Plant damage related to fence fighting

legrenaJuly 29, 2010

We live in a rural area and have several acres of land. We have a total of 6 dogs, 2 Schnauzers in our home, and 4 dogs we rescued as puppies. These dogs are allowed to be loose on the property and are generally well behaved. Of these 4 dogs, two are female spade and two males, one neutered. The 2 males are the specific problem. One "Blue:" is a mix Golden Retriever and Springer Spaniel is the accepted leader more dominate than the other "Tux" a Black Irish Setter. Our problem is some serious aggression by way of fence fighting that results in serious plant damage further described herein.

But before I go on we know the problem, the outside dogs trespassing within BlueÂs area and his desire to protect us from them. These dogs get lots of attention, have outside toys to chew and are generally well behaved. They come when called obey, commands such a sit and down. Now for the problem.

One of our neighbors passed away and had 3 dogs that were allowed to run loose in the area even before we built our home. When alive he came to this home only for vacation and weekends and other neighbors fed and took care of these dogs while he was gone. One of these neighbors lives across the road from us and regularly cares and feeds these dogs. One of these dogs is a large male of similar breed to "Blue" and when they see each other its fence fighting time. In addition, when fence fighting our other male "Tux" gets in "Blues" way and is frequently attacked. But worse than the fence fighting is the damage to a very nice row of hedges. "Tux" in his frustration tears off branches and chews them. He also makes a clear view of what happens on the road for him and "Blue" to keep guard.

I work daily on the fence fighting issue teaching "Blue" that this behavior is unacceptable. Typically I call him and tell him his behavior is unacceptable. If itÂs a violent fight I chain him for an hour and he seems to be understanding that his actions are unacceptable and get him chained. Many times now he stops fighting and comes and I praise him, calm him and treat him. But this will be a long slow process distrupted by the visits from the other dogs.

Our neighbors want the 3 dogs kept in the neighborhood as they feel they offer them security but are unwilling to control them in the fence fighting. When not fence fighting these dogs are very friendly.

So I believe at one time or another fence fighting will come under control but how can I stop the plant destruction? ItÂs a long 5 to 7 minute walk down to our gate so spraying water is typically not timely. IÂve been thinking about putting things in or on the ground like their feces or having some form of citrus spray come when they fight but how?

Does anyone have any ideas of what I can put either on the plants or on in the ground that will not damage the plants that will deter the dogs from chewing, tearing off branches and going between the plants causing damage?.

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Sorry, but I think it's a losing battle as long as other dogs are running loose outside your property. Just give up on the plants or else install a solid barrier fence.

You do realize that one of the problems is the fact you have an un-neutered male?

If the other dogs had owners that were in control of them, I'd suggest letting the dogs meet each other outside your fenced property but you just don't have the ideal circumstances for such an introduction.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 1:11PM
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I certainly understand that all involved are trying to do the humane thing, especially the folks who are feeding the uncontrolled and roaming dogs. I really suspect, however, that whether they claim these animals or not as 'theirs' their actions put them in the position of harbouring animals and not controlling them. I live in the country too and regardless of how far out you are, or how many acres you have whomever keeps or abets an animal has a responsibility. The responsibility ultimately is theirs to keep the situation under control and they could be held liable.

I doubt neutering at this date will control the dominance factor in Blue. I have had neutered dogs who will assume the responsibility of guarding their territory and that can even be breed specific.

I don't think there is much you can do, except perhaps install a unit to establish a periphery Blue can go to with a wireless emitter and put a response collar on him. Sounds like he'll be the only one who needs one.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 1:51PM
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A solar electric fence would keep dogs away from the fence on both sides. The shock is not serious, but only one is all it will take. (You can get the mesh ones for chickens at a reasonable price.)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 3:16PM
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That entered my mind Carmen, as I use a solar powered fence around my vegetable garden, but the lady has planting against her fence and that's what she's trying to protect and plantings don't work well in proximity to electric fences. Unless she puts it further back on her property.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 4:28PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

I don't have any experience with this problem, but my friend put in a sprinkler system that is set off by a motion detector. Maybe something like that would work to keep the dogs away from the fence altogether.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 10:56PM
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Dominant or not, neutered or not, Blue is in his yard, protecting his territory.

It sounds to me like you can either:

1. install an electric fence.


2. move your own plantings & let the rioting continue.


3. adopt the dogs yourself & socialize them.


4. call animal control to pick up the ownerless dogs;
the neighbors who feel more "secure" with dogs roaming the neighborhood but who don't want to actually own the dogs must make other arrangements.

If you decide on #4
(not as mean as it sounds-
ownerless dogs eventually die horrible deaths from predators, cars, people with guns, hunger, poison, etc),
be sure that you never ever let it be known that you're the one who called.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 12:03PM
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Fence fighting can lead to more serious problems including your one dog attacking and killing the other dog getting in it's way, this is all a recipe for disaster.
I suggest you put up a cable run or build a dog run for your dogs when they are outside. Aquirting the dogs with the hose may or may not have any affect, on top of that you may create another problem and make the dogs fearful of the hose.
There are a couple of ways to stop this behavior BUT it will require patience, training and vigilance. So how much effort do you want to put into stopping this behavior?? I just was working with a dog on Friday with this very issue.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 3:22AM
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Training one's own dog is very nice, but the aggressive homeless dogs are the problem.

I do agree, nothing stays the same;
this will escalate.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 4:27PM
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