Does your dog run away whenever the gate of your house is open? Running away may lead to injuries, attacks by other dogs, and being taken to the animal shelter. To avoid these circumstances advice from a dog behaviorist should be taken and proper training should be given to stop your dogs from running away.
Why Do Dogs Run Away From Home?
If you are staying in the same place or same environment for several hours, it is obvious you will get bored and want to cope with that place. For humans, it is easy to go out or go on a vacation to have fun but for dogs, it is very difficult to go out whenever they want to. They can only go out when their owner takes them out for a walk or poop with a dog leash and collar or dog harness. They cannot roam freely whenever they feel like it. This is the main reason dogs run away. There are many other reasons for the dogs to run away from their owner which is discussed below.
- Scared of loud noises: Many dogs are scared of loud noises like crackers, bursting balloons, sirens, and thunderstorms. To cope with these environmental triggers they run away or hide.
- Learned behavior: Dog owners play fun games with their new puppy and dog by chasing them in the yard or ground. This repetitive practice teaches the dogs that running away is a good thing and they do the same playfully. So whenever dogs run away and the owner chases them, they do not come back, they run away from their owner.
- Mating: Dogs often run away from home when they are in heat and do not have a partner to mate with. Their urge to mate drives them away from home to find a mate.
How to Stop Your Dog from Running Away?
A few points are discussed below to stop your dog from running away.
- Make sure your dog’s environment is familiar: When a new dog or puppy is brought home, make them feel it is their home. Few dogs run away to find their home. Give your dog time to explore the new place, smell the place and feel it like their home so that they feel secure and part of the family.
- Neutering and spaying your dog: It is necessary to spay and neuter your dog to stop the urge of mating. This prevents unwanted puppies from becoming stray dogs.
- Make sure your dog exercises a lot: Some dogs run away just because they want to run. Make sure your dog spends a lot of time while having a walk outside so that he does not run away to get exercise.
- Allow your dog to interact more: Dogs are very friendly and social animals. They love to socialize with humans and other dogs. Make sure your dog interacts with other dogs and humans and always keep them on a dog leash while interacting with new dogs to avoid fighting.
- Always treat your dog as coming back to you: Dogs should feel that coming back is positive behavior. To encourage this behavior, always praise your dog when he comes back to you and treats him. Never punish or beat your dog when he disobeys your command or takes a long time to come back. This will make them feel that coming back is punishable.
What To Do When A Dog Runs Away?
It is the worst nightmare for pet owners when their dog runs away and at that moment nothing comes to mind about how to get the dog back home safely. A few tips should be kept in mind in this situation. The first thing is to never chase your dog. Dogs think that running away is a fun game and it will make the situation even worse if you chase them. Make your dog chase you by running with treats or their favorite toy. Always be calm while calling your dog, don’t frighten him by shouting at him, and call him with a happy voice so that he feels happy to come back. Use the recall word for your dog like “come” with his name and always treat him when he comes back. This will make them feel that coming back home is good behavior. Never off lease your dog while taking a walk outside, this will prevent future runs always put a name tag and microchip which helps to track the dog.
How To Train A Dog To Not Run Away?
One of the reliable techniques for Dog Obedience Training to not run away is clicker training. This training is based on rewards and positive learning rather than punishment. The given step needs to be followed to get your dog to pay attention when you call them.
- Choose the right space: For training the dog, choose the right area where you can control your dog. Always leash your dog so that when he runs away you can control him. Don’t train your dog in the dog park, instead train in a fenced yard.
- Use a long line to attach your dog: Long line is a dog leash of fifteen feet used to lease a dog. It helps to create distance between you and the dog.
- Load the clicker: Before starting the training, make the dog understand the clicker sound by encouraging it with treats. Play some time with the dog and after clicking treat him immediately. This will help him to associate clicking sounds and treat.
- Give your dog a command: Make your dog explore the space in a long line. Once he has finished exploring and smelling calls by his name to come back.
- Click after the desired behavior and treat: Once the dog performs the desired behavior, click to acknowledge the behavior. Immediately after clicking, treat the dog. This will help him to understand clickers come with treats.
- Repeat: Continue the clicker training for several sessions.
- Phase out the clicker: Once your dog has started taking your command, swap the clicker with verbal instruction but always treat him when he comes back else he will stop taking the command.