If you have a dog who constantly tries (or even succeeds!) to climb your fence, then you can have a real problem on your hands.
If your dog regularly escapes, there’s no knowing what kind of trouble they could land themselves in, so it’s important to do something about this as soon as possible.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to nip this behavior in the bud and ultimately keep your dog safe from any harm that may come to them during their escape/climbing attempt.
So, let’s start by taking a closer look into why your dog may be climbing the fence in the first place, along with some of the things you can do about it.
The first thing to consider is the reasons why your dog is trying to climb the fence.
Is your dog lonely? They could be trying to escape to reduce the feeling of social isolation. Are they scared of something at home? They might be trying to get away due to fear. Is your dog bored or restless? Perhaps they just want some entertainment or exercise.
Discovering the reason is an important step because this will have an impact on which solution is the most appropriate and effective.
Finding The Trigger
If this behavior has only started recently, it’s worth taking the time to identify the “trigger” which has caused the behavior.
Has a new dog moved in across the street and your dog wants to know him or her better? Are your neighbor’s garbage cans making your dog curious? Changes in the environment may be appealing to your dog, and these changes can motivate them to investigate further.
Removing The Motivation
Hopefully, after some pondering of the situation, you’ll have a general idea about the reasons why your dog is trying to climb the fence. If this is the case, one of the easiest ways to stop the problem is to remove the temptation that’s motivating the behavior.
If you’re lucky, this may be as simple as moving a trash can or giving your dog a new chew toy to occupy their attention.
But most of the time, you’re going to have to make some bigger changes. If there’s something attracting your dog outside, then making your yard a more appealing place for your dog is a wise move.
This means a comfortable bed, fun toys, and some company – especially if your dog is feeling isolated.
Additionally, it may be worth blocking any holes in the fence which your dog can see through. If your dog can’t “see” the thing they want, then they’re going to be less inclined to jump the fence to find it.
Do You Need A New Fence?
If all else fails, you may need to consider getting a new fence. The simple truth is that some types of fence are easier to climb than others, so if you have a different “type”, your dog may be forced to quit the behavior simply due to the sheer impracticality of scaling your new fence.
Make sure you pick something that’s high enough to reduce the chances of climbing. Equally, it needs to be safe and free of any hazards that could hurt your dog, so anything spiky or pointy is totally out of the question.
There are a few specialist fence types which are designed specifically to stop dogs climbing on them and escaping. These can be useful if you have a very persistent dog with climbing as a hobby.
Don’t Punish Your Dog Needlessly
While it can be tempting to lose your temper and become frustrated with a dog who continually climbs a fence and escapes, punishing them is never a good idea.
If your dog gets the best of you and manages to climb the fence, then any strong reaction is only going to be interpreted as a “reward” for the behavior – because they’re getting your attention – which is something they will usually enjoy.
The answer is to calmly collect your dog and not make a big deal about it while your dog is around to observe you.
If you really want to stop the behavior, you need to make the appropriate changes to remove the temptation and make it impossible to climb your fence in the first place. Ultimately, this will be the best move forward in most situations.