Large breed dogs with at least a couple of feet of shoulder height can jump enough to clear objects that are around 4½-5′ tall. Small breeds of dogs are usually only able to jump a few feet in the air if even that.
Medium-sized breeds that have enough leg strength can usually jump well and may be able to clear a 3½-4′ fence with relative ease as long as they get a running start. Some larger dogs with powerful back legs, like Bernese mountain dogs, will have the ability to jump several feet in the air without being able to clear much space because they’re top-heavy.
According to the Guinness Book, greyhounds can jump the best of any dog breed. The current record is held by one who was able to jump nearly 6⅓’ in the air as long as she got a running start.
While most greyhounds won’t be able to clear that much space, you will want to be careful when raising them.
Table of Contents
- Can a Dog Jump a 5 Foot Fence?
- Is It Bad for Dogs to Jump High?
- When can Dog Puppies Start Jumping?
- How to Stop Your Dog from Jumping the Fence in 8 Steps
- 1. Walk it Out of Your Dog
- 2. Teach Your Dog & Reward Them
- 3. Clean Up the Yard
- 4. Make Your Yard Fun
- 5. Stay with Your Dog
- 6. Use a Dog Run in Your Own Yard
- 7. Do Some Landscaping
- 8. Raise the Fence Height
Can a Dog Jump a 5 Foot Fence?
Dogs normally aren’t able to clear a five foot fence, but there’s a good chance that they can jump on the top of it and get stuck. If that happens, then there’s a risk that they’ll fall back down.
Few dogs would ever be able to clear any object taller than this, but some veterinarians recommend making fences anywhere from 6½-7½’ in order to be absolutely sure that no dog could jump over it.
Is It Bad for Dogs to Jump High?
Jumping usually doesn’t do any damage to a dog’s legs, but they can injure themselves if they do they so repetitively. Constant jumping could put too much pressure on the back hips, which may cause arthritis over time.
Judging by cases from the TTU School of Veterinary Medicine, a more pressing concern is the possibility for a dog to miss when trying to clear a large object and then run into something.
When can Dog Puppies Start Jumping?
Puppies will usually start to jump a little bit as soon as they’re able to walk, but they shouldn’t be taught to jump over anything until they’re around 12-15 months old. Those who are training dogs for competitions may want to wait a few more months because their motor skills may not be fully developed until that time.
Pet owners who don’t teach their dogs to jump should still be prepared for them to learn. They’ll normally teach themselves at least some jumping maneuvers in order to get quick access to treats that you might be holding.
How to Stop Your Dog from Jumping the Fence in 8 Steps
First off, make sure that there’s nothing on the other side of your fence that your dog finds interesting that might inspire him or her to jump. Once you’ve worked that out, take a look at these following tips.
1. Walk it Out of Your Dog
Exercise your dog regularly and make sure to take them on regular walks. If you can tire your dog out, then there’s a good chance that they’ll simply be too tired to jump later.
2. Teach Your Dog & Reward Them
Train your dog not to jump in the same way that you teach them not to do anything else, like bite. Praise your dog whenever your dog ceases the bad behavior.
Over time, proper application of positive reinforcement could help to give your dog the message that they shouldn’t jump over the fence.
3. Clean Up the Yard
Clean up any messes that your dog could use to stand on. Anything from lumber to a pile of leaves can give your dog the little extra height that he or she needs to clear a fence, so move this debris elsewhere.
4. Make Your Yard Fun
Always give your dog plenty to do when they’re outside. Many dogs jump because they want to escape the place that they’re in, but your dog won’t want to escape if they have plenty to do in the first place.
5. Stay with Your Dog
Stay outside and see if your dog shows any improvement when you do. In many cases, dogs start behaving badly when they’re separated from their human families.
It’s not always possible to stay outside with a dog, but you may be able to wean your dog away from this sort of insecurity over a period of time.
6. Use a Dog Run in Your Own Yard
Laying out a conventional dog run isn’t at all difficult, so you should find it possible to install one in your yard. Even though you may have a fenced in area already, a dog run will normally make it so difficult for your dog to jump that he or she will stop.
Separation anxiety is still a leading cause of dogs jumping to begin with, so you’ll want to stay with them as much as you can even when you put a run in place.
7. Do Some Landscaping
Plant some bushes or shrubs so that your dog can’t see very well past your fence. This can limit his or her ability to realize that there’s anything on the other side worth trying to find.
Once your dog’s vision is blocked, they might stop jumping. If not, then you could consider putting in a few more plants to plug up any holes.
8. Raise the Fence Height
Build a larger fence if all else fails, because most dogs wouldn’t ever be able to jump over a fence that was 6-8′ tall. Pet owners who already have a sturdy fence in place can normally attach some additional material to the top.
Hardware supply stores have fence extenders that should do the job even if you have a larger breed of dog. You may want to consider angling the fencing downward in an L-shape, which will help to ensure that your dog doesn’t see over the top of it.