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The Devil lives next door

Updated: May 29

Five year old Beagle Carlos hates the dog next door.

He can’t see Cockapoo Sheldon. An 8 foot stockade fence separates the two dogs.

It doesn’t matter, though. The first thing Carlos does when he is let outside to do his business is to race the fence and skim the base of it with his nose, hunting for Sheldon.

Then, let the barking begin.

How the Carlos/Sheldon feud began is a mystery. Carlos’ owners moved into the neighborhood first. When Sheldon’s family arrived, it appeared that Carlos had laid claim to the fence line. Sheldon was an interloper by virtue of proximity.

Carlos’ owners put up their fence because they wanted to:

→Keep Carlos from running away, getting lost, stolen, or hit by a car;

Prevent deer, other dogs, and kids from getting in the yard;

→Block the view of their neighbor’s yards and provide privacy.

To Carlos, though, the fence:

←Prevents him from performing proper dog introductions;

←Lets him hear and smell all kinds of stimulating distractions from

a frustrating distance.

Here are some ideas to promote friendship for dogs like Sheldon and Carlos:

1. Start by introducing the two dogs to each other, on leash, on neutral turf (away from the war zone of the backyards).

2. Take a walk together – owners with their respective dogs – to get some energy and excitement expended and to start the relationship off on a positive note.

3. If the meeting goes well, bring one dog over to the others yard for a brief, supervised playdate.

4. Schedule playdates in each other’s yards whenever possible.

5. If barking at the fence line continues, try getting both dogs to sit calmly and accept treats and praise from their respective owners while in hearing/smelling distance of the other dog.

If good fences make good neighbors, then the fence needs a gate to make good friends.

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