Top 10 Sky-High Dog Breeds That Love to Leap


High jumping ability is a desirable trait in dogs for several reasons. According to a Reddit discussion, dogs are able to jump much higher than humans relative to their size due to having a higher strength-to-weight ratio. This allows smaller dogs to easily leap several times their height. High jumping skills are useful for dogs participating in canine sports and competitions like agility trials and dock diving events. For working dogs like police K9s and military dogs, being able to jump high is an asset for clearing obstacles and scaling walls. High jumping dogs also make entertaining pets, as their gravity-defying leaps can be quite impressive to watch. Lastly, the athleticism and coordination needed for vertical jumping indicates overall good health and physical ability in a dog.

10. Jack Russell Terrier

jack russell terrier jumping high
The Jack Russell Terrier originated in England in the 1800s as a fox hunting dog. This energetic and athletic breed is capable of jumping up to 5 feet high, which is about 5 times their shoulder height. Their strong hind legs allow them to excel at agility courses and competitive events involving jumping. According to Pet Insurance, Jack Russells can jump as high as 5 feet. This impressive jumping ability likely derives from their history as fox hunting dogs who needed to jump high to catch their prey.

While their jumping capabilities are extraordinary, owners need to be mindful that too much high impact exercise at a young age could damage their growth plates. Providing proper conditioning and maintaining a healthy weight is key to preserving their joints and ligaments. When given appropriate outlets for exercise and mental stimulation, the Jack Russell’s athleticism and energy can be a delight. Their agility and spunky personality continue to make them popular pets and competitors in canine sports.

9. Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is an agile herding breed known for its quick reflexes and impressive jumping ability. This energetic dog can leap up to 4-5 feet vertically thanks to its athletic build and strong hind legs (source). Australian Shepherds were originally bred to herd livestock by jumping and circling around them. Their jumping talent likely developed from these herding origins, as they needed to be able to rapidly change direction and bound over obstacles. Today, Australian Shepherds excel at canine sports like agility and flyball which showcase their natural jumping prowess.

8. Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Originally bred in Scotland in the mid-1800s to be gundogs and retrieve shot waterfowl, Golden Retrievers are strong swimmers with water-repellent coats.1 Their athleticism also makes them great jumpers.

golden retriever leaping to catch frisbee

The average Golden Retriever can jump up to 5 feet high from a standstill. With a running start, they can clear jumps of up to 6 feet. Golden Retrievers have powerful hindquarters that help propel them upwards. Selective breeding for hunting and sporting abilities has endowed Goldens with natural athletic talents like jumping.2

A Golden Retriever’s jumping ability depends on several factors like age, health, and training. Younger and middle-aged Goldens generally have better muscle strength and stamina compared to seniors. Keeping their weight in check also ensures they can jump without excessive impact on joints. Proper exercise like agility training maintains their fitness. Well-trained Goldens can master challenging high jump techniques.

7. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a highly athletic breed that was originally bred in southern Africa to hunt lions. Their stamina and jumping ability served them well in pursuing big game over long distances. Today, Ridgebacks are prized as family companions but still retain their athleticism and jumping prowess.

One major factor contributing to the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s excellent jumping ability is their history of being bred to hunt. They needed to be able to keep up with and occasionally jump on lions during the hunt [1]. This required tremendous athleticism and leaping ability.

In addition, Rhodesian Ridgebacks have very muscular hind legs that provide explosive power for jumping. Their long legs and slender build give them an advantage for getting airborne quickly and reaching great heights [2]. Their athletic heritage is readily apparent when they playfully leap and bound around the yard.

While many Rhodesian Ridgebacks can jump as high as 6-7 feet from a standstill, the breed record is an astounding 9 feet 3 inches set by a dog named Tonka in 2014 [3]. This demonstrates their incredible agility and ability to launch themselves skyward.

6. Border Collie

border collie jumping over sheep
Border Collies are an intelligent and energetic working dog breed that excel at herding livestock. They are considered one of the premier herding dog breeds and are widely used on farms and ranches to herd sheep, cattle, and other livestock. Border Collies have an instinct to herd that has been selectively bred into the breed for generations.

Part of what makes Border Collies excellent herding dogs is their tremendous energy, stamina, and athleticism. They can nimbly run, turn, and jump while directing livestock. According to the American Kennel Club, Border Collies have been recorded jumping over 12 feet from a standstill position. This immense leaping ability allows them to quickly maneuver around livestock. Their high energy also allows them to work long days herding without tiring.

It’s this combination of intelligence, natural herding instinct, boundless energy, and athleticism that enables the Border Collie to be one of the highest jumping dog breeds. Their skills have made them indispensable for managing livestock on farms for decades.


5. Belgian Malinois

Closely related to the German Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois is popular as an intelligent, athletic working dog used for police, military, and search and rescue operations.Research shows that these dogs can typically jump four to six feet high from a standing position. With running starts, high-drive Belgian Malinois may clear over seven feet tall fences or walls. Their strong rear ends provide tremendous leaping power. This breed needs vigorous daily exercise and stimulation, otherwise their energetic nature can lead to behavior issues. Owners need to provide plenty of opportunities for jumping, running, playing, and training exercises to keep a Belgian Malinois physically and mentally satisfied.

4. Greyhound

The Greyhound is bred for racing and coursing, and is known for being an excellent sprinter. They have a very aerodynamic and flexible body that allows them to gallop at speeds up to 45 mph. Though built for speed, Greyhounds are surprisingly adept jumpers as well. Their powerful hind legs allow them to leap to great heights with little effort.

greyhound jumping hurdle

One study measured the jumping capability of a group of Greyhounds and found they could jump well over 1 meter high from a standing position. This ranks them among the top jumping breeds. Their leg muscles contain a high proportion of fast-twitch fibers, giving them explosiveness off the ground. Greyhounds also have a flexible spine that bends and extends as they jump, further increasing their jumping height.

While sprinting is their strength, Greyhounds’ jumping abilities are impressive as well. Their athleticism and explosive power earn them a spot as one of the highest jumping dog breeds.



3. Saluki

The Saluki is an ancient sighthound breed that originated in the Middle East where it was used to hunt gazelles by coursing them and making high jumps to catch or knock down the prey. Though lean and lanky in build, Salukis are incredibly athletic with extraordinary leaping abilities and can jump up to 7 feet in the air to catch their quarry (Dogtime, Their strong hindquarters and flexible spine give them explosive acceleration and allow them to make those astonishing vertical jumps from a standing start. According to the AKC breed standard, “excessive elevation at the withers, excessively arched loin, and excessive curvature of the ischia” are faults since they reduce jumping power. Their incredibly high jumps make the Saluki one of the highest jumping dog breeds.


In conclusion, the top 10 highest jumping dog breeds are Jack Russell Terrier, Australian Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Border Collie, Belgian Malinois, Greyhound, Saluki, Vizsla and German Shorthaired Pointer. These breeds have a combination of strength, agility and stamina that makes them naturally excel at jumping. Jumping is an important form of exercise for them, allowing them to stretch their muscles and burn off energy. However, care should be taken to avoid over-exercising puppies while their growth plates are still developing. With proper training and conditioning, the athleticism of high jumping breeds can be channeled productively into dog sports and activities. Their impressive vertical leap is a testament to the remarkable physical abilities of dogs.

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