How to Stop a Dog From Jumping or Climbing the Fence

Last Updated: June 9, 2024

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Dog jumping over the fence
Dog jumping over the fence

You would think that a tall fence would be enough to stop a dog from getting through to the other side. However, some dogs are determined escape artists! Many breeds are fully capable of scaling fences or digging tunnels to overcome barriers.

If you have a mischievous dog with a penchant for escaping, you need to take proper measures to secure them.

It isn't just a matter of inconvenience.

Dogs can get into a lot of trouble when they are beyond the confines of your backyard! They could run into traffic, get injured, wreak havoc in your neighbor's yard, get caught by animal control, or worse.

So, what are you supposed to do?

8 Dog Jumping Fence Solutions

If your dog is athletic enough to scale a fence, you have to get creative with your preventative measures. Dogs are cunning creatures that will take every opportunity they can to get to the other side of that barrier! 

Luckily, there are many ways to put a stop to the behavior.

1. Install Top Railings

Top railings are like upside-down L-shaped footers. They attach to the top of the fence line and angle inward, creating a barrier that stops strong dogs from leaping over.

Top railing on fence to prevent dog from jumping over

You can use premade metal railing or fashion your own out of wood and wire. The key here is to angle the fence so that it's pointing back into your yard.

If you were to install a straight or outwardly curved railing, it would only assist your dog in their escape attempts.

This design looks similar to what you would see on prison fences. Don't worry! There are plenty of great designs out there for a more inviting look.

Top railings are incredibly effective and can do a lot to stop even the most determined dog from jumping the fence.

2. Rollers and PVC Piping

dog fence roller

Here's a trick that you can easily DIY yourself. Rollers are very common around the world. They attach to the top of the fence line much like a railing. 

But the key difference here is the accessory rolls anytime an animal tries to climb it.

Rollers are specifically made to stop coyotes from entering your property, so they will work just fine on any domesticated canine!

If you want similar benefits without a ton of additional costs, use PVC pipes! A 5-inch pipe is more than enough to stop dogs. Even if it doesn't roll, the slick surface will prevent your dog from getting any traction as they climb.

Whatever you use, this technique is particularly effective on chain link fences. However, you can also use it on stone or wood fences.

3. Clever Landscaping

Good landscaping is about so much more than looks! Large trees and shrubs will prevent your dog from finding a path to the fence. Utilize thick plants that create enough distance to stop your dog from even getting close to the fence.

Of course, determined dogs may ignore your landscaping completely and go for it anyway! For this reason, it's best to use established plants with a strong root system.

Avoid using rocks if jumping is the problem. Large rocks and boulders will only serve as a jumping platform.

4. Adding a Secondary Fence

double fence

Have you ever seen your dog successfully jump over your fence? Chances are, they could only do it because they got a good running start.

You can use that behavior to your advantage and install a second fence outside the main one.

Leave several feet of space between the two fences. There should be enough room for your dog to land safely without immediately jumping over to the next fence. But, the space should be restricted so that your dog can't perform a "run and jump!"

5. Use an Invisible Fence

Many think that invisible fences are only for properties that can't have a physical fence. That's not the case at all! In fact, invisible fences complement real fences very well.

Invisible fences utilize buried wires that communicate with a special collar. Some models also work on wireless radio frequencies and don't rely on wires. Either way, they both work the same.

When your dog nears the perimeter, the collar beeps to warn them. You can also find models that give your dog a spritz or a shock. Though, we always recommend going with a beeping model. These systems are valuable training tools that can teach your dog his or her boundaries.

Universal Solutions

Dogs can be highly opportunistic. One of the biggest reasons dogs jump the fence is because there's something on the other side that they want to get to!

To combat those urges, there are some things you can do to make your backyard more dog-friendly. These solutions apply to all types of boundaries and escape techniques.

6. Choose Your Fence Design Carefully

Some fences are far easier to get over or under than others. Not only that, but the core design of the barrier could appeal to cunning canines.

dog looking over the fence

Height is one of the easiest factors that you can control. Needless to say, taller fences are always better.

Take a look at your municipal laws and any homeowners-association guidelines you have to comply with. Then, choose the tallest fence you can get!

You should also pay attention to the material and overall slat design. Thin lattice and chainlink fences are some of the easiest to get over and under! They feature footholds that your dog can use to climb. Plus, the structural integrity of those fences is no match for a strong dog.

Stick to solid fences with smooth, unscalable walls. The right design can do a lot to keep dogs in.

7. Block Your Dog's View

Speaking of design, avoid anything your dog can see through! If your pup can't see people, cars, and other animals on the other side, they'll be less inclined to attempt escape.

Install fences that are solid and have few gaps. If there are any holes or rough patches on your existing fence, patch them up immediately.

You'll be surprised by how much of a difference blocking your pup's view will make.

8. Keep Your Yard Clean

Last, but not least, keep your yard clean. More importantly, keep the fence line clean. Many homeowners have a knack for setting things close to the fence or leaning items against it.

Avoid doing this at all costs! Trashcans, benches, and even pots can give your dog the boost they need to jump over the fence.

Addressing the Root of the Problem

All of the methods we've gone over can do a lot to keep your pooch contained and safe. That said, it's not going to stop your dog from trying.

They may learn that their attempts are fruitless, but many will still try to escape if they spot an opening.

The best way to stop a dog from jumping or climbing your fence is to address the reason why they're trying in the first place.

Good fence design will remove their instincts to explore things on the other side. But some behavioral modification will eliminate their need to escape altogether.

Provide Plenty of Things to Do

If you had to guess, what's one of the biggest reasons dogs jumping against fence walls to escape? Chances are, it's because they're bored!

Canines need constant stimulation to stave off bad behavior. Some breeds will do fine with lounging. But even those dogs need to have some fun every once in a while! As they say: A busy dog is a well-behaved dog!

Consider giving your dog more things to do in your yard. Spend some time with them and have some one-on-one fun! If you can't do that, install dog-specific recreational activities.

You could buy a dog swimming pool, build a dog run, install some obstacle courses, and more. The possibilities are endless. If you want to keep things simple, just pick up an automatic ball thrower and provide plenty of toys!

When your dog has plenty to do, that urge to explore unchartered territory goes away.

Limit Exposure to Small Animals

Ever watch your dog try to chase a squirrel through the yard? It's an exciting event! Most pups aren't going to let a measly fence get in the way of their prey drive!

It's impossible to eliminate all wildlife from your yard. There's still going to be squirrels and birds around. But, you can do your part to make your property a little less enticing to those critters. Remove bird baths and houses. Then, use some natural small animal deterrents.

You don't have to limit your dog's exposure when you're out on walks. However, getting rid of backyard intruders can stop your pup from trying to escape as they chase after them.

Related: Handling Your Dog’s High Prey Drive

Wear Them Out

If all else fails, tire your dog out!

Restlessness and pent-up energy always lead to bad behavior. Your dog has to get that energy out somehow! If your yard isn't big enough for your pooch to zoom around, you'll need to help them get that exercise fit elsewhere.

Take longer walks and spend some time participating in rigorous play! When they're tuckered out, attempting to climb the fence suddenly isn't as enticing as it was earlier.

Give Them Companionship

Oftentimes, single dogs want nothing more than to play with others. They might sense another dog or human on the other side of the fence.

While a good fence stops them from seeing others, it won't prevent them from hearing or smelling would-be play companions!

If you want to remove that urge, get your pup a companion! This doesn't mean you have to adopt another dog if you're not ready. You can invite a friend's dog over, hire a dogsitter, or spend some more time with them yourself.

Your pooch will have all the companionship they need inside your yard, so why try to get on the other side of the fence to find it?


Here's the most important trick that we can provide. You should always take the steps to train your dog not to jump over the fence.

Earlier, we talked about using invisible fences for training. Those systems can work wonders. But, so can basic training commands.

Before you let your dog explore the backyard, make sure that they understand the basics. They should be able to come to you when called and sit down on command. Those commands can prove to be useful if you ever spot your dog attempting to climb over the fence.

More complex training techniques are available, too. But at the end of the day, the goal is to simply teach them that jumping and climbing is bad.

It sounds complicated, but sending that message is not as difficult as many think. It's all about positive reinforcement and staying on top of your dog's behavior. 

Consider contacting a professional trainer if you have any troubles.


Dealing with escape attempts can be a nightmare. They're not something you should take lightly. Millions of dogs get lost every year after escaping a seemingly secure yard.

If you want your pooch to stay safe, adopt some of these preventative measures.

Make the necessary changes you need to keep your dog contained. Stick to your training and do everything you can to put a stop to jumping or climbing.

Once you address the problem, you can rest easy knowing that your canine companion is right where you left them!

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About the author 


Steve is a writer with over 10 years of experience in dog training and nutritiion.

His goal is to educate dog owners about the ins and outs of canine behavior as well as keeping up with the latest scientific research in the field.