How do you catch a loose dog? Very carefully! Follow these four easy steps to help you wrangle a pooch on the loose quickly and safely!
Your dog slipped his leash and ran off? Don’t worry. This can happen to anyone. The truth is that even a well-trained dog might run away from you in certain circumstances, especially if something has scared him senseless. As we all know, this is very dangerous because our beloved pet might accidentally run into a busy street. That’s why it’s important to find the dog as soon as possible. Read on to find out how!
How to catch a loose dog
First, you’ll need:
- a bag of treats
- a lead
When the dog sprints away our first instinct is to shout and go after him. That’s a huge mistake. Let me tell you why.
If something has scared your Rover, shouting and running after him will only make him more afraid. As a result, he will run faster to escape. He doesn’t understand that you are not mad but worried about him. He just knows that someone is after him and he has to get away.
The worst thing is that you might chase him right into traffic. And that’s exactly what you’re trying to avoid. So, instead of going for a sprint, follow the dog from a distance. Try to keep him in your eyesight and steer him away from dangerous zones.
Wait for the dog to stop
Sooner or later, your pet will stop running –either to smell something interesting, avoid a person, or because he is tired. Use this opportunity to approach your dog careful.
Don’t make any threatening gestures. Don’t yell, don’t shout. Be calm and speak soothingly.
Clap your hands and call him by his name to get his attention. If you think this might spook him to run away, use a high pitch sound (a whistle is perfect).
Get the treats
After you have your dog’s attention, try to entice him to come near you with treats. Sit or kneel on the ground. Shake the treat bag and call him to come to you. Avoid eye contact because that might scare him off again and keep an open posture. Patiently wait for Rover to come close.
If the shaking treat bag is not working, you might try to place a few kibbles on the ground. Then lean and imitate smelling them. That should be enough to trigger your dog’s curiosity and make him come closer to check what’s so interesting.
Get into the habit of keeping a bag of his favorite treats in the car so that you can grab them in case of an emergency.
Catch the dog
When the dog is close enough to you, slip the lead over his head or grab his leash. If there is no leash and you can’t fashion a lead, you can try to grab his fur gently. Then direct the dog to a safe spot.
It’s important that you remain calm and that you don’t show how anxious and worried you feel. Don’t do something that will spook the dog into another sprint and get him home as soon as possible.
If you don’t manage to catch your dog by following these instructions, here are some additional tips that might prove useful in helping you bring your furry friend back home safely.
- Run in the opposite direction. Dogs love to chase and when they see you running away from them, they might follow you. Use this to lead them to a safe location.
- Don’t pay attention to the dog. Sit on the ground and assume a posture that says “I don’t care what you’re doing”. Wait patiently until the dog comes at arm’s length to check what the matter is and grab the leash. This works if the dog is loose in an enclosed place, like a dog park.
- Curl into a ball on the ground. Dogs find this behavior odd and will trot back to check what’s happening. But if other people see you, they might think that you’re nuts.
- Lie down on the ground. Again, you’re trying to confuse your dog and make him come near you to see if you’re all right.
- Get your car and invite the dog to hop into the backseat for a ride. This works like a miracle for dogs that associate cars with good things.
These tips could be useful if you are trying to get a lost or a stray dog away from dangerous places and reunite him with his family. Just be careful.
Nevertheless, it’s for the better that you never lose your dog. Check if your yard is secure and that there no holes in the fence that your dog can squeeze through. Be careful when you take the dog for a walk and keep up the obedience lessons.
And remember – no chasing whatsoever.