We all love our dogs, there’s no question in that. However, most dogs have a hard time with change. Moving, a new neighbor, possibly even some renovation work on your property can have a serious effect on your dog. Sometimes the changes can create some pretty unfortunate behaviors. One of the more common side effects is barking.
Even if your dog was a fairly mellow pup, changes in their environment can bring out some previously dormant or prevented behaviors. One of these big changes is installing a fence. Physical fences are the perfect enclosure option if you want to give your dog a place to roam, exercise, and enjoy the outdoors — especially compared to invisible fences. Invisible fences tend to cause even more behavioral hurdles for your dog. That being said, physical fences still may pose some issues depending on your specific dog and some other factors that may contribute.
So, how can you install a fence without jumpstarting negative behaviors in your canine pal? Well, it’s going to take a bit of elbow grease and extra effort but it’s definitely worth it. The alternative is listening to constant barking every time you want to let your dog out — or even worse, yapping from your neighbors about the noise.
What Causes Dogs To Bark At A Fence?
Before we get into how you can prevent the bark, we should get into exactly why it occurs. As you can imagine, placing a barrier between your dog and the great beyond can be frustrating for them. This frustration is only magnified when their senses are able to obtain information but they are unable to act upon it.
Perhaps the most annoying sensation for your pup is being able to see where they cannot go. Many fence types have gaps that are close enough together to prevent dogs or small children from slipping away. But, if your dog can see outside this fence and they happen to catch a glimpse of a sprinting squirrel or another dog — they’re going to get upset. And who could blame them?
Another common cause of fence barking is another dog on the other side. Territorial aggression is pretty common, but it can be magnified if the dogs aren’t allowed to meet. Strange smells, noises, or other pups can irritate your dog — especially if they aren’t allowed to investigate it for themselves. If you know that your neighbors have a pup, try and schedule a playdate so that the two dogs can get acquainted. If you’re already doing this but are not introducing a fence, you may want to schedule regular play dates so that the dogs can get face to face time.
There are a few ways that you can go about preventing your dog from barking after installing a new fence. We would recommend doing a combination, or all of these together for the best result.
Install The Right Fence
One of the best decisions you can make right off the bat is to install the right type of fence. As we mentioned, there are plenty of fence types with gaps or holes (chain link) that a dog can see through. Perhaps the best solution to this is to install a privacy fence for your dog.
This is the most simple and preventative way to stop any sort of frustration with the new barrier. While your dog will still have their other senses to frustrate them (smelling and hearing) — taking care of their ability to see distractions like other animals or people can make a huge difference. Here are some suggestions we would make for fence specifics when it comes to your privacy fence.
- Fence height (5-8ft. — especially for larger dogs)
- Vinyl (easiest to maintain and very durable)
- No gaps at the bottom
If you follow these tips and build a solid privacy fence that is high enough, and low enough — you’re off to a great start for preventing barking.
Make Your Fence “Escape-Proof”
What do we mean by escape-proof? Well, for the most part, dogs are a creative and athletic bunch. If given the opportunity, they’ll find a way up and over your fence. That’s why it’s important to be mindful about what is near your fence. You’ll have to do some creative thinking here. How could your dog escape? What would they use to hoist themselves up?
Some common mistakes we see are placing hose wheels, planters, or outdoor furniture too close to the fence. These are perfect for climbers to find their way up and over the fence. Dogs are smart and adaptive. Once they have managed to effectively get up and over the fence, they’ll become more and more creative the next time. It’s good to discourage this early on by creating an escape-proof fence.
This will also help if they manage to prop themselves high enough to peer over the fence. If this happens, your privacy fence isn’t doing its job.
Make Outside Time, Together Time
One of the biggest mistakes that dog owners make when they put up a fence is leaving their dog alone outside. We understand it. You build this big, beautiful fence that allows your dog the freedom to roam outside whenever you open the door. But, there are some potentially negative side effects of having your pup play alone
First, they are going to be constantly distracted by smells and sounds — making them super curious to check out what’s on the other side of that fence. This could lead them to get a bit agitated, which means every time they go outside they’ll be on edge.
Second, they may take it as negative reinforcement. If your pup loves spending time with you but every so often you make them go spend time outside alone — they may negatively associate with the outdoors and bark.
It’s important that their interaction with the yard (especially in the beginning) is a positive one. This will set the stage for the rest of their time outside and help reduce the amount of barking that may occur while playing outside.
Need A Hand?
If you’re looking for a fence that’s perfect for your dog, a vinyl privacy fence is your best option. Not only is this material extremely durable but it also looks great. You’ll be able to up your curb appeal while providing your pup with a safe enclosure.
If you have any questions about adding a fence to your yard, feel free to contact us. We’ve been bringing fences to homeowners for years and can help you create the right solution for your pup and your yard.