Fence jumping is a tough habit to break because once they succeed once, they will keep on jumping until they find it easy to leave the yard. So, what should you do?
Here are some proven solutions to prevent your shepherd dog from jumping the fence: make the fence taller, take away any jumping assists, obedience training him, use close fences or fill in any holes or gaps in the fence, build a chain-link dog run, place a chicken wire, install an invisible fence, give him some toys.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to apply each solution in practice; I’ll explain everything in the following paragraphs but first, let’s take a moment to figure out more reasons that motivate your dog to jump the fence
Why Is Your German Shepherd Jumping Over The Fence?
There are a number of reasons behind unacceptable doggie behavior, and most of the reasons are always very similar.
The motivation for jumping over the fence can be as simple as a curiosity. It might be that your shepherd is young, and you rarely take him on a walk around the neighborhood, and so he becomes curious as to what lies outside of the fence.
This is the strongest drive in a male German shepherd that makes him jump over the fence. Once your dog smells the scent of a female in heat in the air, he would likely spend countless of hours practicing their fence jumping skills until he finally makes his way to the other side of the fence.
The urge to track and chase is deeply ingrained in the psyche of any German shepherd dogs. If your shepherd can see other dogs, cats, squirrels, or anything that seems more interesting and appealing than where he is, it will motivate him to make his way over the fence and be free to roam the neighborhood all day long.
A German shepherd who is overly aggressive towards other dogs can have the same strong motivation to jump off the backyard fence and chase the neighbor’s dog and bite him or her. The root cause of this misbehavior can be traced back to a lack of exposure to other dogs as a puppy.
Also read: How to Socialize a German Shepherd Puppy
A German shepherd that is very territorial will defend his home from an intruder. If your dog falls into this category, don’t be surprised to see him jumping over the fence to investigate anything that seems suspicious and unfamiliar.
Your backyard can bore the hell out of your shepherd if there is nothing to do there. At this point, anything that he sees or hears on the other side of the fence is going to intrigue him and make him want to go there.
Loneliness and Separation Anxiety
Being stuck in the backyard without friends or his owner can lead your dog to boredom. Mostly if you leave him alone for too long, he may suffer from separation anxiety and may feel tempted to jump and play with your neighbors and their dogs.
Who says that your German shepherd can’t experience fear. Despite being perceived as fearless and brave dogs, there are many things that can scare your dog, like car honking, thunder, and fireworks. In attempts to run away from whatever it is that scares them, they may jump the fence.
Lack of Exercise
German shepherds who don’t get enough exercise will start to act up to burn that excess energy, and jumping is an exercise that not only burns energy but also gives them a rush.
Also read: How Much Exercise do German Shepherd Needs
Here are the products that I recommend for this post:
- Best dog collar for German shepherds
- Best dog leash for German shepherds
- A coyote roller
- An automatic ball launcher
- Best toy for German shepherds
How to Stop a German Shepherd from Jumping Over The Fence
Earlier, I mentioned several proven ways to prevent your German shepherd from jumping over fences. Notice the keyword here is “prevention.” Prevention is the key to deter fence jumping. This especially becomes crucial if you leave your dog outside alone while you are at work all day long.
1. Make Your Fence Taller
The most proven way to prevent your shepherd from jumping the fence is simply to make it impossible to jump, and what is a better way to do that than raising the height of the fence. A fence extension provides a cost-effective and easy way to make your old fence taller without building a new one. Increase the fence’s height to at least 6 feet tall, which should be high enough to keep any dog in.
2. Remove Any Jumping Aids
After making sure that the fence is high enough to dissuade the dog from jumping over it, the next thing you want to do is to scour the yard and see if there are any items that your dog can use to jump off of, such as a table, a bench, a stack of boxes, or a trash can. Move these items and keep them several feet away from any fencing section.
3. Don’t Let Him Look Out of The Fence
If you use a chain-link fence or have gaps in the fence, you may want to replace the fence with a close fence or fill in any holes in the fence where your shepherd can see out of the yard. Anything he sees outside the fence (such as a cat next door) can tempt him to jump over and chase it, and so eliminating the temptation might be the way out.
4. Correct Your Shepherd
There are several training solutions that dog owners can use to discipline dogs from fence jumping. Here is the step-by-step guide of my favorite training method.
- Step 1: Put your dog’s training collar on and attach a thirty-foot leash to the collar.
- Step 2: Have a friend or neighbor on the other side of the fence ready.
- Step 3: Take your shepherd near the fence and cue your friend to encourage your dog to jump over.
- Step 4: As he tries to jump, stop your movement and say “no” in a firm tone of voice.
- Step 5: When he obeys you, praise him and reward him with his favorite treats.
- Step 6: Repeat this exercise until your dog no longer gets excited about jumping over.
5. Use Chicken Wire
If your dog doesn’t make a clear jump over but instead climbs over the fence, you can staple chicken wire to the inside of the fence to make it difficult to climb. If you don’t want to staple the chicken wire to your fence, you can lay it on the ground. Most dogs will not walk over the area because they dislike the feeling of the wire on their paws.
6. Place Coyote Roller on Top of The Fence
Coyote roller is useful if your shepherd still needs to pull himself over the fence. When he tries to jump over the fence and grab hold of the roller, the coyote roller will begin to roll and cause your dog to slip. Another solution is to place a chicken wire on top of the fence that is slanted inward or places a long piece of wood.
7. Build a Chain-Link Dog Run
Keeping your dog inside a dog run area while you are not around is a safe way to prevent him from jumping the fence when you’re not home. If you have to leave your dog in this area for a long period of time, make sure that your yard is secured and there is a weatherproof roof cover added on top of the dog run. Also, don’t forget to provide your dog with plenty of fresh, clean water.
8. Have Them Spayed or Neutered
If you don’t plan to breed your shepherd, it may well be for their benefit to have them spayed or neutered. This way, you won’t have to worry about your dog escaping when there is a female in heat nearby.
9. Exercise Them
Most German shepherds are exceptionally active dogs that need to have at least 2 hours of physical activity daily. It has been known that a lack of exercise is the root cause of many behavioral issues, including fence jumping. So giving your dog enough exercise might do the trick.
Struggling for ideas to exercise your German shepherd? Check out my post here: 15 Best Exercise Ideas for German Shepherds.
10. Keep Them Entertained
While this is not a direct way to stop your dog from fence jumping, you may want to keep him as entertained and as stimulated as possible when he is in the yard. If they are happy, comfortable, and satisfied playing in your yard, they may not be interested anymore in what lurks on the other side of the fence.
There are myriad ways to keep your dog entertained outside, here are some fun yard ideas:
- Provide him with some outdoor dog toys that he will enjoy, such as an automatic ball launcher.
- Set up a kiddie pool in the summer.
- Give him a fun puzzle toy like the Kong food dispensing toy.