Running Along the Fence Line and Barking
#11
The bigger problem is the out of control barking while running along the fence. It can be a problem with other owner(s) who walk their dogs. The BC who is running along the fence constantly barking causes the other owner(s) dogs to lunge and pull. From what I have observed, the BCs bark is not really a playful bark but more of a territorial bark especially when it comes to other dogs. Also, if I want to walk my BC along the road, with his tendency to react to any moving cars or bicyclists, I do not have an easy time either without him lunging at cars passing by or the bicyclists (especially bicyclists). The road we live on is the only ingress and egress to our subdivision, so there are enough cars passing that it is an important consideration for my safety and the safety of my dog. I have tried walking him outside the fence line and have had success, but if a bicyclist or another dog comes by "all bets are off". I do try to pay attention to my surroundings while I am out walking him but I feel it would be easier for the stress levels for both of us if he was not so reactive to motion. I realize that motion sensitivity can be part of the BC personality. My other BC does not have this issue. Our two BCs have the full run of the one acre fenced yard, playing and doing what BCs do. As a dog owner when I walk our dog(s) in the neighborhood, I don't enjoy it when a dog behind a fence is barking or growling along the fence line as we are passing by either. I want to correct my BCs overaction to passing cars, bicyclists, etc. not interfere with my dog(s) happiness. I appreciate your post Cappy. No harm no foul.
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#12
The cortisol levels released into a dogs bloodstream when over stimulated by reactivity or even excessive (OCD) games are actually quite harmful and can take a very long time to dissipate. Dogs behaving like this are seldom doing it for fun but rather due to reactivity often based in a negative emotion. Like Milo, I also strive to help my dogs cope with what they are presented with. The type of reactivity we are discussing in this thread is likely "not" due to having a good time.
I also don't like to assume that my neighbours are OK with the yapping that often goes with the fence running and prefer to ere on the side of caution and try to teach my dogs how to behave.
Teaching your dog to "recall" from distractions and things that excite them is in my opinion potentially life saving so what better place to start achieving this than in the safety of your own back yard.
Yes, I can relate to your feelings of joy watching your dogs happiness, it's just the best isn't it ! I love seeing them happy, confidant and able to cope calmly with all situations, haha, not that we are quite there yet.
No the dog is not getting away but accidents happen and this is when your understanding of what is really going on and the effort you put into training pays off.
Just yesterday I had an incident with Jasper. Max is fine with the ride on mower but Jasper runs the fence with reactivity. Some might say he is just having a good time. A house guest accidentally left the personal access door to the garage open, not realising the roller door where the mower is stored, was open. Jasper escaped and ran directly to the mower and started attacking the wheels. Fortunately my partner saw him quickly and disengaged the blades. Could have been a catastrophe. We left the mower stationary but still running so we could attempt to recall him from this huge distraction. Recalling and physically putting myself to the ground got him to run back to me. Whew, we have a lot of work still to do. Ideally and in my dogs best interest I am aiming for them to be content to watch the mower on the other side of the dog wire fence but not become so excited and overstimulated that they put themselves at risk.
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#13
Not useful but I would like to share.

Trifan will probably appreciate this one.
A friend of mine has a working line GSD, who was enjoying fence fighting with the neighbours dogs.
My friend was frustrated and went for an aversive, basically she waited until her dog started to fence run, switch on her hose to spray the dog. However like many GSDs her dog absolutely was enthralled by the hose. Now every time the neighbours dogs start fence running her GSD runs to the hose and has figured out how to turn it on and entertains herself.

On a more serious note, your dog is over the top way over the threshold once it is fence running, a great pastime for any herder. I would quietly and calmly, I mean don't talk to the dog as you will be adding to the out of control situation, remove the dog. Some dogs may be still be aware of you, if so you may be able to "claim" control, ownership of the fence. This can only be achieved with your presence and calmness not shouting, yelling, running. You would just stand there. Do not think if this does not work that your dog has disrespected you, this is not coming from any dominance theory. If your dog is unware of you it is because he is over his threshold.
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#14
Quirky- Oh my gosh, The WL Shep story, what a crack up. I would love to see that even though it is a bit naughty. I LOVE those dogs !!!!!!!
Great that you raised the subject of "threshold". So, so important to understand this. When Jasper started fence running with the mower the other day, I had been remiss in paying due attention as I was busy with some very intense legal work for my son. My son was with the dogs and when Jasper started to attempt to climb a 45 degree fence post stay, he reached out to take Jasper by the collar. Jasper was over threshold and he did a quick head turn, snarfled growl and air snap at my son (redirected aggression.) My son quickly and fortunately changed his tack.

Milo. I know what you mean about trying to walk your dogs past other dogs that are making a fuss. There are 4 GSD's on a neighbouring property and unfortunately passing them is the only way out to go on a walk. Oh boy, they go off the scale with barking and fence running, it terrifies my dogs. To continue to walk my dogs past them will just create all manner of issues with my boys, so these days even though I live in a rural area, I have to first drive the dogs to an alternate starting place for walks.

Because I don't bother to say anything the neighbours most likely assume that their dogs are no problem. Truth is, I have simply resolved the issue another way. They have only recently build the timber and wire fence which allows their dogs to have street access, they are away all day everyday and I can't see them really doing anything anyway, so better to just keep the peace. Many people who's dogs can get close to street frontage, build what we call a standoff, which keeps their dogs several metres back from street frontage. These few metres can make a huge difference for those needing to use paths or road verges.
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#15
The GSD's reaction to the hose is really interesting! Anyway, in response to Quirkydog's post regarding "way over the threshold" behavior, yesterday evening I was out in the vegetable garden taking off the frost blankets from the recent spring blizzard we had in the southern Denver suburbs. Milo was outside in the backyard with me. I did not have him on a long line, because of the difficulty of removing 14' x 8' frost blankets from six raised beds would have been overwhelming in addition to trying to hold him. I could have left him inside but he wanted to be with me. I was aware of his location in the yard and would hear/see a car come around the corner first. When I saw that "look in his eyes", and his alertness, I was able to calmly tell him "Milo, no". Even though he chased the car(s), it was not with very much enthusiasm and he only chased along one side of the fence and did not bark, instead of the somewhat frenzied reaction. I called him to me with "Come on Milo, GOOD BOY". He came to me right away for pets and lovin'. Same thing happened with a couple of motorcycles that came around the corner a few minutes later. Obviously I could hear them before they got there. Milo chased for just a moment, came to the end of one of fence lines, looked back at me. Got the response of "Come on Milo, GOOD BOY", came back to me for more pets and move lovin'. I guess it's a start. There are good and bad days. But I am hopeful to practice on the long line this weekend.
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#16
Trifan - When I just had the female BC I would get her in the car and we would go around the neighboring areas and find places to walk. Half of the fun was finding a new place that was beautiful and I didn't know was there. Walking in my neighborhood got a little boring after awhile, so it got me and my dog out exploring. I am hoping to trust Milo like that one day. Then both my husband and I can enjoy walking one BC each!
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#17
Many dogs that run fences do get out, then they get hit by a car or bite someone. They also often end up with other OCD behaviors and physical problems. If left with a collar on, they can strangle themselves. Sometimes they run headlong into the fence and do permanent damage to their neck. There is a difference between a dog just running around a bit and getting excited and OCD behavior. OCD behavior needs to be interrupted and redirected. There is nothing happy or fun about frantic repetitive behavior. The key is in recognizing the body language that tells you what your dog is really experiencing in the behavior and in anticipating what can happen.
Gotta love 'em.
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#18
Totally agree GM. Sometimes the fence running becomes their whole lives. I have also witnessed in multi dog situations, that one of the dogs redirects and attacks the other. One of the reasons my dogs do not have free access to the outside.
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