Expert Tips for Dealing with a Neighbor’s Dog Destroying Your Fence

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Do you find yourself feeling helpless and frustrated when your neighbor’s dog keeps damaging your fence? As a fellow dog owner who’s had some clueless neighbors, I understand the struggle all too well.

Not only is it a headache to keep repairing the fence, but it’s also a safety concern for your own pets and family.

By setting boundaries, communicating with your neighbor, and using dog deterrents, you can protect your fence and maintain a peaceful relationship with your neighbor.

In this post, let’s tackle the problem together and look through the solutions you have.

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Dear Dog Owner

Why Does Your Neighbor’s Dog Destroy Your Fence?

Why Does Your Neighbor's Dog Destroy Your Fence?

Building a fence takes a lot of work.

But if your neighbor’s dog tears down your fence, can you remain calm and not get mad?

While it may seem like a minor issue, it could lead to a lot of frustration and conflict between you and your neighbor. 

But before you get too upset, there might be reasons why dogs do it. 

Let’s find out.

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Excess energy

Dogs are active animals that must exercise and get mental stimulation to stay healthy.

If they don’t exercise enough, they may react violently to release their energy, and your fence might be the lucky victim.

Exercise can help prevent a dog from getting into trouble due to excess energy. You can take your dogs on walks, play with them, and give them toys and puzzles.

New challenge

Dogs are naturally curious and attracted to anything new or different. A damaged or weakened fence is more attractive for dogs to play with.

They may see it as a new challenge.

A fence that is sturdy and in good condition can prevent a dog from destroying it.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Do Bernedoodles bark a lot?

Bored

Your furry friend needs interaction with humans and dogs alike, so if they are often left alone, they may get bored and chew on your fence.

Dogs love when they feel needed and to be busy.

Allowing pets to socialize is an excellent way to stimulate them. If you’re a dog owner, providing a designated play area where they can play and explore is helpful.

Curious

If a dog sees a hole or weak spot in the fence, it may be curious about what’s on the other side and may chew or dig at the wall as a way to explore.

Dogs are naturally curious and may investigate new objects or structures in their environment.

To prevent a pet from destroying your fence out of curiosity, maintain it in good condition and free from any holes or weak spots.

Mate on the other side

Dogs are social animals and may feel attraction toward your neighbor’s dog.

They can sense the presence of a female dog, triggering their natural urges to reproduce. It can make male dogs more agitated and restless, so they behave violently toward the fence.

Keeping your dog indoors or under close supervision may be helpful when other dogs are present.

Enemy on the other side

Breed traits, socialization, and previous experiences can influence a dog’s perception.

They have the instinct to protect their territory from threats.

Protective behavior can manifest in various behaviors, including barking, growling, lunging, or trying to break through the fence to attack.

If you suspect your dog is destroying the fence because it sees an animal on the other side, don’t let it loose when other dogs or animals are present.

What to do about a dog overprotective of a new puppy?

Aggression towards barriers

Dogs are naturally inclined to dig and chew on objects when stressed.

They may perceive barriers as a threat to their territory.

Dogs with a history of aggression or anxiety may behave violently toward barriers.

Aggression can become habitual.

Pet owners should identify the cause of aggression to address any issues. 

Training, exercise, and other forms of intervention can help.

Some may also need medication to help manage their behavior.

Doggy says, you might want to read this too: My dog sniffs other dog then attacks

Lack of proper training

Train your dog to know what is right and what isn’t, otherwise, they might start digging, hurting, and destroying other’s property.

There may not be a simple fix when dogs are aggressive toward fences and other barriers.

Some behaviors are so deeply ingrained that it will take a fair bit of time to change.

Provide a dog with basic training like teaching the dog commands, such as sit and stay, and what behaviors are acceptable. 

Positive reinforcement techniques can encourage good behavior and discourage bad behavior.

A trainer or behaviorist can help your dog learn how to behave appropriately.

Poorly built fence

If the fence is weak and has unstable materials, a dog could use its strength to push through or scratch through it.

Similarly, if the fence posts are not secure and there are gaps or holes, a dog may squeeze through or climb over them.

Incorrectly constructed or damaged fences make it easier for dogs to get through or over walls.

Regularly inspect fences and make any necessary repairs or upgrades to ensure they are solid and stable.

This helps prevent dogs from escaping or causing damage to the fence.

Escape

If a dog feels anxious and agitated, it can cause them to dig or pass through fences.

They want to escape their environments because something stresses them out.

Common causes why a dog tries to escape are when they sense danger, including loud noises, a threat to their safety, and excessive heat.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Dog skipping when walking?

How to Stop Your Neighbor’s Dog from Destroying Your Fence?

How to Stop Your Neighbor's Dog from Destroying Your Fence?

It’s annoying when your neighbor’s dog destroys your property. However, before you get angry, there are several ways to stop your neighbor’s dog from destroying your fence.

Here’s how:

Discuss with the other homeowner.

If your neighbor’s dog messes up your yard, talk to them about it.

A friendly chat can fix a problem.

Here are some steps when talking to your neighbor:

  • Approach them calmly and respectfully. First, you must express your concerns and determine if they know the situation.
  • Explain the damage and how it affects your property.
  • Understand your neighbor’s point of view. They may not be aware that their dog is causing damage or may be struggling with training the dog.
  • Work together to find a solution. It includes repairing the fence, creating a designated play area, or finding other ways to keep the dog out of your yard.
  • Follow up on the solution to ensure it’s working correctly.

Ask a mediator or legal authority to address the situation if the conversation does not lead to a peaceful resolution.

Reinforce your fence

If you reinforce your fence, you can prevent your neighbor’s dog from damaging it.

Here are the steps:

  • Inspect your fence: Check your fence for any weak or damaged areas susceptible to chewing, digging, or jumping through.
  • Reinforce weak areas: Once you’ve identified the weak spots, reinforce them. To strengthen the fence, you can use chicken wire, mesh, or more planks.
  • Install a barrier: You can install a barrier around the fence to prevent the dog from getting close to it. A barrier will make it more difficult for the dog to reach and damage the fence.
  • Consider a different type of fence: If your current fence cannot withstand the dog’s behavior, consider a more durable and resistant to damage fence. It could be a metal fence or a concrete one.

Add natural barriers like rocks

Adding a natural barrier like rocks can be a helpful solution to prevent your neighbor’s dog from damaging your fence.

Follow these steps:

  • Identify the area: Identify where the dog is most likely to cause damage.
  • Choose your rocks: Choose flat rocks or boulders that are large and heavy enough to create a barrier and prevent your dog from moving them.
  • Place the rocks: Place the rocks in areas where the dog is most likely to cause damage.
  • Secure the rocks: Once in place, secure them by burying them partially or using mortar or concrete to hold them in place.
  • Maintain the barrier: Check the rocks regularly to ensure they haven’t moved or shifted. If necessary, add additional stones.

Install an invisible fence.

An invisible fence uses an underground wire to create a boundary the dog cannot cross.

When the dog approaches the boundary, it receives a warning beep. If it continues, it receives an unpleasant electric shock that is harmless.

Here’s how to install an invisible fence:

  • Choose a system: It depends on the dog. A larger, more aggressive dog may require a more robust system.
  • Install the wire: The wire buries underground to create a boundary. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install it around your yard.
  • Install the control box: The control box connects to the invisible fence wire. A signal communicates with the dog’s collar.
  • Train the dog: The manufacturers should provide instructions on how to train your dog to it.
  • Monitor and maintain the system: Regularly check the invisible fence to ensure it works properly and replace the batteries as needed.

Use deterrents

Deterrents are substances or devices used to discourage unwanted behavior.

Using deterrents can be an effective solution to prevent your neighbor’s dog from damaging your fence.

Here are some options you can consider:

  • Sprinklers: Install sprinklers near the fence that activate when the dog gets too close.
  • Motion-activated devices: Install devices emitting loud noise or water spray when the dog gets too close to the fence.
  • Commercial repellents: Commercially available products deter dogs from entering your yard. You can spray on a fence or around the perimeter of your property.
  • Natural repellents: You can spray certain scents, such as vinegar or citrus, around the perimeter of your yard as a way to deter dogs.
  • Ultrasonic devices: It emits a high-pitched, unpleasant sound for dogs. You can install it near the fence and activate it when the dog gets too close.

File a complaint with your local government

Filing a complaint can be an option if other methods have failed to stop your neighbor’s dog from destroying your fence.

Here are measures you can take:

  • Make note of the damages: Take pictures or videos of it and record the dates and times when the damage occurred.
  • Contact your neighbor: Before filing a complaint, speak with your neighbor about their dog’s damage and ask if they can prevent it from happening again.
  • Contact animal control: If speaking with your neighbor doesn’t resolve the issue, contact your local animal control agency. You can work with them to investigate the situation and enforce relevant laws or regulations.
  • File a complaint with your local government: If animal control cannot resolve the issue, you must file a complaint with your local government.
  • Consider legal action: If the damage is significant, you may want to consult your attorney to determine your legal options.

Only file a complaint with your local government as a last resort, as it may strain your relationship with your neighbor. Seek a resolution that works for both parties as much as possible.

Additional tip: Keep records

Keeping records can be useful if you take legal action. Ensure a thorough and organized record for complete and accurate situation documentation.

Here’s what records to keep:

  • Dates and times of the damage: Keep track of the dates and times when the dog does this. It will help you identify any patterns in its behavior and provide the evidence needed.
  • Photos or videos of the damage: Take photos or videos. It will help you document the extent of damage and provide evidence if you need to file a complaint.
  • Communication with your neighbor: Keep a record of your conversations with your neighbor about the issue. This will show that you’ve tried to resolve the issue directly.
  • Steps you have taken to prevent the damage: Keep a record of any steps you have taken to address the dog damaging your fence. It will help demonstrate that you have taken steps to address the issue.

FAQs

Can I sue my neighbor if their dog damages my fence?

Yes, you can sue your neighbor if their dog damages your fence. The case will depend on the location, applicable laws, and specifics. However, first, resolve the issue through communication and negotiation before pursuing legal action.

Can I call animal control to deal with my neighbor’s destructive dog?

Yes, call animal control to handle your neighbor’s destructive dog. They can investigate the situation and enforce any relevant laws or regulations. But it is better to resolve the issue directly with your neighbor before involving animal control or legal action.

What should I do if my neighbor refuses to do anything about their dog?

If your neighbor does nothing about their dog, you can consider reinforcing your fence, adding deterrents, or filing a complaint with your local government or animal control. Consult your lawyer to determine your legal options if necessary.

In Conclusion: Neighbor’s Dog Destroying My Fence

Dealing with a neighbor’s dog that keeps destroying your fence can be a real headache.

But don’t worry, by following my expert tips, you can protect your fence and maintain a peaceful relationship with your neighbor.

Remember to set boundaries, communicate effectively, and consider using dog deterrents.

With these strategies in place, you can finally say goodbye to the stress and frustration that comes with a damaged fence.

Check out other dog behavior articles such as when do Bernese mountain dogs calm down, dog biting other dogs’ legs, cocker spaniel not sleeping at night, and many more on our blog!

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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