Here`s another great article:
My family has a labrador who we let out into the yard to run a few times through the day. The yard is fenced in, though there are gaps in the fencing. The gaps are small enough that our dog, Pippi, can't get through them, but large enough for smaller dogs to get through. Think similar fencing to a horse pasture.
The past few months we've had problems with a few neighbors who have dogs small enough to get through the fence. The neighbors will let their dogs out into their own un-fenced yards unleashed, and if we happen to have Pippi out, the other dogs will come into our yard. 99% of the time, the neighbor's dogs won't respond to their owners, so they have to come retrieve them themselves by climbing over the fence. Our yards are around 50-150 yards from each other, some with wooded areas between them.
I've never felt the need to leash Pippi since the yard is fenced in and she can't get out, but we're still working on her socialization with other dogs. If she sees other animals in the distance she'll respond and come back to us. But if the animal is in the yard or running at her, she'll go after it growling. She's never done more than growl, though I sometimes worry if she would escalate if provoked. Every time another dog comes into the yard she'll chase and play fight. But then again, I can't control what the neighbors' dogs will do in response to Pippi, or what she'll do if play fighting turns into real fighting.
I did the majority of the training with Pippi, while my parents did minimal amounts, so she tends to listen to me more. When I went to college, they did no training. When I came back from college, I discovered that my father had been encouraging Pippi to chase after any animal that enters the yard, which doesn't help in this situation. He sees it as her guarding the yard, but I see it as encouraging her to put herself in danger.
So I'm stuck at what to do here. It's not my fault, or Pippi's, that the neighbors can't control their dogs. And I don't feel that it's fair to keep Pippi on a leash and not allow her to run around the yard. But because she's had a few years of no training plus encouragement to go after other animals, I feel like I need to do some reinforcing of something. She'll come to me if she sees something, just as long as it's not in the yard or coming toward her.
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