Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
Imagine you knew how to stop your German Shepherd from jumping over the fence to keep them safe.
How much better would your life look?
But right now, you’re stressed and worried and don’t know what to do.
There is only one solution: read on to learn the exact tips I used to prevent my German Shepherd from jumping over the fence that you can easily use today.
1. Remove their Escape Aids
Check your yard for anything that may aid your dog at escaping your fencing. Look for objects that could help your dog to scale the fence. Walk the perimeter of your yard to inspect for objects used for escape.
Are there any storage boxes, bushes, or trees that may allow your GSD to get a boost in their jump to scale high?
Are they sneaking into a corner and using something to help them over?
Do you have a shed, chairs or other items near the fence that make escape easier?
Remove or block off any of these escape aids to prevent jumping. These objects only encourage your German Shepherd to use them for scaling the fence. Your dog sees any object as a way to get a boost for their jumping habits.
2. Focus on Obedience Training to Prevent Unwanted Behaviors
Don’t worry if you haven’t started obedience training your dog – you can still begin today!
Obedience training helps maintain expectations of acceptable behavior that your dog learns to show you.
It also provides more control over a large German Shepherd. Paired with other options on this list, obedience training helps prevent unwanted behavior– like jumping your fence.
Follow this helpful guide where you can learn how to quickly train your German Shepherd. It’s free and will tell you everything you need to raise an obedient companion.
3. Offer Them The Right Mental Stimulation
Your dog may jump your fence because they’re bored and under-stimulated.
A well-behaved German Shepherd gets ample and mental stimulation.
They rarely have a reason or inclination to jump fences.
Dogs who lack stimulation mentally search for new experiences outside their fence, such as interesting people, animals, or places to explore.
Letting your dog in the backyard isn’t a form of mental stimulation when this is their daily routine. Your active GSD still needs plenty of mental exercises to keep their highly intelligent minds satisfied.
Are you meeting your dog’s physical needs?
Do you know what activities GSDs like?
Is there enough variety of mental stimulation to keep your dog’s mind happy?
What ways do you meet their physical and mental demands that you can improve?
It’s easier than you think to make the most of your GSD’s intelligent brain using the right information.
Your German Shepherd needs at least 2 hours of physical activity daily.
This doesn’t mean a casual stroll around the neighborhood either!
Physical activity raises your dog’s heart rate and breathing and meets their primal need to move. This can include many different activities, such as jogging, running, swimming, or other fun games.
Do you let your German Shepherd in your backyard for their physical activity? Sadly, most dogs just lie around without human interaction. And barking at the neighbors and birds isn’t going to keep your dog fit and physically satisfied.
Some fences are too short for an athletic, agile German Shepherd. They can easily scale a 4 to a 5-foot fence, and I know some GSDs to jump as high as 10 feet.
At the minimum, install a fence that is 6 to 7 feet high.
If your dog still escapes this height, then consider adding on chicken wire to the top of the fence as another obstacle.
Some owners find success when they build a wooden L-shape piece that attaches by the short side of the “L” to the fence. This makes a protrusion that juts out toward the interior of your yard and discourages your dog from scaling the fence.
This is sometimes too costly of an option for owners, so check out your local hardware store for pricing on chicken wire.
6. Block Your Dog’s View from Temptations
If you have any gaps in your fence or a chain-link fence, then install panels to restrict and block your dog’s view. Sometimes dogs escape because they see an object they want to chase, such as a cat or jogger.
Don’t give your dog the opportunity to see what’s on the other side of the fence and become interested in it. Install reed fencing panels to your fence. Reed fencing comes in various heights, so this may also help solve a short fence issue by extending the height of your current fence.
You may find that large plastic panels sold at building supply stores, although unsightly, are useful as a deterrent. Adding on hardware to the panels to attach them to your fence not only blocks your dog’s view but also makes a slick surface difficult to scale.
This prevents your dog from getting a solid footing to jump high enough over the fencing.
7. Make the Yard a Pleasing Retreat
It helps to keep your dog in your yard when they feel comfortable, happy, and satisfied with their outdoor living space. Create a space that your dog loves to be in!
Here are some fun yard ideas:
Offer them a kiddie pool in the summer to cool off.
Provide toys that keep your dog busy and use treats to entice them to stay inside the yard.
Hide some tasty treats or toys in the backyard so your dog must hunt for them.
Give them a fun food dispensing toy with special, flavorful smelling treats in it.
Play with them in the backyard often. Don’t simply let them outside unsupervised for hours at a time or they become inclined to make their own fun by escaping.
How to Stop Your German Shepherd From Jumping Over Fences with Corrections
When your dog is outdoors, supervise them.
Don’t leave them alone and allow them to make the mistake of jumping. Use the time outdoors with them to work on correcting their behavior.
How to Teach Your Dog to Not Jump Over the Fence
First, attach your dog to a long leash so they have plenty of space to roam and move in your yard.
Allow them to walk and sniff in the yard and when they are within a few feet of the fence give a firm, “No”.
They will most likely walk away from the fence. When they do walk away, reward them with a small treat.
Allow them to continue to smell and sniff in the yard. But when they are within a few feet of the fence give another firm, “No”.
Keep practicing this exercise with your dog on the long leash every day. Aim for 5 to 10 quick sessions daily.
This training takes weeks or even months.
Continue to leash your dog and go outdoors with them until they’re trained.
Watch closely for any body language that shows they are even thinking about jumping.
Do they look up and take a running start for a leap?
Do they look for items to climb on to help them over?
Are they crouching down their back end to begin a power jump?
Learn to recognize their body language to help you speed up your training.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t work with all dogs. Use the following techniques if you can’t watch your dog all the time.
Find the Underlying Cause of Your German Shepherd’s Fence Jumping
Dogs jump fences for many reasons.
If you first find the reason, you’ll have a higher success in preventing future escapes.
Some reasons your dog might try to escape:
They see a cat, squirrel, or other animals they want to hunt and chase.
They see a person or dog they want to meet and greet.
They may have boredom and go looking for adventure.
They may suffer from separation anxiety and try to escape to find you.
They can find it scary to stay outside alone, especially during bad weather.
They may seek to find a mate, especially if they’re left intact.
They might hear a noise they want to investigate.
They are physically understimulated.
It’s fun for them and self-rewarding since they get to run outside!
It’s important to figure out the underlying cause of your dog’s jumping behavior. Generally, it’s not as simple as just saying your dog likes to jump the fence.
Instead, there is a deeper cause that you can address and fix. Knowing why your dog jumps over a fence is the first step to stopping the fence jumping issue.
How to Stop German Shepherd Fence Jumping
It’s best to learn how to stop a German Shepherd from jumping over the fence by preventing the issue to start. Once your dog learns to escape, it takes much more time and training to break the habit.
When you’re at home, spend time in the yard with your dog enjoying activities together. Don’t just leave them outside to become bored and leave them to find their own fun.
Play with your dog, groom them, pet them, do some basic training and occasionally just lie in the grass with them enjoying the day.
The Humane Society of the United States says that positive training is paramount to a well-behaved dog.
Now listen closely…
You, too, can learn scientifically-proven positive training in the comfort of your own home by reading my Brain Training for Dogs Review. It’s the same positive training program I used to improve my German Shepherd’s behavior.
Catherine Krasavin owns Shepherd Sense, a dog website aimed at German Shepherd owners and lovers. She has a Bachelor of Science degree, with Honors, and has been training dogs for over a decade. Catherine’s currently attending continuing education courses to keep up with the latest in animal science, as well as earning her diploma in dog training. She owns a plush coat German Shepherd who was awarded Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Gold Award - the highest level of achievement.
You need German Shepherd training to get the best behavior from your dog and enjoy a happy life with them. Read these posts to find out what type of German Shepherd training works the best for your breed.
Your German Shepherd’s health, as well as your dog’s specific breed history, contributes to their overall life span. These posts will help you become aware of your dog’s health problems and how to help solve or improve them.