How to Stop a Dog from Climbing & Jumping a Fence

If you have a fence climber and jumper on your hands, I have some good news for you. Stopping your dog from climbing a fence is far easier than stopping your dog from digging under one. It takes lesser work on your part and less expenditure on potential products.

It’s important that you learn how to stop your dog from jumping the fence. If you don’t, they can severely injure themselves, escape, cause others harm, and get into a whole lot of trouble.

How to stop a dog from jumping the fence

They best way to prevent your dog from climbing fences is to first identify why they are trying to jump the fence in the first place.

How to stop a dog from climbing a fence? If you can solve the underlying issue for your dog fence jumping you can then work to remove anything that helps them in their escape, use gentle affirmative training, DIY fence guards, and adding trees to the perimeter of your fence may finally stop them from this dangerous habit.

There’s a lot more to it than that though, so here’s my step-by-step guide.

Technique 1: Why is your dog climbing the fence?

Like with all good dog training, sometimes the underlying cause is easier to fix than the behavior itself. Why is your dog actually attempting to climb or jump the fence?

I can assure you, it’s not your dog’s favorite past time. There will be an obvious underlying reason as to why they may try this great escape over the wooden fence or chain link fence.

1. Dogs jump fences when they want to get at something

My dog has a thing for the neighbor’s dog. I don’t know what it is, but he goes into a wild frenzy whenever he senses she is near. It could be the start of a wild love story or the grim tale of canines at war.

I am not entirely sure, and I don’t want to find out! But… my neighbor’s dog wants to jump the fence too and my dog is happy to try climb the fence to reciprocate the feelings.

To quell his lust or hatred, I obstructed the view out of the fence so that he can no longer see the object of his desire. Some owners use extra fencing or mesh screens to cover their garden fences.

I chose to use trees as they serve three functions:

  1. They completely cover the chain link fence.
  2. They make it more difficult to climb the fence by getting in the way.
  3. They make the garden look pretty… and that’s probably the best reason.
stop dog jumping chain link fence
Dogs will often climb fences because they want to get at something (Image via https://pixabay.com/photos/dog-puppy-collie-border-collie-2848295/)

2. Dogs jump fences when they are in heat

When you read the previous paragraph, you may have thought “oh your dog just needs to be neutered” to stop them climbing and jumping the fence.

But that’s the thing… he is neutered.

She may not be, and that is out of my control, but my dog has definitely been snipped.

If you have an unspayed or unneutered dog, you may find that they are more willing to attempt dangerous stunts to – erhm – spread the love with neighboring eligible partners.

By spaying or neutering, you will stop other dogs from riling them up too and visiting your backyard unannounced. There are many benefits to spaying or neutering your dog but do consult a professional veterinarian for their advice.

3. Dogs jump fences when they are bored

Maybe they are roaming in the backyard all day and climbing the fence just seemed like something novel to do. A new challenge. A way to make the time go faster.

I’m not in your dog’s head so I don’t know, but boredom can make your dog seek entertainment in unusual places – jumping a fence is sure going to get the adrenalin pumping as you can imagine.

If you suspect your dog is bored in the back yard and this is leading to them jumping the chain link fence, then try introducing garden toys and activities to keep their minds occupied.

An enthusiastic canine fence climber and jumper may appreciate an agility set to explore. You can buy dog agility sets on Amazon that will help to burn off some of your dog’s energy.

This set above is very complete with 28 pieces all geared to providing your dog a  full agility training experience. From the classic hoop to hurdles and pins, this set will be entertaining and tiring enough that they won’t want to attempt climbing the fence!

Technique 2: Remove anything that helps them climb the fence

This sounds like a no-brainer, but it may take some investigation.

You may not immediately be able to identify any objects near the fence that is helping your dog climb up and jump over the fence. You could be surprised if you observe them for a while.

It could be your garden waste bin or a small ledge at the base that gives them a leg up. Maybe at the corner of where the fences join, there is a place they are getting their footing to make the jump.

See what your dog is using around them to (literally) give them a leg up and take it out of the picture.

Handy Hint: Some dogs will try and get into the trash cans too. I’ve put a guide together on how to stop them getting into the trash here.

Technique 3: Say “no”

Just say no. The “no” command is extremely effective but only if you catch your dog in the act of jumping up and over the fence into your neighbor’s yard and garden.

Saying “no” after they have done the crime is completely superfluous. They won’t associate your disapproval with the right action. You have to catch them red-handed.

Now the way you say no is equally as important as when you say no.

Shouting rarely does much to teach your dog a lesson. Neither does a soft, sweet tone of voice as this sounds like you are rewarding them.

Channel your inner schoolteacher and say “no” with a calm but authoritative demeanor.

Put some bass in your voice.

As soon as your dog stops climbing a fence, reward them with vocal praise and perhaps a treat to reinforce that they did well.

Over time, this should help them to stop jumping the fence when you are around but rarely stops them from doing it entirely when you are gone. So, the other techniques in this article should work in tandem with vocal commands.

Technique 4: PVC Piping or Coyote Rollers

Coyote rollers are pieces of metal that folks put at the top of their fences to keep coyotes from climbing over. Essentially, when naughty paws reach the top of the fence and onto the roller, the metal spins, and they slip off.

It is worth noting that this is much more humane than spikes or barbed wire, but it is still negative reinforcement. I only recommend this if your dog is particularly stubborn and the other techniques here are not working.

Coyote rollers can be quite pricey, but you can make a DIY alternative with PVC piping.

All you need are some sturdy, thick PVC pieces and a smaller pipe to hang them from on the inside. By suspending the PVC over the top of the fence, you create the same rolling effect as with a coyote roller.

You can buy PVC piping pretty easily on Amazon or your local hardware store.

Technique 5: Invest in a playpen

If all else fails and your pup is persistent, you may want to consider crating to completely keep your dog form jumping fences. But a very specific type of crating.

Have you ever heard of dog playpens? Here’s one on Amazon with great reviews so you can see what I mean.

Dog playpens are larger than the traditional crate because they do a slightly different thing.

Crates are meant to be safe, secure cages that allow your dog to rest. It is intended as a kind of cozy sanctuary.

Playpens are large enclosures that have space for plenty of toys and treats.

Investing in an outdoor playpen for when your dog wants to play outside, but you’re afraid they’ll climb the fence, could be a decent solution.

It also comes back to that boredom issue. Filling your pup’s playpen with chew toys, treats and games will keep them entertained whilst unattended in the yard.

The one in the image above (click for prices) is the perfect example of a huge playpen with a fantastic amount of space. You can set it up into any space you want to best suit your garden and your dog. It has enough room to roam around and play without feeling claustrophobic.

Conclusion

If your dog gets into a frenzy every time they see the neighbor’s hound and scrambles to climb over the railings to reach them, I can imagine how frustrating it is to try and get them down.

As you will know, dogs aren’t naturally climbing animals with gripping claws like cats or raccoons, so they are much less skilled let’s say.

Climbing fences can lead your canine to broken bones, skin injuries, bruises, and even blunt force trauma. You need to stop them for their own safety.

Thankfully though, with a little perseverance and patience you too can learn how to keep a dog from jumping the fence – whether that a chain link fence, wooden, or belongs to a neighbor.

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Image in header via https://unsplash.com/photos/BXfDORGRUrI

Marc Aaron

I write about the things I've learned about owning a dog, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips I've picked up along the way.

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