How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump the Fence

How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump the Fence
Hard difficulty iconHard
Time icon2-4 Months
Behavior training category iconBehavior

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.

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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. 

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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. 

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The Long Leash Method

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1

On the leash

Attach your dog to the long leash and let it lay loose on the ground.

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.

3

Grab the leash

When he gets too close to the fence and looks like he is ready to jump, grab the leash.

4

Use the command

Give your chosen command and, using the leash, gently stop him from carrying out his plans.

5

Lots of praise

If he obeys, give him a treat and plenty of praise.

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.

The Water Gun Method

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Let your pup run loose

Let your dog run loose in the backyard and keep a close eye on him.

2

Give the command

When he approaches the fence, give your command.

3

Praise and treats

If he obeys, be sure to use lots of praise and give him a treat.

4

Spray him

If he keeps going, spray him with water and repeat the command.

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.

The Paws on the Ground Method

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Let your dog roam

Let your dog roam around the yard under your supervision.

2

Use the 'down' command

Each time he starts to climb or look like he is getting ready to jump, give the 'down' command.

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.

4

Praise him

Always remember to praise him for getting it right. Positive reinforcement will help to speed the training process.

5

Repeat

Repeat this process several times a day until he looks at the fence and walks away on his own.

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.

Written by PB Getz

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 02/02/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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peaches

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lab/pit

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Three Months

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Question

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all the steps for jumping the fence i get. However there isn't nor will there be a time in my yard with my dog and no distractions. Neighbors dog are always outside . My 4 ft standard chain fence seperates the yard. Ialso live on a busy road 55 mph What can u suggest in my case?

Nov. 26, 2023

peaches's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I would purchase a Halo GPS electric fence system - this is a system that doesn't have to be buried but works off of gps mapping. I would set the radius up to be two feet inside of the chain link fence, so that pup is corrected anytime they approach the physical fence to deter any ideas about trying to jump, dig under, or climb the fence at all. I don't recommend the Halo alone without a physical fence in situations like yours because some dogs will bolt through them, but as a deterrent to the physical fence, where bolting through it wouldn't be an option anyway, it can help ensure pup stays in the yard where the chain link fence is. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Nov. 30, 2023

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Bailey

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Pit bull

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1 Year

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

June 2, 2022

Bailey's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 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

June 3, 2022


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