One of the challenges that comes with owning a dog is making sure that it doesn’t run away. But as far as pooches go, there really are some types who find the call to roam truly irresistible. As such, it is necessary to understand why this is so and what you can do to prevent it from happening – or at the very least, keep it to a minimum.
After all, you wouldn’t want your dog to find itself in danger out in public – whether it is getting attacked by stray animals, being hit by a vehicle, or ending up eating something poisonous. Read on ahead for everything you need to know about run away dogs and how to deal with them!
Running: A Reward in Itself
Before knowing the strategies, it is important to understand that the act of running away is already very rewarding for a lot of dogs. Even if they are running towards something, the mere act of bolting away from you can already make up a large part of the thrill that comes with such an action.
This is also usually compounded by something that they find truly irresistible outside or that there is something to be feared that he thinks he should run away from.
Some of the reasons as to why dogs might run away from you include:
- The feeling of boredom
- An opportunity to experience freedom (such as open doors or gates)
- Noises that are loud enough to scare him
- Lack of obedience training
- Separation anxiety
- Stray animals
- The desire to search for a mate
In addition, when your dog is already outside in the open it is highly likely that he will find lots of interesting sights, sounds, and new experience. This is all very exciting from the point of view of the dog, and when this happens it further stresses the point that running is indeed a reward that is worth having time and again.
As a dog owner, you must remember not to take this personally – even with your best efforts at ensuring that this won’t happen again. Most dogs usually do not pass up the opportunity to see what is out there, so they will really act on the instinct to go out and explore the bigger world when the possibility is within reach.
Tips to Keep Your Dog from Bolting
Having said all that, here are some things you can try to prevent your dog from his habit of running away:
1. Neuter or spay your dog.
One of the first things you have to do to keep your dog from bolting out the door is to have him spayed or neutered. Dogs who have their parts intact will often go out in search for a mate as soon as their hormones kick in. When this happens, it can become an unpleasant experience for your family to deal with.
A male dog that smells a female dog who is in heat will automatically make his way towards her. His mind is automatically programmed to go out and find his lady, and he may even resort to antics such as barking, howling, whining loudly, and looking for possible escape routes. These actions are present even in dogs who have gone through obedience training!
Remember: male dogs are quite capable of smelling female dogs who are in heat even at a distance. Once they get a whiff, they will follow this scent and vie for the female dog’s attention. There are cases wherein several male dogs end up fighting to the death over this, so the probability for injury for your dog is very real.
This is why neutering or spaying your dog will help solve this problem. In addition, it will also help temper aggressive behavior as well as lower your pet’s risk for certain types of cancer.
This video talks about what to do if you were in a situation where your dog ran away from you and didn’t come back.
2. Provide your dog with lots of entertainment.
Dogs are very intelligent animals who love being active, so you need to ensure that they don’t resort to unpleasant means just to fight off boredom. A dog who has the tendency to tear pillows to shreds and chew up your shoes is a restless dog who might also jump at the chance to go outside and roam around.
What you can do is to provide your dog with as much physical and mental entertainment to push the idea of running away out of his head. Some great suggestions include:
- Tossing a frisbee and playing fetch
- Going out for a daily walk
- Scheduling visits to the dog park several times a week
- Surprise him with toys and other playthings in the different areas of the house or your yard
- Find a buddy for him to play with
- Hire the services of a dog walker so your dog will have some company
In addition, obedience training will also help a lot. Obedience training is necessary for ensuring a healthy and harmonious relationship between the two of you. It has also been credited for saving a dog’s life many times, and if such a situation presents itself you will be very grateful for the training.
3. Keep your home and yard escape-proof.
Even after providing your dog with what he needs, this is no guarantee that he won’t be tempted to go outside. Thus, preventive measures are necessary to keep your dog in the house or yard – even if he doesn’t want to.
Some good investments to make are gates and doors that automatically close. You can also work on having all the holes around your fence filled in so your dog cannot wriggle his way out in this manner. You may also think about using chicken wire embedded around your house’s perimeter as an extra measure.
Dogs might go over your fence, so if this is possible you can work on extending your fence’s height with some nailed-in chicken wire high enough to keep him from climbing over it. In addition, removing triggers that can scare or even excite your dog should be arranged. If it’s the sight of a passing cat that motivates him to run away, find means to block it from the dog’s view.
While dog running is indeed a common problem that most dog owners experience, these extra efforts at learning about the behavior and what can be done to stop it will really make a big difference!