How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump the Fence

Hard
2-4 Months
Behavior

Introduction

So, you put up a fence thinking that giving your dog a fenced in yard to play in would keep him at home. To your surprise, all he wants to do is jump the fence and go find a few friends to hang out with. This is nothing unusual in that it is only natural for a dog to want to roam and to hang out with his friends. But allowing him to roam loose can, at best, end up with a fine that has to be paid, but he could just as easily become injured or lost.

Part of the problem with trying to teach your dog not to jump the fence is that this behavior is "self-rewarding" in that by succeeding in getting over the fence your dog's reward is freedom. More importantly, each time he is successful merely serves to reinforce the behavior.

Defining Tasks

During training, the command you might use could simply be "No" or "Get Down" or even "Stop!". The most important thing to remember is that once you decide on a command, stick to it and use it with authority in your voice. Not only will this help to avoid confusion, it will let your pup know you mean business and expect him to obey immediately.

Remember, keeping your dog from escaping could save him from becoming seriously injured, lost, or killed. You could start this type of training while your pup is too small to actually jump over the fence by teaching him not to even jump on the fence at all. This way, by the time he could clear the top of the fence, he has no interest in even going near it. 

Getting Started

There are a few things you can do before you start training your dog not to jump the fence. These include repairing any holes in the fence and, if you have a chain link fence, consider adding plastic slats to the fence to block him from seeing what's on the other side. Teaching your dog to stay in the back yard requires time, patience, and plenty of treats.

Try to choose a time of day when there aren't a lot of distractions like cars going by or kids out in the streets playing. You need your pup to remain fully focused on you and your training, which in turn will make the training go faster and help both of you reach the end goal much more quickly. Remember, teaching him to stop jumping the fence could save his life. 

The Long Leash Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
On the leash
Attach your dog to the long leash and let it lay loose on the ground.
Step
2
Follow that dog
Follow your dog around the yard, close enough to grab the leash but not so close he will not attempt to jump the fence.
Step
3
Grab the leash
When he gets too close to the fence and looks like he is ready to jump, grab the leash.
Step
4
Use the command
Give your chosen command and, using the leash, gently stop him from carrying out his plans.
Step
5
Lots of praise
If he obeys, give him a treat and plenty of praise.
Step
6
Repeat the process
If he doesn't, make him sit, back off and repeat the process until he gets the clue. It may take a few sessions before he understands he is not allowed to jump over the fence. Once he understands this, try watching him from out of sight and without the leash attached. If you happen to see him contemplating jumping, step out and use your command. Reward him if he obeys, if not bring out the leash and start training again.
Recommend training method?

The Water Gun Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Let your pup run loose
Let your dog run loose in the backyard and keep a close eye on him.
Step
2
Give the command
When he approaches the fence, give your command.
Step
3
Praise and treats
If he obeys, be sure to use lots of praise and give him a treat.
Step
4
Spray him
If he keeps going, spray him with water and repeat the command.
Step
5
Treats instead
Each time he behaves, give him a treat and when he doesn't, spray him again. It won't take your dog long to associate his desire to escape by going out over the top with getting doused with ice cold water. It also won't take him long to associate staying home with plenty of praise and treats.
Recommend training method?

The Paws on the Ground Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Let your dog roam
Let your dog roam around the yard under your supervision.
Step
2
Use the 'down' command
Each time he starts to climb or look like he is getting ready to jump, give the 'down' command.
Step
3
If he obeys
If he obeys, he gets a treat, if not, start all over again. Remember not to punish him for not getting it right.
Step
4
Praise him
Always remember to praise him for getting it right. Positive reinforcement will help to speed the training process.
Step
5
Repeat
Repeat this process several times a day until he looks at the fence and walks away on his own.
Step
6
Deterrents
Along with training your dog not to jump the fence, you can increase the height of the fence or place PVC pipe along the top rail of the fence. PVC pipe is very slippery, making it impossible for your dog to gain any kind of grip he could use to help him clear the fence. You might also consider planting shrubs so that he doesn't have enough room to get the running start he needs to jump the fence.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Siyra
Labador
6 Years
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Question
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Siyra
Labador
6 Years

My dog keeps jumping the fence are you able to train her not to?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
836 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gloria, You can either teach pup to stay away from the fence using e-collar training OR you can bury an electric fence two feet in front of the physical fence, on the inside of the fence where your yard is. Having an electric fence in front of your normal fence will teach pup not to go all the way up to your physical fence so that pup can't jump or climb the fence. I do NOT suggest electric fences without the physical fence for dogs that try to escape, but when the two are combined it can work well for most dogs. The electric fence will enforce not going near the fence when you are and are not present - the e-collar training can do that, but some dogs will figure out that they only have to avoid the fence when you are present to enforce the training and may still try to escape occasionally; whereas the electric fence is always enforced while pup has the collar on. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Ash and Flint
Muts
1 Year
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Question
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Ash and Flint
Muts
1 Year

My dogs listen very well and won't jump the fence as long as we are there, but the second we try to leave they go to jump the fence and follow us. We work long enough hours that I don't want to leave them inside, that's not fair to them. We've tried a few different things but their drive to be with us seems stronger than the methods we've tried.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
836 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mickayla, For their own safety, I suggest using an electric fence in addition to your regular wooded fence. Bury the electric fence 2 foot inside your wooden fence, so that the dogs are corrected if they try to go up to the fence at all. It's important to bury it a little further in than your normal fence, because you want to prevent the dogs from even being able to go up to the wooden fence to climb, dig, or get traction to jump. Don't use an electric fence on its own though of course! That will be far less effective than the wooden fence. Just add the electric fence to the current yard setup. Be sure to have the dogs always wear the electric fence collars while in the yard. If you don't always put the collars on them, they will probably figure out after a bit that they are not corrected near the fence so long as the collars are off, and will get out again, plus be less deterred in the future. Keep things consistent with the setup and electric fence collars on the dogs. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Kano
Border Collie
1 Year
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Question
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Kano
Border Collie
1 Year

Hi, my dog jumps at the fence and barks at anyone walking past especially with dogs. I'm worried as people think he's aggressive (he just wants to play) but he does go for other dogs to play but in a rough manner people assume to be aggression and malice. I am at a loss as to how to train this behaviour especially the fence jumping at people (he never jumps over the fence).

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
836 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emilia, Check out the video below. I suggest recruiting friends with dogs to walk their dogs past the fence. With pup on leash, work on also walking your dog along the fence and rewarding for ignoring the dogs. The goal is to do this over and over again with various dogs until pup find the other dogs more boring and develops a habit of reacting calmly to the dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n_fPKPLA2g&list=PLAA4pob0Wl0W2agO7frSjia1hG85IyA6a&index=6&t=0s When pup is doing better, you can also watch for opportunities to reward pup for not barking at all when a random dog walks by - which helps to condition pup to simply come over to you calmly instead of jump, when they see a dog. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Xena
Pit bull
4 Years
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Question
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Xena
Pit bull
4 Years

Our dog is able to jump a 6 foot picket wooden fence. She only does it when we aren’t looking and we never see her do it. We just look outside and she is gone. What do we do? We can’t train her when she doesn’t do it when we are around.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
836 Dog owners recommended

Hello Isaiah, In addition to your wooden fence, I recommend installing an invisible fence two feet inside of your physical fence around the inside of your yard. The electric fence should help pup not to even approach the wooden fence so that she won't have opportunity to dig, jump, or climb it. The invisible in-ground electric fence should only be paired with the real fence and not in place of it, or it will not be effective. There still needs to be a physical barrier so that pup can't just bolt through the electric fence quickly. Another option is to add an over hang to your fence if you don't mind the look of the overhang. https://easypetfence.com/products/6-cat-fence-post-with-extender-and-sleeve?variant=37536085322&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Google%20Shopping&gclid=CjwKCAiAt9z-BRBCEiwA_bWv-P4tfTjdhXVAQbOvhOhjffKFaBNlJe4RCmYivHQWmAmIv0h9BZ2hahoCU9IQAvD_BwE https://www.wayfair.com/Trident-Enterprises--Kitty-Corral-Cat-Conversion-Vinyl-Fencing-DE439-L3361-K~TDEP1019.html?refid=GX444197841525-TDEP1019_44768101&device=c&ptid=907078038892&network=g&targetid=pla-907078038892&channel=GooglePLA&ireid=94728172&fdid=1817&PiID%5B%5D=44768101&gclid=CjwKCAiAt9z-BRBCEiwA_bWv-FwaeWZhuIs8g_PAfuTR2Ty1BYtKLKNhcGcXg4BpSkYheUPXDg6BphoCdeQQAvD_BwE Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Alder
Mix
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Alder
Mix
8 Months

How to get my dog to choose to listen to me over another dog

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
836 Dog owners recommended

Hello Molly, Check out the Reel In method from the article linked below. I recommend practicing the commands you need pup to respond to, like Leave It and come around other dogs in the distance on a long leash, reeling pup in if they don't obey, using a long enough leash and back clip harness for it to mimic the feeling of being off leash a bit, and rewarding when they come willingly. Start with the other dogs further away and gradually decrease how far other dogs are during practice as pup improves. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Piper
Terrier mix
3 Years
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Question
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Piper
Terrier mix
3 Years

As soon as I open the back door to let the dogs outside Piper immediately runs and jumps up on our back fence and our neighbors have recently complained due to the fence being in bad shape as it is. We are assuming that she does it because they have a tree that always has squirrels or birds in it and she naturally goes after them. Is there something that we can do to get her to stop doing that. She only does it the one time each time as soon as she is let out. Thanks in advance!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
836 Dog owners recommended

Hello Megan, Is there only one area of the fence pup jumps on or the entire back end of the fence? Are you always out there with her when she does it or is she by herself? If you are always with her at least at first when she is doing the behavior, I recommend teaching her Out and Leave it, and letting pup outside on a padded back clip harness and a long training leash so you can tell pup Out, reward if she obeys and doesn't go up to the fence, and use the long training leash to prevent her from jumping if she doesn't obey. I would do this consistently until pup breaks the habit of jumping when first let outside -how long will vary but expect around a month of doing this. Once pup is calmer after initially being let outside, you can then unclip the leash and let her go about her business in the yard. If pup is doing this when you are not there, such as after going outside through a doggie door, I would either set up a pet barrier device near the section of the fence you want pup not to jump on - if it's just one area she is doing it on, and practice the leash method I mentioned above when you are there; or bury an invisible fence about 2 feet inside your regular wooden fence so that pup is corrected whenever she tries to go right up to the fence, to teach her to avoid the fence line entirely, AND practice with the long training leash and treats and Out command proactively when you are home as well, so pup understands why she is being corrected and to simply avoid the fence line, instead of thinking the corrections are random. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bear
Bullmastiff
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
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Bear
Bullmastiff
1 Year

She won't jump when we are out there but the moment we leave her alone for a few hours to go down the street she jumps the fence and wonders around idk what to do and im scared that if she gets out she will be injured or worse please help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
836 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kit, I recommend installing an invisible fence two to four feet inside of your physical fence around the yard. The electric fence should help pup not to even approach the physical fence so that he won't have opportunity to jump or climb it. The invisible in-ground electric fence should only be paired with the real fence and not in place of it, or it will not be effective. There still needs to be a physical barrier so that pup can't just bolt through the electric fence quickly. If pup doesn't already have a reliable come, I would also work on that as added safety with any dog who has a reputation of being an escape artist. Come: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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