Why Dogs Jump Fences And Training Them To Stop

Why Dogs Jump Fences And Training Them To Stop

Why do dogs jump the fence?

Dogs jump the fence for a variety of reasons; all of which can be frustrating, but more dangerous than anything else.

Not only are dogs that jump the fence a danger to themselves, but they also pose a threat to other persons and animals in your neighborhood.

So, in an attempt to be a good pet owner, you fence in your yard, thinking your family dog can now have a place to play as well as a confined space when they need to relieve themselves when you cannot take them for a walk.

The answer – you have a fence jumper, which is more common than we realize. If your dog is jumping the fence, first take a look at the root of the behavior.

But, one-day animal control contacts you to inform you that they have your dog and you ponder “how did they get out?”

Can he see what is outside of the fence?

Often dogs will see other dogs, people or furry critters to chase (like that pesky squirrel). Your dog may also be jumping in an attempt to protect its “territory”.

Is your dog spayed or neutered?

A dog looking to procreate will stop at nothing to do so, and a fence is no obstacle to his or her desire.

Is your dog just bored?

Dogs need plenty of stimulation, and if you simply put him in the yard with no stimulus, they will quickly tire of the surroundings and begin looking for other sources of stimulation.

Separation anxiety – A lot of dogs do not like to be left alone, especially outside in a yard, for long periods of time.

They can become anxious in the surroundings and feel the need to escape.

Storms, fireworks, screaming children and strangers walking by could all spook your pooch and make him feel like he must flee.

He may begin to see the yard as a type of prison and cannot help but escape over the fence. Your dog also may jump in an attempt to find you, especially if you leave them frequently.

Unfortunately, there are several reasons why dogs jump the fence, but the good news; there are just as many solutions to that issue. We will cover a variety of solutions in the following article.

Can you train a dog not to jump a fence?

Dog On Fence

The short answer is YES.

Training your dog to stay in the back yard requires time, patience, and a big bag of treats. Before you start training your dog not to jump the fence, there are a few things you can do to prepare.

These may include mending any broken fence areas, repairing any holes in the fence, adding plastic slats if you have a chain link fence or removing furniture used as a launching spot.

We’ll discuss dog-proofing a fence more, later.

Choose a time of day when there are not a ton of distractions, you need your dog to stay fully focused on you and the training, which in turn will make the training go faster.

Remember, keeping your dog from escaping could save him from becoming seriously injured, lost, or killed.

How to dog proof a fence?

Walk around your yard and look at everything from your dog’s point of view to get a better understanding of what you need to do.

To stop fence jumpers, take a look at your fence and use your imagination. Does it need to be mended, height added or blocked out.

Do you need to remove any escape aids?

It’s amazing what dogs can use to their benefit when trying to escape from the yard. A garbage can stored next to the fence becomes a step stool.

Firewood piled next to a fence does the same thing; it’s easy to climb up then hop the fence. Take a good look around and then remove all of those climbing aids.

What about restricting the dog’s view?

Depending on the type of fencing you have, there are several ways to limit your dog’s view. Reed fencing comes in rolls and is relatively inexpensive.

You can attach this to the inside your existing fence to cut down visibility. Plastic slats can be woven through a chain link fence and although this won’t block all visibility, it will help.

Many dog owners’ plant climbing shrubs to grow on the fence. This is a more attractive alternative.

Many times dogs try to escape from the yard because they have a clear view of the fun available outside the fence, some simple alterations can solve that.

What are invisible dog fences?

Invisible Dog Fence

An electric fence also called an invisible fence is simply a wired fence placed underground.

This creates an electrically charged “wall” that keeps your dog within the boundaries of your yard without the need for a physical fence.

It is linked electronically to a matching invisible fence collar that the dog wears around its neck making invisible dog fences an effective and safe deterrent.

Features vary among the invisible dog fences currently available on the market, but while the basic concept is the same, the qualities of the features are not.

Some basic features to look for and make a decision on are the amount of shock, battery options, interference, and design.

Amount of Shock

This refers to the amount of energy in the deterrent “zap” so consider how many levels of shock the fence offers.

If you have a strong-willed, or physically resilient dog, or even multiple dogs of variable sizes, you will want to have more levels available in order to custom-design the shock.


Some invisible dog fences have a battery-backup function, but this is not standard on all systems.

A battery-backup capability is a very good safety feature, covering the possibility that you forget to check the battery, or are late in changing it.


Another factor to consider is the amount of interference that may impact the restriction on your pet.

Some invisible dog fences have low interference while others can be relatively high.

With all the potential interferences available in our environment these days, it is very important to find out what the capacity is for any dog fence you are considering purchasing.


Finally, you want to make sure you choose a fence that allows you to outline your boundaries any way you need to in order to maintain it’s reliability while still providing both safety and openness for your dog.

In other words, be aware that some fences have to be laid in a square, oval or round shape, while others may block off wanted running areas within the boundaries.

How Does an Invisible Fence Work?

Invisible fences operate on a structure that transmits energy between the border you establish, a home base monitoring or transmitter device, and the receiver that is attached to the dog’s collar.

The fence itself is a set of electrically charged wires that are placed about 3-4 inches underground around the outer border of your property.

A transmitter is set up in your home or garage and as the dog approaches the border, the sound or vibration will encourage the dog from continuing to advance any further.

The electric charge is similar to a quick splash of liquid on your face – just enough to surprise your dog and stop their movement, but not enough to wound or cause any sort of damage.

The amount of electric force that the collar takes in and gives to your dog can vary, depending on how you set the system up.

The system will come with guidelines on how much force is recommended for dogs at various weights.

You can also experiment with the settings to find out exactly how much shock is required to keep your dog confined yet happy and safe.

Let’s look at some Pro’s and Con’s to help you make a better decision.


  • No physical fence maintenance
  • Doesn’t change your landscaping
  • Provides safety for your dog while also giving them the freedom
  • Protects your dog from traffic, strangers, and any other dangers
  • Easy to install it
  • Cheaper than a regular fence
  • Aids in training your dog


  • Must regularly check batteries
  • Installation can be time-consuming
  • No protection from other animals getting inside the periphery


Dogs want to spend time outside, but not confined, when they can see, hear and smell a whole other world just beyond their fence.

If they have not been given enough toys or exercise, are left alone for too long, suffer from anxiety or are looking to mate they will undoubtedly jump a fence in search of those freedoms.

Because it is a self-rewarding behavior, once your dog jumps a fence, it is likely he will jump again.

Do not leave your dog alone in the yard for long periods of time, give him plenty of stimulation, and train him from the beginning that it is in his best interests to stay in the yard.

Once you figure out why your dog is jumping the fence, you can work to prevent the bad behavior immediately with just a few modifications to their routine and environment. 

Keep in mind; teaching them to stop jumping the fence could save their life.

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