Yard
Because of poor communication, impulse control, aggression, or a lack of early socialization, your neighbor’s dog may be aggressive toward your dog. The fence charging could also result from competition for a valuable resource.
When your neighbor’s dog perceives your dog as a threat to its territory, it may charge your fence in an attempt to reach your dog.
When an out-of-reach trigger such as a dog walking in the neighboring yard or a stranger passing by prompts your neighbor’s dog, the aggression may be directed toward an animal or person closest to them, including those in your yard.
Your neighbor’s dog might be barking at another passing dog in the neighborhood — a natural response and desire to protect their property. If they have no feasible way to reach their target, the dog may charge the fence while attempting to attack the threat.
Dogs have an innate instinct to be territorial, which has evolved over time due to their species’ evolution. Dogs use this instinct to protect their resources, such as food, shelter, and mates, from potential threats.
When a dog sees another animal or person nearby, it may feel threatened and attempt to defend its territory by barking, growling, or even charging at the perceived intruder. A fence can serve as a boundary marker for a dog’s territory, and charging at the fence allows the dog to defend its territory from intruders.
What to Do When Your Neighbor’s Dog Charges Fence
Dogs are trained to protect their homes, and consistent barking and fence charging may be ways for them to do so. As a neighbor, this obnoxious behavior may overwhelm you, so consider taking a few appropriate steps to end it.
Address the Matter With Your Neighbor
Talking to your neighbor about their dog’s annoying behavior is a good way to handle the problem while maintaining a positive relationship with them. If you notice their dog charging your fence on a regular basis, make time to sit them down and express your frustrations in a non-confrontational manner.
Openly express your concern to them and suggest a possible solution. When you bring up the issue with your neighbor, they might very well realize their misjudgment and feel obliged to correct it.
Ask Your Neighbor if They Could Plan a Playdate for You and Their Dog
Because it’s likely afraid of you, your neighbor’s dog may be charging your fence. Making time to socialize and interact may help to relieve stress and improve the situation. The playdate will assist you in developing a strong bond with the dog and will allow the dog to trust you more.
Once you’ve established a good relationship with the dog, it will likely respect your boundaries and stop charging your fence.
Replace the Existing Chain Link Between Your Home and Your Neighbor’s
If your property has a chain link fence, consider replacing it with a vinyl or wooden fence. This simple solution can be an excellent way to eliminate the annoyance caused by your neighbor’s dog. You could also modify your existing fence to help block the dog’s visual access to your yard.
Use Dog Deterrents to Discourage the Dog From Charging Your Fence
Generally, dogs with an excellent sense of smell and hearing are always on alert for any impending trouble. You can use the dog’s natural instincts to scare it away from the fence.
Some of the helpful dog deterrents you might want to install or plant around your fence include the following:
- Plants such as citronella, citrus, and rue
- Ultrasonic dog repeller
- Motion-activated watering system
- Fence water sprayer
Contact Animal Control
While a less diplomatic way to handle the situation, reporting your neighbor’s dog behavior to animal control can help you solve their dog’s fence-charging problem. Animal Control exists to assist people in resolving any animal-related conflict. When you report a problem, the agency will immediately investigate and take appropriate action.
In some cases, animal control officers may advise your neighbor to train their dog to avoid charging your fence repeatedly. In more serious cases, they may issue a warning or even take legal action against your neighbor.
Consider Legal Action
If, after negotiations and discussions, your neighbor dog’s fence-charging problem remains unresolved, your only option is to invoke a state or local ordinance.
The majority of pet control laws concern the types of pets that residents may own and how they must be restrained and confined. You can check to see if your neighbor is in violation of these laws.
Please remember that taking this step may jeopardize your relationship with your neighbor. Consider this course of action carefully before taking it; use it only as a last resort if all else fails.
How to Help a Reactive Dog
Most aggression-induced fence charging is due to dog owners unwittingly putting their pups in situations they can’t readily cope with.
Here are steps to help a reactive dog:
- Every dog is unique, and each may have a different source of concern. Dog owners should learn to observe their dogs and predict their behavior based on their feelings.
- Act to prevent the dog’s behavior from repeating itself. If it charges the fence because it dislikes the neighbor, limit its movement to the neighbor’s side of the fence.
- Remove the source of your dog’s arousal, fear, or stress — or remove your dog from the situation entirely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s look at some frequently asked questions about why your neighbor’s dog charges the fence.
Consider adding a second barrier to block off the boundary between the sidewalk and your yard to prevent your neighbor’s dog from attacking your fence. You can use a simple chicken wire to create a buffer zone, preventing your neighbor’s dog from reaching and attacking your fence.
To stop your dog from charging the fence, consider supervising it at all times. Never leave it in the yard unattended. By watching it closely, you’ll realize as soon as it’s triggered to charge the fence and stop it immediately.
An ideal way to deal with your neighbor’s aggressive dog is to seal all visual accesses in your yard. You can achieve this by putting nylon stripping between chain links or blocking the openings in your wooden fence. Also, consider removing the aggression trigger from its sight.
Installing a motion-activated sprinkler, setting up dog warning signs on your property, minimizing attractions to dogs, and installing a fence can be great ways to keep your neighbor’s dog off your property.
Installing an electrified wire on your fence is a simple way to keep your neighbor’s dog away from your fence. Dogs will avoid a hot wire. So when they sense that your fence is electrocuted, they’ll avoid it.
If the visit of your neighbor’s dog to your yard displeases you, you can reach out to your neighbor and share your concerns. If they fail to respond to your concerns, you can seek legal advice to keep the dog out of your yard.
Conclusion for “Neighbor’s Dog Charges Fence: What Can You Do”
Living in a neighborhood with a poorly-behaved dog can be stressful, especially if it or its owner doesn’t respect your boundaries. In most cases, dogs charge fences due to excitement, boredom, and territorial behavior. Knowing what to do about such dogs will save you the frustration you’d face from your neighbor’s stubborn pet.
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Dr. Sabrina Kong graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in England in 2016 and has been working at a small animal clinic in Northern California since then. She grew up in the Bay Area and got her bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She also became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner through a program at the University of Tennessee.
When she isn’t in the clinic taking care of her four-legged patients, she enjoys traveling and trying new foods with her friends and her three-legged dog, Apollo. She adopted Apollo from her clinic when he was a puppy with numerous health issues. Dr. Kong truly cares about taking care of animals.