Can Coyotes Climb Fences? Find Out How High They Can Jump

by Derrick | Last Updated: July 14, 2023

Coyotes are a big problem in many areas, from the suburbs to the rural areas and even some cities!

The size of coyotes can vary, but they all have one thing in common: they can jump fences!

How High Can A Coyotes Jump? Coyotes jump about four feet in the air. They can easily use their legs and scale a five- to six-foot fence.

Can coyotes jump fences ? Yes, coyotes can jump fences; coyotes jump fences for numerous reasons, often to hunt small animals like cats and raccoons, to eat trash, or even to explore.

You might not think this is important to know, but it is something that you should consider when deciding how to protect your family and property.

Some people don’t realize that coyotes can climb fences and jump them, so keep reading to learn more about what you need to do.

Coyotes and Fences

We often put fences around our house to give us privacy and in some cases, to provide some level of safety as it helps deter people and animals from easily accessing our property.

If you live in an area where you frequently hear coyotes, you may want to investigate the fence options that will be best to repel and/or deter coyotes.

Coyotes can be determined and crafty critters, so if you have pets having a secure yard is a must.

Coyotes can jump fences, but some coyote-proof fence styles are better than others.

Why Do Coyotes Jump Fences?

Coyotes are highly adaptable creatures known for their agility and intelligence, traits that have allowed them to survive and thrive in various environments, including urban and suburban areas. One of their most notable abilities is their capacity to jump fences, a skill they employ for several reasons.

Primarily, coyotes jump fences when they are in pursuit of food. Their diverse diet ranges from small mammals, birds, and reptiles to fruits, vegetables, and even human trash. Fenced yards, particularly those housing pets or pet food, can be attractive hunting grounds for these opportunistic feeders. If a coyote senses potential prey or food on the other side of a fence, it won’t hesitate to leap over the barrier to reach it.

Additionally, coyotes are territorial animals that roam large areas to mark their territory and find mates. Fences are human-made obstacles that don’t naturally exist in their environment, so they don’t recognize these barriers in the same way we do. If a fence happens to be in their path, they are likely to jump it rather than go around. This behavior is especially common during mating season when male coyotes are known to travel long distances in search of a mate.

In essence, jumping fences is a survival strategy for coyotes. It allows them to access food resources, defend or expand their territories, and find potential mates. Understanding this behavior is crucial for managing interactions between humans and coyotes, particularly in areas where their habitats overlap.

How High Of A Fence Can Coyotes Jump?

Coyotes can jump a 5ft to 6 ft high fence with ease. This is without touching the fence in any way.

But coyotes can jump and climb a fence that is up to about 14 foot high by jumping, grabbing onto the top of the fence with it’s front legs and coyotes then using their hind legs to help them scale fences.

This may lead you to ask how high should a fence be to keep coyotes out. At a minimum, I would look into a 8ft fence with coyote protection items installed, but it really depends on the type of fence. A chain link fence, coyotes can use the links to climb, whereas a smooth vinyl fence may be harder for coyotes to scale. Read on and we will talk about more details and really focus in on prevention measures you can take.

Different Fence Types – How They Impact Coyotes

In residential areas we have many different types of fences.

The different styles of fences will serve a purpose but also impact the coyotes, it is always a balance of functionality, looks and cost when it comes to fencing.

Some fence types will work better than others when keeping coyotes out.

No one-size fits all type of fencing will check all of the boxes, so it is essential to determine if you want a fence that looks good and is cost-effective for your situation.

Wood Fence – Will Wood Fencing Prevent Coyotes?

Wood fencing can sometimes be better than chain link fencing, not all the time, but it can impact keeping coyotes out.

Wood fencing can have points at the top, which may deter coyotes from jumping the fence, it also is usually more of a solid surface when compared to chain link fencing. This will make it hard for a coyote to see through the fence and thus make it question if any threats exist on the other side. Therefore, it could potentially scare coyotes and deter them from wanting to jump the wood fence.

Chain Link Fencing – Can Coyotes Get Through a Chain Link Fence?

Chain link fencing is common in residential neighborhoods around a house’s backyard. It is a fairly cost-effective option for fencing, but generally, it is only 4 or 5 ft tall and ineffective at keeping coyotes out since it can be climbed easily, and some larger coyotes can clear it without climbing.

Sometimes, you can get taller chain link fencing 6ft to 7ft tall. While these taller fences may help keep coyotes from purely leaping the fence, they usually can still catch onto the top and use their hind legs to climb over the fence.

Chainlink fences are among the least secure to keep coyotes out of your yard and help protect your pets.

There have been some instances where coyotes can use the chain link fencing the ladder and climb right over, making the fence useless.

With all of this said, if your primary concern is a fence to keep coyotes out, I wouldn’t even consider a chainlink fence unless it is topped with points or has other protection methods like coyote rollers in place; otherwise it is likely this style of fence will not prevent coyote attacks.

Electric Fencing

The best option for security may be electric fencing. This type of fence is generally made up of a wire that carries an electrical current and has to have the electricity turned on to work. In some cases, this can seem like an expensive solution, but you will often find that these fences are effective at keeping coyotes and other predators away. These types of fences generally do not look the best, so you may not want to use it in a residential area but may work well in a more rural area.

Vinyl Fencing

Vinyl fences are a good option for anyone looking to add protection without the expense of an electric fence.

These types of fences can be installed with little maintenance, and they work by having spikes that coyotes cannot climb over or dig under. Vinyl fences do not need to be stained or painted, they can be somewhat pricey to initially install, especially with coyote protection upgrades like spikes but they can be a good solution that balances looks, function, and low maintenance.

Metal Fencing Options

There are several metal fencing options to help control coyotes and protect your family or domestic animals. The main benefits of metal fencing are that it is typically durable, easy to install and can be installed in just about any type of environment.

The benefits of using a metal fence to control coyotes are that metal fencing provides numerous options so you can control coyotes with it but it is also pleasing to look at and doesn’t detract from how your house looks.

Metal fences are also a great choice because they can come in smooth textures that are harder for coyotes to climb since they cannot get a grip on the fence surface and use that to propel them over the fence.

The final benefit of using metal fencing to control coyotes is how durable it really is because you don’t have to worry about painting or staining the fence since it will never rot, warp, peel, or splinter.

So while the durability aspect doesn’t improve the resistance to coyotes, it makes your life easier!

Specialty Coyote Fences

Specialty coyote fencing options are harder to come by and not as easy to find installers. These are generally a little more costly than traditional fences but are great choices for those individuals who live in high-density coyote areas and want absolute protection for your pets.

Specialty coyote fences are typically made of metal and have a different design meant to keep coyotes from getting their paws or claws into areas that would facilitate climbing.

What Can You Use With Fences To Deter and/or Prevent Coyotes?

Coyote Rollers

Coyote rollers come in a number of shapes and sizes, as a general rule are one of the better ways to deter coyotes and other wildlife. These can be installed on the top of just about any fence. You can get ones that are fairly decorative or make homemade coyote rollers, but they generally all do the same job.

Coyote rollers work by spinning when a coyote tries to leap the fence and use its body to rest on the top of the fence and then it’s legs to provide momentum to propel it over the fence. The roller will spin and keep the coyote from getting a good foothold on the fence.

The main benefit of coyote rollers is that the rollers are one of the more humane ways of dealing with coyote problems, where traps or poison can be a more extreme measure.

A secondary benefit of coyote rollers is if you have a dog that likes to jump the fence, they also help keep the dogs within the fenced-in area.

The main drawback of coyote rollers is that they can be fairly expensive if you have a rather large yard and it takes time to install them on top of the fence posts. If your budget is tight look for DIY options, I will post a few DIY style videos below for you to explore.

Electric Fences

Another option is electric fences; you can purchase electric fences that have the whole fence energized, which can be good in rural areas but wouldn’t be well received in the city or suburbs.

Another option is an electric-topped fence. This is a fence that has a wire that is put on the top and energized with electricity.

This type of fence can stop coyotes from jumping over the fence, similar to coyote rollers when they try and jump the fence, it will zap the coyote and deter them from continuing to try and scale the fence.

Chicken Wire

You can place chicken wire near the bottom of your fence and bury it slightly below grade, this will ensure a coyote doesn’t dig under your fence and likewise that your pet doesn’t dig under the fence and escape.

Do They Make A Coyote Proof Fence?

There are fences designed to deter coyotes, but it’s important to note that coyotes are very adaptable and intelligent animals, so no fence is 100% coyote-proof. However, there are several measures you can take to make your fence more effective at keeping coyotes out.

Here are some general guidelines for a coyote-resistant fence:

  1. Height: Coyotes are excellent jumpers, and a fence should be at least 6 feet tall to deter them. Some sources recommend 8 feet as a more secure height.
  2. Roller Bars or Coyote Rollers: These are designed to prevent coyotes and other animals from gaining the leverage they need to pull themselves over a fence. They are essentially long, cylindrical tubes designed to roll when a coyote or other animal tries to climb over them, causing the animal to fall back down.
  3. Digging Prevention: Coyotes are also good diggers, so the fence should extend at least 1-2 feet below ground, or you can install a mesh apron that extends outward from the base of the fence to prevent digging.
  4. Material: The fence should be made of a sturdy material that a coyote can’t easily chew through or break, such as metal or thick, heavy-duty wood.
  5. Avoid Gaps: Ensure there are no gaps in your fence where a coyote could squeeze through. This includes the space under gates, which should be minimal.
  6. Visibility: Solid fences are more effective than chain link or mesh, as coyotes are less likely to try to jump over a fence if they can’t see what’s on the other side.

Can a Coyote Jump a Chain Link Fence?

Yes, coyotes are capable of jumping a chain-link fence. They are excellent jumpers and climbers, and a typical residential chain-link fence is no obstacle for a determined coyote. Coyotes can typically jump an obstacle that is up to 6 feet high, and they can also use their climbing skills to get over a fence if they can get a grip on it.

Chain-link fences can provide a good grip for a coyote’s paws, allowing them to climb over the fence. This is why solid fences, which don’t provide a foothold, are often recommended for keeping coyotes out. If a chain-link fence is your only option, consider adding roller bars or coyote rollers to the top. These devices roll when a coyote tries to climb over, causing the coyote to fall back down.

Remember, the height of the fence is not the only factor to consider. Coyotes are also good diggers, so the fence should extend at least 1-2 feet below ground, or you can install a mesh apron that extends outward from the base of the fence to prevent digging. Also, ensure there are no gaps in your fence where a coyote could squeeze through. This includes the space under the gates, which should be minimal.

What Else Can You Do To Help Keep Coyotes Away?

You can do several other things to help keep coyotes away, such as avoiding keeping food scraps and/or pet food outside, which may attract the coyote. Feed your pets inside where possible and any food or scraps left outside should be secured from animals.

Bird feeders can entice coyotes to jump fences; while coyotes often aren’t attracted to the feeders directly, they often are interested in the birds and other small creatures that are attracted to the bird seed.

Lastly, secure your trash can; it should have a secure lid that is always kept on; this will not only help reduce the smells but also ensure the coyote can’t get to the food scraps inside.