Wondering how to train a dog not to run away? You’re not alone.
Around 10 million pets go missing each year. Yes, you heard that right.
You don’t want your dog contributing to the statistics, do you? Losing a dog can be devastating. After all, they are selfless, loyal companions.
It is better to be vigilant and avoid such a mishap in the first place, rather than having to wonder what to do if you lost your dog.
Keep reading for tips to prevent your pooch from running away and things to do when the inevitable happens.
Preventing Your Dog From Running Away
Even though your dog loves you, there may be times when it runs away. While some may do it repeatedly, others may have occasional episodes. Although it may not have gone far and still be in your neighborhood, the prospect of losing it forever is terrifying.
Are you wondering, “Why does my dog keep running away from home?”
Here are a few reasons:
Frustration: If your dog is bored, does not have enough dog friends or toys, or has too much pent-up energy, it will try to have fun in some way or another. Wondering how to train a dog not to run away due to boredom? Keep your dog indoors when you cannot tend to it, get plenty of toys and puzzles, or enroll it in daycare.
Separation Anxiety: If your pooch is anxious when you leave, destroys furniture, barks, or has accidents even when housetrained, it may be a sign of separation anxiety. If it is so, the dog may even leave right after you do.
Fear: If there is a thunderstorm or fireworks, your dog may bolt out of fear. If you want to know how to train a dog not to run away due to loud noises, it’s pretty simple. Make sure she is inside the house and soothe her fears with thunder shirts, white noise, and calming treats.
Hunting: If your dog sees a squirrel, bunny, or any other prey, it may escape the yard or jump fences to chase the animal. If you encourage your dog to chase animals and leave it unattended, it may become a hobby that it will enjoy. Give your dog something better to do, and supervise it when it is in the yard.
Sex Drive: Unaltered dogs may escape in search of a mate. This is because their sex drive is so high that they cannot check themselves. If you think this is the reason, spay or neuter your dog to avoid future running episodes.
Want more tips on how to train a dog not to run away?
Here are a few:
- Make it hard to escape. Build a strong and high fence, and do not leave your dog unattended. Also, check the doors and gates if you have any visitors.
- Get your dog microchipped and make sure it always has a collar with essential details.
- Never leave your dog off the leash when out on walks.
- If someone comes to the door, put your dog in a crate or hold its collar.
- Teach your dog the “stay command”.
- Never run behind a running dog, it may consider the whole thing a game. Stop running and call instead. Also, never scold the dog on returning. It may consider it a bad thing and not return the next time. Instead, give it a reward.
- Your dog may dig a hole at the base of the fence to escape. Learn how to stop a dog from digging so that it is no longer a matter of concern for you.
However, even after taking all the precautionary steps, dogs may find a way to escape. At this point, you’ll need to know what to do when your dog is lost. Continue reading.
How To Find Your Lost Dog
When you lose your dog, the first question that comes to mind is can dogs find their way home? Yes, they can. However, if they get too far away, they may not be able to find their way back.
How do dogs find their way home? It is through their powerful sense of smell and, at times, even magnetic fields. Yes, you heard that right, dogs can detect magnetic fields and with the help of it navigate their way home. But only 20% of dogs come back on their own.
Dogs’ sense of smell is powerful. Did you know dogs can even smell your feelings? So, when someone is fearful, a dog can easily pick up the scent from their perspiration.
So what if your pooch does not fall into the 20% category, is too terrified, or has run a long distance? In this case, it may not be able to make the return.
If such an incident does happen, you will likely be in a state of shock and sadness while asking everyone, my dog is lost, what do I do?
It helps to know exactly what to do when you lose your dog.
The first and most important thing is to relax, stop panicking, and follow these tips for finding a lost dog.
Finding lost dog tips:
1. Put all your commitments on hold.
2. Call the microchip company and verify your dog’s microchip contact information.
A study has found that microchipped pets have a higher probability of reuniting with their owners.
3. Search the area where the dog was lost.
4. Ask your neighbors if they have seen your pooch and request them to join in the search.
5. Print the clearest picture of your pooch. Post it on bulletin boards and send copies to all the nearby shelters and pet rescues.
6. Register with websites like Lost my doggie and FindToto, so the people in nearby areas are notified of a pooch missing.
7. Advertise in local newspapers as well as on Facebook and other social media platforms.
8. Get in contact with animal control agencies.
9. Carry your pet’s favorite treat or toy to lure it out of hiding. You can also place your dog’s bedding or your dirty clothes outside your house to attract it.
Did you know the smell center in the dog’s brain is 40 times larger than that of humans?
10. Keep your gate open in case your lost dog finds its way home. Also, make sure one person stays home at all times.
11. Where do lost dogs go at night? They may hide in the bushes or in dark corners. Take flashlights and search every single place they point you to.
Dogs are like babies. However, you do not have to go through the pain of losing them by following our tips on preventing your dog from running away. Also, follow the tips on what to do when your fido is nowhere to be found.