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5 Simple Ways to Stop Your Dog From Climbing a Fence

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

dog fence

Most dogs love to spend their time outside. If they had it their way, they would be free and allowed to wander wherever their nose takes them. But letting your dog run loose outside is dangerous for them and your neighbors. Anything could happen! Unless they are hunting in the woods or living on hundreds of acres, dogs should always be on a leash or behind a fence when spending time outside.

But what do you do if your dog keeps climbing the fence and getting loose? It might be tempting to simply keep them indoors when you can’t be there to personally supervise them. If you can’t or don’t want to do that, the good news is that there are several things you can do to stop your dog from climbing over your fence so you don’t have to worry about them spending time alone in the yard. Here are six options to consider.Divider 8

Top 5 Ways to Stop Your Dog Climbing the Fence

1. Create a Second Barrier

Dog on a fence
Image credit: Dog on a fence by alihasadd25, Pixabay

Creating a second barrier around your yard is one effective way to stop your dog from climbing over the fence. The most expensive option is to build a second fence in front of or behind your current fence, leaving a couple of feet of space in between. The space can be used to grow dog-friendly plants and herbs, like lavender, that your dog can munch on as it grows through the openings of the fencing that is closest to the yard.

Another more affordable option is to grow bamboo, ferns, cactus, or a mixture of these in front of your fence so your dog can’t easily access the fence and climb over it. If you grow these things from seedlings, it can take time before they perform as an effective second barrier. If you’re willing to spend more money, you can invest in mature plants and enjoy an instant second barrier when they’re planted.

2. Incorporate Activities

dog and chainlink fence
Image: Pxfuel

Making sure that your dog has plenty of activities to engage with while spending time in the yard should help keep them from focusing on the fence and trying to get over it. They will be busy playing and having fun, not worried about what they may be missing out on beyond their contained area. There are many activities that you can incorporate into your yard, such as:

  • Swimming Pool: Simply buy a plastic kiddie pool, put it in the yard, and fill it up with water. Add a few dog toys for extra fun.
  • Sandbox: Dig a big hole in the ground or build a 4×6 box above ground, and fill the hole or box with sand to satisfy your dog’s natural instinct to dig and keep them distracted from the fence line.
  • Tetherball: Install a 4-foot metal post in your yard, then attach a short rope to the post. Hopefully, your dog will spend their time chasing and chewing on the rope tether rather than trying to get over your fence.

Another idea is to set up an agility course complete with a tunnel, weaving poles, and a jumping post that can be used as a playground when your pooch is spending time outdoors.

3. Consider Non-transparency

heavy duty dog cage
Image credit: Pranidchakan Boonrom, Pexels

If you have a see-through fence and your dog seems to climb over the fence whenever something on the other side, like a cat, catches their eye, you may be able to deter their fence-climbing behavior by covering the fence so it can’t be seen through. If your dog can’t see what’s going outside, they won’t be so tempted to get out of their fenced yard. You can have wooden planks installed on the fence to enclose it and keep your dog from seeing out.

You can hang canvas along the fence line to achieve the same effect, although it won’t be as natural-looking as wooden planks. However, you can have designs printed on the canvas or paint your own designs to give your fence personality and improve your property’s overall curb appeal, all while keeping your dog from wanting to escape.

4. Do Extra Training

Tips for Crate Training a Dog With Separation Anxiety
Photo credit: user698, Pixabay

You can also use training tactics to stop your dog from climbing the fence, even when you aren’t there to supervise them. But you will need to be there to do the training in the first place and to reinforce it. For a couple of weeks, you should follow whenever your dog heads outside to spend time in the yard. Every time that they show interest in the fence, use a firm yet loving voice to tell them “no” and redirect their attention to something that they can do in the yard.

Reward them with praise and positive reinforcement when they successfully turn their attention away from the fence. This will likely have to be done several times whenever you’re outside together, and the process can go on for a couple of weeks before your dog understands that they shouldn’t focus their attention on the fence at all, whether you are present or not.

5. Landscape the Exterior Parameter

Boodle poodle mix on fence
Image credit: Claudia Naerdemann, Shutterstock

Landscaping the exterior of your fence will create a distraction between the outside world and your yard, so cars, people, and other animals that pass by won’t catch the attention of your dog so easily. This way, they will be less likely to try and climb the fence and check the action out.

Any kind of foliage that will grow as tall as the fence should do the trick. Consider ornamental options such as hibiscus or gardenias. Pine trees would work too if you don’t mind raking the pine needles. Other options include bamboo, holly, and skip laurel.

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Our Final Thoughts

Getting your dog to stop climbing the fence will take work and dedication, no matter the tactics and techniques you choose to employ. But the work you put in will be well worth it once your dog finally learns how to stay in the yard. For the best results, it’s important to learn your dog’s habits and reasons for wanting to escape your fenced yard before choosing a method. What kind of dog are you trying to stop from climbing the fence, and what specific challenges have you experienced to date? Share those experiences with us in our comments section below!

Featured image credit: Sergio souza, Pexels

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