Do you have a four-legged member of your family? Do you love and adore Fido, spoil and love on your furry friend? Can you not imagine a day without that cute face?
That might all be true until your beloved dog pulls a Houdini and decides to run away. Then you’re doing the frantic search, roaming the neighborhood looking for him. Even worse, he runs away and then decides to play a little game of keep-away with you, so you can’t safely get him home.
Those are those moments, like when your kids are arguing, that you like Fido a little less than normal. So, have you ever wondered how to keep your dog from running away?
Read on to learn some strategies to keep your furry friend in his own yard, safe and sound.
Why Would Your Dog Run Away?
Before examining how to keep your dog from running away, let’s take a closer look at why dogs run away in the first place.
Dogs are like humans, they like to be entertained. Historically, they are pack animals. They want to be around others.
One big reason your dog decides to escape and run is that he is bored. When left with nothing else to do, he finds a way to entertain himself and take himself on a walk around the neighborhood.
Or he goes looking for a playmate. If your dog is in the backyard with nothing to do, he will find something to do and that might include running off.
Use some pet tips from FOUR PAW IDEAS to find ways to keep your dog entertained.
On the Hunt
Let’s face it, for most dogs if you say the word bunny, they start looking around. The dog might not mean to run away until they see that pesky squirrel, bunny or other varmint visiting near their yard.
Then a game of chase gets started and pretty soon your furry friend is a block away.
While your dog might not be a true hunting animal, instincts kick in and they like to chase things.
Do you think teenage love is strong? If your dog has not been spayed or neutered, those hormones and smell kick in and they are going to do everything in their power to go and find a mate.
An unneutered male who smells a female in heat will work to escape to look for her. Females in heat are just as guilty. Once in heat, they will go looking for a mate wherever they can find one.
Fear and Anxiety
Again, dogs are pack animals. They want to be around you because you as their owner are now their pack.
Does your dog get stressed when you leave him? Does he do naughty things in the house like chew things up or makes messes when left alone?
If your dog is left outside and they see you leave, they might be escaping to come and find you.
The same can be true for fear. If your dog is afraid of loud sounds like thunderstorms or fireworks, hearing those sounds can set them off. Their instinct is to try to run away from the loud sounds. They want to hide.
If your dog has fear or anxiety issues, provide a place they can go to. If they can go to their crate or hide under blankets on their bed, they are more likely to choose that option over running away.
Some dogs are calmed by music or a fan to distract them from the sounds that are scary.
How to Keep Your Dog From Running Away
There are a number of things to consider when trying to find ways to keep the dog from running away.
How are they getting away? This might seem pretty simplistic. Are they always running away using the same escape method?
It might come down to making it a little harder for them to escape.
While it’s easy to open the door and let the Fido run in the backyard (especially if it’s fenced), maybe your dog is one who can’t be left unattended. If left to his own devices, it might be that your dog is going to pull the Houdini and run away.
Can you build a fence if you don’t have one? Do you have a fence and your dog is still finding a way out? You might need to look at ways to make the fencing more secure. Watch for the “weak links” that your dog is taking advantage of to get away.
Do you have an underground fence? For some dogs, this system doesn’t work. They are willing to breach the system if the right opportunity comes along. If they like bunnies enough, they might be willing to take a little jolt, cross the fence line so they can continue the chase.
Once you have considered these factors, then look more closely at what is making your dog run. Treat what is causing the problem:
- Get your dog spayed or neutered
- Give them something to do so they feel entertained
- Have an exercise regimen so they are walked and will be less likely to want to run
Help Your Dog Stay Safe at Home
Dogs are creative and social creatures. They want to interact with humans and other dogs. If left to their own devices, they will find a way to run for any number of reasons.
Take a close look first at WHY your dog is running away. This will make figuring out how to keep your dog from running away hopefully easier.
Most importantly, for your dog’s safety and security, you want to find a way to keep them from escaping and running away.
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