You are doing everything you can for your dog, but he still runs away from home on a regular basis. Why do dogs run away? There are actually countless reasons. But, these 6 are the main ones and all the others are variations or combinations of these 6 hence they are the main thing to know here. By knowing why your dog does this, you will be able to prevent it and keep your pet at home.
Why Do Dogs Run Away: 6 Main Reasons Exposed
He Is Scared
When a dog is scared, he may get fight or flight or freeze behavior. If the flight is present, he will run away. For instance, if something loud like a gunshot scares your pet he will run away. Why do dogs run away? Well, they are scared most of the time. Keep in mind that anything too loud can cause him to run away. Some of the best examples include fireworks (the most common reason actually), gunshots, big crowds, and thunderstorms.
Just because something is loud to your dog doesn’t mean it is too loud for you. Humans can hear between 20 and 20,000 vibrations per second. Dogs can hear between 15 and 50.000. Hence, they hear much better than we do. This means that the noise you are comfortable with will scare your dog, and he may decide to run away.
Your Dog Is Bored
A dog who is bored may decide to run away. All dogs are extremely curious, and they want to know what is in the next street and far away from home. When a dog is bored, which is extremely common these days, he will simply run away in order to indulge his curiosity. He will usually come back after some time, but this is not something you should allow to happen.
Keep your dog busy at all times. You can get another dog or play with your pet on a daily basis. You two are friends, so you must spend some time together. Give him plenty of toys so he has something to play with when you are not at home. If you work too much, a dog day care is a thing to go for.
Due To Mating Instinct
All dogs will want to start reproducing at age 6 months. Some may need more time while others need a lot more time, but this is generally a period when they will start looking at the opposite sexes with different eyes. When a dog is in the heat, he can run away from home. He will always find a way, and he may refuse to obey you. This is perfectly normal.
Female dogs will run away almost always. Male dogs will run away if they sense the female dog in the heat. One way or another, this is a common reason here and something you need to know about. Dogs who are not fixed are more likely to run away due to this reason. Securing them and fixing them is the only set of things you can do to try and prevent this.
Believe it or not, this is another reason, and it is reasonably common. If you travel with your dog, you will take him to different places. For you, this is fun and interesting. for your dog, not necessarily. He will notice different smells, distractions, and unfamiliar terrain as well. This can scare him, or he will just want to go home. As a result, he will run away.
Not all dogs will run away when you two are on vacation, but most of them will be stressed. You need to teach your dog that travelling and visiting different places is a fun and nice thing. Don’t lose your dog from the sight and try to spend as much time with him as you can.
This is a huge problem today. Many dog owners must work, travel, or just leave their dogs alone at homeleave their dogs alone at home. This can cause separation anxiety. Most dogs will show some signs, like chewing on furniture or being sad, depressed, or anxious. But some dogs will run away. You will have to recognise the signs if your dog suffers from separation anxiety, and you will have to deal with them so you can help your dog as soon as possible and prevent more severe complications.
A good thing is that 7% of dogs won’t come home. All the rest will. You will have to consider using an ID tag and a microchip so the people who find your dog can return him to you. Always start looking in your neighborhood. All dogs who run away from their homes stay nearby so you can find them if you start looking as soon as possible. He can be literally 3 minutes from your home.
He Wants To Hunt
Some dog breeds have been created for hunting only. The best example would be American Foxhound. Well, they still have those instincts and they will want to hunt. They think of it as a fun and appealing action. But a dog cannot hunt in your home or backyard. As such, he will run away and find an area where he can hunt.
They have a very strong sense of smell, so they can smell a wild animal from far away, and they can decide to go hunting right now. Training and securing your dog are the things you have to consider if this is the case. Walking him in the wild may be another thing you will want to do.
Preventing your dog from running away entails a combination of training, environmental adjustments, and addressing underlying behavioral or health issues. Here, we explore the comprehensive strategies that dog owners can deploy to mitigate the risks of their beloved pets embarking on unsolicited escapades.
Training and Socialization
One of the foremost steps is instilling obedience and recall training. A dog that responds promptly to commands is less likely to run away and easier to control. Incorporate positive reinforcement techniques, rewarding your dog for obeying commands and staying close. Socialization is equally crucial; exposing your dog to various environments, people, and other dogs can reduce anxiety and fear responses.
Enhance the security of your home and yard. Ensure that fences are intact, tall enough, and secure to prevent escape. Evaluate the environment for any stimuli that might incite an escape, such as visible wildlife or gaps in fencing, and mitigate these factors.
This procedure can significantly reduce your dog’s urge to roam, particularly for mating purposes. It also brings along a host of health benefits, enhancing the overall well-being of your pet.
Though a preventive measure, ensuring your dog has proper identification can expedite their return if they do manage to escape. Use collars with updated contact information and consider microchipping for added security.
Addressing anxiety and fear is pivotal. Identify the triggers that escalate your dog’s stress levels – it could be loud noises, strangers, or other animals. Implement desensitization and counterconditioning strategies or seek professional help to manage these anxieties effectively.
Regular Exercise and Mental Stimulation
A bored dog is a runaway risk. Incorporate regular physical activities and mental stimulation exercises to keep your dog engaged and content. An entertained dog, laden with toys, activities, and owner interaction, is less likely to look for excitement elsewhere.
Implementing these strategies, coupled with ongoing vigilance, will significantly minimize the instances of dogs running away, ensuring they remain safe, secure, and happy within the bounds of their home. Each dog is unique, so tailor these strategies to fit the specific needs, behaviors, and tendencies of your canine companion.
What to Do If Your Dog Runs Away
Discovering that your dog has run away can be a terrifying moment. However, panicking won’t help either you or your lost pet. Here is a systematic approach to efficiently locate and ensure the safe return of your runaway dog.
Stay Calm and Act Quickly:
Your immediate response and actions are crucial. Stay calm and start your search immediately. Dogs can cover a significant distance in a short time, so speed is of the essence.
Check Home and Nearby Areas:
Before broadening your search, inspect your home and nearby places thoroughly. Dogs often find hideouts close to home. Call out their name gently, and listen for responses.
Utilize Social Media and Online Platforms:
Post your dog’s pictures and information on social media and pet-finding websites. Include a detailed description, last seen location, and your contact information.
Contact Local Animal Shelters and Vets:
Reach out to nearby animal shelters, rescue organizations, and veterinary clinics. Provide them with your dog’s description and check if they have any found pets matching the description.
Prepare flyers with clear photos, a brief description, and your contact information. Distribute them around the neighborhood, pet stores, parks, and other public places.
Enlist the Help of Neighbors and Friends:
The more eyes looking for your dog, the better. Inform your neighbors and friends and ask for their assistance in the search.
Visit Known Haunts:
If your dog has run away before or there are areas they are particularly fond of, check those places.
Place an item with your or your dog’s scent outside. It could be a piece of clothing, their bed, or toys. It can sometimes attract the dog back home.
Keep your phone close and ensure it’s charged. If someone finds your dog, they need to be able to reach you immediately.
Contact Animal Control:
Inform the local animal control unit about your lost pet. Provide them with detailed information to help in the search.
Review Security Footage:
If there are security cameras in your vicinity, review the footage to determine the direction your dog headed.
Seek Professional Help:
There are professionals and organizations specialized in locating lost pets. Consider seeking their services if needed.
Being prepared and reacting swiftly and systematically increases the chances of finding your lost dog. While prevention is always the best measure, knowing what steps to take in the unfortunate event of your dog running away is essential for their safe retrieval.
The Final Word
Why do dogs run away? They do it because of one of these reasons. This can be a huge problem. You will need to stay calm if this happens, and you will have to start looking for him. A much better thing to do is to know these reasons and start with prevention. In that scenario, your dog will be much safer, and you will keep the stress out of your life.