|We have recently adopted a nineteen-month-old male Border Collie with a background of physical abuse. He is usually very gentle and submissive and reticent because of his history and is very friendly and polite to all dogs and cats - when he is not separated from them by a fence.
Our problem is that every time our dog sees one of the neighbor dogs moving on the other side of the fence, he runs over, starts pacing, snarling, yelping, and giving out - the worst of all - this weird half-howl, half bark that splits the air for a mile around! He never barks at anything else - as long as it's in the yard.
This would not be so much of a problem it weren't for the fact that one neighbor has a beautiful Doberman bitch that they rarely pay any attention to, so SHE has developed the nervous habit of running in a long circle around the yard. Are you beginning to get a picture here? EVERY time we go out - there's that Doberman looping around (oh, our dog was altered a year ago). His head goes down, his tail goes up, and he dashes for the interception, howling by the time he gets there. It's like he's going into a trance - I have to grab him to make him pay attention and stop.
I have tried distracting him with a command, but he's still in the elementary stages of obedience (like, he knows "wait" and "sit" and that's it). I growl "no" but he ignores me and so I usually end up grabbing him and forcing him into the "Down" position to make him stop. That physical correction usually shuts him down mentally for the rest of the day. He runs into a corner and won't respond to anything. I know I'm not in charge until he knows that he can't get away with this. Every Backyard Time ends with this ridiculous scenario and it's frustrating to all of us. What can we do?