How to discourage your dog from running away?

Running away pets can be lost, injured or stolen. Although some dogs have a natural tendency to run away, there are many precautions you can take to prevent your companion from running away.

Build a fence around your yard

Your dog should never be allowed to roam free and should be kept on a leash or left in a courtyard surrounded by an anti-runaway fence during your absence. Electric fences can be ineffective on some runaway animals. If something distracts your dog on the other side (another dog, squirrel, mailman, kids), he may decide to take a risk. To avoid this, set up a high, rigid fence so your pet does not climb or jump over it to escape. Walk around the perimeter of the fence daily to check for potential escape routes such as holes, piles of snow or wood.

Spay or neuter your pet

Les animaux intacts ont un désir inné de se reproduire. Les hormones peuvent influencer le bon sens. Les chiens mâles cherchent naturellement une femelle en chaleur. De même, les femelles intactes cherchent un compagnon mâle. La stérilisation de votre animal de compagnie dès son jeune âge lui enlève le désir hormonal d’errer. La plupart des animaux peuvent être stérilisés après l’âge de six mois. Mais, demandez à votre vétérinaire l’âge exact qui convient à la taille et à la race de votre animal. Si votre chien est plus âgé, votre vétérinaire peut toujours effectuer une stérilisation, bien qu’une fois réalisée, les comportements hormonaux peuvent devenir une habitude que la chirurgie ne pourra rien changer. 

Teach your dog basic commands

Teaching your dog to obey basic commands can be helpful if he decides to pursue something that catches his eye. Most importantly, teach him the "come" and "stay" commandments. Start with the first one and reward your pet with praise and / or treats as soon as they obey. After mastering this command, ask him to stay in one place by reaching out his hand and commanding him to stay. At first, expect your pet not to move for a few seconds. Then work for longer periods by commanding it from a further distance.

Offer him opportunities to exercise        

Very energetic pets are more likely to run away. If your dog has it all, give him time to do daily exercises to stimulate him physically and mentally:

  • Walk it around the neighborhood
  • Play a game that asks him to run after an object and bring it back
  • Go for hikes in a park
  • Register your dog for an agility course
  • Give your dog an interactive puzzle game
  • Train your dog on quests to find treats
  • Build a sandbox to dig in the yard

Prepare your pet for the worst

Even if you take the proper precautions, your dog could still run away. So, prepare for the worst and make sure it is correctly identified. Your pet must always wear his collar with identification and your contact details. Consider investing in a GPS tracking device that has a long range and good battery life. For permanent monitoring, consult your veterinarian for the implantation of an electronic chip in the skin between your dog's shoulder blades.