Learn How To Stop Your Dog From Jumping The Fence
So your dog likes to jump over the fence? Or maybe they are a pseudo-spiderman and have learned to climb the fence expertly. You’re in the right place!
To start, stopping your dog from jumping the fence is easier than stopping them from digging under one. Fewer products and less hard labour to make it work. However, I’m not discounting how frustrating it is to stop your dog from getting into a frenzy over the neighbour passing by, and then trying to stop them leaping over the fence. I understand completely.
If your dog succeeds, they could seriously injure themselves. Dogs aren’t natural climbers. They don’t have the paw structure or claws to support themselves if they fall. Your loveable canine could be quite traumatised by broken bones, broken claws and bruising if they fail at their dangerous mission.
This article is all about how to stop your dog from jumping the fence. We’ll discuss motives, training and products that can help you reform your Spider Man. Let’s dig in.
Dog Jumping Fence Solutions
Below are some of the best solutions we’ve found to prevent this bad behaviour. You’ll likely need a combination of techniques so read them all and see what works best for you.
Solve The Underlying Issues: Why Dogs Climb Fences
So the question is, why is your dog trying to jump over the fence? If you know the motive, you might be able to stop the behaviour entirely without much training or extraneous fuss.
Below I have outlined three main reasons why your dog may be trying to jump the fence and how you can solve them at the source. Granted, there are likely more than 3 reasons why your dog is doing this but these are the three reasons you can fix the quickest. Sound good? Let’s do it.
1. Your Dog Is In Heat - Desex Them
Though neutering or spaying is typically recommended for population control, they can also help calm down behavioural issues. (1) One such issue that non-desexed dogs may exhibit is roaming. Dogs roam to find partners when they are in heat.
“Sexual hormones are strong motivators and prompt dogs to find just about any way possible to get out of confinement, with the goal of breeding. Males run around the neighborhood searching for the scent of a female dog in heat, while females in heat roam to put themselves out there, where a meandering male may find them.” - Arden Moore from Vet Street (2)
It’s a completely natural behaviour but can cause issues like running away from home via digging under fences or jumping over the. The easy fix is to desex your dog. It is generally safe to desex your dog and it can nip this behaviour in the bud before it becomes a real issue.
2. Your Dog Is Bored - Entertain Them
Probably the most common reason for mischief is boredom. Same for young children as it is for dogs. Your dog needs mental stimulation to be happy and healthy.
Running around the garden, trampling plants and attempting to climb the fence may seem like novel things to do for your four-legged friend.
There are so many ways to entertain your pup that don’t involve playing an impetuous game of fetch. Here are a few ideas:
All in all, a well-exercised, mentally stimulated dog is far less likely to want to plan a great escape by climbing the fence.
3. Your Dog Can See Someone/Something They Want To Chase - Cover The Fence
We’ve all had the experience of watching our dog go crazy at an unfortunate mailman/woman, aggressive neighbouring dog or seemingly shifty old lady that just happens to walk past your fence at an inopportune time.
Your dog flies into a protective, wild rage consisting of barking and attempting to jump over the fence.
In this scenario, you can often stop the behaviour by blocking their view outside the fence so that your dog doesn’t get triggered by innocent passers-by.
You can do this by:
Just to give you insight into my own experience, this was the fix for me. My dog would go crazy whenever anyone walked past the back fence. The culprit was a tiny hole that he used to peep through. He would press his eye to the peephole and bark at the offender. Simply covering the gap led to far fewer instances of my dog getting riled up around the fence and subsequently trying to climb it.
But it didn’t stop the behaviour completely. Read on to find my other recommended techniques to stop your dog from climbing the fence!
Gentle Training Techniques To Stop Your Dog Jumping The Fence
It’s in the name! We believe in gentle training techniques here. So what can you do or say to prevent your dog from jumping the fence?
There are a couple of potential solutions.
Just Say “No”
Sounds simple… and it is… but there is a way of saying “no” that can ensure success when it comes to stopping behaviours.
First of all, you have to catch your dog in the act. You can’t retroactively punish your dog for something they’ve done. They won’t associate your words with the previous behaviour. That’s not how doggy brains work, unfortunately!
So when your dog is in the process of swinging their legs over the fence, you need to call them, say “no” firming and possibly help them off the fence if they’ve gotten that far. Once they are on the ground, reinforce “no” again. Lead them away from the fence and reward your dog for following you.
It may take a few rounds of training like this to completely stop the behaviour. It’s even better if you can catch them before they try to jump the fence. Then you can say “no” in future before they try.
If you want to take things up a notch, training collars are great. There is a wide range of training collars ranging from sound, vibrations and citronella.
If you want to use a training collar to reinforce your verbal commands, it’s best to do this before your dog starts climbing the wall. It can be dangerous to spray citronella under your dog’s nose or trigger vibrations via remote control when your dog is already in a precarious position. The collar triggering will distract your dog and potentially lead to a nasty fall.
So only use a training collar when you see your dog scratching or barking at the fence before they attempt to jump over it. Remote-controlled vibration collars work best for this kind of preventative signal. However, you could always look into multifunctional training collars and see which modes your dog responds to.
Remove Climbing Aids
I briefly mentioned that dogs are not climbing animals. Try as they might, they are simply not as skilled at cats or rodents scaling vertical walls and fences. So, if your dog is trying to jump a high fence, they are likely using other items to prop them up.
Look around the area that your dog tends to climb. Are there low tree branches or ledges that give your dog a leg up? Maybe they are able to jump on the garden waste bin to gain higher ground to jump over the fence.
Assess the area and remove any potential climbing aids that your dog could be using.
Invest In A Dog Playpen
Playpens are fantastic. Especially if you want your dog to have outside time while you are away from home but you fear they may cause trouble in your absence. Not that playpens are not the same as crates. While crates do have their place, playpens are larger enclosures with no roof or base.
It allows your dog to play and exercise safely without having complete free reign of your garden.
This is different to crates. Crates are more cosy, safe places where your dog can den, relax and sleep. Think of playpens as the larger, less claustrophobic alternative.
Use PVC Piping or Coyote Rolling
Finally, PVC piping is a last resort. If your dog won’t listen to training and can’t be trusted at all when playing outside, consider installing PVC rolling or coyote rolling.
These are round plastic tubes that you stick on top of your fence that stops your dog from being able to stand on the top.
If they manage to climb the fence, the PVC will roll them back off the fence. Eventually, your dog will get the message and stop trying.
Related: How To Dog-Proof A Fence.
The Key Takeaways
It’s entirely possible to stop your dog from jumping the fence. Most likely you’ll need a combination of distraction, tools and gentle commands to stop the behaviour completely.
However, if you try all of the methods above and are still struggling, do seek out the assistance of a professional dog training or behaviourist.
Your dog may be jumping the fence for a wide variety of reasons. The most common are:
- They are in heat or are seeking a female in heat
- They’re bored
- They want to investigate something outside the fence
- They want to chase something
- They are being antagonised by a dog outside the fence
- Paddock, A. June 14, 2018. “Spaying and Neutering Your Puppy or Adult Dog: Questions and Answers”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved January 25, 2022. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/spaying-and-neutering-your-dog-faqs/
- Moore, A. January 28, 2013. “Why Does My Dog... Roam?”. Vet Street. Retrieved January 25, 2022. http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-does-my-dog-roam