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Do electric fences create aggression in dogs?

Our neighbors dog is contained by an electric fence.  She sits at her gate 10 hours a day and barks and growls at my dogs and kids.  I feel the fence is contributing to her constant barking.

Electric fences can create aggression in dogs.  In this case, you see this dog "at her gate 10 hours a day) barking and growling at your dogs and kids.  She has not yet "broken" through the "fence" (I hate electric fences).

The dog may do nothing more than join in the fray while creating fear and havoc with your kids and even your dogs; or she may have developed serious anxiety at the result of the fact that SHE MUST BE CLOSE TO THE POINT IN THAT FENCE THAT IS BEEPING/WARNING HER.

I suggest you do three things:

1.  Call the municipal shelter and talk to the supervisor.  Explain the situation and your concern.  Put it on THE RECORD and insist on receiving a WRITTEN REPORT of same.
2.  Contact the Humane Society in your area (no kill shelters with peace officers/police able to investigate and seize dogs held in inhumane circumstances.)  These people will see if the dog is constantly outdoors, if there is adequate housing, food, water, shelter.  If they find any breach in humane treatment, they will REMOVE THE DOG.
3.  Ask your attorney to write a very benign letter (no threat of litigation) regarding your concern for the fact that their dog is growling and your children.

Be aware that once you begin this action, your neighbors (who sound like total idiots) are not going to be happy with you.  I don't suggest they are sociopaths, but their treatment of their dog is not normal Human behavior.  I had a neighbor who poisoned and killed my Doberman Pinscher.  You must be vigilant:  IF YOU BEGIN ANY ACTION, or even if you DO NOT (this dog WILL come through this fence line some day) do not allow your dogs or children to be outdoors without supervision.  Keep a water hose nearby (to spray the dog).  Buy pepper spray online and be prepared to use it if this dog "crosses the line".

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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