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I'm not sure what to do about my dogs. I have 3 mutts, one big and two small dogs(min-pin, dachshund). The small dogs are only about 7mo old. This was a smaller problem with the one big dog, but unfortunately the two puppies picked up this bad habit. They spend a lot of time inside, but when they want to play I put them out. We have a big yard and they will run and play in the yard and you don't hear a sound. My neighbors have one dog that is outside almost all the time. They don't really pay any attention to each other, but when she lets the second dog out my dogs go crazy. They all run up and down the fence and bark at each other. Unfortunately my dogs are doing most of the barking while her dogs are playing. Whenever I hear them start up I come outside and pull them in. Today I was in the shower and she came into my back yard to knock at my back door because I didn't get them right away. She told me if they were her dogs she would buy shock collars or get rid of them. Yeesh! We love our babies and don't know what to do to keep the peace.
 

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Is there any chance that you could go into a little more detail about your dogs and their behavior? Things such as how they are carrying themselves, exercise habits, how often they are out, and things along that line. Also, if I had to take a guess I'd say that you have one of two things going on. You could either have a situation where your dogs just really want to greet this other dog and possibly play, or your dogs are being territorial. Without that extra information I couldn't say what's going on.

Of course I could be wrong, so someone else please weigh in on this.
 

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If you had your dogs out all day long and they were barking constantly, then I'd definitely sympathize with her, but the picture you've painted here does not look like that at all. If it's only happening for a short time and not very early in the morning or late at night when people are trying to sleep, then she is rude to come over and demand you take your dogs in/put bark collars on them/get rid of them (seriously, what is she thinking?). If the barking annoys her so much, she can take her own dog in, or just have it out when yours are in (you said yours spend most of their time inside, right?).

Does it seem to you that your dogs are being aggressive/territorial, or just playful?
 

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I'm at home during the day and apparently so is she. We've had a lot of nice days lately so I've been leaving the back door open for them to go in and out. If I heard them barking I'd just go get them and shut the door. I didn't let them back out until her dog went in. It happens 2 or 3 times at most, sometimes not all. Mine don't mind being inside, but I just feel like they get more exercise playing outside than in the house. She mentioned (for the first time) something about having to get up at 2 or 3am so she may work nights, but she is must be awake when she lets her second dog out. I think this started because my bigger dog wanted to play. He actually jumped the fence one time and immediately stopped barking and started playing. Now that he has playmates, they will ALL run up and down the fence and seem to be playing to me, but mine just bark a lot. I'd love to teach them not to bark, but I'd hate to use shock collars and can't imagine trying to do this on three dogs at once!
 

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Is your fence solid or something the dogs acn see through like chain link. If See through, can you put PVC panels/redwood panels up to block the other dog from view? It would also increase the height to make jumping it less likely. The pvc panels are pretty cheap..like 50.00 each.
 

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Is your fence solid or something the dogs acn see through like chain link. If See through, can you put PVC panels/redwood panels up to block the other dog from view? It would also increase the height to make jumping it less likely. The pvc panels are pretty cheap..like 50.00 each.
I don't really thing that blocking the view is going to stop the behavior; they can still smell and hear the other dogs.


To the OP: is the neighbors second dog doing anything to instigate the barking? I ask because my neighbors Golden Retriever antagonized my dogs every time she is in their back yard. I couldn't tell what was going on because it is a privacy fence about halfway down their property and chainlink the rest of the way; from my vantage point I couldn't see what their dog was doing. Anyway, my neighbor told me one day that his dog would charge at the fence and dance around and get them riled up and then would run back to the middle of their yard and lay down and watch them until they calmed down and then she would run at the fence again. Also my female Pyre would go into super guard dog mode, borderline aggressive toward the neighbors dog when I came outside to sort them out. I said all that to make the point that it sounds like A. they may be reacting to something the neighbors dog is doing B. or they may be a guarding/territorial thing.
 

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For what its worth:

I had two barking dog issues. The first, is my oldest, who charges the fence every time one of my neighbors is outside. With her I claimed the fence (body blocked), and shooed her away. Every time she charged and barked, I was there to claim the fence area. In the beginning, she didn't completely get it. She would wait until I looked away and would charge again. That's when I started bringing her inside after claiming the fence. Eventually, she learned, if she barks at the fence, or neighbors, she goes in. Now, when I tell her to get in the house, she stops barking and I don't have to be in the yard with her. But I have also seen progress in that now, she thinks about it and makes a conscious decision not to bark.

My other dog barks, just to bark. She'll go for 20-30 minutes at a time; also does this at 5am or 10 at night, doesn't matter. She barks at cats, rabbits, noises as well as absolutely nothing! (I've been blessed with great neighbors who should, but don't complain). After a few years of journaling, studying her bark habits, and trying various training methods, (had to watch from the house because she doesn't bark when I'm in the yard with her), I finally decided to try a shock collar. It's on the lowest setting and I have a tone option as well. I've only had to use the electrical stimulation 2 or 3 times and now as long as she's wearing the collar, she doesn't bark.

I would agree that your neighbor is being a little bit of a PITA, but I were in your shoes, I would go out in the yard with your dogs when your neighbor's dogs are out and engage them in play. It's a great opportunity to observe and see if there is anything else going on that might be initiating the barking. Whether your neighbor's dogs are instigating or not, it could be an opportunity to train your dogs to engage their attention towards more constructive behaviors when her dogs are out. If the behavior continues, I would claim the fence area and redirect their attention.
 

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I hate barking too. Sorry.

If you are expecting that the yard is where the dogs are going to exercise, then that's something you should change. Put the leashes on, get out the door and walk them. Take them to a spot where they can go and RUN, that will help tire them out. My guys are so much better about things when they've had their walk. You can also provide some bones or something out in the yard so they're not bored. Bring them in when you're going to shower in case they start barking.

Watch to see what the issue is with the other dog, maybe it's a matter of your guy really wants to play with him. You could suggest to the neighbor to see when she usually lets them out, and work around it, if she can agree to that (you bring your guys in at noon, she lets hers out just after that), but she does have the right to use her yard too.

When the barking does happen, if he's really food motivated, go sit out on the step with some really good treats, and feed whoever comes to see you. If your one dog really doesn't care about food, just go and get him, bring him in without saying anything, and put him in a bedroom for a while to calm down, then let him out again. If he starts barking, repeat. He'll start to get the idea.
 

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I don't really thing that blocking the view is going to stop the behavior; they can still smell and hear the other dogs.


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If they're running up and down the fenceline barking at each other (like if it's chainlink), it will. I have 3 that if they can see into the next yard are unmanageable. Block the other dog from view, and they are fine, even if they hear the other dog out there barking.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice everyone! Our backyard is probably about 1/2 acre so I think we may eventually just privacy-fence off that corner so the dogs won't share any fence. (Plus we'd enjoy the added privacy.) In the mean time I'm going to go out with the dogs more so I can watch them more closely and try to use treats to distract and redirect them when/if her other dog comes out. I really think my dogs are trying to play, but I understand that barking can be annoying. If it was at really late or early I would be mad at my dogs, but during the day if I'm doing laundry or dishes with the TV on I don't even hear it. Guess she has sensitive ears. :)
 
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