The German Shepherd is known for its intelligence and trainability. But it is also extremely athletic, muscular and powerful. This is what makes the breed such a powerhouse in fields like the military and police. When trained properly, the GSD can scale a wall and jump impressively high. But how high can German Shepherds jump?
The average German Shepherd dog can jump 4-6 feet high. Their athleticism and powerful hind legs give them the ability to jump higher than most dog breeds. Additionally, given a running start, they can leap even higher when trained for jumping. This supreme athleticism makes them a top choice for many canine sports.
If you’ve ever seen a German Shepherd in action, you know how fast and powerful they can be. Their endurance and speed make them elite K9s who can apprehend and track down criminals in law enforcement. They can be trained in several sports like agility courses and dock diving both of which require the ability to jump far and high.
The Highest German Shepherd Jump Ever Recorded
I couldn’t find a record of the highest jump by a German Shepherd. But there are some great videos displaying the amazing vertical jump of a GSD. For example, the dog in this video named Pete can jump out of a 6-foot kennel and fairly easily escape from this 8-foot hole in the ground:
However, the highest recorded jump by a Belgian Malinois, which is similar to a GSD, happened back on March 10, 2018. A young 2-year-old working dog named “Hei-Niu” reportedly jumped a whopping 10 feet with the help of his owner.
The astonishing leap took place in Ningbo City in the northeast Zhejiang province. The video captures the high-flying dog running and leaping off of the back of his owner, grabbing a pair of underwear mid-flight from a long pole and then returning to the ground.
Amazingly, the dog had only been training for a year at the time of the jump. According to the article, the dog could also climb walls and walk tightropes.
But Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds aren’t the only breed with some high-flying attributes. The highest recorded jump on record goes to a dog named “Feather.” Back in September of 2017, the then 2-year-old female Greyhound set the Guinness World Record for the highest jump by a dog.
She jumped 75.5 inches (191.7cm), which is close to six and a half feet off the ground, in Frederick, Maryland of the United States. That’s high enough to jump over the head of most humans.
Another amazing jump record was set by a year and a half old lurcher dog named “Stag.” It happened back in September of 1993 at the yearly Cotswold County Fair located in Cirencester, Gloucester, UK.
The Greyhound Terrier mix seemed to defy gravity as it leaped and scrambled over a 12-foot 2.5-inch wooden wall. To make it harder, the wall was smooth and had no ribs for the dog to step onto while climbing the straight up and down wall.
How Can German Shepherds Jump So High?
Most dog breeds can jump around two times their height while larger more athletic breeds like the German Shepherd can jump up to three times their height.
This is pretty amazing especially if you applied the same mathematics to humans. Using that same ratio, a six-foot-tall man would be able to jump 18 feet high. Wouldn’t that be nice!
The reason German Shepherds can jump so high is because they are a large, athletic working dog breed. Smaller dog breeds aren’t able to jump near as high. For example, a Chihuahua can only jump around 2 feet high.
Another reason GSDs can jump so high is because of their history. The DDR German Shepherd specifically was trained for many years to guard and protect the East German border during the Cold War era.
In addition to them being bred for power and athleticism, they were also trained in many different skills. Those skills included the ability to be able to scale six-foot walls.
This was a foot taller than the West German Shepherds who were only trained to scale five-foot walls.
How High A Fence Can A German Shepherd Jump?
If you are reading this page, you may be considering getting a German Shepherd and wondering how tall of a fence you may need to contain them and prevent an escape.
This is a great question because you will want to be totally prepared when purchasing such a large dog breed.
Fun Fact: I made the mistake of being unprepared in the past when I purchased a Great Pyrenees for my daughter. It was easily able to escape the 4-foot split rail fence with chicken wire we had in the backyard.
For your average German Shepherd dog, you will need at least a 6-foot chain link fence and preferably higher. A GSD can easily scale and jump over a 4-5-foot fence without any problem.
A 6-foot-tall fence gets a little trickier for them although it is still possible for them to get over it. Of course, if your dog is going to be with most of the time, it should be plenty tall enough.
The most likely chance that your German Shepherd is going to try and jump over the fence is to chase after a rabbit or squirrel. This is a good reason to supervise your GSD for outdoor play time or potty breaks.
How High Can A German Shepherd Puppy Jump?
Since a German Shepherd can jump approximately 2-3 times their height, we can apply that same logic to a puppy.
Therefore, the exact height that a puppy can jump will depend on their size. Here is a chart to determine the jump height of a GSD puppy depending on their age and size.
Chart is based on the average jump being twice their height:
|Age||Max Height (in)||Min. Jump Height (in)||Max. Jump Height (in)|
Remember these heights are approximate and will depend on several factors including diet, exercise and training regimen. German Shepherds that are trained in agility will be able to jump higher than those that don’t.
Why Do German Shepherds Jump?
There are several reasons that a German Shepherd may jump. First and foremost, they are big lovable animals who get super excited to see their owner or family. A GSD will definitely let you know they are happy you’re home.
They will also jump on your when they are seeking attention or want to go outside to play. They could also be hungry or want their favorite toy.
Additionally, German Shepherds excel in many different canine sports. One of them is agility which involves them completing an obstacle course with jumps, tunnels and walkways.
The dog’s owner will direct them through the course. Part of the course will require them to jump over a hurdle set at a specific height.
Dock diving is another canine sport that GSDs can excel at. Like the human long jump, dogs will run at full speed and jump as far as possible trying to catch a toy that their owner throws out above the water.
Unbelievably, the Guinness world record holder, a four-year-old whippet named “Sounders,” jumped 36 feet 2 inches (11.02m) back in September of 2019. That’s as long as a standard telephone pole.
There is also a newer canine sport called “Ultimate Vertical,” in which dogs compete to see who can jump the highest. A bumper is used and slowly raised each time a dog makes the required height.
To sum things up, the average German Shepherd can jump very high. Their explosive rear end power allows them to spring up vertically higher than most dog breeds. Keep this in mind if you plan on owning one and have a backyard with a fence.
They do have a prey drive and will chase a rabbit or squirrel right over a fence in the heat of the moment. If your fence is shorter than 6 feet, make sure you supervise when they are outside playing or going potty.
Please leave a comment and let us know what you think!
Do you own a German Shepherd? If so, how high can they jump? Let us know! We would love to hear about your GSD’s high-flying prowess!