Dogs’ instincts guide them to hunt, retrieve, herd, and protect. They are naturally athletic mammals with a knack for speed and agility, but many have the added advantage of jumping. While most dogs can jump, some breeds can soar above and beyond. Learn about the ten highest jumping dog breeds and see if they suit your lifestyle.
Why do dogs jump?
Jumping in dogs is also a natural movement. Historically, the benefits of jumping in the wild are catching prey and escaping predators. Domesticated dogs jump because of excitement, attempts at communication, and the desire to play. It can also be a sign of anxiety. For many, excessive jumping is a trainable issue at a young age and through proper socialization. Agility training can also help a dog understand when jumping is appropriate.
Is jumping bad for my dog?
Excessive jumping while young can make interacting with people and other animals challenging. It can also negatively impact future behavior. Start training early for your dog to understand how to control their excitement.
Jumping in a dog is also linked to arthritis. Athletic dogs participating in sports and agility courses can develop joint problems and arthritis as they age. Canine sports rehabilitation medicine and physical therapy can positively impact jumping dogs as experts continue to study and improve what is available.
1. Border Collie
The border collie is one of the most intelligent dog breeds and the best herding dog in the world. They are athletic, high-energy dogs and always need a job to avoid destructive tendencies. Developed in Europe, the working breed was bred originally to herd sheep.
As one of the world’s highest-jumping dog breeds, they can reach a six-foot jump. Because of their intelligence and independent streak, they can easily scale a standard backyard fence. They make loving, loyal pets, but the border collie needs plenty of outdoor space for running and constant mental stimulation.
2. Belgian Malinois
Originating in Belgium, the Belgian Malinois is a strong, loyal herding dog with a slender, muscular body. They are commonly used as law enforcement and military service dogs because of their intelligence and desire to please. They require constant activity and mental stimulation and have a strong protective instinct.
With impressive athleticism, the Belgian Malinois can jump as high as eight feet. Because of their speed and strong legs, they are also skilled climbers. They are highly trainable but can also be bold and confident. Consistent training and positive reinforcement at a young age are crucial for a successful life with a Belgian Malinois.
3. Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell terrier is a small, energetic breed bred originally for fox hunting in England. Their white fur starkly contrasts the common brown and red foxes. Their brave spirit, intelligence, and affectionate nature make them great dogs for an active family.
Jack Russell terriers weigh between nine and 15 pounds and stand about 10-12 inches tall. As one of the highest-jumping dog breeds, they can jump up to five feet — more than five times their size.
4. German Shepherd
The German shepherd is among the highest-jumping dog breeds because of its strong back legs. Their muscular legs power them to jump as high as six feet, depending on the momentum.
German shepherds are exceptionally intelligent and trainable. Bred as herding dogs, they are naturally athletic and excel at numerous tasks. The German shepherd is commonly used in law enforcement and military services. While it takes them longer to bond with their owner, the connection is strong and hard to break once established. With proper training, they can make a great companion to an active family willing to provide plenty of mental stimulation.
Initially bred for hunting, the greyhound is one of the fastest dog breeds in the world. While they are famous for their impressive speed, they are among the highest-jumping dog breeds. With natural athleticism, they can jump up or leap to the height of five feet.
Egyptian pharaohs used greyhounds over 5,000 years ago to hunt desert wildlife. Their speed allowed them to chase and capture notoriously fast animals like foxes and hares. Even with their intense speed and agility, they are generally docile animals and make great family pets.
6. Australian Shepherd
Famous for its exceptional herding skills, the Australian shepherd is also one of the highest-jumping dog breeds. With natural agility skills, they can jump and leap to the height of four feet.
Today, the Australian shepherd is a popular family pet because of its loving nature and fierce loyalty to its people. They are highly intelligent and trainable, requiring a lot of exercise. They make great companions for outdoor enthusiasts and thrive with space to run.
7. Rat Terrier
Small but mighty, the rat terrier has a muscular body that can easily jump and soar through the air. Despite their average height of 13-18 inches, they can jump to reach heights of four to five feet.
They were popular farm dogs during the early 20th century because they could kill rodents and destructive pets. Their natural agility allows them to chase their prey and jump to reach them at higher levels when necessary. Many farmers still find them useful today.
8. Australian Kelpie
The Australian kelpie is one of the highest-jumping dog breeds. Their exceptional agility skills allow them to jump to a height of eight to nine feet. They were bred originally as herding dogs in Australia’s New South Wales and Victoria regions to handle harsh climate conditions and rough terrain.
Today, Australian kelpies make excellent working dogs. They are intelligent and active, requiring a lot of stimulation throughout the day. While loyal to their people, they are not ideal with young children. Without proper training, they can become destructive.
9. Shetland Sheepdog
Shetland sheepdogs are popular dogs in agility competitions. They can reach heights from three to six feet, known for speed and their ability to jump high.
Bred originally off the Scotland coast, they were popular herding dogs. Farmers appreciated their smaller size of 15-25 pounds because it cost less to feed them. Today, they are loveable, affectionate family dogs that are obedient, intelligent, and easy to train.
The Vizsla is among the highest-jumping dog breeds, able to jump up to six feet high. With their slender, muscular bodies, they have a natural agility that allows them to run fast and soar through the air.
Originating from Hungary, the Vizsla is a skilled hunting dog that can handle rugged forests and rough terrain. Their agility and jumping ability allowed them to catch fast-moving prey. Today, they are a popular, affectionate family dog in America. While they are intelligent, they are very sensitive and lack confidence. Early training and positive reinforcement are important for this breed.
Summary of the 10 Highest Jumping Dog Breeds
|Jack Russell Terrier
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Liudmila Bohush/Shutterstock.com
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