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

ribbon-method-1
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

ribbon-method-2
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

ribbon-method-3
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
Bailey
Pit bull
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
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Bailey
Pit bull
1 Year

My dog jumps over the wall and dog want to come back

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Zach, First, I recommend teaching a reliable Come command. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Come: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Second, I would walk pup around the yard boundary on a long leash. Anytime pup gets close to the wall, tell pup Out and reel pup in toward you, away from the wall. If pup moves toward you without having to be reeled in, reward with a treat that was hidden in your pocket out of sight. I also recommend installing an invisible fence two feet inside of your physical fence around the yard. Another option would be to use something like Halo, which is a device that works similar to invisible fences with the included collar, but uses GPS mapping to create the borders instead of burying something, this can be better than an invisible fence in a rental situation or large area and set up is a lot easier. The electric fence should help pup not to even approach the physical fence so that they won't have opportunity to dig or climb it. The invisible in-ground electric fence or Halo should only be paired with the real fence and not in place of it, or it will not be effective with an escape artist in most cases. Another option is to amend the wall to make it higher, or install something like this above it. https://www.amazon.com/Kitty-Corral-Fence-Conversion-System/dp/B01KU35LBE/ref=asc_df_B01KU35LBE/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=385149483724&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10101571837440823424&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015474&hvtargid=pla-825463592339&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=83905924212&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=385149483724&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10101571837440823424&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015474&hvtargid=pla-825463592339 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Willow
Labrador Retriever/Border Collie
1 Year
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Question
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Willow
Labrador Retriever/Border Collie
1 Year

Our dog has responded well to a training collar, until the last few days. She will not come when we use the beep, the vibrate or even the shock option. She started jumping our fence the last two days and refuses to return for a long period of time, roaming around the neighborhood and park nearby. We try giving her treats to come to us or telling her we will go for a ride.
She knows all of her commands, but will not do them continuously- it is on her terms.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jami, Check out the article I have linked below and the Long training leash section and premack principle section. I would work on both of those. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Is she spayed, and if not, is she in heat or about to be? A female being in heat will create a strong desire to roam in her in order to mate. She could already be pregnant if that's the case and she has been roaming a lot lately. I would keep her in doors until she is out of heat. The urge to roam during those couple of weeks of being in heat is going to trump everything else and pup needs to be physically restrained and kept indoors when not on leash securely with you. You may need to add something like this to the top of your fence: https://www.amazon.com/Kitty-Corral-Fence-Conversion-System/dp/B01KU35LBE/ref=asc_df_B01KU35LBE/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=385149483724&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10976471527859053636&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9010836&hvtargid=pla-825463592339&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=83905924212&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=385149483724&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10976471527859053636&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9010836&hvtargid=pla-825463592339 If pup is in heat, I would just keep pup inside and on leash until the heat cycle passes, then assess pup's behavior once that urge to mate isn't as strong. You may find that a refresh with the remote training collar and come article I linked above is all that's needed. I am also curious how you are using the remote training collar. Check out the trainer below to learn more about remote collar use and how to layer it with other obedience training and reward based training to make sure it's being used fairly and effectively. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoxuNKpmUs390K7x_rvgjcg Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Sadie
Boxer
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Sadie
Boxer
9 Months

I have a cinder block wall and Sadie jumps on it and walks in it like a cat to get into other people’s backyards. I have built up part of the wall but can’t build up the part she has been jumping. She doesn’t even attempt while I am outside with her. What would you suggest for training her not to do that.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello, You have a few options here. 1. You could install an invisible buried fence two feet inside of your regular physical fence/wall, so pup is automatically corrected for even approaching the wall. 2. You could use a device like Halo, to accomplish the same thing as an invisible fence, but with a GPS based approach, instead of burying wires. Depending on the size of your yard and what needs blocking off, this may or may not be a cheaper option than the invisible fence. 3. You could teach an avoidance of the wall using remote collar training. Correcting pup for touching the wall from a hidden location, so the correction is associated with the wall and not you. This option is often less expensive than others but also lacks the consistency of knowing pup will always be corrected if pup is really persistent and may try the wall again later on, once the initial reminder of the correction has worn off. For some dogs this is all that's needed though. The correction should be what's called "act of god" level. Check out trainers like James Penrith from taketheleaddogtraining online to learn more about such training. 4. You could use a pet barrier device, such as this one, if the wall access area is not very wide across. https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/petsafe-pawz-away-outdoor-pet-barrier-1288270?cm_mmc=PSH%7cGGL%7cSPP%7cSBU04%7cSH10%7c0%7cbLzCn1DTVhtU78RWchqwQH%7c58700007475444208%7cPRODUCT_GROUP%7c0%7c0&gclid=CjwKCAiAo4OQBhBBEiwA5KWu_3fCTzmiWU8n8LLjq_4cYbhW7H0u2Io3fyUIminyqw3HML47SHROBhoCV_kQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds The initial goal is to teach pup a Leave It command and correct pup for touching the wall when you are present, then reward pup for moving away from the wall out of obedience. Since pup is already leaving the wall alone when you are there, the next step is having something that will reinforce the rules when pup thinks you are gone as well. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Whiskey
black mouth cur
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Whiskey
black mouth cur
1 Year

He likes to jump on the fence a lot and doesn’t listen at all when you tell him to stop

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Michele, Is pup jumping on the fence because of another dog or people on the other side? If so, desensitizing pup to what's on the other side of the fence can also help. I would recruit friends or friends with dogs who practice passing by on the other side of the fence, then with pup on a long training leash, practice commands like Leave It, Quiet, and Out at the fence, rewarding pup when they obey your commands or simply stay calm when the person or dog passes by. Since you have recruited the person to help, you can ask the person to repeat the passes over and over again, until pup gets bored with that person and starts improving as they calm down - and can then be rewarded for the calmness to help them learn. The long training leash on pup can be used to enforce your commands so pup doesn't just ignore you, reeling pup in and away from the fence as needed. If pup is at all aggressive and especially if pup has ever redirected that aggression toward you in anyway, I would also desensitize pup to wearing a basket muzzle and have pup wear the muzzle in these situations, getting pup used to just wearing it around in your home first, so the muzzle isn't just associated with the fence practice. Out - which means leave the area: 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 Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Off- section on The Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ If pup is practicing the jumping when you are not outside with pup, then after you have done the training with pup on a long leash while outside also with pup in the fence, you may need to use something like a remote training collar that can be activated while inside spying on pup when they don't know you are around, to enforce pup not jumping on the fence when pup doesn't know you are there also. The initial training with the leash and treats and commands should be done right though, so that when corrected for jumping when you are not there, pup will understand the correction better. I would also not allow pup into the fenced area without you present at first, while teaching pup the new rules, so that pup isn't practicing jumping on the fence without being interrupted. If pup is still practicing the unwanted behavior when you are not there to train that will sabotage your training efforts because of the inconsistency in what pup thinks they are and are not allowed to do. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Kota
Australian Cattle Dog
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Kota
Australian Cattle Dog
10 Months

Jumps 4ft chain link fence

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Keith, Chain link fences tend to be one of the easiest types for dogs to get over. At only four feet high, many athletic breeds like Cattle Dogs are able to go over them. There are a few options in this case. 1. Install a wooden six foot fence without a lot of surfaces for pup to climb. 2. Add an overhang, such as this: https://www.amazon.com/Kitty-Corral-Fence-Conversion-System/dp/B01KU35LBE/ref=sr_1_41?keywords=easy+pet+fence+kitty+corral+cat&qid=1640006884&sr=8-41 3. Use a device like Halo, setting the invisible fence radius for two feet inside your physical fence, to deter pup from approaching the fence line at all. 4. Bury an invisible fence wire two feet inside your physical fence around the yard, so pup is deterred from approaching the chain link fence at all via the corresponding collar correcting pup when they approach the fence line. I don't recommend using Halo or an electric fence in place of your chain link fence though for an escape prone-dog, only in addition too. 5. If pup is only ever outside in the fence with your supervision, you can also teach Out, and use a long training leash and potentially low level remote collar training to teach pup to avoid the fence line, but this option isn't great for a dog who is strongly motivated to leave the yard and left unattended in the yard often. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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