Why Do Dogs Run Away? And How To Stop It!

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When you lose your dog, it’s scary. You’ll remember how frightening that experience can be for days, weeks, or even months. Do you wonder why dogs run away? some dogs run away because they are bored or because they want to explore, others run away because they are afraid of something or a desire to hunt. You can help to make sure your dog doesn’t get lost by making sure that your home is safe and secure.

Why do dogs run away? If you haven’t researched this subject yet, you’ll want to read this article. Six common reasons for dogs to run away are discussed here.

leisure time Why Do Dogs Run Away

The 9 Reasons Why Dogs Run Away & How to Prevent It

1: Unsatisfied

Some dogs run away when they feel that they are not getting enough food and water. If you notice that your dog is having trouble staying close to you or going places on your errands, you should try to make changes in their diet and lifestyle.

Try feeding your dog better quality food and make sure you provide him or her with more opportunities to be active.

2: Abusive Owner

When a dog runs away, it could be that he is afraid of his owner. If a dog is abused or even harmed, he may run away. Some dogs run away in the hopes that the owner will return, whereas other dogs leave home because they feel unwelcome or are being mistreated by their owner.

Many dogs simply choose to run away when they feel uncomfortable or anxious, so a good understanding of what causes your dog to run away can help prevent this behavior.

3: Easy Escape Routes

Reasons Why Do Dogs Run Away

Your dog can escape through many places. Make sure that your fence is securely and tightly attached to your property. Large dogs that have difficulty escaping a fence can sometimes find an escape route through low fencing.

Here’s the thing: Dogs are smart. They have lots of motivation to escape. Even though the best fences are made from metal, there are plenty of places where your dog can escape:

There are openings in the fence

The fence is old or bent

There is an opening between the post and the wall

Be sure to check all of the openings around your property, especially if you have an enclosed backyard.

4: Lack of socialization

If a dog does not have proper training, he might run away when he does not know how to behave around other people. If a dog has been trained correctly, then he will stay in his yard.

When a dog runs away from home, there are many things that can be done to help him come back home again. First, try to find the dog so that you can bring him home. It may be easier to bring him home than it would be to get him to come home on his own. Second, don’t force him to come home with you. Many dogs that run away are scared or traumatized and do not want to come back home because they feel unsafe. Third, when you bring him home, do not force him to stay in one place.

5: Sex Drive

When a dog reaches sexual maturity, he will want to find a mate. This can happen at any age, and this often leads to your dog running away to find a mate.

It’s best to fix a male dog before the age of six months before his testosterone levels rise. This will prevent any unnecessary problems such as aggression or other behavioral issues. The surgery should only be done by a veterinarian, though some groomers or vets may be able to do the procedure.

 Male dogs will chase females in the heat all over the neighborhood, which may cause them to run away.

6: Fear

As a dog owner, I believe it is very important to realize that fear in your dog can be a significant problem that you need to address.

Some dogs are afraid of fireworks, thunderstorms, or even other pets. If your pet hears a noise that scares them, they may run away and try to escape the danger.

The number one thing you can do to keep your dog from running away is to make sure your dog has a good understanding of where you live and the dangers in your neighborhood. If your dog gets spooked, he or she might run away.

This seems to be more common around the fourth of July when fireworks become more frequent. Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety can run away to try and find their owners because they are afraid of being left alone.

How to Stop a Dog From Running Away

7: Boredom

Many dogs run away because they are bored and want to find a new place to play. 

When your dog has no human interaction, he can get bored very quickly. The same goes for a house alone where your dog is free to roam the house.

You need to make sure that your dog has something to do.

There are many ways to keep your dog busy. There are toys, games, and exercise options you can use to keep your dog busy.

There are many toys and games that are made specifically for dogs. This gives you an extra measure of security knowing that your dog is getting something out of these toys.

You can also use the house itself to keep your dog busy. You can put a crate in your yard or have your dog in an enclosed area that limits his movement.

Another option is to make sure your dog has at least one daily walk. This will keep your dog happy and keep him physically active.

Exercise options include having your dog in a doggy daycare or boarding facility.

8: Prey Drive

Dog Prey

It happens:

“One of the most common reasons dogs run away is due to prey drive.

When your dog is hungry and starts chasing something running away is the natural response. Sometimes they’ll come back home, sometimes they won’t. It depends on a number of factors.”

What Triggers This Behavior?

Prey drive is triggered by stimuli that are novel to a dog. For example, if a dog sees a squirrel for the first time, it may be startled and run away.

When people bring their dogs to off-leash parks, they may also be surprised to find them running away if they are excited about a rabbit. This is not an indicator of aggressive behavior in a dog. It is a natural instinct of a dog to chase prey. A dog that runs away is just doing what comes naturally to them. However, if the dog becomes aggressive, this is a sign that it may need a change in environment.

9: New Surroundings

Have you recently moved to a new neighborhood? There’s always a chance your dog might run away from a new setting. Before you bring your dog to an unfamiliar area, it is extremely important to be extra vigilant and pay attention to your dog.

How to Stop a Dog From Running Away

Build a Fence in Your Yard

It would be better if you built a fence around your yard to keep your pets from running away.

Having an electronic fence installed is a great way to keep your pets contained in the yard.

A good idea to check the perimeter of your yard from time to time is to make sure there are no easy ways for your dog to run away.

Build a Fence in Your Yard
Image Source: Pixabay

Neuter or Spay Your Dog

Does your dog have a spay or neuter surgery? If so, this will be the first recommendation to reduce roaming behaviors.

In addition to reducing their sex drive, spaying or neutering a dog also reduces their risk of getting into fights, injuring other dogs, or becoming aggressive toward other animals.


Being sure to exercise your dog regularly can help keep them from running away.

Having a dog that gets daily exercise is the best way to make sure it stays calm and doesn’t get into trouble. Take your dog for a daily walk or play games of fetch outside. Playing fetch makes a dog more active, which reduces the risk of dangerous behavior such as aggression or jumping.

Keep Your Dog Inside During Thunderstorms and Fireworks

If you see thunderstorms or fireworks in the area, make sure your dog stays indoors, and keep them safe.

It’s always a good idea to look at the weather forecast and the calendar to determine if the forecast is favorable for a potential outdoor event or trip.

If it looks like there is going to be a thunderstorm, it’s a good idea to bring your dog inside before the storm hits, because dogs that are thunderstorm-phobic can sometimes sense an impending storm well before it arrives.

Your dog will run away in fear if fireworks are nearby. Keep your dog inside where it is safe.

Teaching Your Dog Basic Obedience Is Important.

dog training

Train your dog to do basic obedience like sit, down, stay, leave it, come, and other commands that will help you in the future. If you want your dog to be a great companion, train him or her to be obedient. This is an important skill for any dog owner to have. 

There are many reasons to teach your dog simple commands. These commands will help you if your dog begins to run away.

Dogs at pet training facilities and Petsmart take basic obedience courses, often for free.

Keep Your Dog on a Leash

If you want to keep your pet from running away, you should have them on a leash. If your dog’s hunting instincts kick in, you can prevent it from doing so by introducing the appropriate toys. This will help your dog develop strong teeth as well. When you’re out on walks, make sure you always carry some toys for your dog to play with.

Here are other safety measures you can take to help keep your dog running away

Microchip Your Dog

Some dogs lose their collars and ID tags when they run away from home. Microchips can be permanently implanted in your dog’s skin and help track your dog if it escapes or gets lost.

When a lost dog is brought to an animal shelter, an adoption center, or a veterinary clinic, it will first be scanned for a microchip. These tiny, about the size of a large grain of rice devices, are called RFID tags.

Dog’s Identification Tag

Dog Identification Tag

A dog should always be wearing a collar with its identification tags. By calling the phone number on the dog’s ID tag, you’ll be reunited with your pooch.

Make sure that your dog’s tags include his name, phone number, and secondary contact in case you are unable to reach him.

GPS Dog Tracking

There are several methods to make sure you don’t lose your pet. Get your dog a GPS tracking device so you can easily find them.

Trackers that allow you to track your dog in real-time are great tools for finding your dog when he’s out on a walk or lost in the neighborhood. There are many dog-tracking devices out there. Some are very easy to use. 

Related:   Brown Husky: The Dog That Everyone Wants

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