Does your pooch pull a disappearing act every so often? Are you wondering how to stop your dog from running away every time he gets a chance to bolt through the door? Well, keep reading for some invaluable tips on how to keep Fido from fleeing!
A loose dog running on the streets is always a danger and a reason for panic. He might get hit by a car, get attacked by other stray animals, or eat something poisonous. You might never find him again or know what happened to him. That’s why you have to do everything in your power to prevent your Rover from getting over the fence or dashing through the door. Keep on reading to find out why your dog runs away and how to stop it.
Running is self-rewarding behavior
Dogs run away for many reasons, but it’s easy to understand their motivation. Your four-legged companion either has found something irresistible outside, or he is afraid of something.
He might run due to the following reasons:
- easy access to freedom
- loud noises which scare him
- separation anxiety
- no obedience training
- other animals
- looking for a mate
Moreover, once your dog runs outside, he will likely find interesting smells, dig through the garbage, chase after a squirrel or a cat. From his point of view, he gets rewarded for running, and he will likely do it again.
Don’t take it personally. Even if you’re the best possible owner, most dogs will jump at the opportunity to explore what’s outside your door without much hesitation.
How to Stop Your Dog From Running Away
1. Spay or Neuter Your Pet
The first thing you should do to prevent your dog from running is to spay/neuter her/him. Intact dogs will often go looking for a mate when the hormones kick in, and this could be a harrowing experience for you and your family.
When a male dog smells a female in heat, it’s like a switch has been flipped. There is nothing else on his mind but getting out and finding his lady. He might start acting out by barking, whining, howling and searching for escape routes. Even obedience training won’t help or stop your intact dog from running.
Moreover, male dogs can smell female dogs in heat from a distance, and they will follow the scent and compete with other dogs for the attention of the female. In some cases, they will fight to the death over a female. So not only your pet might get loss chasing a mate, but he can also get seriously injured.
Spaying/neutering will take care of this problem. It will also deal with aggressive behavior and decrease the risk of certain cancers. Of course, there are both pros and cons of desexing your pet. Discuss the matter with your veterinarian and think everything through.
2. Provide entertainment
Dogs are active, intelligent animals and most of them don’t deal with boredom very well. That’s why you might find torn pillows and chewed shoes when you get home from work. But if your dog has the means to go outside by digging a hole under the fence or sneaking through an open window, he will do it.
The solution is a simple one – provide enough mental and physical entertainment for your pet so that he won’t be interested in the outside so much. You could:
- play fetch or Frisbee with your dog
- take him for a walk every day
- visit the dog park as often as you can
- buy toys and scatter them around your house/yard
- get him a play buddy
- hire a dog walker to keep him company
Also, don’t forget about obedience training. It’s important for establishing a healthy relationship between you and your dog. Moreover, obedience training might save the life of your dog one day when he is running in the street.
3. Escape-proof your yard or home
Even if your dog has everything he needs and he is well-stimulated, the outside temptation might be too much in certain situations. It’s a good idea to take preventive measures so that your dog can’t escape your yard or home, even if he wants to.
You can invest in some self-closing doors and gates if your Poodle likes to dash through the door and fill all holes in your fence so he can’t squeeze through. If you have a digger on your hands, bury chicken wire around the perimeter.
But what should you do if your dog goes over the fence? Well, first try to extend the height of the fence and nail some chicken wire, so Lucky can’t climb over it. Specialists also recommend placing an obstruction before your fence so that your dog can’t get enough momentum to jump over it.
You should also take steps to remove any triggers that might excite or scare your dog. For example, if a cat likes to hang out near your house, find a way to block your dog’s view. Or when you know that there’s going to be fireworks keep your dog inside, where he will feel safe.
Dog running is a common problem for all pet owners, but with some extra efforts, you can put a stop to this behavior. Just make sure that your dog is not a ball of extra energy that needs an outlet and you’ll be fine. Remember not to punish your dog for running away, or you might make the problem worse.
Has your dog ever run away? How did you deal with the problem? Share your personal tips in the comments.