First, talk to your neighbor, and try to resolve the dispute in a diplomatic way. If that doesn’t work, try a series of warnings and then weeks later, ultimately call animal control.
If getting cooperation from the neighbor and authorities doesn’t work, you can modify your fence or yard with physical solutions that will deter the neighbor’s dog from jumping over.
We’ll discuss coyote rollers, hot wires, redundant fencing, privacy screens, height enhancers, and dog repellent products.
Table of Contents
- Talk to Your Neighbor First
- Give Your Neighbor A Warning One at a Time
- Contacting Animal Control
- Modify the Fence to Keep the Dog Out
- Install “Coyote Rollers”
- Install “Hot Wires” on Top of the Fence
- Install a “Redundant” Second Fence on Your Side
- If the Shared Fence is See-Through, Cover It Up
- Raise the Height of the Shared Fence
- Put in Dog Repellents in Your Yard
Talk to Your Neighbor First
If this is a new problem, always take the option of resolving things with your neighbor first, even if you don’t know him or her well yet. Who knows, the neighbor may be concerned and sympathetic.
This approach builds up trust and shows that, if things get worse later on, at least you tried to build up goodwill with a proactive, problem-solving approach. Plus, a cooperative neighbor is the easiest for you to deal with and gives you more peace of mind.
Explain the problem in a calm, friendly way. You can say that you like dogs, and not blame either the dog nor its owner at first. Don’t make the neighbor feel defensive.
Give Your Neighbor A Warning One at a Time
If you’ve already talked with your neighbor and his or her dog still jumps into your yard over the shared fence, that could mean one of two things: your neighbor doesn’t care enough, or is ineffective at controlling his or her dog, or both.
Actions speak louder than words. If your neighbor keeps promising, but the problem persists, then consider it an effective “no.” You may then at that point consider giving warnings, and written warnings are best for a “paper trail.”
Warnings can be done by email (if you have the neighbor’s email address) or by written notes. Date the warnings and photocopy them, if they’re on paper.
Contacting Animal Control
Do not take action against the dog itself; you could be unfairly accused of animal cruelty. Rather, after having given several warnings as above to the owner over a few weeks or more, call animal control.
One problem is that the neighbor’s dog could jump back into its own yard by the time animal control shows up, but it’s worth a try. Take video evidence of the dog wandering about in your yard.
If anything, the presence of government officials at your neighbor’s house may embolden him or her to take effective action with the dog.
Modify the Fence to Keep the Dog Out
If the above strategy of discussing reasonably with the owner or calling animal control as a last resort doesn’t work, unfortunately you may have to consider modifying the shared fence to keep the dog out.
Some of the solutions may mar the aesthetic appeal of the shared fence. You’ll need to envision how each of the suggestions would look before you proceed.
Install “Coyote Rollers”
You could do this yourself, or hire a professional to install this relatively cheap option. Most people don’t know what a coyote roller is, so here’s a website to explain it.
Basically, it’s a series of cylinders that run along the top of your shared fence, which roll when a dog attempts to grab the top of the fence. It prevents the dog from getting a grip since it will make it slip and slide on its side of the fence.
Install “Hot Wires” on Top of the Fence
This isn’t highly recommended, since it would give the dog a mild shock. Also, on the rare occasion, the dog could get entangled in the wires, which would continue to give it repeated jolts.
This could be solar operated. Usually two wires (one above the other) running along the perimeter of the shared fence is sufficient. While the dog will receive a mild shock, it is usually harmless.
Often, a few shocks are enough to deter a dog from trying again. One downside is that you and your neighbor, especially if tending to adjoining bushes or other fence work, could accidentally get a jolt, too.
Install a “Redundant” Second Fence on Your Side
While it may sound redundant, it could actually work well, and give you that eye-pleasing décor that the other fixes can’t. The idea is that the dog would be trapped between fences, and not be able to clear the second fence without enough running room.
As well, the dog, learning of this second fence, would be much more hesitant to jump the next time, since it would fear for its safety. A second fence would also disorient the neighbor’s dog and dampen its enthusiasm.
Typically, dogs will get excited about what they can see outside the fence, like passing squirrels or cats. Bored dogs will seek adventure, and they will act upon visual cues.
This solution is also very temporary and cheap. You could put up shielding along the chain-link or picket fence and block the dog’s view of your yard.
You could order relatively inexpensive privacy screens, such as the example here.
If you sense that only a few inches of additional height could deter your neighbor’s dog, then this might be a quick option. If it’s a brick wall, adding more layers of brick could work. If it’s a relatively cheap chain-link fence, you could order it replaced with a higher version.
If it’s a wooden fence, you could add “cattle panels” which are fortified wire patterns that crisscross and are very cheap and easy to nail onto your side of the top of the fence.
The “hot wires” solution above also can raise the height of your fence, even if they’re not programmed to shock with electricity.
Put in Dog Repellents in Your Yard
One final suggestion is to sprinkle your card with chemical repellents that turn off the neighbor’s dog. Dogs have a very strong sense of smell, so if they are repulsed by the scent of your yard (scents that don’t bother humans) they may not want to return.
Granules that give off the strong odor of cinnamon oil, citrus, and ammonia are effective dog repellants. You can look up online “dog repellent granules” and there are many options you can buy.
Plus, when sprinkled in your yard, these granules do not harm your gardens or lawn, as long as they are sprinkled sparingly.