We take care of our dogs by walking, feeding, and showering them with affection at all times. But sometimes our fur babies start squirming away from us, and we’re left wondering: Why does my dog keep running away from home?
Even though our dogs love us too, they sometimes have the urge to run away. This issue isn’t one that should be taken lightly, as a runaway dog can find itself in great danger. Moreover, there are already too many former pets in shelters that have run away from home, never to return again.
So we must try to get into the psyche of our four-legged friends to answer the question of why does my dog keep running away from home? Additionally, we’ll have to explore ways to prevent this from happening over and over again.
Why Do Our Dogs Run Away?
Our dogs love us, right? Well, they certainly seem to act like that. So, why would they try to run away from us and their home and go into the cold streets? Well, the truth is there are several things that could be afoot here.
Luckily, they’re all solvable and can help us keep our dogs safe. Here are some things we need to consider when trying to answer the question: why does my dog keep running away from home style=”font-weight: 400;”>?
Dogs that are stuck in a backyard by themselves 24/7 will likely try looking for greener pastures. After all, dogs love being stimulated with ample play and cuddle time, and typically don’t enjoy being left alone. So, it’s highly likely for a dog to run away from home in search of adventure, friendship and play.
Also, some breeds (such as terriers) love playing detective and exploring every scent the world has to offer. Thus, they might run away out of pure curiosity, but that doesn’t mean we should allow them to do so.
The solution to this is quite straightforward — give the dog more love, attention and affection. Meaning, if our dog is too energetic, we’ll have to walk and play with it several times a day. Also, we must ensure our fence doesn’t have any holes that could allow our dog to pull through and run away when we’re not watching it.
Innate Animal Instincts
All husky owners are aware that this breed loves running away. More often than not, there isn’t even a method to their madness — it’s just that they love running. Also, a lot of popular family breeds such as golden retrievers, beagles, etc., were originally bred for hunting and sometimes they can’t resist the thrill of the chase. Thus, if they smell a squirrel, rabbit, or bird, it might trigger an instinct to run.
Many dog owners seem to think that the issue is behavioral and that there’s no fixing it — which isn’t true. Sure, instincts can be difficult to overcome, but we are the ones responsible for teaching our dogs how to behave.
So, investing in training would be a wise decision if we want to prevent our dog from running away. We also need to walk them and let them burn off their energy in a controlled environment. Additionally, we can’t keep a dog on a leash 24/7 and must give it the freedom to wander.
Many of us have likely wondered why does my dog keep running away from home, during fireworks or loud thunderstorms? The sad truth is that a huge number of pets go missing during such events.
Also, some dogs are a bit more sensitive and could be frightened by nearly any sudden loud noise. This ties into the instinct factor, as some may feel the urge to run away when they’re afraid.
To prevent the dog from running, we ought to create a safe space that it can revert to when it’s frightened. Ideally, we should isolate them in a separate room and create an area that’s comfy and inviting. We could also put some treats there, so they associate the space with positive emotions. Thus, we’ll rewire them to go to their safe space (instead of running away from home) when they’re afraid.
Also, we have to remember that dogs are social animals and love being close to their owner, so we can take advantage of that. For example, when we know that there’s going to be a scary event, we should stay with our dog.
As contradictory as it sounds, a dog that fears being left behind is highly likely to run away from home. Part of the reason behind this is that the dog goes into “survival mode” and runs out of fear. Additionally, it could try to escape because it’s anxious and is trying to find the owner.
Sadly, it can be tricky to soothe a dog abandonment issues — but not impossible. We can try to instill better habits in our dog through obedience training. Ultimately, we could ask our vet or a dog trainer for advice on how to solve the issue.
That Time of the Year
The answer to the question of why does my dog keep running away from home style=”font-weight: 400;”> could be that it wants to reproduce. After all, our fur babies have certain needs throughout their life, one of which is procreating when the time comes. Some female dogs go into heat when they’re as young as four months, and stay in the mood for around 2–4 weeks. Also, they could go into heat up to 3–4 times a year and might try to elope each time they do.
It’s also important to note that a male dog is more likely to run away than a female one. Even though females can even be aggressive towards males while they’re in heat, the feeling won’t be mutual. Moreover, even well-trained male dogs could succumb to their urges and try going on prowl in search of a partner.
We should consider fixing our dog to prevent this from being an issue for the rest of its life. If we don’t plan on doing so, we must make our peace with the fact that this will be a constant battle. After all, the reproductive drive is a powerful thing and isn’t something we can teach the dog to ignore.
Why Does My Dog Keep Running Away from Home? Final Thoughts
We have to start integrating our dogs into our lives from the day we get them. The best way to do this is to train them regularly, especially during the first year or so. Of course, we want our pooch to be happy, but we must acknowledge that it could benefit from some discipline. Also, dogs thrive with proper structure, as they love pleasing their owners and knowing they’re behaving well.
If we think our particular pet is too much for us to handle, we should reach out to a licensed trainer for help. Finally, we should equip our dog with an ID tag and preferably a microchip so we can get it back if it decides to run.
Hopefully, by now everyone has a definitive answer on why does my dog keep running away from home and knows what to do to fix it. However, if our pet does end up making a break for it the key is to stay calm and take the necessary steps to retrieve it.