If you’ve ever gotten the call that your dog is out of the yard (again), you know the frustration of a backyard escape artist masquerading as your furry best friend. Whether your dog is climbing the fence or jumping the fence, there’s hope.
We’ve put together a list of dog jumping fence solutions. The right solution often depends on the dog and the setup of the outdoor space. Sometimes it’s as simple as adding to an existing fence, while other times landscaping or training can combine to keep your dog where he’s safe. Take heart. There is a way to keep your lovable Houdini from making his next great escape.
How to Keep Dogs from the Jumping Fence
Dog jumping fence solutions can usually be added to an existing fence line. However, the solution for you will also depend on much fence you have to cover, what’s on the other side, and your dog’s personality.
Add an L-Footer
An L-footer attaches to the top of a fence and extends toward the inside of the yard with an inverted L-shape. When the dog tries to jump the fence, he runs into the L-footer. L-footers can be made from chicken wire, chain link, or wire mesh. You can add them to an existing fence or build a fence with an L-footer at the top.
Add a Natural Landscaping Barrier
In some cases, a natural landscaping barrier, such as trees or tall bushes, is a viable and attractive solution. When the dog jumps the fence, he’ll land directly in the barrier if the barrier is on the outside of the fence.
You can also plant the barrier inside the fence so the dog can’t get to the fence at all. Most dogs will lose interest once they’re deterred regularly. Landscaping barriers are also a good solution for reactive dogs because the barrier helps block the view of the street, where potential triggers may pass by.
Keep in mind that landscaping barriers can take a few months to grow to the right size unless you buy them as full-size trees or bushes. Also, look for plants that naturally grow in your geographical region for better water conservation and easier maintenance. A few favorites worth considering are the American holly, North privet, Arborvitae, and Schip laurel.
Clear the Yard of Jumping Aids
Clear the yard of anything the dog can use to launch himself over the fence to keep the dog from jumping the fence. Items like storage benches, large landscaping rocks, vehicles, and lawnmowers can easily act as a stepping stone for a determined dog.
Particularly persistent dogs may need two fences to keep them contained. Leave a few feet of space between the fences, but not enough that the dog can get a running jump to get over the second fence. Check the location of the property lines are so that the second fence still stays within the legal boundaries. For particularly stubborn dogs, you can add an L-footer to one or both of the fences as another layer of security.
Train with Rewards
Dog training used alongside physical barriers and methods can solve your problems within a few weeks. However, training takes time and effort, so don’t expect a behavior change in a few days. It will also require spending a good amount of supervised time outside with the dog during training.
Attach your dog to a long leash, and leave the leash loose on the ground while holding the other end. When the dog gets too close to the fence, grab the leash, and give him the command to “stop” or “get down.” Be sure to use the same command every time he gets too close to the fence or tries to jump it to help him learn and remember.
When he obeys, give him lots of praise and a treat. Repeat this process until your dog stays away from the fence.
Make the Yard a Pleasant Place
Many dogs get bored if left outside alone in the yard all day, which can contribute to their attempts to jump the fence. Make your yard a fun place that feels like a reward. You can also help your dog by prepping the yard based on his personality.
Provide plenty of toys, spend time with your dog, and try not to leave him outside alone for prolonged periods of time. Some dogs may be reactive to people, cars, or dogs passing by. If that’s the case with your dog, look for ways to block his view or keep him distracted.
How to Stop a Dog from Climbing the Fence
When you’re looking for how to stop a dog from climbing a fence, you have a few options that are similar to when a dog jumps the fence.
Remove Climbing Aids
Dog fence jumping prevention starts by removing anything in the yard that makes it easier for your dog to jump. Large rocks, benches, or chairs are all possible launching points for jumpers.
Landscape in Front of the Fence
Add landscaping in front of the fence so the dog can’t access the fence in the first place. The same trees and brushes that work to stop a dog from jumping the fence can work to keep him from climbing the fence.
Add a Roll Bar or Coyote Roller
A roll bar, sometimes called a coyote roller, is a rolling bar that attaches to the top of a fence. The roller spins when the dog touches it, which doesn’t allow him to use the top of the fence as a jumping point. These devices are used to prevent coyotes from entering yards, hence the term “coyote roller.” Depending on the dog’s behavior and the design of your fence, you might have to install rollers bars across the entire fence line or just to one section.
Exercise and Entertain
Your dog may climb the fence because he’s bored or anxious. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise through walks or play. Play fetch or create obstacle courses. Any kind of activity that your dog enjoys can help him expend energy so that he’s more content to be in the yard alone. Leave toys in the yard when you can’t be out there with him.
More Ideas to Keep Your Dog in Your Yard
- Block the view – If they can’t see them, they’re less likely to try to get over the fence. We already discussed landscaping, but you may also need to fill holes or make the fence taller so that your dog can’t see what’s on the other side of the fence. Reactive dogs may get triggered by passing cars, trucks, people, or pets.
- Install a double gate – If your dog tries to jump the gate, build a double gate to increase the number of barriers the dog has to overcome to escape. Double gates are akin to double fences. They create an area the dog can land if they get over the first gate, but there’s not enough space for them to clear the second one.
- Buy a puppy bumper – Puppy bumpers are inflatable or foam collars that prevent small dogs from climbing under the fence or squeezing between fence posts. They aren’t designed for large dogs and won’t help with jumping and climbing. However, deterring your dog from interacting with the fence when he’s young and small can prevent problems as he gets bigger.
- GPS tracking collar: GPS tracking collars can help you keep an eye on your dog when you can’t be around (you can check out our top pick for a smart collar in our post on the best dog collars). You can check your dog’s location remotely to make sure he’s still in the yard. If the dog does escape, the collar will help find the dog through GPS tracking.
Any of the deterrents and barriers we mentioned earlier, such as L-footers, landscaping barriers, and removing jumping aids are effective for preventing jumping. However, you’ll be even more successful when these barriers by training your dog to stay away from the fence at the same time. The combination of a physical barrier with consistent training modifies the behavior and takes away the opportunity to escape.
Some dogs can jump a six-foot fence. Athletic breeds like border collies are capable of jumping surprisingly high fences.
A training plan and a physical barrier will often give you the best results, but it will take some commitment. A few weeks devoted to training your dog to stay away from the fence can keep him from jumping it and may prevent the need for additional barriers. However, with some dogs, you may need to take away the fence option with barriers and deterrents for training to be successful.
Coyotes will jump fences to get a dog or cat. A coyote roller, sometimes called a roller bar, is one way to prevent coyotes from climbing or jumping your fence.
A harness can help as long as it’s attached to a leash and you’re attached to the other end of the leash. A harness works best when used as a training tool rather than left on and used without a command and reward system in place.
Athletic dogs can jump fences as high as six feet.
You can put an L-footer or coyote bar at the top of the fence to keep your dog from escaping.
Many breeds can jump a four-foot fence. All it takes is some athletic ability and determination.
Consistent training is the best method, but you can also couple training with physical barriers like landscaping, a roller bar, or L-footer.
Some dogs can jump a five-foot fence. It depends on the breed and their athletic ability.
A landscaping barrier in front of the fence is one of the best ways to prevent a dog from jumping a chain link fence. The bushes or trees block the fence so the dog can’t access it.
Dogs can climb fences. Sometimes they can climb fences as high as six feet if they’re motivated enough.
Looking for more information about dog fences? We have a library of in-depth information about various aspects of dog fences. Including tips and ideas for keeping your dog from jumping and building your own dog fence:
- 90+ creative and inexpensive dog fence ideas
- DIY dog fence ideas to build your own dog fence
- How to keep a dog from jumping a fence (or climbing a fence)
- How to keep a dog from digging under a fence
- How tall should a dog fence be?
As well as in-depth reviews of each category of dog fence (with recommendations generated by licensed veterinarians):
- The best dog fences (overall)
- The best in ground dog fences
- The best portable dog fences
- The best GPS dog fences
- The best invisible dog fences
- The best wireless dog fences
- The Best Outdoor Dog Fences
And in-depth product reviews of some of the leading dog fence brands: