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Border Collie Jumping: What You Should Know

Border Collies (BCs) are striking creatures, known for both their beauty and jumping abilities.

Originally bred for herding sheep, these dogs are exceptional jumpers and use this skill to get sheep to obey.

If one or more sheep goes astray, the Border Collie will jump on them to get them back in line with the rest of the herd.

Unfortunately, your pet Border Collie may use this same skill to jump over your backyard fence and escape.

If you own a Border Collie, your pup’s ability to jump can be both a blessing and a challenge.

Are Border Collies Good at Jumping?

border collie jumping over fence

Border Collies are natural jumpers and most are quite good at it.

Naturally, some BCs will be better at it than others, but for the most part, these dogs are born jumpers.

Factors like your pup’s age, state of health, weight and lifestyle will affect his jumping skills.

Border Collies are high-energy dogs that thrive on physical activity.

Walks in the park won’t keep this pup happy for long.

If you’re a hiker, jogger, bike rider or beach runner, however, your pup would undoubtedly love to join you.

As jumping comes natural to a Border Collie, chances are your pet will love games that challenge his jumping skills.

You can train your pup to jump over obstacles in the yard or catch a ball or frisbee in midair for fun.

Running and jumping games will help tire your pup out so he doesn’t get into mischief in the house.

Vigorous exercise will also keep your Border Collie healthy and fit.  

Can Border Collies Jump High?

border collie jumping for frisbee

Yes, Border Collies can jump high.

In fact, this breed can jump six feet or higher from a standing position alone!

Imagine the height they can reach when they’re running!

In agility competitions, the average adult BC can easily achieve two foot jumps and double that for long jumping.  

Border Collies generally start jumping when they’re 5 months old.

By the time they’re 12 to 18 months old, they’re jumping pros!

Some BCs have jumped as high as nine feet in competitions.

Border Collies can jump higher from standing positions than sitting and even higher still when running.

The faster your dog can run, the higher he’ll be able to jump.

Your dog’s position (sitting, standing, etc.), age, speed and joint health are factors that will determine how high he can jump.

It’s safe to assume that an active adult Border Collie that’s in good shape will be capable of jumping fairly high.

If you have a four or five-foot fence in your yard, chances are your pup can hurdle it, if he’s so inclined.

One way to find out if your dog can jump your fence is to test how high it can jump from a standing position and then again at full speed.

To be on the safe side, it’s recommended that Border Collie owners get a fence that’s at least three times the height of their pup to keep them safely corralled in the yard.

Better yet, train your dog to respect his borders and not try to escape at all.

Why Does My Border Collie Jump So Much?

border collie jumping for flying disc

Jumping is part of a Border Collie’s nature, perhaps due to being bred as a herd dog.

Border Collies are rugged, hardy sheep dogs with boundless strength and energy to get their work done.

They were born for action and, as pets, they do better with families that live an active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a meek and mild pup to lay by your side or cuddle with on the couch, this breed isn’t a good choice.

Border Collies were made for the great outdoors.

They’re happiest when turned loose in an open field where they can run, jump, play and romp.

For many Border Collies, jumping is a way they greet people or express their curiosity or joy.

Your pup will jump around when playing with the kids, exploring new places or accompanying you on hikes or jogs.

This breed is extremely intelligent and trainable, excelling in all kinds of canine sports ranging from agility to sheepdog trials to flyball and flying disc competitions.

Border Collies make great companions for people who are on the go.

If your idea of fun is partaking in outdoor sports where your Border Collie can join, you and this pup are bound to get along.

As pets, Border Collies do best when they’re trained and socialized early, so they can learn acceptable and unacceptable behaviors in your home.

This includes when it’s okay to jump and when it’s not.

border collie jumping for stick

How Do I Stop My Border Collie from Jumping?

There may be times when your Border Collie’s proclivity to jump isn’t the best.

A few examples would be your pup jumping on visitors, on your furniture or over your backyard fence.

This is where obedience training can come in handy.

If you’re having trouble controlling your pup’s jumping, here are a few ideas of how you can curtail this behavior when it’s not warranted.

Jumping on you and others

If your BC jumps on you first thing when you walk through the door, he’s probably happy to see you and excited to have you back home.

Be that as it may, you may prefer that your dog simply wag its tail or lick your hand rather than bowl you over.

With the help of a friend, you can teach your Border Collie not to jump on you or other people visiting your home.  

Have your friend hold your pup on a leash inside your home.

Then enter your home just like when you’re returning from work.

Your friend’s job is to keep your pup from jumping.

Make eye contact with your pup and greet him.

If he starts to jump (any of his paws leave the floor), turn around and walk off.

Repeat this activity over and over until your pup realizes you’re leaving because of his jumping behavior.

When your pet makes no effort to jump when you enter the home, reward him with praise and a special treat to show you approve of his behavior.

Then reverse roles with you holding the leash and your friend entering your home so your pup can learn to behave with visitors as well.

Border Collies are highly intelligent dogs.

Through training, they’ll learn that jumping on you and others isn’t an activity you approve of.

border collie jumping falling leaves

Jumping on furniture

If you don’t want your Border Collie to jump on your couch, chairs or bed, train him not to from the time he’s a pup.

You can use several command words to teach him that your bed and furniture are off limits.

These commands could be “off”, “out” and “place.”

“Place” refers to a comfy nook you set up for your pup that’s all his own.

You can get him accustomed to going there by leaving special treats there when he’s not looking.

Every time your pup goes there to eat the treats, say “place” and praise him for being there.

Soon your pup will associate “place” with treats, and will be happy to go there when you tell him to.

This command can be used when your pup jumps on furniture.

You can also use the command “off” for teaching your pup not to jump on furniture or “out” to have him leave the area if he’s not obeying.

Working with a professional dog trainer can be helpful in teaching your Border Collie these and other behavioral traits that will make him a better pet and companion.

Jumping over a fence

Obedience training will also teach your pup to respect your borders and not jump over your fence, even if he’s capable of doing so.

Increasing the height of your fence can discourage your pup from jumping over when you’re not around.

You can also use a perimeter dog collar that emits a small electric shock when your pup goes beyond a specified point in your yard to teach him to respect the borders you have set.

border collie catching frisbee

In Summary

Border Collies love to jump – it’s in their DNA and nature.

They can jump quite high, which is good for competitions, but bad if your pup jumps your fence and escapes from the yard.

Fortunately, Border Collies are smart and can learn when jumping is acceptable and when it’s not.

A trained Border Collie will make a wonderful pet and companion for anyone who loves dogs.

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National Canine Research Association of America