Fence jumping is one of the most irritating, and dangerous, of all bad dog habits. Not only are jumping dogs a danger to themselves, they pose a threat to other people and pets in your neighborhood. Teach your dog not to jump to keep her safely in your yard.
Spay or neuter your dog to reduce jumping behavior. Unaltered dogs often escape in an attempt to satisfy hormonal urges, and spaying or neutering cuts down on the desire to roam.
Provide your dog with plenty of exercise. Dogs with pent-up energy are more likely to jump the fence and run around the neighborhood, so give your dog plenty of walks and play sessions to alleviate excess energy.
Teach the dog to leave objects alone on command. Place his favorite toy on the ground and ask the dog to sit at your side. Let the dog sniff the toy, and tell him “leave it” as soon as he reaches for it. Give him a treat when he turns his attention to you. Repeat this command until the dog immediately ignores an item when he hears you give the “leave it” command.
Allow the dog to explore the yard under supervision. As he approaches the fence, tell him to “leave it” in a loud, firm voice. Call the dog back to you, and reward him with a treat if he comes. This prevents the dog from getting close enough to jump the fence and teaches him that coming when called results in a treat.
Extend the height of the fence. Positive reinforcement is enough to keep many dogs from jumping, but a taller fence will contain even the most stubborn dog.
- If your dog still attempts to jump a taller fence, consider constructing an angled addition. These special additions angle the top of the fence 45 degrees toward the center of the yard, creating an overhang that makes the fence extremely difficult to jump.
- Don’t punish your dog if he escapes. Dogs have short memory retention, and he won’t understand why he’s being punished.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.