Why Do Dogs Climb Fences

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Is your dog a highly skilled escape artist? Pet parents do not always know their dog is capable of escaping and jumping over a fence until they look for their dog in the yard only to find out he is gone. How did he escape the yard? Most dogs are intelligent and find creative ways to climb or jump over fences. If you have been struck with the fear and panic when you realize your dog is missing, you definitely want to continue reading to learn about what is causing the behavior and find out tips on how to prevent it from happening again.

The Root of the Behavior

Climbing the fence to escape the yard is normal behavior in canines. There are a variety of reasons they escape, such as feeling bored, lonely, wanting to meet playmates in the neighborhood, needing exercise, seeing something interesting in the distance, sexual roaming, and separation anxiety. The reasons behind his action to escape the yard seem reasonable and logical but it is also dangerous. Dogs who escape the yard usually have a high energy level and are focused on reaching the object that caught their attention in the first place. They aren’t worried about taking precautions crossing the street, navigating through the neighborhood, or straying too far from home. Dogs who jump the fence are rewarded with this behavior because it gives them a sense of freedom. This behavior is often initiated due to feeling lonely and isolated from his family. Dogs love attention and spending hours in the backyard alone while you are at work or running errands makes them seek attention from other sources such as people and dogs in the neighborhood. 

As a pet parent, you might think you are doing a great job providing plenty of outdoor time for your dog while you are at work. Sometimes providing your dog with a shaded area, dog house, toys, food, and water isn’t enough to keep your dog inside the yard. Chasing is another common reason dogs escape the yard. If you have a chain linked fence that allows your dog to see squirrels, birds, wildlife, people, and other dogs, chances are he’s going to want to chase the object that he desires. Some dogs enjoy chasing practically everything in sight. An excellent way to find out if your dog likes to chase is to observe his behavior while taking him for a walk. If he attempts to chase squirrels, birds, a piece of paper blowing in the wind, or anything else, you have a chaser on your hands. 

Encouraging the Behavior

Your dog might be a better escape artist than Houdini but climbing the fence should never be encouraged. As a pet parent, you want to do everything you can do to prevent your dog from escaping. Determining the cause of action is essential to solving the problem. If your dog is escaping because he feels lonely and bored or has separation anxiety you can help make your dog feel more loved and cared for by giving him attention and allowing him to spend time indoors with you. Creating a fun outdoor environment for your dog that will keep him interested is also helpful. 

During the summer months when it’s hot outside you can set your sprinkler system to turn on a couple times throughout the day so your dog can run around in them to cool off and play with the water. Some dogs are entertained with sprinklers and enjoy splashing around and attempting to catch the water in their mouth. If your dog is simply a curious dog that loves to chase things, you should consider keeping your dog indoors while you are away from home to prevent him from escaping. You can also schedule the time to spend with him outdoors playing fetch so he is able to get out his energy and love of chasing things. 

Other Solutions and Considerations

Investing in a wood fence will help deter your dog from climbing and escaping. Also, taking preventive measures such as applying cement below the fence to stop your dog from digging holes and escaping. You can also place large rocks or blocks instead which will do the same job as cement. If you continue to have an issue with your dog escaping from the yard, you can invest in a crate that is large and provides plenty of room for your dog to stretch out and relax. Crates are made in a variety of designs and models. Since your dog is an experienced Houdini style escape artist, you should consider the crates that provide strong and durable latches that can withstand numerous escape attempts.


Your dog’s escape technique is probably impressive. It is not every day you see a dog climbing a fence. However, it is very dangerous for your dog once he escapes. Always do your best to provide a safe environment with elements of entertainment to help capture his attention and help prevent him from seeking attention elsewhere.