Top 10 Dog Breeds That Jump High

October 13, 2022 / Dog Breeds / By: Melanie Evans

A high jumping Kelpie dog

Most dogs can be jumpy pups when they are excited. Some dogs, however, have pro athlete level jumping skills. Play frisbee with these pups and you'll be in for serious workout!

Some of these high jumping pups get to put their skills to work. In case you did not know, dog sports are becoming a big deal, with dock diving and general agility contests being among them.

To dock dive successfully, pups need to be able to jump high, and jump long and jumping plays a large part in agility contests, when pups are usually required to clear hurdles of varying heights.

Could your pup be the next dog jumping star? Maybe if he belongs to one of the top 10 dog breeds that can jump high. 

Top 10 Best High Jumping Dog Breeds [+Pictures]

1. Border Collie

Merle Border Collie

The Border Collie, a breed that is known for its very high intelligence, and its hardworking dedication to shepherding if they are called to - something their ancestors have done since Roman times in Britain and the reason the breed exists - is also an extraordinary jumper.

A young Border Collie can jump up to six feet in the air, and four feet it they 'long jump' skills that can be as useful for a working Border Collie as they are for an athletic one.

Why can Border Collies jump so high? Their slim, long bodies help and their genetic tendency to be able to control their movements helps too!

Training an athletic Border Collie can be a challenge though, as their higher intelligence means that doing so may have to be on their schedule, but if they agree to train you could have an NBA level jumper on your hands! 

2. Shetland Sheepdogs

A Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) on a walk

Shetland sheepdogs are another very hardworking breed if called to do so, as they have been used to both herd sheep and help their masters hunt poultry in the Scottish Highlands since the 19th century. 

Another very intelligent breed, Shetland Sheepdogs are excellent all round show dogs, but if called upon to do so they can be excellent athletes too, jumping up to four feet high, and three to four feet in length. They are a little smaller than their closely related Border Collie cousins but can still make pretty big leaps.

Shetland Sheepdogs make great dock diving dogs, as they also tend to love water, and so asking them to get out on the water will usually be considered a treat! 

3. German Shepherd

An adorable long-haired german shepherd outdoors

As many German Shepherd owners have learned the hard way, an energetic German Shepherd will often have no problem clearing a fence that is up to six feet high if they are motivated enough.

That motivation might come from the desire to chase something, something that smells great (German Shepherds are very food motivated) or even a need to protect their territory, but when they have it they can jump very high.

Some people are surprised that a GSD can leap so high and show the agility they do, as most adults are big dogs - usually between 65-90 pounds when full grown, but their muscular build lends them the spring they need.

In the UK, canine police officers are almost always German Shepherds, thanks in part to their reliable athleticism. 

4. Papillon

A beautiful papillon dog with a long white silky coat outdoors in the grass

If you're looking for small dogs that jump high, take a look at the Papillon. Papillons, with their butterfly ears and slight build look sweet and cute when quiet.

And if you look at many medieval paintings you will see them obviously living large as lapdogs to some of Europe's richest and most revered women of the time, especially in the Tudor Court of England where they became a highly favored breed under the French educated Anne Boleyn.

As dainty as they appear Papillons are also very athletic and active, with a jumping ability that allows them to jump over two feet in the air, which is, impressively, more than twice the average Papillon height of eight to twelve inches!

In fact, Papillons are so athletic - and eager to show off - that members of their breed consistently place in the top spots in agility contests, even against much larger, stronger dog peers. 

5. Australian Shepherd

A blue merle Australian shepherd dog playing frisbee with a tug toy in the park

The Australian Shepherd has a checkered and colorful genetic history and another excellent choice of a high jump dog.

Descended in part from the tough mountain dogs of the Pyrenees they were imported to Australia along with the convicts who were the massive continent's first non-indigenous settlers, and quickly put to work as sheep herding ranch hands when those folks began to develop agriculture and farming in their new home.

The Aussie as it affectionately known made its way to California decades later, and although a European pup was accidentally taken for a native Australian and given the name Australian Shepherd.

It was there that people discovered how athletic these dogs were. Able to jump up to four feet or higher, and long jump well too, water loving Aussies are great dock divers and do well in agility contests too. 

6. Australian Kelpie

A beautiful Australian Kelpie in nature in the fall

The Australian Kelpie really is an Australian pup. The breed is descended from Scottish collie type dogs, and was specifically imported to Australia to work as cattle herding dogs as they can withstand the arid Outback heat far better than many other breeds.

These lithe, eager dogs are tireless workers, and very smart. They have slightly smaller athletic builds - the average Australian Kelpie stands 16 inches tall - and a lot of stamina. They can jump 4-5 feet in the air and as sporting dogs are eager to learn and relatively easy to train. 

7. Greyhound

An adorable greyhound lying down

Greyhounds are associated with speed, as they have been raced for centuries, but with that comes astonishing agility, meaning they can jump high too, often over five feet in the air.

The slight elegance of the "inverted S" form of the Greyhound's body, created by the deep chest softly curving into a closely tucked waist, has been an object of fascination for writers, poets, and kings for hundreds of years. And greyhound racing has long been a worldwide pursuit.

With that sport now being outlawed in some places - most recently in Florida - greyhounds are being seen more frequently at agility competitions, where they perform very well. 

8. Whippet

A whippet puppy

The Whippet is occasionally mistaken for a greyhound, as they look similar at a distance, and are both very athletic pups. 

The Whippet however was once a greyhound. In the 19th century coal miners in the north of England longed to get into the lucrative business of greyhound racing but simply could not afford what was a very expensive dog. So they bred their own, creating a smaller, leaner version that could run even faster.

When a number of successful whippet breeders left England to head to a new life in New England they took their Whippets with them, and introduced the sport there too. Whippets have been recorded jumping as high as eight feet, and can average six, making them Air Jordan level jumping dogs! 

9. Vizsla

Health Issues in Vizslas

The Vizsla is a tall, very regal looking Hungarian pup who can, if called upon to, jump as high as six feet in the air.

These magnificent, dark amber colored dogs have been the gun dog of choice in their native Hungary for centuries. The first of them arrived in the USA as defectors during the Cold War in the 1950s, their entrance aided by a dog loving U.S. State Department employee.

Five decades later a very athletic Vizla, called Chartay, became the first dog in American Kennel Club history to achieve victory in five different dog sports, demonstrating just how successful a competitor the Vizla can be. 

10. Jack Russel Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

In England in the 1800s, a clergyman, Reverend John 'Jack' Russell, who was known as the ' Sporting Parson' found himself in need of a sturdy small dog who could help him with both getting rid of rats and serve as a fox hunting companion. Unable to find one, he bred his own, and the very lively Jack Russell Terrier was the result.

In addition to being great hunting dogs, and excellent retrievers, Jack Russells can jump up to five feet high, an impressive feat considering that, on average, they stand less than 10 inches tall themselves! 

For more interesting facts, advice and breed recommendations, check out our other posts at iPupster


Melanie Evans

Melanie Evans is a professional freelance writer based in Scranton, PA, who, enjoys sharing her lifelong knowledge about dogs. When not working, Melanie enjoys playing a wide variety of sports, traveling and hanging out with her energetic boxer dog Bruce.

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