Let me tell you firsthand this dog is a SWEETHEART. she spends a lot of her time barking at anything that comes near her yard/fence, but i could tell from the beginning it was fear based. since i had to walk all the way along her fence to get to my front door, she would bark at me upon exiting or entering my house.
so i started babytalking her (“aw, good morning sweet girl? who’s a good baby?”) every time i saw her out there. remarkably, after a few days, this begins to work, and she stops reacting to me leaving the house.
one day while doing this i run into the actual neighbor who’s out on the sidewalk. he gets upset, tells me i should not be talking to his dog because she is a guard dog and is “not supposed to be friendly”, then leaves.
add into the equation my dog. i’d gotten to the point where neighbors dog wouldnt bark at me, but anytime she saw me with my dog she went ballistic, which wasnt ideal- mine was a puppy and this scared him immensely. i carried him to and from the house (from the car) for months for this reason.
eventually he got too big to do that- so instead, i started using her (from the distance of across my yard) to train my dog to focus on me rather than react to her.
this nonreaction, combined with exposure to my dog, has curbed the barking a lot. i even allowed them a sniff greet through the fence (she has let me pet her through the fence on several occassions!) and it went super well. me and my dog can exit our house in peace.
just cant help feeling bad for the poor dog.
EDIT for some clarifications: i did not expect this post to get as much attention as it did so thank you all for the comments and support
other than the singular sniff-meet through the barrier and the brief interaction where she approached me at the fence (which is right next to a public sidewalk) i generally make it a point to avoid the neighbors dog. i do not feed her treats and i do not talk to her unless she approaches and shows interest (at which point i will only say ‘hello’ or ‘hi cutie’ and keep walking, she recognizes my voice and will calm down)
i understand it is NOT my dog and i also understand that most people do not want a stranger messing with their dog. i took the steps i did to ensure that me and my puppy could safely exit our front door without this dog lunging, snarling, and losing her mind at our shared fenceline (i have to walk ALONG the fence to get to and from my place, it’s a weird side-door that doesn’t face the street).
were it a house down the street, or even across the street, in which i could still safely enter and exit my abode, i would have taken no action. you have a right to do what you want with your dog, up until it starts to impact my life and my safety.
and yes, i will feel bad for this poor dog who is left alone in her yard for hours at a time, who dug a 3 foot hole straight down trying to get under her fence only to run into the concrete of the sidewalk. she is clearly scared and doesn’t want to be there.
I have a hound girl, southern Virginia rescue. Her inbreeding level is through the roof, her siblings found through DNA testing are all deformed. She mumbles, grumbles, yodels, screeches, howls, barks, and rooroooos almost every moment she’s awake, and sometimes in her sleep too. We walk her miles and miles sniffing everything, we do training, let her sleep in bed with us. The vocalization is still off the charts.
Hounds are like expensive sensors on feet, hooked to an alarm system without a shutoff. Some are motion sensors and some are scent detectors, but if it’s not making noise, maybe there’s a loose connection someplace?
There are very few actual guard dogs. Rottweilers immediately come to mind and there’s probably a few other breeds that just have the inclination to defend territory. That’s just how they are, well adjusted and everything, if there’s a fence between ya, better wait for their human. Most other dogs when acting like that are scared. Stonnie Dennis has a great video sequence titled “guard dog or scared dog” (may be protection dog? It should be easy to find). I highly recommend it!
To comment on this specific case, I don’t think any bullies are guard dog material. They love people and this is probably a really miserable situation for the poor girl. ❤️