Dog jumping is both a professional sport as well as a casual activity performed by many dog owners.
How high a dog can jump is a reflection of its fitness and also depends on the dog’s breed. The Guinness world record for the highest jump is owned by the then 2-year-old Whippet named Feathers(USA) who jumped 191 cm or 6.28 feet on 14th September 2017.
Typically speaking, most dogs cannot jump beyond 6 feet. This depends on a dog’s agility, muscle strength, stamina, training, and of course, its size.
26 Breeds That Are Good At Jumping
Here’s a list of dog breeds that can jump the highest:
As mentioned, this dog breed holds the record for the highest dog jump ever. Whippets were bred to be aids for hunters and to compete in dog sports that require agility, endurance, and obedience.
They are also kept today just for their companionship.
Whippets are tall, slender, and average-sized dogs. What they lack in size relative to bigger breeds, they compensate for with their energy levels and fitness. They are one of the most agile dog breeds to exist.
2. German Shepherd
Known for their work versatility, GSDs have long been used in fields that require dogs to be strong and fast like the military, police, fire fighting, etc.
German shepherds are large dog breeds that can be trained to do almost anything, and competing in sports is one of them. They are capable of jumping heights of 4 to 6 feet using their muscular hind legs and speed.
When properly trained by professionals, they can even cross this limit of 6 feet to some level.
This dog breed was developed as a pointer and a retriever and now has become a great human companion. Vizsla is an average-sized dog with great athleticism and mobility.
Their high energy levels allow them to engage in sports tirelessly for long durations before they need any rest.
Vizsla, who is well-trained, can easily jump up to 6 feet in height. They can run fast to gain some momentum before jumping. This allows them to jump over small fences and barricades easily.
Overall, they are an affectionate breed that is being used as companion dogs as well.
These large dogs are capable of crossing speeds of 60 km/h and are one of the fastest dog breeds known.
Hence, they have been trained to compete in professional dog sports of running and jumping where they have amazed the audience.
Greyhounds can jump quite high up to 5-6 feet in the air. This is because they are capable of utilizing their speed to gain an extra push.
This also makes them susceptible to crossing fences and going into alien territories.
5. Border Collie
Border Collies are smart dogs that have been used as livestock herding dogs in the past and are still used in many parts of the world. Collies have emerged as family dogs over the years owing to their affectionate and protective personality.
Although not a competitor for Whippets and Greyhounds, this average-sized dog is full of energy and athletic potential, able to jump heights crossing 4 feet.
6. Shetland Sheepdog
Shetland Sheepdogs were raised in Scotland to be guard dogs for farmers. These small dogs are quite energetic for their size and have good agility and strength.
These dogs can jump to good heights when the need arises and are better than many breeds of their size which is about 12 to 16 inches at the shoulders.
7. Jack Russell Terrier
Another small breed that can be much higher than you’d think is the Jack Russell Terrier. Originally from England where they used for fox hunting, JRT is fast, muscular, and obedient.
Standing at a height of 10 to 15 inches at the shoulders, JRT can jump 4 to 5 times their height. Meaning they can easily go beyond 4 feet in a jump. This is a lot coming from a breed of this size.
8. Australian Shepherd
Nicknamed ‘Aussie’, Australian Shepherds are herding dogs that were bred in the United States. Their trainability, endurance, and athleticism make them a great herding breed.
They have been known to compete in many dog sports and have awe-inspired judges. An Aussie can jump well above 4 feet in height and even more so when it is trained by professionals.
9. American Staffordshire Terrier
This breed has a special place in the dog world when it comes to companionship. American Staffordshire Terriers are loving, caring, and protective of their owners and families, though originally used for dog fights that were later banned.
But being a companion breed doesn’t stop them from excelling at sports. AST shows great athletic potential and competes in various sports including running, fetching, and jumping.
They can jump up to 5 feet in height, making them an ideal candidate for jumping over obstacle sports. Unfortunately, however, they can also cross fences so need to be trained to keep them restrained.
The ‘Silver Ghost’ from Germany; Weimaraners were developed as gun dogs. They are large-sized dogs with great energy, intensity, and muscular bodies.
These were used to hunt large animals like deer and have big prey drives. Hence, they can get cocky at times and be hard to control, however, they are quite trainable.
A Weimaraner can jump about 6 feet in height. This is because it is a large-sized dog with muscular hind legs. Jumping over obstacles and fences is not a big issue for them.
Who doesn’t know the tough Rottweilers? After all, they were one of the first breeds to be used by the police and military owing to their strength and obedience.
Although Rottweilers cannot compete with one of the big guns like Whippet or Greyhound in jumping, they can reach decent heights of about 3-4 feet in the air.
They have been known to cross the mark of 5 feet when trained by professionals.
12. Rat terrier
Rat Terriers are small, perhaps very small when you look at their sizes but their energies are not less than any of the bigger breeds out there.
Their small bodies are packed with muscles and the potential to be a sporting dogs. Rat Terriers are skilled enough to jump to heights of 4 to 5 feet. This is quite impressive compared to their size of 13-16 inches at the shoulders.
This breed of toy spaniels can deceive you by its small size of just 8 to 11 inches. However, it is capable of jumping 3-4 feet into the air.
This is because of their strong hind limbs relative to their bodies which allow them to have a greater thrust.
Papillons are intelligent and quite easy to train too, so they can be taught to polish their skill at jumping through regular training. However, you would need to keep an eye on them as they can jump across fences.
Belgian Malinois is as versatile as it gets, having been used for herding cattle, and as military and police dogs and now they have established themselves as companion dogs because of their obedience and protective nature.
These are large dogs with big energies and brute strength that can be trained to compete in many different sports including high jumps. They are fast, muscular, and highly trainable.
Malinois can easily jump 5 to 6 feet in the air and can cover a lot of distance while doing it. Their average height is 20-26 inches, giving them an advantage in high jumps.
15. Pitbull Terrier
This breed of companion dogs was developed initially to bait bulls. Although averaging 17 to 19 inches in size at the shoulders, Pitbulls are very muscular with high energy reserves.
A well-trained pitbull can jump up to 5 feet in the air and compete with many bigger breeds in jumping.
16. Cocker Spaniel
Don’t get betrayed by their small sizes and cute little personas, Cocker Spaniels are agile and capable of jumping high enough to cross your average-sized fence.
A Cocker Spaniel averages 13-14 inches in height but can jump up to 5 feet high, making them dangerous for households with small fences.
However, Cocker Spaniels are very trainable and you can teach them territory restraints and boundaries quite easily.
17. Labrador Retriever
Friendly, caring, helpful, and full of energy, are all words that can be used to define a Labrador Retriever. Averaging 23 inches in height, Labradors are large dogs that have been used as human companions for ages.
They are agile and have high endurance, thus can be trained to compete in sports. Their bodies are muscular enough to give them adequate grounds to compete.
A labrador Retriever can easily jump 5 feet high in the air. Although, any height more than that becomes difficult to achieve and would require training and time.
18. Australian Kelpie
Another average-sized breed averaging around 17 inches, Kelpies were developed in Australia to help farmers control their livestock.
Hence, they are obedient, energetic, and have a muscular build.
Kelpies can easily jump up to 6 feet when trained for it. Their agility helps them to gain the pace necessary for a higher jump and their strong front legs allow them to make a smoother landing.
Huskies are one of the most famous dogs around the globe due to their wolf-like appearance and mesmerizing blue eyes. They are also moderately large-sized dogs that reach an average height of 21 inches.
Their high energy potentials and strong muscles make them excellent candidates for high jumps. However, due to their stubborn nature, it becomes difficult to train them for professional sports.
An average husky that hasn’t been trained professionally can jump between 4-5 feet. However, bigger and fitter Huskies can cross the 5 feet mark quite easily.
20. Blue Heelers
The Australian cattle dog is a breed of moderate height, standing at 17 to 20 inches at the shoulders. Blue Heelers were originally used to herd sheep by nibbling their heels, hence the name Blue Heeler.
This is a very energetic breed with high exercise needs and a muscular build. They show great strength and agility and are very athletic.
Blue Heelers can jump 6 feet when they’re running and about 3-4 feet from a sitting stance. They are quite trainable and can be made to compete in professional jumping competitions as well.
Pugs are a toy breed famous for their family-oriented nature. They are small dogs with moderate energies and do not have a muscular build.
However, a pug can jump up to 3 feet in the air without much training. That’s more than 3 times their height (10-11 inches).
Poodles are companion dogs that show great love and affection to their families and are very smart as well.
This personality often undermines their athletic potential. Moreover, Poodles are very trainable and can actively take part in many competitions.
A poodle can jump easily up to 4 feet and more so with proper training.
23. Golden Retrievers
Golden Retrievers are easily one of the most famous breeds on the planet and that is for the right reasons too. GRs are as affectionate as a dog breed can be and are very intelligent as well.
With an average size of 21-24 inches, Golden retrievers are very athletic and trainable. They can compete in dog sports with great efficiency.
A Golden Retriever can jump up to 6 feet with proper training. They are fast and can use their pace for the initial push and their hind legs are strong enough to propel them high into the air.
24. Great Dane
Truly deserving of the title great, this breed stands at an average height of 30 inches. Despite their looks, Great Danes are great companion dogs that show love and care to their families.
Having a muscular build and high energy levels, Great Danes show many athletic qualities and are easy to train as well.
Although not the top jumpers in the dog realm, Great Danes can jump up to 6 feet with some training and can compete in dog jumping sports.
25. Basset Hounds
These small dogs have uniquely shaped bodies with long, slender torsos and short legs.
Still, they are capable of jumping 3-4 feet into the air. However, their weak joints are vulnerable to damage and so jumping should be discouraged for this breed.
Famous for their black-spotted look, Dalmatians are moderately large dogs with an average height of 22 inches. These dogs are very sturdy with high energy levels and intensity.
Dalmatians have the capacity to jump more than 5 feet when they take some pace. A properly trained Dalmatian can cross 6 feet.
However, they do not frequently appear in dog sports as other dogs do due to various conditions like deafness that make it difficult to train them.
How Does A Dog Jump?
When a dog jumps, it will first gain some momentum by running through a few steps if it wants to cover some distance as well.
The hind legs will give the propulsion to thrust the dog forward while the front legs and the head are used to stabilize the body and provide a direction for the jump.
On return to the ground, the front legs will absorb the first shock, and then the hind limbs will touch the ground.
This is just an oversimplification and the jumps of the more professional dogs will have more nuances to them.
How To Train Your Dog To Jump High?
Many breeders want to train their dogs for high jumps, either to participate in some competition or they simply love the fact that their dog can jump higher than most others.
Here are a few tips and techniques to train your dog to jump high.
1. Positive Reinforcement
The best method to make a dog do something you want is to incentivize it. Dogs work better with reward systems than with forced work and reprimands.
What I used to do was put a dog’s favorite treats in a box or cloth after showing it to the dog and place it high on a pole to the point where I wanted the dog to jump. The dog then tries to leap into the air up to that point and take its treat.
Once a certain height is reached, stay on it for a while and practice regularly for perfection. Gradually, increase the height and keep it increasing until your desired height is reached or you think the dog has reached its limit.
Positive reinforcement is a research-backed method that has proven to be true countless times. However, it’s a lengthy process that requires time and patience. Do not rush into things as this may lead to injuries to your dog.
2. Strength training
For better jumps, your dog must have the muscles to thrust itself up. This requires strong hind limbs, some breeds are naturally gifted with better hind limbs while others are not.
Whatever the case may be, you need to enhance these muscles through strength training and exercises like walking uphill or using the treadmill in an inclined position. Also, you can make your dog stand on its hind legs for short periods regularly to strength-train the hind limbs.
The faster the dog can accelerate, the better momentum it would have for a high jump. Hence your pooch must be agile.
Engaging your dog in running sports like fetching or even jogging with your pooch allows them to get used to it and develop endurance.
Gradually move to more intense sports like lure coursing, flyball, etc. This will allow your dog to keep improving its speed and agility.
4. Weight management
What good can strong muscles do if they have to push tons of fat? Your dog should be maintained at an ideal weight, you can get a weight reference at AKC or Pawlicy.
Diet has a bigger role to play in maintaining weight than exercise. According to your pet’s size, breed, and age, know its daily caloric requirement and then adjust the dog’s diet accordingly.
It does not matter whether your dog is getting its calories from dry kibble, wet canned food, or a mixture of these as long as the essential macro and micronutrients are in it in their proper amounts.
Your dog should be getting no additional carbs and fats than it needs and the meals should be followed by some exercise later to consume the energy.
How To Stop Your Dog From Jumping Over A Fence?
Here is how to stop.
Keep Your Dog Happy And Engaged
Dogs typically jump over fences to explore new territory. Mostly this is because of the boredom they have at their homes and they grow out of their mundane routine.
Hence, you need to spice things up a bit. Have a planned schedule for your dog where you take it out regularly for sports and recreation. You can take your pooch hunting if it’s a hunting dog or makes it compete in dog sports.
This keeps the dog’s spirit alive and keeps it engaged both mentally and physically so that it doesn’t feel the need to go out and explore new things on its own.
Use Taller Fences
Another simpler approach is to have a fence high enough that your dog cannot jump over it.
Typically a fence 6-7 feet tall will prevent most breeds from jumping over it. However, you should have a fence at least 3 times as tall as your dog is at the shoulders.
For example, for a 25 inches tall dog, the fence height should be at least 75 inches (6.25 feet).
Use A Fence Without A Grid Pattern
Dogs often jump over fences that are too tall for a vertical jump but have grid patterns where the dog can fix its feet and have a climbing motion. Thus, it is necessary to have a fence without a grid pattern for climbing.
Why Can’t Your Dog Jump?
Every dog should be able to jump at least some distance. Yours may not be able to do it for a number of reasons that indicate an underlying condition.
- Pain is the number one reason why the dog doesn’t want to jump.
- See if there’s a physical injury at the rear legs.
- A dog that has stopped wagging its tail also indicate some problem at the back.
- Ask yourself if there’s been a major or a minor trauma to the back.
- A reduction in your dog’s overall physical agility could mean back pain.
- The dog may have infected anal glands. It’s a painful situation where the pain radiates from the anus to the hind legs, causing discomfort when moving or jumping.
- Has the dog been eating well lately? A general weakness due to some disease or malnutrition also triggers anti-jump behaviors.
- The reason could also be a bulging or ruptured spinal disc. The intervertebral disc disease may cause small or large breeds to not undergo even the smallest jump.
- Dogs also stop jumping when they are experiencing the early signs of arthritis.
- You’ll know if your dog has hip dysplasia from its puppyhood. This congenital disease is the prime reason why I recommend owners to go for pets from renowned and experienced breeders.
- Thoroughly check the dog’s coat for ticks. Diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Anaplasmosis also cause decreased range of motion because of joint problems.
- Lastly, a dog may not want to jump because of a previous negative experience. These animals take note of things and categorize them into positive and negative. They learn through cues. If the cue leads to a disaster, the dog will not recall or undergo that activity. Therefore, make sure you take things slowly with the dog phase to introduce them again to jumping.
Answers from one of the USA’s top dog trainers about how high can a dog jump.
Can a dog jump a 4-foot fence?
Yes, most athletic dogs can jump between 4-6 feet in the air so jumping over a 4 feet fence isn’t going to be a problem for them. It becomes even easier when the fence is of a grid pattern which allows for better grip and propulsion.
Can a Pitbull jump a 7-foot fence?
No, a pitbull is least likely to jump over a 7 feet tall fence unless it is having a grid pattern that the dog can use for climbing over it.
How tall should my fence be for a dog?
As most dogs cannot jump over 6 feet vertically, a 6-7 foot fence would prevent dogs from escaping.
It is better to use a fence that is solid and without any areas where the dog can rest its feet for climbing.
How High Can A Dog Jump? Conclusion
How high a dog jumps depends on a multitude of factors such as the dog’s build, fitness, agility, and training.
Some breeds like Whippets, Greyhounds, Jack Russell Terriers, etc are capable of jumping higher than other breeds owing to their muscular build and large size.
Typically, Dogs cannot jump more than 6 feet vertically in the air without any support system. This idea is well utilized when using fences to keep dogs within their territories.