Dogs jumping fence into neighbour's property

Posted by JaniceB
Feb 25, 2010
We have two 18 month old dogs, one Ridgeback cross female, and one smaller mixed breed male. They do everything together. Originally the male was getting into our one neighbour's property at night (we plugged all accesses in the fence, and eventually think he resorted to clambering over the top!) In desperation we have been confining him to his kennel overnight, for about 2 weeks at a time. At the end of this time we let him out over night, and he behaves for perhaps the first 2 nights, then goes out again.

Recently both dogs have developed an interest in the dog belonging to our neighbour on the other side, and they have been clambering over the wood slat fence. We nailed slats inbetween those already there to remove the "toe holds", but they still got over somehow. We are now confining them both to their respesctive kennels overnight, but don't want this to be a long-term thing.

Please would you advise me as to how we should be dealing with this.
Posted by KOPsRobyn
Feb 26, 2010
Hi Janice,
It would be a good idea to get your male dog neutered, if this hasn’t been done already. If he is entire, he is probably wandering because there is a female on heat somewhere. You will find that having him neutered will not only mean he becomes a much more relaxed animal and doesn’t keep trying to get out, it will also significantly reduce the chances of him developing future health problems. It is common for male dogs to take charge in the pack, and so it is highly likely that the girl is following his lead.

Since confining your dogs to the kennels helped last time, you may find that you need to keep doing this until it has become clear to them that you require them to stay there. If you catch them trying to climb over the wall, you must say NO to them in a loud voice and then take them by the collars and put them into a ‘time-out zone’. This should be an area away from distractions and each other, where they will get no attention at all. It must not be their kennels, otherwise they will develop negative associations with them and think that you are punishing them when you put them in it. By putting them into ‘time-out’, they will realize that they have misbehaved and thus it should become clear to them after a few times that they are not allowed over the wall. It is important that you only take them to ‘time-out’ if you catch them in the act of climbing over, and not just when you bring them home after wandering, otherwise they will not understand why they are being punished.

If they are only doing this when you are not around, you may have to set up a hose and hide somewhere they can't see you, and then give them a squirt of water when you see them trying to go over. You must not let them know you are there though, so they will associate climbing the wall with getting soaked and not with you. A few times of getting completely saturated should deter even the most determined of dogs.

If this doesn’t work, you could try putting electric collars on them that will give them a shock if they go past the boundary that you have set. This must be emphasized that it is a last resort, because the shocks can be quite painful if the collars are not set appropriately. Therefore all other methods should be tried before resorting to them.

I hope this helps and all the best with the training!
Posted by kjd
Feb 27, 2010

A warning about shock collars: They work in reverse too! If your male is looking for a bitch in heat, he will probably be able to go through the pain to reach her. However, when the time has come to return, he isn't going to be willing to go through that pain, so he will stay outside of the yard. They are easy to use, but it is far better to neuter the male and teach him and his housemate to stay in their own yard.

Posted by JaniceB
Mar 3, 2010
Dear Kjd

Many thanks for the response. The male dog was neutered before we got him, so that is not the reason. Both he and the female just seem to really like the idea of playing with the dog next door. Of course we would prefer for them to socialise through the fence, but stay in our property! We have a very large back garden, so it is not as though they do not have sufficient space to run around in. They have loads of fun playing tag, and we have noticed that the smaller male uses our lapha and his kennel as "dens" when he needs a breather from being chased by the larger female. He often instigates the chase, but "can't take the pace"!! They run around the pool as well, and we just hear the scratching sound of claws on the slasto as they hurtle past. Once the male was in such a hurry that he took a corner too quickly on the hard surface and overbalanced - down he went and got nailed by the female! All part of the game, of course.