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How High Can a Fox Jump & Can They Climb Fences?

Foxes can jump up to 3 feet, but with their claws, they can climb up to 6 feet. They can climb fences or trees, and do so to get food or to get away from predators.

Foxes are quite acrobatic, and with strong legs and claws, they’re good climbers.

They’re seen as pests, climbing over fences into people’s gardens or yards.

In this article, we’ll cover how high they can jump, how they climb, as well as how you can keep foxes out.

How High Can Foxes Jump?

Foxes have been observed to jump as high as 6 feet (Red fox) although most fox species can only jump up to 3 feet (such as the Fennec fox).

When jumping, they use their strong hind legs to generate force in an upwards trajectory, while keeping their eyes on the target.

Foxes rely on their ability to jump, surprise and catch prey. You may be familiar with the pounce foxes make when they’re attacking.

Jaroslav Červený, along with 23 other researchers, studied this behavior. Their theory is that when foxes jump, they use the Earth’s magnetic field as a targeting system. This makes it so they rarely miss a pounce. [1]

Can a Fox Jump a 6 Ft Fence?

No, foxes can’t jump over a 6 feet tall fence. However, they can still scale a 6 feet wall by using their claws to climb up after the initial jump.

How High Can a Red Fox Jump

Red foxes can jump as high as 6 feet. Red foxes are bigger than most other fox species, giving them extra height when jumping. [2]

How High Can a Fennec Fox Jump?

Fennec foxes, despite their small size, can jump up to 3 feet into the air. They’re only 14 to 16 inches tall, allowing them to jump almost 3 times their own height.

How High Can Foxes Climb?

Foxes can climb between 6 to 9 feet, depending on the species. They use climbing as a tool for hunting, climbing into trees, or scaling fences to feed.

They’re very capable climbers, using their claws to dig into the surface they’re climbing over.

Foxes in Australia have even been observed to climb up trees and carry off a baby koala. [2]

Related: Can foxes climb trees?

fox on a tree

Can Foxes Climb Fences

Yes, foxes can climb fences. They can easily jump a standard fence and can climb additional heights for a total of 6 to 9 feet. 

They can use trash bins, boxes, sturdy plants, and other materials to help them get a leg up and jump. They can jump from these props and use their claws to clamber up the rest of the way.

Best Fences to Keep Foxes Out

If you’re building a fence with foxes in mind, you should build double the standard height (1800 mm or 5.9 feet) for the best chance of keeping foxes out.

Keep in mind, that foxes can also dig under fences. Hence, you should consider a fence that also digs into the ground.

Apart from this, there are other things you can do to keep foxes out:

  • You can build fences that are angled a little towards the outside so foxes will have difficulty climbing up. 
  • Since foxes can dig, it’s also important that the wire netting is buried underground. 
  • Posts should be made out of steel or smooth concrete so foxes will have a more difficult time scaling them. 
  • Electrifying the fence or using barbed wire on top can also help to keep foxes out. 
fence

How Far Can Foxes Jump?

While foxes use their jump to get into trees or to climb over fences, they also use it when hunting. They can generally pounce on prey that’s within a distance of 1-3 feet, depending on the species of fox.

Foxes use a pouncing technique, where they jump into the air, landing headfirst onto their unsuspecting prey.

This is especially used by the Arctic fox, who has to hunt for prey hiding underneath the snow. They use the jumping technique to dig through snow easier.

How Far Can a Red Fox Jump?

A red fox can pounce on its prey within a distance of 3 feet.

How Far Can a Fennec Fox Jump?

Fennec foxes can pounce on prey within a distance of 2 feet.

Fox-Proofing Your Home

Prevention is always better than looking for a cure.

Foxes can be creative and can enter your home any number of ways if you are not careful. 

Here are some tips that you can follow so you can have the upper hand and keep these determined creatures from getting into your home or garden.

1. Remove Fox Attractants

The best way to avoid having to deal with foxes is removing anything that could attract foxes in the first place. 

Foxes are omnivorous and are mainly attracted to food sources or things that could give them an easy meal. 

  1. Keep small pets like guinea pigs, rabbits, kittens, birds, and small puppies indoors. Foxes have been reported to snatch away small pets from yards if they are particularly desperate for food. 
  2. Foxes naturally love to forage for food at night so you have to make sure you don’t leave out food scraps or fruits. 
  3. Avoid leaving out fertilizers that are made of fish or blood or bones. These also attract foxes, as they can smell it from outside your property. 
  4. Don’t leave water bowls outside. 

Foxes can also be attracted to small items that you leave in your yard that they may use as playthings.

Red fox walking on foliage in autumn nature in detail.

2. Block Up Holes That Foxes Can Use as Lodging

Make sure you block up holes that you see around your home that they could use as hiding places or temporary dens.

Foxes live in dens that they dig out in the wild or expand from already existing burrows from other animals. 

While they mainly shy away from human contact, they are opportunistic animals. They are keen to take advantage of what is readily available for them. If they can avoid unnecessary work, they will. 

fennec fox at night

3. Use a Guard Dog (If You Have a Dog)

If you live on a farm, getting a guard dog is a good way to keep foxes at bay. 

You have to make sure though that the guard dog you are getting will be bigger than the foxes that they will be guarding against. 

Even in urban areas, having a dog at home can also help keep foxes away since they shy away from loud noises.

The guard dog is protecting the owner's bag.

4. Use Fox Repellent

Foxes avoid loud noises and bright lights whenever possible. Getting a fox repellent device can help in making sure that your home is fox-free. 

Fox repellents are small devices that send out ultrasonic sounds, bright lights, or a combination of both to startle the foxes. 

They should be pointed towards the areas where you have seen foxes enter your property. Sensors will be triggered as these animals enter. 

You can also use a chemical compound.

Some specially-formulated sprays and compounds can mimic the scent of foxes or much larger animals. 

This tricks foxes into thinking predators hang around your property, or that other foxes have claimed it as their territory.

spraying ants

5. Spread Your Own Scent

As foxes are all about using scents as signals, you can also use this behavior of theirs to your advantage.

Foxes tend to avoid humans as much as possible, especially when there are many of them in an area. You can trick foxes into thinking that there are a lot of people in a certain area by spreading human scent all over your property.

You can do this by spreading hair in your garden. 

Ask your local barbershop or salon for the trimmed hair and spread these all over your yard. You can also make use of your urine. This is especially effective if you can mask any scent markings that foxes have spread. 

They will take this as a sign that there is a much larger predator or animal that lives in this area.

hair on the floor

6. Use Sound to Keep Foxes Away

If you happen to see a fox venturing into your garden, you can scare it away by making loud noises.

Foxes don’t like loud noises and they get easily startled. If you scare them away, they may not return.

Megaphone

7. Trap the Fox

If foxes keep returning to your garden, you may have to trap them.

Professionals use humane box fox traps. Leg traps are deemed to be unsuitable. 

Once a fox is caught in a trap, they are then relocated to areas in the countryside or euthanized. 

fox growling

8. Build sturdy fences

Building a sturdy, and tall, fence is another way of keeping foxes out. While they can climb quite high, fences can in some circumstances work.

Make sure that the fence is more than 6 feet tall, if possible. If you can’t build a wall that high, you can also place barbed wires on top of your fence. 

Electrifying should be a last resort in residential areas but can be necessary for farms. 

You should also make sure that there are no structures on the outside that foxes can climb on to for an initial height advantage.

electric fence

9. Change up your garden

Since foxes are more or less a creature of habit, they like coming back to places that are very familiar to them. They love coming back to gardens that have pots and materials that they could use as toys. 

One way to help avoid foxes from handing around your garden is to change it up. Relocate the things you have in your garden, plant new plants, etc.

fox active at night

10. Call Animal Control

When all else fails, it is best to get help from your local Animal Control office. These are professionals who know how to deal with persistent foxes. 

You should call them if you see foxes on your property with odd behavior, or if they don’t respond to typical deterrents. These are signs of rabid foxes, which are dangerous to you and your pets.

Conclusion

Foxes can jump up to 6 feet and can climb an additional 3 feet. This enables them to jump and climb over fences, or to climb into trees. Foxes will typically do this because they can smell food.

There are several things you can do if you want to keep foxes out of your garden. This includes buying a fox repellent device, trapping the fox, building a fence specifically designed to keep foxes out, or calling pest control.

FAQs

How Do I Stop Foxes Climbing My Fence?

To stop foxes from climbing your fence, you should remove any structures or props in the near vicinity, that they can jump from. You can also add an overhang on your fence, making it more difficult for the small animals to climb over the top. 

Other options include electrifying the fence, using barbed wires, or tilting your fence slightly outwards.

How High Should a Fence Be to Keep Foxes Out?

Some foxes can climb up to 9 feet, while most can climb up to 6 feet. Using this information, we can calculate how tall a fence should be: at least 6 feet.

If there are any trees, or structures, nearby, foxes can use these to jump over your fence, so make sure there are no such things around your fence.

Having a fence over 6 feet isn’t always cost-effective, especially on farms where you would have to cover a large amount of land. Instead, you can use barbed wires on the top, or add a slight overhang.

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.