How do I train to NOT jump over the fence? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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How do I train to NOT jump over the fence?

Still three weeks away from bringing my puppy home....but I have a serious question that I need help with...for my husband's peace of mind, if nothing else. I'll try to keep this brief while still providing enough info to help find answers.

I'm hoping to train and work my dog in IPO, or some similar sport. Most likely IPO, but I'm open to other things if that turns out to not be the best fit. Ultimately though, most sports involve jumping and scaling walls. Wooden walls.

Our back yard has the typical 6' wooden privacy fence. This is a fence that is shared with neighbors and the entire 'hood is fenced the same way, so they need to be consistent (in other words, an 8' fence or "toppers" to make it taller are not an option).

My husband had a GSD growing up. When my hubby was a teenager, his dog jumped over their back fence (a 6' wooden privacy fence) and got caught up...either by collar or lead, I'm not sure. The poor dog died by hanging.

I'm learning now that this fence thing is a deeply emotional issue for my husband. Hubby's parents suggested things like shock collars and electrical lines run along the top of the fence to deter my dog from jumping. Ummm....just....no.

She'll just be a baby when we get her. We've got time to figure this out....but there's an irrational emotional impulse from hubby that is making it difficult to even talk about the issue. It might help if I have some solid tips and info on how to train her to NOT jump the fence (while still maintaining the drive and will to jump wooden walls in competition).

Thoughts??

-- Judy

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 08:19 PM
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Here's my experience --- my IPO dogs scale the wall and jump the hurdle. They do not jump my fences === I've had chain link, privacy fence and farm fence ("woven wire"). My dogs rarely cross an open gate unless they are on lead because that's how we work here. We walk the perimeter daily right past the gate. When we go out the gate for a walk down the road, dogs are on lead.



I had one guy I got as a 2 yo (appeared in my backyard with injuries - was owner surrendered to me, the sucker who paid the vet bills) was a bit of an escapee type. I had him out on a trolly while I walked my other dog. He scaled a 6 ft chain link fence --- Fortunately he was wearing a harness and just dangled there until I rescued him ---- he was much more circumspect about fences after that. With him, the key was routine exercise - regular walks, a bit of obedience training tossed in and one long walk a week.


From my experience, I would say the key is regular "work" of some sort. And those jumps are on command (although both IPO dogs would volunteer it if the equipment was present.



If you want to look at physical stuff, consider the "coyote roller" type of fencing along the very top. Another thing would be an inward facing baffle at or near the top of the fence. And then three is - be outside with your dog --- Work your dog.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all that. I'm confident that being with her constantly, working with her, establishing very specific routines about accessing and exiting the yard and keeping jumping work completely separate and on demand.....I feel comfortable that all that will keep her as safe as can be expected. But that's all too vague for my husband.

I did mention installing a roller along the top of the fence. He was highly skeptical. SMH

In almost all areas of life, he is an extremely rational and logical being....but on a few things, deep-seated emotions take over and I don't know how to break through that and convince him our dog will be safe in her own back yard. NOT that I plan to leave her out there anyhow...she'll live in the house with us and I'll be with her as much as is reasonably possible....but sometimes its necessary in a dog's life to give them some free time in the yard.

The more I think through this, the more I realized I worded my original post wrong. This is more of a human-training question than a dog-training one. What I need are lots of anecdotes from folks that have working (jumping) dogs that don't go jumping fences just because they're there. (So, thank you for that, middleofnowhere!)

-- Judy

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 10:08 PM
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There are collars designed to separate / break away to avoid hanging:

https://www.amazon.com.au/KeepSafe-B...2C+Deep+Purple
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 10:52 PM
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I use the KeepSafe break-away collars on my dogs. They're designed for exactly this risk -- as well as getting caught on porch fence boards with tags, or play accidents with other dogs that can cause accidental strangulation if one dog's jaw gets wrapped in the other dog's collar during rough-housing. Here's the company's website and story:
About Us: Chinook & Co.

The only downside with young dogs is once they learn they can snap them off, it becomes a tug toy between two dogs, and you'll go through destroyed collars. They used to replace them for me at wholesale cost because we had so many replacement collars for multiple dogs! But I'd rather replace a collar than a dog.


You also have to learn to grab both D rings if you are trying to hold back a dog at a doorway or something -- if you just grab the collar, it snaps open, as designed. This sort of collar should solve your DH's concern about hanging though -- this is EXACTLY what they're designed to protect against.


All this being said...I do know of one GSD that was impaled trying to jump a fence. She didn't survive. It was a freak accident. So it *can* happen. It's just exceedingly rare. Maybe it matters that she was an outside dog with a neglectful owner who rarely gave her attention, so the dog was lonely and bored? I don't know. It was a sad situation. Maybe the lesson is don't leave your dog outside alone with jumpable fences?
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 10:52 PM
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Hmmm... not sure why you would have a dog tethered in a yard with a six foot fence. Letting your dog loose in the yard is one way to solve any hanging issues. I doubt most GSDs would jump a fence full well knowing that they can. They are a most loyal breed and are content to stay at home as a rule.

I have intact males and females and my neighbors have intact male and female dogs as well...and my neighbors are very close. It is a non issue. I have no doubt that my dogs can clear my back gate quite easily (I have seen them jump much higher) or dig out or even possibly escape my gated driveway. Some of my dogs have gotten out when I am on the other side of the fence galavanting the neighborhood nearby and have immediately sought me out but they have no interest in getting out when I am home. On a few occasions other people have even left my front gate open without my knowledge and I have left my dogs in and out the back door and they never stepped a foot out of a wide open front gate, all without training.

I think your best solution would be to try to figure out just why a dog that you raised from a puppy would be willing to jump your fence and leave. I am sure it happens but from my experience, it is not expected behavior.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MineAreWorkingline View Post
I think your best solution would be to try to figure out just why a dog that you raised from a puppy would be willing to jump your fence and leave. I am sure it happens but from my experience, it is not expected behavior.
Well, this happened back in the early 80's. I get what you're saying, but I don't think grilling my husband on his parents' 70's-era dog-raising techniques is gonna help much in this case.

I'll definitely share the KeepSafe collar idea with him. Our fence also won't have the pickets at the top like they did back in the olden days, so there's nothing really pointed to catch on.

I'm just looking for ways to help sooth an old childhood trauma that I did not realize had so deeply affected my husband.

-- Judy

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 11:42 PM
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I never leave my dogs outside unattended. They are allowed to go out to potty and come right back in. Otherwise, I am out there with them. Bad stuff happens fast.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 12:04 AM
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I would not let loose dogs unattended for long periods of time in yard especially if they are protective of their property. I make sure I am in viewing or ear distance where I know they can get to enjoy patrolling and running around their property but do not have to be outside with them. I think one dog especially a adolescent can get more bored and into more trouble then say two or more. I have to watch my little chihuahua who is no explorerer by any means will on occassion want to slip underneath the space between the fence. Most of the time the shepherds will eyeball me and let me know.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 06:28 AM
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Dogs can learn context. Just because they learn to climb or jump for a sport doesn't mean they will jump or climb the fence. My two respect our fence. It is a 5 ft chain link fence. I've had people say, "they could climb over that" and I answer, "yes, but don't tell them that!". Mine could also undo the latches but don't. I think, for the most part, they don't have the motivation to figure out how to escape the fence. Great stuff goes on in the yard! Why leave. In fact, my gal loves walks but wants to hurry back to the yard where she can be off leash and play fetch.

If you end up adopting an adult dog who has learned to climb a fence, open a gate and enjoys free roaming it will be tougher. Coyote rollers might help. Not sure of a HOA would allow them. Some people install an electric fence inside a physical fence. For diggers you could put concrete into the ground under the fence or concrete stepping stones lining the inside boarder of the fence. Latches would have to be locked or have a security pin. Gaps under a fence can be squeezed through. I watched my son's husky mix squeeze under a gate that I thought would have been impossible. I was glad my dogs didn't see him do it. They learn from watching each other and I didn't want them to even think it was possible.

For collars, mine have bare necks when they are out in the yard. They are micro-chipped. I also never let them out if I cannot keep an eye on them. I'm either in the yard with them or I can see and hear them from the house or in the more secure back yard that has no access to public space. I never leave them outdoors when I am not home and keeping watch. I have also had a pup get caught up on some stairs while we weren't home. We learn from our mistakes and take measures to keep our dogs safe. It is all we can do.
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