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As pet parents, we do all that we can to keep our furry pals safe and happy. We provide nutritious diets and plenty of exercise for their physical health. We provide our dogs with comfy beds—or forgo a doggo bed entirely and let Fido lounge on the furniture. We provide harnesses and the best dog leashes while we take them out for walks. We may even make sure they attend the dog park so that they feel they have plenty of social time!
Yet, some dogs are jumpers. We turn them into the backyard for exercise only to find that Fido has successfully scaled the fence just a few minutes later. How do we keep a dog from jumping fence? We’ll discuss all there is to know in this article.
Reasons Why Dogs Might Jump a Fence
Dogs may jump a fence for many reasons. Our pups can be highly independent, and they may have a high prey drive. That prey drive can propel determined dogs to do some dangerous things, including jumping the fence.
1. Your dog sees something—an animal or something else—and decides he needs to chase said animal/object.
This is where prey drive comes into play. Dogs that were bred for hunting are more likely to cave to this particular drive. They may see a squirrel, a cat, or even a car that invokes the prey drive, and off they go!
2. Your dog sees a person or another dog that provokes interest.
Your dog may be very friendly, and, when that personality trait is coupled with a dog’s ability to jump, then you’ve got to figure out how to build a fence that won’t lend to his being able to scale it. Your dog may jump over the fence with no intention of hurting the person or dog in his sights; he simply wants to interact with this person, and the fence isn’t going to impede that.
3. Dogs with separation anxiety are more apt to try to jump the fence.
A dog with separation anxiety can become highly destructive while you’re away, so you decide to put him outdoors while you’re running errands . If your pup is large enough—or determined enough—he may scale the fence anyway!
Some dogs become bored while their humans are away, and they may look for you while you’re out. So, if they are able to hop the fence to search for you, they will.
4. Your dog could be frightened.
While most dogs enjoy being outdoors, others, especially if they are young or if they were in a negative home situation and became a rescue, may see the yard as a scary place without you.
Some dogs may hop the fence if bad weather swoops in. This is particularly true in the Central South and the Southeastern U.S., where thunderstorms sometimes come out of nowhere. Lightning—but more likely thunder—can frighten Fido, and the only thing he knows is to hop the fence and look for shelter.
5. Somehow your dog has learned to associate the yard with stress or anxiety.
This could be for a multitude of reasons—none of them may be your fault! The key here would be to find what makes Fido so anxious about the backyard and work from there.
6. Intact males could hop the fence in order to find a mate.
It is important to find out from your vet exactly when he recommends neutering your male dog. This can prevent him from jumping the fence to find a female friend.
7. Your dog is simply curious.
Your smart pup may hear something outside the fence he wants to investigate. This could be other dogs, children playing, or even hearing other people talk. So, over the fence, he goes.
Why is it so important to figure out why my dog is jumping the fence?
There are some ways you can prevent your dog from jumping the fence, but, unless you get into the crux of what is causing your dog to hop the fence and go wandering, you’re really only putting a band-aid on the problem. Eventually, Fido will learn how to escape once more if he really wants.
That said, there are some easy ways to perhaps curb your dog’s proclivity for propelling himself over the fence.
1. Make sure your dog is getting enough physical activity.
We can’t say this enough—a tired dog is a happy dog.
How often do you walk your dog? Depending upon dog breeds, this may mean providing up to or perhaps more than an hour’s worth of activity each day.
You can take your dog for walks in the neighborhood, a run on the beach, or even a trip to the dog park. No matter what activity you need to schedule for Fido, make sure he gets the proper amount each day.
Sometimes dogs become bored in the fenced-in yard. They may become lonesome. This is a primary reason they jump the fence.
2. Make sure your dog is getting enough time with you.
Sure, we all have busy lives, but Fido is an important member of the family. He deserves your attention just as much as other members of the family. Be sure that your dog has time with just your attention focused on him daily.
3. Consider making the fenced-in area a place that is Fido’s playground.
One way to increase Fido’s activity is to provide a playground in his yard. You can even utilize old children’s toys to build Fido’s play area.
You can use a nylon or plastic tube for Fido to run in. You’ll need to show him how to run through the tube, but, simply standing on one end and coaxing Fido with a treat will do the trick.
You can make a sandbox if Fido enjoys digging. Bury some of his indestructible dog toys in a shallow area so he’ll have the incentive to burrow after them.
You may also want to hang a tetherball from a strong tree limb so that Fido can play with this item.
If Fido enjoys his play area in the fenced-in yard, then he will be less likely to try to scale the fence to leave it.
4. Make sure Fido has plenty of food and water in the fenced-in yard.
Some dogs will jump the fence in search of food or water if there is not an adequate amount provided in the backyard. You’ll need to check each day to make sure he doesn’t run out.
5. Make sure your dog has shelter in his fenced-in area.
Even the best dog owners may turn Fido into his fenced-in area and head out for a short errand run only to find that a thunderstorm rolls in while you’re away. Sometimes thundershowers move in quickly, even if the weather isn’t predicting that type of weather. So, you’ll need to make sure that Fido has the best dog crate that can be used outdoors in case this happens.
Be sure that Fido has a house that is large enough for him to stand up in and turn around in as well. It needs to have a design that keeps it cool during the summer and warm during the winter.
You’ll want to make sure that the shelter can protect Fido from rainy weather. Make sure that it won’t flood in summer downpours.
6. It is never a good idea to leave your dog outside, even in a fenced-in yard, for hours at a time.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where dogs are taken from their own backyards. Plus, a dog that is left alone a lot can develop some bad behavior that can take a toll on your relationship.
Try to have a safe place for your dog to stay indoors during the workday. Make the yard a place for him to enjoy once you’ve arrived at home and can supervise his play.
7. Make sure to spay or neuter your pup at the right age.
This will prevent your male dog from scaling the fence looking for a girlfriend. It can also help females to be less likely to wander, too.
What are some ways you can physically prevent a dog from jumping the fence?
1. Make a slippery surface on top of the fence.
To do this, take a PVC pipe or a rubber tube. It should be about six inches in diameter. Cut it down the center, and attach it to your existing fence. The smooth, slippery surface will make it more difficult for your dog to find a grip and get over the fence.
2. Make a roller ball on top of the fence.
Take a smaller diameter PVC pipe and place it inside a larger-sized PVC pipe. Hang these on a cable or rope suspended over the fence. This creates a roller ball effect, and the dog can’t get a good grip on the pipe in order to climb the fence.
3. Make an interior fence.
Some dogs need a running start in order to jump over the fence. So, in order to cut down on that running start, make an interior fence that is about two or three feet in height. Alternatively, you can plant some shrubs on the interior of the fence that will not only look good, but they’ll still break that running start.
4. Use cat netting.
Place cat netting on top of the fence so that Fido can’t get a good grip and hoist himself over the fence.
5. Set up an L-footer.
The L-footer can be purchased in addition to the fence. The key is to turn the L-footer upside down so that when Fido looks up, all he sees is a fence – not an opportunity to get over the fence.
6. Purchase a jump harness.
A jump harness is a safe way to prevent your dog from scaling the fence. The jump harness restricts the movement in Fido’s back legs so that he can’t jump.
A jump harness isn’t meant to be a permanent solution. Perhaps you can use the jump harness while waiting on trees or shrubs you’ve planted on the interior of the fence to grow. By the time they are big enough, Fido won’t need the jump harness anymore.
7. Use a coyote roller.
The coyote roller is a pre-made slippery surface that prevents animals from not only scaling the fence to get out but also prevents animals from jumping into the backyard with Fido.
What are some other measures I can take to prevent jumping over the fence?
1. Restrict your dog’s view.
Although it may be difficult to do so when you have a chain-link fence or a wooden fence that isn’t solid, try to restrict your dog’s view so that he doesn’t think he’s missing out on all the fun on the other side of the fence.
You can use reed fencing, which is fairly cheap and does a good job. You may have to opt for wooden fencing if no other options are working, however.
Fast-growing shrubs are another way to block Fido’s view.
2. Get rid of anything that could help Fido scale the fence.
Look around the fence for boxes, woodpiles, garbage cans, a lawnmower, or even low-hanging tree branches.
3. Make the yard a fun, safe space.
Be sure to have food and water as well as shelter in the fenced-in area to a satisfied dog inside. You’ll also need to have some toys for Fido to play with while he’s outdoors.
4. Consider a kong toy or a safe bone specifically for outdoor use.
A kong toy can be filled with treats that Fido has to think and strategize in order to receive the treats. They may take the better part of an hour shaking and tossing the toy in order to get to the treat. Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog.
5. Install a wireless dog fence or an invisible dog fence.
With proper training, an invisible fence line is highly effective in containing dogs. The best wireless dog fence or the best GPS dog fences work with special collars that reminds your dog if he is near or has crossed the boundary that you set which eventually teaches him to stay inside. These containment systems also effectively track your dog’s location and activities through the best dog GPS trackers.
6. If nothing else works, you may need to crate your dog.
What’s the best way to keep a dog from jumping a fence?
Restrict his outside-the-fence view. Provide plenty of items to keep Fido entertained while he’s in the backyard. Use PVC pipes to create a slippery slope so that he can’t get a grip and jump the fence. Erect an interior fence so he can’t get a running jump and climb the fence.