Most people put up fences to keep something out or to keep something in (namely a dog). Many dogs don’t like being confined and they soon realize that with enough practice they can make their way over the fence and be free to roam the neighborhood or go after the neighbor’s cat that he’s been eyeing.
Fence jumping is a hard habit to break, because dogs feel accomplished once they reach their goal (getting over the fence). They spend countless hours attempting these jumps until they finally have success and make it over their target! Practice makes perfect, so once your dog jumps once, they will keep on jumping. It will soon become easy to them, and you’ll find it very difficult to keep them in your yard.
Let’s take a few moments to try and figure out why your dog is jumping over the fence. If you have been following my training advice you will see that most of the reasons for unacceptable doggie behavior are always very similar.
- Dog-to-dog aggression
- Separation Anxiety
- Sexual drive
- Lack of exercise
- Chasing a cat or other animal
If your dog is a jumper and you are in the process of making changes to prevent them from jumping, make sure that your dog wears an ID tag at all times, as well as having them spayed or neutered.
One of the easiest ways to prevent your dog from jumping the fence is to make it impossible to jump. This may seem like the easy way out, but really it is a very practical solution. How can you make your fence jump proof?
- Make it taller! You may need to check with your homeowner’s association first, but most local hardware stores sell fence extenders. Many are even decorative in nature.
- Take away any jumping assists that your dog may have found in your yard. This includes anything that he is using to jump off of, such as a table or a bench. If you want to keep them, make sure to move them towards the center of your yard away from any fencing section.
- Fill in any holes or gaps in the fence where your dog can look. If he is eyeing the cat next door, and this is what is tempting him to jump the fence, eliminating the temptation might do the trick.
- If your dog is climbing up part of the fence, and not making a clear jump over, staple chicken wire to the inside of the fence. If you don’t want to staple is to your fence, or you have a fence that won’t hold a staple, you can lay sheets of the wire down on the ground. Most dogs don’t like the feeling of the wire on their paws and will avoid that area after stepping on it once or twice.
- Take away your dog’s running jump pathway and plant trees or shrubs in his way. If he needs to back up and run to make his jump, this will prevent the run up and he will not be able to gain enough momentum.
- Install an invisible fence inside your own fence line. Most invisible fences nowadays work with a collar that the dog wears that is linked to the fence. The sensation from a collar may be uncomfortable and startling to your dog, but it will not hurt him. Many dogs only feel the sensation once or twice and don’t challenge the system afterwards. The sensation from the collar is similar to the feeling you get when you walk across a carpet and touch a metal doorknob. The feeling momentarily surprises your dog and gets their attention.
- While this is not a direct way to stop your dog from jumping the fence, you may want to invest in some outdoor dog toys that your dog will enjoy. If they love playing in your own yard, they may not be interested anymore on what the other side of the fence holds.
- Consider building a dog run in your yard. If they are confined to one area of the yard, and cannot get out, then the fence is no longer an issue. Just make sure not to leave your dog in this area for a long period of time. Dogs need room to roam.
- If your dog has been through his obedience training lessons, and you witness him trying to jump, use the command “Stay.” This will help to enforce that you do not want him performing that jumping action. You can also throw in a “NO” for good measure.
Prevention is the key with fence jumping. This becomes especially crucial if your dog is outside alone while you are not home to discipline him.