There is nothing better than watching your German Shepherd leap through a field full of crops. Seeing that super excited face bounding around is one of the best sights you can share with your German Shepherd but reverse that scenario to your yard and the sight of your German Shepherd jumping at the fence call fill you with nerves and dread.
So just how high can a German Shepherd Jump? The Answer – The average German Shepherd can jump between 4ft-6ft high (1.2m-1.8m) however some have been know to jump up to 10ft (3m) in the air. Traditionally being a working breed German Shepherd’s have incredibly powerful hind legs allowing them to spring into the air.
Let us examine why German Shepherd’s jump and what we can do to stop it.
Why do German Shepherd’s Jump Fences?
Now we know how high your German Shepherd can jump we now need to understand why. Knowing why your German Shepherd is jumping over your fence can help you to fix the cause of the problem and not just the symptom of the problem. There are four main reasons German Shepherd’s jump fences:
The most common reason German Shepherds jump the fence is boredom. German Shepherds are a working breed by nature and as such need lots of stimulation. If you’re not spending enough time walking and training your dog it is going to get bored.
- Outside Stimulus
An offshoot of boredom. If there is a fun looking cat, squirrel, rabbit, child, skateboard (the list is endless) then your German Shepherd is going to want to investigate. This will again often be as the result of lack of stimulation through either walks or training.
If your German Shepherd suffers from anxiety and are prone to panic in difficult situations be that separation, thunder, loud noises, or any other reason then they may look to break free. Anxiety in a really difficult behavioural challenge and will often require medication to help calm your GSD.
- Male Instincts
With a larger number of owners choosing not the neuter male German Shepherds straight away the animal instincts can kick in and your dog can make a bid for freedom looking for a mate.
How can I stop my German Shepherd jumping fences?
We have looked at how high a German Shepherd can jump and Why German Shepherds may choose to jump. Let us now turn our attention to remedying the unwanted behaviour.
If your GSD escapes when you leave him in the yard, never let him be alone, it’s just not worth the risk, even if it is only for a quick pit-stop make sure you are there with your GSD. If your presence in the yard does not curb their Houdini instincts, then using a long line until you are able to find a cure would be advised. Naturally, you don’t want to have to stand outside with your dog every time they have to go out so let’s look at some of the training options available to owners.
Naturally the best way to stop your German Shepherd from jumping the fence is to train it not to but we all know training is harder said than done. We would recommend checking out our TRAINING SECTION or Youtube first of all for free resources that may well help. If neither of these do the trick we highly recommend Adrienne Farricelli’s “Brain Training For Dogs”. For more information check out or Review of her programme HERE
German Shepherds are active dogs. They need at least a 45minute walk every day (Check out our Breed guide for more info). If you’re not taking your GSD out for their walk and burning off some of that energy, they are going to look for stimulation elsewhere.
- Move jumping aids
If you have anything in your yard that can aid your German Shepherd in their escape (plant pots, doghouse, bins) then move whatever they are using away from the fence. If you are lucky this simple change will be the cure to the problem.
- Have them neutered
As we mentioned earlier if your male German Shepherd has not been neutered this can often be a reason for him jumping the fence. Having him neutered will in most cases stop him from trying to spread his seed to the bitches in the neighbourhood. Neutering can also reduce the risk of some illnesses and diseases, so it is highly recommended to neuter if you have no plans on breeding your GSD.
If all else fails, the fence needs to change
If you’ve tried all of the methods above and still your GSD still seems hellbent on freedom, then we would recommend looking at fence options. There is one further option that can be added to the fence that may stop you from having to splash the cash on a completely new fence. This option is a Coyote Rollers – A coyote roller is a tube that is designed to keep Coyote’s out of yards however they are incredibly effective at keeping German Shepherds in. They can be bought from most fence companies in your state or here from amazon.
If you do decide to buy a brand new fence then there are a couple of things to consider –
- Don’t extend your current fence
Your German Shepherd has already scaled the fence numerous times, if you keep the same fence but extend it they may well see this as a challenge and attempt to escape more than before. If possible look to replace your fence completely.
- Ensure the fence is 6ft high.
As we discussed in our ‘Complete Breed Guide’ the average German Shepherds maximum jump high is 6ft high. If you decide to change your fence ensure you use a fence tall enough to be able to stop your GSD from escaping. A 6ft high fence should do the trick although if you can go higher then do.
- Make the fence climb proof
When you replace the fence look at the materials you are going to be using. We would recommend looking for a quality wood or composite style fence. If possible, try and avoid chain-link as most German Shepherds can use this to assist their jumping.
- Try and avoid a wireless fence
A wireless fence has it’s advantages in certain situations and can be a good addition to the home but not in this case. If your dog is determined to leave the property a small shock as they move through the wireless fence isn’t going to be enough to stop them.
Your German Shepherd jumping the fence is a nerve-wracking experience but as we’ve shown there are plenty of tools as a dog owner we can use to help take control of the situation. Exercise and Training as with many behavioral problems are the best option to help curb this behavior.