Pet Advice

My friend Betsy has a dog named Joanna that is great at climbing fences and can occasionally jump over them and get out!  It doesn’t happen that often, but she wanted some advice on how she could stop her dog from doing so.  I know Joanna isn’t the only dog that climbs fences, so I wanted to research the best way to stop dogs from this unwanted behavior.

As we know, most big dogs are good climbers and if they have a reason or motivation to jump over the fence, they will do so.  It could be simply a dog running by the backyard, a pile of tempting left over food outside the fence or your dog could simply be bored.  And once a dog figures out how to climb a fence, it can be hard to get him or her to stop, but it's not impossible.

Watch how your dog is getting out

Go inside your house and watch from the window. Is your dog sticking his claws into the wire fence in order to help get onto the top of the fence? Or is your dog using an object to leap onto and over the fence?  If your dog needs an object in order to help get onto the top of the fence, simply move it.

Make sure to also remove any items that a dog can use as an aid to climbing. Relocate dog houses, chairs, tables and other objects that give the dog a leg up when climbing a fence.

I promise.. I won’t jump!

Try to keep your dog in the yard for only short periods of time.

Keep the dog in the yard for short periods of time when you are at home and can supervise him or her.  Try not to keep your dog out for hours at a time as your dog will become bored and more likely to climb the fence.

Purchase a dog tie kit or harness

As cruel as this seems, you might need to purchase a dog tie kit or harness.  Whenever your dog is outside, even if you can supervise him, tie him by the harness to a stake or around a very solid tree. Eventually, when your dog is happy to stay in the yard, you can stop tying him up.  Your dog will come around and then you can let him or her run freely in the yard.

Praise your dog for good behavior

Praise your dog for staying in the yard and behaving, especially by playing with your dog in the yard.  Tell your dog ‘no’ sternly whenever you see your dog begin to climb the fence, but don't hit him. Make sure everyone in the family and visiting friends do not encourage the dog to climb.

Exercise and play with your dog more

A dog needs daily walks of at least a half hour, plus time to play in the yard. Some dogs even need two walks a day. If necessary, hire a pet sitter or dog walker to keep your dog active and exercised.  Keep dog toys and chew toys in the yard to make it more interesting and to keep the dog at home and away from the fence.  Try playing fetch with your dog and keep your pup active so he won’t be seeking other distractions.

Hope these tips help and your dog is happy to stay put in the yard!