It’s frustrating to come home and see that the fence hole you blocked up has been torn through, and your pup is on the loose. Even if an owners learns how to STOP the dog from running away, and what to do IF your dog escapes, many people are unsure why their well-loved pets are constantly looking for a way out. Don’t take it personally! Your pooch may adore you to pieces, but there are certain reasons why he finds that open gate so tempting.

Reasons why they run

  • Instinct-Dogs have descended from pack creatures that one roamed free in the wild, having hundreds of miles as their habitat. They instinctively crave limitless space to run, animals to chase, new challenges to pursue. Sometimes when they feel “cooped up,” this instinct will be strong enough to incline them to find a way out.
  • Breeding– Some dogs are more willful than others, and have a greater tendency to look for escape routes in your home. For example, Husky breeds, herding, and sporting breeds are always looking for adventure and will dig under or jump over fences if they have a chance. Some thicker dog breeds like Bulldogs seem to runaway less often, since they get easily winded and have stockier bodies that struggle to fit through small spaces. Though these are only general rules, be aware of what you may be getting yourself into with your dog breed!
  • Fear– If a dog has been abused, frightened, or hurt by someone or something that occurred in the home, it can drive him to seek an escape route. Be sure to provide your dog a happy and safe environment that he will not want to leave!
  • Habit– Canines can be determined creatures of habit, especially if they have had previous owners, or have been adopted from a pet shelter. If your dog routinely is poking around for a way out, you may need to enlist a special trainer and some extra protective barriers around your fences and doors to disable him from escaping.
  • Playing the field– …No, we aren’t talking about soccer. Male dogs who haven’t been neutered kick into high gear during mating season, causing them to do whatever they can to run away and find a female dog to mate with. The best way to deal with this is to neuter your dog, make arrangements to breed him, or ensure that he gets plenty of exercise and chances to channel the drive.
  • Too much energy or boredom- A lack of exercise and mental stimulation can lead to some devastatingly destructive behaviors. If your dog is not receiving ample exercise, quality time playing and training with his master, he may get agitated start looking for excitement. Don’t give your dog the option of being naughty and running away; keep him happily busy and active!