A problem many a dog owner has faced is when dogs jump over the fence for whatever reason. Escape antics are practically universal to dogs, from small dogs like Basset Hounds to larger breeds like Saint Bernards. If your canine best friend has also started doing this, here are some of the things you can do to stop them.
Find Out What Motivates Your Dog to Jump the Fence
Before setting out to figure out how to keep your dog from jumping the fence, you must first find out why they’re doing so in the first place. There are a number of reasons why a dog might want to go beyond the bounds of your property.
One of the primary reasons is simple curiosity. Dogs are naturally inquisitive, especially young pups, and thus like to explore their surroundings. Either that, or they can simply be restless inside the enclosed space and want more room to run around. Sometimes this can be remedied as easily as giving them a few short walks to familiarize them with their environment and keep them busy with other activities. But this is not always the case.
Another reason is because something catches their interest from beyond the fence. This can be anything from other animals triggering their hunting instinct, other dogs provoking or inviting them to mate or play, or even just a small whiff of interesting smells.
Determining the reason why your dog jumps the fence will be crucial to inform your efforts in keeping your dog safely inside your property.
Tire Them Out
How much exercise does a dog need? The answer to this question depends on factors like breed, activity level, health conditions, etc. But generally, keeping your dog busy with some quality time might tire your dog out enough to keep them from climbing over the fence. You can take them on walks, visit the dog park to socialize, play hide and seek, and other forms of physical exercise that will let them release their pent-up energy. Devices like the Halo fence and SpotOn GPS fence, portable wireless containment systems that also work like smart dog collars, will ensure their safety when outdoors.
Distracting them with mental exercise, such as puzzle toys and other forms of mental stimulation might also help.
After all, a tired dog won’t have enough energy to jump or climb over an obstacle and pursue something beyond it. However, that’s no guarantee that they won’t still attempt it.
Some dog breeds can be incredibly energetic no matter how much you try to tire them out. A well-exercised dog belonging to these high energy breeds might still be skilled enough to soar over a fence regardless of how fatigued they are.
Train Them to Stay Inside the Yard
One of the simplest and least costly methods to keep your dog within your property is by training them to stay within it. However, this does require that you have a particular level of skill in dog training.
If you have more than a few years of dog ownership under your belt, you might have a lot of success with training. Otherwise, you can use aids like static correction collars, but sometimes that may not be enough if your dog sees something sufficiently inviting beyond the fence line.
It also pays to remove any escape aids that they can use to help them over the fence, such as garbage cans and compost piles.
Limit Their View of the Outside
If the main reason your dog tries to get past the fence is because they get distracted by things beyond it, the first thing you can do to deter this is to block your dog’s view of the outside. Out of sight, out of mind.
This solution can entail something as simple as adding a screen of sheet metal to chain link fences or other barriers that your dog can see through. Other dog owners have tried to make use of landscaping to act as a natural obstruction.
However, dogs still have their sense of smell, so simply reducing visibility may not be enough of a solution.
Upgrade Your Fence
This is one of the most common methods employed by owners. This is especially imperative if you have a smaller fence that can be easily overcome by a dog bent on escape, such as a chain link fence or wire fencing.
Raising the fence height is one of the most sure ways you can stop your dog from successfully surmounting it. And if your dog’s hind legs are a bit springier than that of most dogs, you can also angle it inward for good measure.
Alternatively, you can install coyote rollers on the top of the fence to prevent your dog from mantling over it. A coyote roller comes with the advantage of stopping other animals from clambering over your fence as well. This is relatively easy to DIY dog fence, with the simplest builds just making use of a round PVC pipe to stop dogs from being able to step on top of the fence and jump off.
Still, determined dogs can sneakily dig  underneath the fence in a spot that’s out of your watchful eye, and it’s not always easy to simply not leave your dog unattended or to extend the fence underground.
Set Up a Second Barrier
Dogs often need a running start to successfully jump the fence. You can deprive them of this by adding a second fence or other kind of barrier, such as a row of bushes, a few feet behind your existing fence.
Keep in mind that a dog that’s clever an skilled enough at climbing might be able to negotiate this setup, though. Worse yet, if improperly planned and/or set up, the second barrier you erect might even serve as extra jumping aids.
Make Use of Invisible Fences
This is perhaps the best solution you can employ if you want to preserve your yard’s aesthetics or if you have a particularly strict HOA. After all, it can be a huge hassle to reconfigure your fence, especially if you have a newly fenced in yard and would rather not go through the trouble again.
For those who don’t know how wireless and in-ground invisible dog fences work, it is by making use of static shock devices embedded in the dog’s collar, which deploys when your dog approaches too close to a designated border line or radius. This is meant to discourage them from even getting near the fence in the first place. They also often come with a GPS tracking device to help find them in case they go missing.
It’s worth noting however that the shock might not be enough to stop them. Many dogs are strong enough to simply fight through the shocks if motivated enough. Learn how to train a dog for an invisible fence properly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my dog jumping the fence?
There are a number of reasons for this behavior, such as curiosity, provocation, desire to play, or desire to mate.
How do I stop my dog from jumping at the dog gate?
The first thing you can do is to train them to refrain from this behavior. Failing that, you can add another barrier behind the fence or make use of an invisible fence.
Will a shock collar stop my dog from jumping the fence?
This depends on how effective the static shock is at deterring your dog from continuing their current behavior. Some dogs can fight through the shock. That’s why it’s recommended that shock collars and invisible fences are accompanied with a good amount of training.