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How High Can German Shepherds Jump?

How High Can German Shepherds Jump?

Knowing how high your dog can jump isn’t just fun trivia. It is actually important information that will help you keep them safe in and around your home. Some breeds can jump higher than others, and this will depend mainly on their size and athleticism.

If you are wondering how high can German Shepherds jump, this article will dive into those details as well as examine the various factors that contribute to dog jumping height.

How High Can German Shepherds Jump?

The average German Shepherd can easily jump as high as 4 to 6 feet. Given a long enough run-up, they’re able to reach much greater heights. Additionally, GSDs can be trained for high jumps given their build and athleticism, not to mention their drive.

German Shepherd Jumping Height vs. Distance

The German Shepherd’s jumping ability isn’t just impressive because of height but also distance. While they might not consistently top the ranks, they are excellent competitors for Dock Diving.

In this popular canine sport, GSDs commonly reach distances of 15-18 feet for Air Retrieve and up to 21 feet for Distance Jumps.

What is the Highest a GSD has ever Jumped?

In 2018, a dog named Hei-Niu was caught on video supposedly jumping 10 feet up in the air. Spectators claim that this is the highest a German Shepherd has ever jumped.

However, the height was not officially recorded and the dog on the video looks much more like its cousin, the Belgian Malinois than a German Shepherd.

Malinois are generally more athletic and energetic than their GSD counterparts. Nevertheless, with enough practice and dedication to training, a German Shepherd in good health should be able to jump similar heights.

Why Can German Shepherds Jump So High?

Several factors pertaining to their physical make-up contribute to the height at which German Shepherds can jump.

GSDs in general, and the working line types in particular, are built with loads of energy and remarkably athletic bodies. They have especially muscular hind legs from which they can harness power and jump great heights.

What Factors Contribute to GSD Jumping Height?

Some German Shepherds jump higher than others. Many different things can affect the height at which each dog can jump. Here are a few factors that affect the jumping height of individual GSDs:


Although German Shepherd puppies are energetic, these dogs reach peak athleticism at around 2 years old. It is around this age that they start to perform best in canine sports. Their ability to jump will gradually decline at around 6 years old.

Physical Condition

A GSD’s health and physical condition will have a considerable effect on their ability to jump. For example, arthritic dogs or those with hip or elbow dysplasia will not be able to jump very well.

Overall Athleticism

Although German Shepherds are naturally athletic, not all are conditioned for jumping and similarly strenuous physical activities. Typically, the more physically active they are, the higher they are able to jump.


Natural ability needs to be honed through proper technique and repetition. Even if your GSD currently cannot jump great heights, it is something they can be taught to do with training and ample practice.


Sometimes, all it takes is a strong enough motivation for a German Shepherd to jump very high. While they may not normally jump over a fence, their drive might trigger them to do so if they see a cat or a similar incentive on the other side.

Can German Shepherds Jump Over a Fence?

German Shepherds can definitely jump over a fence and they probably will if given enough motivation.

Indoors, you can have barriers of about 3 feet tall. Outdoors, however, your fence should be at least 6 feet high.

You might want to make it even higher if your dog has a long enough run-up, which would enable them to jump higher.

How to Stop a German Shepherd From Jumping Over Your Fence

Making sure your fence is high enough is the most obvious way to make sure your German Shepherd can’t jump over it. Having a solid fence that they can’t see through also keeps them from wanting to get to the other side.

Otherwise, you might consider using an invisible fence, which is useful for homes that don’t have actual fences. 

Apart from having the right barrier, you should also train your GSD to not even consider jumping up a fence.

It helps to supervise them when they’re outside and then provide negative reinforcement (ex. a stern “no!”) when they try to jump. Eventually, they won’t even try.

Another thing that can help keep a German Shepherd from jumping over a fence is to alleviate their boredom. Additionally, making sure they have enough physical exercise and mental stimulation will definitely help.

If they’re busy with something more interesting and are tired enough to stay put, they won’t even notice the fence.

What is the Highest Jumping Dog Breed?

The dog that holds the Guinness World Record for Highest Jump by a Dog is a Greyhound named Feather. She was recorded to have jumped 191.7 cm (6.29 ft) in 2017.

Other dogs have tried to claim this title but have been found to only scale walls of great heights, but not jump over them in a single leap.

Final Thoughts

German Shepherds are incredibly athletic. While they might not be known as the breed that can jump the highest, they’ve been known to scale pretty tall fences.

If you’re interested in the GSD’s jumping ability because you’re planning for a barricade or enclosure, don’t focus on height alone. Check out the best indoor dog gates for German Shepherds as well as the most suitable outdoor enclosures for German Shepherds.

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