So my pem Einstein has had a recent obsession with barking at the dogs on the other side of the backyard fence. This started about a month ago, and he is about a year old. He has a very friendly personality and has no problem with other dogs, cats(and even our guinea pig). But as soon as we let him out into the backyard to use the potty he runs to the back fence and starts barking, growling, and scratching at the back fence, his tail wagging the whole time and his ears upright! Other times I will try to play fetch with him outside but as soon as he nears the back of the yard he starts antagonizing the other dogs. As soon as I call him he leaves them alone, but why is he so suddenly obsessed with bothering the neighbor's dogs? 

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This is Waffle's favorite outdoor activity when I'm at my parent's house. I think he just likes the interaction... Their dogs have always been loud and annoying, so I just let Waffle go at it when he wants to. x:
Lilli loves to run up and down the fence with the neighbor Labradoodle. Barking. Now dog #2 has joined in. The neighbor says she figures running with Lilli gets her out of one walk with her dog :) It's noisy, but fun. When there is no fence between them, they run around and around the house. So we know it's play.

This is NOT fence fighting. That's an entirely different matter. Is that what Ein is doing? Does he want to play, or is it something else? That would require different action than play.
i have the exact opposite happening lol. as a pup i taught teddy not to bark(i know it dosnt sound possible but i swear its true) well i take him out and all the dogs around us go nuts and he sniffs them and then runs, does his business and comes right in. he dosnt make a sound out there but the neighbors dogs sure do!!
My dog also does this (I'm laughing because as soon as i typed this, she ran outside and started barking!) My neighbor has three large dogs who likely are not played with or walked often enough. Their pent up energy is released in the backyard, where they bark at EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. Leia will bark AT them, not with them. She also will go over there in the middle of a game of fetch and start barking at them, even if they are outside and not barking. There is no growling or scratching at the fence. Just excited barking. She's 8 months, so I haven't really become good at discerning the happy bark from the worried one, but I'm almost positive its an excited bark. I have trained her to know that "quiet" means no barking and she listens as long as she's in the house. The only way we can stop her from barking at the other dogs is to call her in, bribing her with the promise of a treat. I also don't know where this obsession came from, but would appreciate any advice anyone shares.
We don't have a fenced yard, we live in a townhouse with many acres of open meadow around us. However, when Sophie was around 9 months old her "bark" kicked in and she started barking at everything that moved outside. She still does. I think it is a corgi thing and it kicks in as they grow out of their puppyhood. We have deer that graze through the meadow and she goes bonkers when she sees them and won't stop until they have moved out of her line of sight.
Waffle has seen deer when we go hiking at the National Forest. He puffs up and uses his manly bark, and the deer just scatter. Hahaha.
My Ein is exactly like your Einstein. He doesn't bark unless it's at the neighbor's dog behind that wooden fence! I think Ein does that because he can't see the neighbor's dog and that just makes him curious/protective? Does your fencing have gaps or is it closed off completely like mine?
You've reminded me of a funny quirk of my beagle, who was my soul mate.

When my teenage son finished work, he would call for a ride home, about 11:00 PM. Beagle knew this was his cue to get ready for a car ride. On the way to his job, and back, we passed a yard with decorative fiberglass deer in the yard. Beagle would get himself ready, in the window on the correct side of the car, so he could bark at these deer as we passed. Both ways.

I miss that guy.
I think it is a Corgi trait. When I lived in a house with a fenced in backyard, Comet would go do his business then run right up to the fence and start barking at the neighbor's dog who an outdoor dog so was always there. I never seemed to be able to break him of that, but it's a non issue now since he always goes out on a leash.

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