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Thread: Fence running - compulsive

  1. #1

    Default Fence running - compulsive

    Our 3 yr old Staffy x - adopted a week ago, yesterday decided to run back and forward with the dogs at the back. Zeus doesn't bark (surprisingly doesn't bark at anything so far) but the dogs at the back go off and sound like they would eat him if they could. The fences are 6 foot high so no chance of them coming over but I don't want him stirring them up and we now have dirt along the back fence instead of grass.
    I have read one suggestion is To put up a temporary fence to keep the away.

    Are there any other suggestions?
    When I came home this afternoon he was exhausted from obviously running - I don't want any issues with our neighbours either. We are surrounded by dogs but it's just the ones at the back fence.
    Thanks ☺️

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    The fences are 6 foot high so no chance of them coming over
    Some dogs can clear 2.5m without a problem maybe even 3m with a run up. So I wouldn't call 6 foot "no chance". It's some chance.

    Tho under or through the fence is more likely.

    You've only had him a week? Now's your chance to establish boundaries and your way of doing things which does not include fence running - unfortunately - he's been doing it for a week.

    So I'd be thinking - confining him inside when you're not home - provided he has limited opportunity for destruction in the space you choose. Definitely taking him for a walk before you go out and maybe leaving him with some black kongs with frozen food in them or similar.

    And when you go out into the back yard - keep him on lead and try to do some training drills near the back door and as far away from the dogs over the back fence as possible...

    First drill (on lead) might be - Zeus sits at the back door when you put your hand on the handle and you don't open the door until he sits... and if he moves before you say - you shut the door before he can go out... SBT can be a little bit slow but he should be able to figure this out inside five minutes or so. Don't expect too much but use the lead to stop him bolting to the back fence. Don't let him near the back fence for a month maybe. And I'd put things along it that stop him from running along the fence, ideally things he won't jump on. So my dog doesn't jump on sulo bins, or tyres that are leaning against the wall or fence... or anything that blocks the way so he can't run along. And keep him on lead - did I say that already?

    My dog currently has an injury from charging up to the fence to get rid of real and imagined critters... charge fence, brakes - it's the brakes that are "broken". Shoulder muscle damage. So she has the lead on in the back yard now - unless I have brain fade and I'm always sorry when I get brain fade. She doesn't even notice when she hurts herself until she slows down later. Ugh.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Sunshine Coast


    Fence check. My little one was pulled through by ear due to unsecured palings. Happened in seconds... Very lucky that he played dead until I could rescue him
    “All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn't a dog.”
    ― Charles M. Schulz

  4. #4


    Ok so I might get hammered for this suggestion but having grown up on property I know from ALOT of experience that electric fences are not nearly as bad as they sound. The thing is with the electric fence is the dog needs only one or two zaps (I think I've had more then 1000 zaps in my lifetime and it's more a shock then anything else so no damage will be done to him) and they learn darn quick not to go near that white tape. It's relatively inexpensive as well (especially compared to a vet bill if he does get over) and also will stop him from tryin to dig under to get to the other dogs. Most dogs get a zap or two and then make a big deal about going anywhere EXCEPT near that white tape and once he knows not to go near it you can turn it off and leave the White tape up, turn it on for a couple of days if you see him venture too close again. Also if the other dogs decide to try and dig under they will get a zap as soon as their nose comes through and they will back out pretty quick as well.

    All my paddocks had electric fences when we lived on property as well as dog fencing as we had a number of wild dogs in our area and we also had foxes as well as two of our own dogs. We used to use steaks hammered into the ground, with the tape running about 30cm high off the ground and about the same from the actual fence lines. We used the same method around our chook sheds and never lost another chook at night again.

    You can get the tape, studs and cycler (the black box that runs the current) from any stock feed store.

    The only thing is if you have very young children it might be a hazard unless your children are old enough to know not to touch it (both my kids learnt the hard way but they learnt the first time lol) and it is honestly not much more of a zap then sticking your tongue on a 9v battery (yep I have done that too, not sure why but I have lol) and dogs can hear the current as it runs along the tape which is also a deterrent on its own without contact. Thing is depending on how smart the dog is he might learn when the tape is on just by the sound of it (makes an audible but quiet tic...tic...tic noise you can hear when up close) but by then you might have had a chance to break the habit. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    melbourne australia


    Ive returned from a 3 week holiday, and leaving my dogs behind, to fence running and barking duet at the JRT next door. A old behaviour, trained out and resurfaced without strict boubndaries on ok dog behaviour around my home. grrrrrrr

    I was so angry today, i went next door and got the sodding JRT and took them all for a walk, popped the JRT back in neighbours garden before they got home. Dog needed an intro it appears. NO barking at each other since this walk. FIngers crossed for tomorrow.

    Electric fencing is when your dog can 'see' the other dogs, will prevent the jumping, but not running. Dog learns to run alongside the white tape, instead of the fence. and a smart dog knows when the fence is "on" by the sound. Bark collars similarly, work when on, not when aversive is removed.

    I owned a rottie, who waited patiently for a yapping tiny thing to bite its way to peek through the fence whilst yapping. My dog tore it through the rest, and had the entire goddamn dog down its throat before i interrupted that snack. Exactly as described by Maximus above. Be warned. I payed half the vet fee, but didnt have to by law, as their dog was in my property.

    And 6ft safe? sure, if you have a low energy, non jumper. Both of mine can clear 6 foot. But dont thankfully. MY GSD will climb trees too.
    Time to go visit your back neighbour, and ask them to collaborate on solving the problem by taking dogs out, and parallel walking together rewarding calm sociable behaviour. working toward an introduction that is roughly 20 seconds long then move off, repeat, repeat repeat.

    I approve of electric training of children. Pointless saying dont touch, better let operant conditioning do it naturally for em. Who hasnt touched a fence, holding your niaive towny mates hand for a laugh lol

  6. #6


    Thank you all for your suggestions. ☺️ He only started this behaviour on Monday so I want to train him out of it now. He has responded well to the training I've done so far. The dogs at the back have electric fencing as do the dogs at the side, although it doesn't deter the ones at the back. I will try the training drills in the yard first. This afternoon my partner "timed him out" and he hasn't been back to the fence yet. I kept him in the last two nights - locked the doggy door so he can't access them at night. He has been amazing so far though, so affectionate, walks and runs great on the lead and hasn't destroyed/ chewed anything - which is what I was expecting. Will let you know how I go.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    they learn darn quick not to go near that white tape.
    What I like about that idea is the pain is self inflicted. It's no worse than a towel flick or a finger flick... And you could probably put the tape in a zig zag line to make running straight along the fence difficult.

    But you'd need a few strands to prevent jumping or going through or under.

    I used to have this around my horse's yard. Another horse taught him how to test the fence with his whiskers... batteries flat - and he and his friend were off to where the grass was greener...

    I do know one dog who learned the hard way that peeing on an electric tape is a really really bad idea...

  8. #8


    Bernies idea is great IF the back neighbours dogs are friendly enough when out of their territory to accomplish this. If they are not and an intro doesn't go well it could escalate the problem. Have a chat to the the owners and meet the dogs yourself before putting you boy at risk like that.

    Hyacinth idea of a zig zagging the tap is also creative and could be a better idea then a straight line if you dog does just run along the tape. In my experience the dogs just prefer to stay away completely but yes you have to pay attention to how he behaves after the tape is turned off.

    I had a rig who was not only 17h of boisterous muscle he was full of brains and nick named "the beast" he was massive and electric fences were a game for him ... But that's a horse not a dog...

    Zeus got zapped once after he had been swimming in the dam and I heard the yelp 3 acres away lol he never even looked at a White taped fence again. Jake was more persistent, he got his first zap right on his wet cold nose, yelped, jumped back and proceeded barking and growling at the fence like it was on his territory and how dare this white tape do that to him in his own yard lol the very next day he was chasing a roo out of the house yard and forgot in his excitement about the White biting tape. The roo flew effortlessly over the fence but Jake tried to go through it.... Needless to say he got himself wrapped up in a few strands and was making a god awful noise. When I got to him he was shaking and looking very sheepish..... Never had an issue again with him either after that.
    Even the foxes and wild dogs, driven by hunger and instinct learnt that our chooks just were not worth the effort lol

    Hopefully as you said with supervision and training it won't have to come to this but in my opinion if everything else fails it's what I would do.

    Keep us posted

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