Why Dogs Run Away (and How to Prevent It)

If you’ve ever lost your dog, you’ll probably remember how frightening that experience can be. Dogs run away for a variety of reasons, including boredom, fear, or hunting for prey. In this article, we’ll go over six common reasons dogs run away. We’ll also offer tips on how to reduce your dog’s risk of running away so you never have to go through the terrifying experience of losing your dog.

1. Boredom

Many dogs run away because they are bored and have nothing better to do. If you don’t give your dog enough attention or exercise, he may become bored. A bored and restless dog is more likely to get into trouble, including running off to roam the neighborhood.

2. Fear

Fear is a major contributing factor to runaway dogs. Some dogs are afraid of fireworks or thunderstorms. If your pet hears a noise that scares him, he may run away in an attempt to escape danger. This seems to be more common in the summer months and around the 4th of July when the fireworks become more frequent. Fear due to separation anxiety can also cause a dog to run away trying to find its owner.

3. Libido

If your dog is not spayed or neutered, he may run away trying to find a mate. This is a very common reason why dogs run away. A female dog in heat can attract males from all over the neighborhood. Additionally, unneutered male dogs tend to wander around looking for a mate.

4. Driving prey

Dogs that suddenly see a rabbit or squirrel running away may have the sudden urge to chase them. If they have a strong urge to catch the rabbit, they can jump over the fence to reach their prey. This is a very common reason dogs run away when taken to parks off leash.

5. Easy escape routes

Many dogs run away simply because there is an easy escape route. If your fence is not well secured or there is an easy exit, your dog may take the opportunity to explore. Low fences can be an easy escape route for many large breed dogs.

6. New environment

Have you just moved into a new house or are you on vacation? Each time your dog discovers a new environment, there is a higher risk that he will run away. It is important to be extremely vigilant when introducing your dog to a new place.

How to stop a dog from running away

Dogs participating in obedience training outdoors

Castrate or neuter your dog

Is your dog spayed or neutered? Otherwise, this would be the first recommendation to reduce homelessness behaviors. Spaying or neutering your dog will likely reduce his libido, which in turn will reduce his risk of running away.

Build a fence in your garden

If your garden is not fenced, you should consider building a fence to prevent your pet from running away. Even the best-behaved pets can run away if left unleashed in an unfenced yard. If your yard is fenced, periodically scan the perimeter to make sure there are no easy escape routes.


Exercising your dog regularly can reduce the risk of them running away from boredom. A dog that gets daily exercise is more likely to be calm and less likely to get into trouble. Try playing fetch in your fenced yard or taking your dog for daily walks.

Keep your dog indoors during thunderstorms and fireworks

Keep an eye on the weather forecast and the calendar. If it looks like there’s going to be a thunderstorm, bring your dog inside well before the thunderstorm arrives, as dogs who are phobic of thunderstorms can often sense an impending thunderstorm long before it’s over. ‘arrived. During holidays associated with fireworks, keep your dog mostly indoors to avoid the risk of them running away.

Teach your dog basic obedience

Dogs with basic obedience skills are less likely to run away. Teach your dog basic commands like sit, stay and come. These commands will be beneficial if your dog starts running away. Basic obedience classes are usually offered at pet training centers and Petsmart.

Keep your pet on a leash

If your pet is not in a fenced area, it must be leashed. Dogs with large prey may run away if they see a rabbit or squirrel. Dogs on a leash will be less likely to run away to chase these animals.

Other security measures

Place ID tags on your dog’s collar

Your dog should always wear a collar with his identification tags. One of the easiest ways to reunite a lost pet with its owner is to call the phone number on the dog’s ID tag. Your dog’s ID tags should contain your phone number, your pet’s name, and a secondary contact in case you are unreachable.

microchip your dog

Sometimes a lost dog can also lose their collar and ID tags. A microchip is a permanent identification chip that can be implanted under your dog’s skin. If a lost dog is brought to a veterinary clinic or animal shelter, they will first be scanned for a microchip. The microchip number must be associated with your contact details so that you can be contacted if your lost pet is scanned.

GPS Dog Tracking

A microchip does not have the ability to track your pet via GPS. For added protection, you can get a GPS tracking device for your dog so you can locate your pet in the event of a runaway. Many of these trackers can track your dog in real time so it’s easier to find your lost pet.

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