The dog next door....
Our neighbors in the mountains have a new dog and I'm looking for some advice.
Last weekend I took my two Border Collie(ish) dogs up to the cabin. When I arrived, the neighbors new dog rushed the fence and started barking at me. When he saw my dogs jump out of the car, he first started running along the fence then he stopped, dropped his head, and growled. He certainly does not look very friendly - in fact, he's rather intimidating.
Later in the day I let my dogs out in the backyard and he rushed the chain-link fence again and my female started fence fighting with him - running back and forth barking and growling. I called her off, but the neighbor's dog stayed right at the fence, either pacing or glaring. Even more creepy, he went back about 15 feet into some brush and stood there frozen - head down, feet apart and glaring. He really looked like a tiger about to attack some prey.
My neighbor said that he's a rescue, he "doesn't know his own strength", and he "can't call him off when he's fixated on things". Great. We only have a 5' chain link fence and he looks like he would tear my dogs into pieces if he ever got into my yard.
How would you approach this? The dogs will need to eventually get used to each other. How can I facilitate this? How can I get him used to me? Our back fenced area is pretty small, so I'm often near the fence raking, pulling weeds, turning on the water, etc. I've started to just talk calmly to him. Do you think treats would help?
My neighbors are nice, but kind of clueless about their dog's behavior. He even told me he should probably put a muzzle on the dog and "get him out more". I feel like keeping a baseball bat nearby just in case - not a good feeling because I really am a dog lover - but my dogs come first.