The neighbours next door leave their fence-barking dog out in the garden. When he knows Kaya is out, he flies at their boundary fence.

This understandably upsets Kaya. She retaliates.

No amount of ‘training’ alone will change how the threatening fence-barking makes the mature 11-year-old German Shepherd feel.

How would we feel ourselves?

How do we feel if someone nearby shouts obscenities at us in a threatening fashion?

Only a couple of days ago in response to a polite request from me in my Facebook group, an unknown Facebook ‘friend’ replied with a totally unprovoked aggressive verbal attack.

It shook me briefly. I however was able to ‘do something about it’. I got rid of her immediately, obliterating her from any further contact with me on Facebook.

It felt good!

So how might Kaya feel when the dog next door leaps, fence-barking and snarling obscenities at her? Wouldn’t she like to immediately get rid of him?

Alarmed, scared, protective, angry? Maybe Kaya feels a mix of all these things.

Understandably, she reacts to the fence-barking.

She ‘does something about it’.

She leaps at the now-damaged fence, fence-barking herself.

If like I did when I eradicated the Facebook group member, Kaya could get rid of the manic next door fence-barking dog, she would.

She is doing her best to do just that.

Training isn’t enough

Training will get her in and because she is extremely well trained she does eventually come.

However, no amount of training is going to make her feel differently or ignore the dog next door.

The man may be able to ‘control’ Kaya, but that’s like putting a bandage on a wound that is still festering underneath. It doesn’t get to the bottom of the real issue.

From being a dog that was easy with other dogs when out, Kaya is now reacting to some. I’m sure all the rehearsal with the fence-barking next door dog has something to do with this.

Desensitise and counter-condition

It’s a treat to meet someone who has put so much time and effort into training and sharing activities with his dog as Kaya’s gentleman owner has.

Now he will do something else as well.

He will desensitise and counter-condition Kaya to the fence-barking.

The other dog is indoors initially.

With the plan in place and the work put in, Kaya will gradually become relaxed near to the fence. Soon she will positively like the neighbour’s side of the garden and the fence itself.

This is because being near to, or looking at, the fence triggers good things happening.

The detail of how is what the online consultation was for. It’s enough to say that the next step will be with Kaya on a long loose lead the far side of the garden.

The fence-barking dog will be outside now.

The dog next door will trigger good things, whatever he happens to be dong. He may just be outside quietly or he may be fence-barking.

The man should bring Kaya back in again at the very first sign of her reacting negatively.

Lots of short session will do the trick.

Kaya is friendly with people but inclined to get over-excited when out – and more recently has become a bit unpredictable with other dogs.

Our garden work with the fence-barking dog will, I’m sure, spill over onto more enjoyable walks for both the gentleman and his stunning, well-trained, friendly dog.

NB. For the sake of the story and for confidentiality also, this isn’t a complete ‘report’ and is always written with permission of the client. If you listen to ‘other people’ or find instructions on the internet or TV that are not tailored to your own dog it can do more harm than good. Click here for help