Runaway Dogs: Keeping Them Home

Runaway Dogs: Keeping Them Home

Dogs run off for several reasons. Here are 4 reasons dogs run off and tips on how to get your dog to enjoy staying at home.

1. Answering the call-of-the-wild

When a female goes into heat or a male dog picks up on the pheromones of a female in heat, answering the call-of-the-wild sends them into a tizzy and their only concern is to scratch their itch. Within a few months of spay/neutering your pet, the hormones subside and along with them the need to run off goes away. Spay/neutering offers several other positive behavior changes that improve your pet’s life and your relationship with them. Wake County has several low-cost spay/neuter options to help your pet live their fullest life.

2. Exercise

Unlike people, dogs love to exercise. Without daily exercise they become bored, stressed, anxious, and eager to run. Grab the leash and take your dog for a nice walk. If you have a fenced in yard, take some time to play in the yard. Making sure they get supervised exercise every day reduces their need to take care of it themselves.

3. Nobody Told Them Not To: Clear Communication & Training

It is important to communicate your expectations to your dog.  There are a few training opportunities that can help with this communication.

Teach your dog to wait before passing through the doorway. Decide on the rule you would like to set and be consistent with it. For example, you could create a leash rule. If the dog does not have a leash on, it is not allowed to pass through the doorway.

Teach your dog to come when called. This does not involve repeating the word “come” several times or yelling. Try smelly treats, the magic sock technique, or a leash technique. Here’s a great video with ideas.

4. Lack of Trust: Create A Relationship of Trust

A trusting relationship with your dog does not involve yelling or hitting. If you want to build trust with your dog, build a loving relationship where they feel safe and protected. Nobody is going to come to someone that is about to beat them. When a dog feels safe and protected they come because they want nothing more than to please the one they love. Build a loving relationship with clear communication and expectations and they will come.