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Dogs are incredible athletes.
Well, most dogs are incredible athletes. So while your playful pug may not have been bred to be anything besides your trusty companion, other breeds have been bred specifically for their athletic ability. Some dogs are built to run as fast as possible, while others a built for strength along with pups that can do everything in between.
But what about jumping? What breeds can jump the highest?
Most dogs weren’t bred specifically for jumping high and their ability to leap high is just part of their overall athletic ability. Some of the dog breeds that can jump the highest include the Greyhound, Border Collie, American Pitbull Terrier, Whippet, German Shorthaired Pointer, Kelpie, Weimaraner, Jack Russel Terrier, and more.
Whether you are looking for a canine athlete or just wondering what dogs are capable of, the incredible jumps by these breeds will surely impress you.
Keep reading to learn why these breeds made the list and check out some of their best (and highest) jumps!
The highest recorded jump was accomplished by Feather, a greyhound, in September of 2017. Feather set the Guinness Book World Record for how high a dog can jump. Feather jumped 75 ½in clear over a jump without having to climb in any way.
Here’s a video of Feather making the jump:
It’s not surprising that a greyhound is able to make such an impressive leap. Greyhounds are known for running fast, not jumping high, but the principles behind running fast or jumping high are very similar.
Greyhounds are built to take as long of leaps as possible when they run in order to run at extremely rapid speeds. Greyhounds can run up to 45 mph and are able to achieve this rapid speed in only about six strides, thanks to the powerful muscles in their hindquarters, which is also what helps the greyhound to propel over a jump.
If a greyhound can jump high, it should come as no surprise that a whippet can jump high as well. Whippets are built under the same origins as a greyhound.
This smaller sighthound may not be able to achieve the same kind of leap as the larger greyhound, but they can certainly achieve some impressive height. In fact, a Whippet holds the world record for the longest jump, which was made at a dock diving competition in 2019.
The four-year-old Whippet named Sounders was able to jump an incredible 36 ft and 2 in, while achieving a good deal of height at the same time.
3. Border Collie
Border Collies were bred for herding sheep, and they are known to be one of the most athletic and energetic as well as one of the most intelligent breeds around. Therefore, it really should come as no surprise that a Border Collie can achieve a significant leap.
Arrow the 9-year-old Border Collie was able to jump an incredible 72 inches clean over a leap during a K-9 Stars competition in 2015.
Although Border Collies aren’t big dogs, generally only weighing between 30 and 55 lb, they are built for work and are surprisingly muscular under that beautiful flowing coat.
Furthermore, Border Collies have the drive to learn how to make such an incredible leap. A Border Collie doesn’t mind practicing over and over until they can perfect the leap.
4. Belgian Malinois
The Belgian Malinois is known to be one of the most dedicated work dogs in the world. This breed can balance on a tightrope, climb a ladder, and bring down a full-grown human without a second thought. Is it any shock that they can also jump high?
The Belgian Malinois is a good-sized dog, weighing between 40 and 80 lb and standing between 22 and 26 in. This is an extremely muscular, powerful dog, but it is also lean, which means that it can use its muscles to propel itself into the air.
This is a very intelligent breed that strives to work. In fact, many proponents of the breed argue that this is not a dog that should be kept as a house pet but a dog that really needs a job to do in order to be happy. This intelligence and work drive can encourage the Belgian Malinois to keep working to perfect a jump until they get it right.
A prime example of the incredible jumping ability of the Belgian Malinois is this dog which was able to jump 25 ft when propelling off of the back of a person to grab a toy held on a stick.
5. American Pit Bull Terrier
The American Pitbull Terrier isn’t recognized by the AKC, but the breed is recognized by the UKC. Unfortunately, this breed has an undeserved reputation for aggression and unpredictability. In fact, they can be extremely loving family pets and are particularly noted for being wonderful with children.
The American Pitbull Terrier was originally bred to fight bulls and other animals in pits, and then was adapted to fight with other dogs. However, throughout their long history, they have served as livestock herders, war dogs, all-around farm dogs, and of course, beloved family pets.
This is an extremely muscular but lean breed that is well-known for their tendency to jump fences if they aren’t particularly happy with where they are confined. It’s no surprise that this breed can jump impressively.
Antara the American Pitbull Terrier can jump and climb straight up a 13 ft wall without any grip, an incredibly impressive feat.
6. German Shorthaired Pointer
German Shorthaired Pointers have endless energy and are extremely athletic. This is an ideal dog for a dedicated jogger or biker since they can run seemingly all day long without getting tired. These dogs have an extremely athletic build which also allows them to jump very high.
Their pure energy level can also encourage them to keep trying until they are able to make a jump. If you think that you will be able to confine your German Shorthaired Pointer in a backyard even with a privacy fence, think again.
This German Shorthaired Pointer can easily jump to the top of a 6-foot privacy fence without it seeming to even take much effort.
The ancestors of the Kelpie were imported to Australia from Scotland. Over the years, the Kelpie was developed to be perfectly suited to the unforgiving job of working livestock across vast distances in the untamed Australian countryside.
This made for a dog that was very intelligent, extremely athletic, and highly driven for work. This dog’s powerful build makes them well-suited to impressive leaps. In 2007, A kelpie named Bailey cleared a 9.7 ft jump in front of a cheering crowd at the Casterton Kelpie Muster in Victoria.
Of particular interest to Kelpie enthusiasts was the fact that this particular dog is kept as a pet in an urban setting, rather than being an active working dog in the field. It may go to show how important it is that a dog like this be given a job or hobby when kept as a pet since this breed is so well adapted to working.
The Weimaraner is a unique German breed that is extremely attached to their people and known to be excellent hunting dogs as well as wonderful family pets. These are big dogs, weighing in at between 55 and 90 lb and standing at between 23 and 27in at the shoulder.
Like many other gun dogs, this breed is muscular but also very lean. Originally bred as a pointer, they quickly became an all-purpose hunter that is equally good at pointing and retrieving game birds. This dog is extremely athletic and tends to be highly driven.
Their devotion to their owners means that they will do just about anything for their person. They are also very intelligent, quick to understand, and willing to try over and over again in order to master a task. Powerful hindquarters give them the push that they need to jump.
This Weimaraner, Holly, is easily jumping over the height of a person’s head.
9. Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier is a small dog, but they are incredible athletes. Generally, Jack Russells only weigh between 9 and 15lbs and stand between 10 and 12in. They are well known for being full of personality and energy.
This breed was originally developed to go on fox hunts, but they have since become popular family pets as well as being very useful for eliminating varmints like rats on farm properties. A Jack Russell can jump as high as five feet, which is an impressive distance considering how short they are.
The Papillon is a tiny dog, weighing only between 5 and 10lbs and standing between 8 and 11in at the shoulder. Nonetheless, Papillons are known for being very active and athletic.
They are true dog dogs despite their toy-like appearance. They are extremely skilled in agility and have won in all kinds of agility competitions at high levels. These little dogs are extremely smart, which gives them the dedication to learn to do all sorts of things, including jumping very high.
Here is an example of a little Papillon making some pretty big jumps:
11. Shetland Sheepdog
The Sheltie is a charming little dog that weighs up to 25lbs and stands between 13 and 16 in. While they may look like froo froo dogs, in fact, this is an agile herding breed that is extremely intelligent.
They can be trained in all sorts of things, from obedience to agility to herding. Because of their intelligence, they are willing to keep trying over and over again until they master a skill. The average Sheltie can jump over 3ft. Sheltie forums are full of advice to use at least a 4 ft fence so that this dog won’t jump out of your yard.
The Vizsla is a unique breed that is extremely versatile. They are excellent athletes that thrive as gun dogs, but they are also extremely beloved pets. They bond extremely closely with their owners and are highly trainable.
The average Vizsla is willing to learn just about any kind of sport or activity, including making impressive leaps. This breed has great stamina and loves to jog or bike with their people. They also tend to be very curious, and will happily make a hobby of jumping fences containing them in a yard given the opportunity. They are also happy dogs that often seem to enjoy athletics and jumping just for the sake of it.
Check out this video of a Vizsla who is having a great time jumping after a Frisbee with their owner:
13. Rat Terrier
The Rat Terrier is an American breed that is said to have been given its name by Teddy Roosevelt. There’s no question about what this dog was bred for, but they are now better known as beloved pets than they are as ratters.
This is an intelligent, devoted dog that absolutely loves their people and is full of energy. It takes a lot of athleticism to keep up with the clever and agile rat, and the Rat Terrier packs in this level of athleticism.
They are very muscular and have long, powerful legs which give them a lot of up when they leap. Despite only weighing up to 25lbs and standing between 13 and 18 in for the standard size, this dog is a surprisingly agile jumper, able to clear a 4 ft fence with ease, as this Rat Terrier demonstrates:
14. Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd is a natural athlete with a powerful work drive. They have been beloved by the American cowboy for many years for a very good reason. Now that there are fewer cattle and other livestock to herd, the Australian Shepherd is equally beloved as a family pet, provided the family has enough for them to do.
This is a dog with intense work drive, impressive intelligence, and high trainability. They love chasing after Frisbees and doing agility. Because of their dedicated intelligence, a typical Australian Shepherd is willing to keep trying over and over again until they master a task.
Here’s an example of an Australian Shepherd leaping extremely high in pursuit of a toy:
15. Bull Terrier
The Bull Terrier is an extremely distinctive-looking dog that is completely unmistakable. This is a powerful, muscular breed that absolutely loves to be active. Their powerful build gives them the strength to jump surprisingly high considering their somewhat boxy build.
While they only stand at about 22in but can weigh between 50 and 70 lb, they are powerful enough to make impressive leaps. The average Bull Terrier can definitely clear a 4-foot fence and some individuals may even give a 6-foot a good try.
Without plenty of engagement and training, there is a good chance your Bull Terrier will devote themselves to a task you’d rather they not master, such as jumping over a fence.
16. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd may be one of the best-known of all dog breeds, especially when it comes to working. This breed is a renowned workhorse, able to excel in a wide variety of fields and conditions including water, snow, heat and more. They are superb military and police dogs, excellent service dogs, and able to compete in all kinds of competitions including agility and dock diving.
All while also being loving and affectionate family pets!
It should come as no surprise that such a versatile worker can also jump to impressive heights. Although this dog is a bit bulkier than the very similar Belgian Malinois and may not be able to achieve the same kind of jumps, they can jump to impressive heights.
Check out this German Shepherd showing off its jumping skills in a suburban backyard:
Safety Considerations When Teaching a Dog to Jump
If you have a breed of dog that is good at jumping, you may consider training them to be even better jumpers.
Jumping can be a great way to challenge your dog, give them an opportunity for exercise, and as well as enjoy a shared activity. Even better, jumping is simple and your dog doesn’t have to be the sharpest tool in the shed to get the hang of it.
However, whatever the breed you are considering training, there are some important safety considerations to be kept in mind when training a dog to jump:
Have Your Veterinarian Clear Your Dog Before Making The Leap
Jumping can be a very strenuous activity, both in taking off and Landing. For this reason, it is essential that you have your veterinarian clear your dog of any potential health problems before encouraging your dog to jump.
Issues with the hips can be especially problematic, and heart disease can make any kind of strenuous activity like jumping dangerous for your dog. Make sure that your veterinarian gives you the go-ahead before you begin jumping training.
Make Sure There is a Safe Landing
Don’t assume that your dog won’t make a jump that they can’t land. Dogs tend to be very dedicated to doing exactly what their humans ask them to do, whether it’s safe or not. The type of dog that is willing to make a very high jump may also tend to be the type of dog that will do it even if they can’t safely make a landing.
Therefore, it is very important that you think about how your dog will land and provide for their safety. Here are a few ways to provide a safe landing:
- Catch your dog. One good option is to catch your dog as they come down. The potential downside of this technique is that you may miss or you may interrupt the landing so that your dog lands badly, which may be worse than not catching them at all. Make sure you work carefully with your dog and train them so that you can successfully catch them after the jump.
- Land in water. A water landing is a great solution when you are teaching your dog to jump high. Your dog can jump as high or as far as they want and safely land in water. This is part of the reason that dock diving competitions have become so popular.
- Land on a mat. A mat or inflatable landing pad can be a great option. Make sure that the landing pad is big enough and soft enough that it will both catch your dog and provide the necessary cushioning so that they will land safely.
Will Fence Jumping be a Problem for You?
Before you train your dog to jump, you want to know that they won’t jump out of a fenced backyard when you don’t want them to. There is no guarantee that your dog will only jump when told to.
Once your dog understands that jumping is an option for them, they may use their new skill to jump out of a fenced backyard, even a yard with a privacy fence. If you want to be able to leave your dog confined in a fenced yard, it may be best not to teach them to jump at all.
Enjoy High Jumping Dogs
High jumps are one of the most impressive physical things that dogs can do. Some dog breeds are truly extraordinary in the jumps that they can make. Whether you want one of these breeds for your own or you just are impressed by the capacity of some dogs to leap, these breeds and their remarkable jumps are something to marvel over.