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5 Reasons Why German Shepherds Jump Over Fences (and How to Stop It)

It’s every dog parent’s worst nightmare: you discover your beloved pet has jumped over the fence and is now running wild through the neighborhood. You’re worried sick that he could be lost for good, or worse, possibly injured.

The first step to preventing potential escapes is understanding your German Shepherd’s reasoning for leaving the safety of his backyard.

Oftentimes, dogs will jump fences for five simple reasons:
  • They see a person or animal they want to meet, greet, or chase
  • They’re bored and in need of a new adventure
  • They have separation anxiety and go looking for you
  • They are physically under-stimulated
  • They’re scared and seeking immediate relief

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Now that you better understand your pet’s motivation to jump the fence, let’s explore some ways you can prevent him from doing it again.

1. Remove All Escape Aids

german shepherd leaning over the fence
Image Credit: Nate Tribbs, Pixabay

German Shepherds are super smart dogs and sometimes, their intelligence can get the better of them. If your dog found a box or tree that can help him clear the fence, he’ll definitely take full advantage of that aid. Be sure to walk the perimeter of your yard and look for anything that your pooch could use as a launch-pad for scaling the fence. Keep an eye out for storage boxes, stumps, chairs, and even a small shed.

If your fence is on the smaller side, consider raising it. Fences should be at least six to seven feet tall to sufficiently keep large dogs inside.

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2. Board It Up

german shepherd looking outside the chain link fence
Image Credit: andr74b, Pixabay

Sometimes, the way out is not over, but through. Routinely inspect your fence for holes or broken boards. If you see any damage, repair it immediately. If your dog is digging under the fence, quickly fill in the hole to prevent potential escapes.

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3. Mental and Physical Stimulation

german shepherd playing frisbee at the garden
Image Credit: kscholl, Pixabay

German Shepherds need plenty of physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. If your pet is lacking in either, he’ll try and find his own fun, including jumping the fence. Exercise your dog for at least an hour per day. If you work a lot, hire a dog walker or enroll your pup in a doggy daycare. Provide him with interactive and challenging toys, such as puppy puzzles. If he has tons of engagement at home, your pet won’t go looking for it on the other side of the fence.

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4. Block His Views

wooden fence
Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

If you have a chain-link fence, install panels to restrict your German Shepherd’s view. Sometimes your dog’s reason for jumping the fence is as simple as wanting to chase an animal or person on the other side. If you block the view, you’ll also block out any temptations.

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5. Make the Yard a Puppy Paradise

german shepherd puppy playing with a rope toy
Image Credit: Jim Sluder, Pixabay

If you create a backyard oasis for your dog where he feels safe and satisfied, he’ll never want to leave! Provide your dog with tons of chew toys and treats via a food dispensary, set up a kiddie pool on hot summer days, and build him a shelter where he’ll feel comfortable and secure.

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Additional Tips

Other tips for preventing fence jumping include:
  • Investing in an overhead trolley exerciser to exercise your dog outside while prohibiting him from running freely
  • Knowing his body language that shows he’s considering taking the leap, including crouching down his back end to get enough power to jump
  • Hiring a professional dog trainer to teach your dog not to jump over the fence
  • Hiring a dog sitter if you work long hours to prevent separation anxiety

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Final Thoughts

As a responsible dog owner, you should always micro-chip your German Shepherd and ensure he is wearing a collar with ID tags. This will help him successfully find his way back to you should he escape.

To prevent your pet from scaling the fence, remove jumping aids, provide him with plenty of mental and physical stimulation, and block his views.

By providing your German Shepherd with a comfortable and satisfying backyard that is securely contained, he’ll never try to jump the fence again!

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Featured Image Credit: Photodigitaal.nl, Shutterstock