The German Shepherd is renowned primarily for its trainability and intelligence. However, it is also incredibly athletic, powerful, and muscular.
This is what makes the breed such a force in professions like law enforcement and the military. The GSD can scale a wall and jump astonishingly high when properly trained. How high can German Shepherds jump, though?
If you’ve ever witnessed a German Shepherd in action, you are aware of its speed and strength. They are outstanding canines capable of apprehending and locating criminals in law enforcement because of their endurance and quickness.
They can be trained in a variety of activities, including agility drills and dock diving, both of which call for long, powerful jumps.
How High Can German Shepherds Jump?
Now let’s get to the question at hand, and then we will move on to more details, covering the reasons how and why they do it, as well as some tips for you as the dog owner.
So, the answer is: a German Shepherd dog can leap 4-6 feet in height on average.
They can leap higher than most dog breeds thanks to their athleticism and strong hind legs.
They are a preferred choice for many canine sports due to their exceptional athleticism. Traditionally, they have been bred as working and herding dogs, which has made their bodies the perfect combination of strength and agility.
If they could learn how to dribble a ball, they could probably have a decent career in the NBA. It makes you wonder why they didn’t consider a GSD for the role of Air Bud.
Why Can German German Shepherds Jump So High?
Okay, now it’s time to get into a bit more detail. In this section, we will answer the “why?” question, as in – why can they do it, and why do they do it?
There are several factors that impact a German Shepherd’s ability to jump high. Of course, not all of them will be able to routinely jump over fences, but an average GSD should be able to.
We’ve already mentioned their natural athleticism (more on that later), but there is more to their jumping ability than that. Other factors that come into play are age, health, and training.
We will talk about the impact of each of those down below. Now, as far as why they do it at all, the reasons can vary.
The main factor that may cause domestic GSDs to enjoy jumping over fences is boredom. They will want to scale their walls and explore the outside if they aren’t getting enough physical and mental stimulation or if they sense that no one is paying them any attention.
GSDs may also leap on people as a form of attention seeking and showing affection. GSDs are basically desperate for our attention and will do a lot of silly things to get it.
Furthermore, dogs are accustomed to greeting other dogs at face level, thus doing this allows them to interact and welcome a taller human face-to-face.
Another reason why animals may pounce on people is that they’re hungry.
Age can have a big impact on a German Shepherd’s ability to jump high. As a dog ages, it’s possible that its overall strength and muscular mass will decline, which could affect its ability to jump.
Additionally, arthritis-related joint issues in older dogs can limit their mobility and make jumping more difficult.
Due to their increased energy and agility, young German Shepherds can frequently jump higher. As they age, their growth plates fuse and their bones become denser, which could make them heavier, less nimble, and less able to jump.
Typically, GSDs enter their physical peak at two years of age and slowly start declining at the age of six.
It probably goes without saying, but we will say it nevertheless – an overall healthy German Shepherd will be better able to jump higher.
Overweight German Shepherds and those with health conditions, or physical injuries, that affect their joints won’t be able to jump as high.
We’ve touched upon this already, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it again and expand a little.
Their natural predisposition for agility and strength makes German Shepherds some of the finest athletes in the canine world. This, of course, includes being able to jump very high.
Mostly due to their history of being bred for lengthy physical activities of herding sheep and helping out at the farm, their bodies have developed strong and lean muscles that make them excellent leapers.
Just like with humans, natural ability alone is not enough to achieve athletic success. You have to be disciplined and put in the effort if you want to become a professional sportsperson or, in this case, jump over a fence.
Now, depending on what you want your German Shepherd to become, you can either train it to be able to jump as high as possible, or not to jump at all.
If you want your GSD to participate in dog shows, agility contests, and things like that, then you can teach it to jump over obstacles on command.
That will not only sharpen its instincts and decision-making ability when it comes to leaping over stuff but also work out its muscles and help them achieve its full potential.
However, if you just want a companion dog, then maybe it would be better if it doesn’t actually jump over things all that often, because that could your pooch into some trouble.
What Is The Highest Ever Jump By A German Shepherd?
In 2018, there was a video circulating the Internet allegedly showing a German Shepherd named Hei-Niu jumping ten feet into the air.
If this was verified, it would be by far the highest ever jump by a GSD that has ever been recorded.
However, there are still some doubts surrounding the claim, because the dog in question looks more like a Belgian Malinois than a German Shepherd.
Mals are even more athletic than GSDs and they have more power in their hind legs, so it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if they were able to jump as high as ten feet up.
Can German Shepherds Jump Over A Fence?
If you’ve been a GSD owner for some time, then you already probably know the answer to this question.
We’ve already mentioned that an average German Shepherd dog can jump about four to six feet high, which is more than enough to scale some fences.
That’s why it might not be a good idea to train your GSD to do that, as it can teach itself to get over the fence and out of your yard when you’re not around. And once it’s out of the yard unsupervised, bad things could happen.
How To Stop A German Shepherd From Jumping Over A Fence
First of all, you should never leave your GSD alone in the yard since it puts it at risk of escaping. Even if it’s out just for a quick pee, make sure you have your eye on it.
If your presence in the yard does not stop the dog from jumping, it might be advisable to use a long leash until you can find a more permanent solution.
Let’s look at some of the training alternatives available to owners because it goes without saying that you don’t want to have to wait outside with your dog every time it needs to go out.
If you want some more details about this topic, we have a great article about it.
Contain Your German Shepherd’s Jumping Impulses
Naturally, teaching your German Shepherd not to leap the fence is the best approach to stop it from doing so, but as we all know, training is easier said than done.
Furthermore, German Shepherds are highly energetic canines. They need to go for a daily walk of at least 45 minutes. Your GSD will look for excitement elsewhere if you don’t take them for a walk to help them burn off some of that energy.
Also, a male German Shepherd who has not undergone neutering may frequently cross the fence for “romantic” reasons. Most of the time, having him neutered will calm him down.
Related post: Male Vs Female German Shepherd: Which One Is The Winner?
Make The Fence Escape-Proof
If you have a German Shepherd or are considering getting one, it’s crucial to ensure that your home has a fence that your dog won’t find simple to leap over and escape.
The majority of breeds, including German Shepherds, should be protected by a six-foot fence. They could easily hop over four feet, not only because they are athletic, but also because they are a large breed.
Instead of increasing the height of an existing fence that your dog keeps jumping over, consider installing a new one. Your dog will learn to jump higher and higher as the height is raised, and it’s best to just deal with it right away.
A chain link fence is a great option for containing dogs. It’s virtually unbreakable and still enables a dog to take in the sights and sounds of the outside world.
One disadvantage of chain link fences is that they shouldn’t be used if your dog likes to climb. It could easily stand on the chains and work its way up to the top. A solid panel fence would be ideal in this situation.
Whatever fence you choose to install, you must make sure that your dog cannot push through it or dig beneath it in addition to being able to jump over it.
Making sure there is nothing that your GSD can utilize as a boost is another crucial piece of advice.
German Shepherds are highly athletic dogs that have the potential to jump quite high with proper training and conditioning. Factors such as age, health, and training play an important role in determining how high can German Shepherds jump.
With regular training and consistency, German Shepherds can maintain and improve their jumping ability throughout their lives, but you should keep in mind that this could result in them trying to jump or climb over fences and potentially running away and onto the street.
You can either train your dog not to do this or install a fence that is too high for it to even try leaping over it.