Why Does My Dog Keep Escaping from the Yard?

I have a shepherd mix and she has been with me for about three years now. She was terribly mistreated and left on the streets...


I have a shepherd mix and she has been with me for about three years now. She was terribly mistreated and left on the streets to die. I got her from the pound, and she has been nothing but fantastic, but in the past year, she keeps jumping the gate. It is about five feet high and, no matter what, we can’t keep her in.

Our neighbors are great and keep bringing her home. It is so embarrassing.

My husband wants to take her to a no-kill shelter or give her to someone. I want to keep her, but it is getting to be a bit much.

Please, please help me. I just don’t know what to do. I love my dog. Her name is Blessing.

Fontana, CA

In my opinion, fence jumping is not a valid reason to give up a dog. It is, however, dangerous for your dog. She could get lost or be struck by a vehicle while not properly confined.

She also could injure herself in a failed jump — dogs that make it only part of the way over can impale themselves, leading to all kinds of injuries.

Your dog may be bored. Is she getting adequate exercise and mental stimulation? Are you actively training her, and feeding her with foraging balls? Have you considered talking to a trainer about this problem? Such a person may be able to offer a variety of enrichment pointers.

While you’re working on exercise, enrichment, and training, you will need to take some practical steps. No fence-jumping dog should ever be left unattended in an escapable yard.

From now on, stay with her when she’s outside. If leaving her unattended is unavoidable, then build an appropriate run or enclosure for her.

1 thought on “Why Does My Dog Keep Escaping from the Yard?”

  1. I used to have a large poodle, called Trixie. And I cannot begin to tell you how many times she managed to sneak her way out either through, or over my fence. In all fairness my fence at the time wasn’t all that high, and for a dog that size jumping over it took no effort at all. For me purchasing a proper outdoor dog fence worked wonders, and her unauthorized adventures stopped there.

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