Do you ever wonder why do dogs run away? Are you worried about your furry companion running out the door or slipping through the fence? There are many reasons why dogs run away, from natural instincts to environmental factors.

Below, I will explain to you why dogs run away and what you can do to help prevent it.


Why Do Dogs Run Away from Home?

Why Do Dogs Run Away

We like to think of dogs as our loyal companions. But sometimes they have a mind of their own and like to wander away. So, why do dogs run away? Learn the various reasons behind this behaviour so you can take preventative measures. 

1. Dogs' Instinct

Dogs have a natural instinct to roam and explore. These instinctual behaviours are inherited from their wild ancestors. While they investigate their surroundings, they often search for possible escape routes.

These can be a loosely latched gate, a hole in the fence, or an open window. This behaviour combined with their keen sense of smell and  hearing often prompts them to embark on an adventure.

Ensure your home and yard are free from any potential escape routes. Fix fences, keep gates latched shut, and close outside doors and windows.

2. Chasing Prey

Chasing its prey is a common reason why do dogs run away

A lot of dogs have a strong urge to chase prey. The urge is deeply ingrained in their DNA. Their ancestors were hunters and had to catch prey to survive. When a dog sees or smells their prey, their instincts take over.

So, why do dogs run away when they see their prey? This is because they have a surge of adrenaline and dopamine and are unable to resist the chase. Always ensure your dog remains on a leash in areas that are not secure or enclosed.

3. Mating Time

Why do dogs run away when females are in heat? As with every animal, dogs have an instinct to mate. Dogs who are not neutered or spayed often experience heightened levels of hormones. This makes them seek out potential mates.

The drive to reproduce is so powerful, it can force the dog to be disobedient. This natural urge can lead to risky behaviours and a likelihood of becoming lost.

Spay or neuter your dog to reduce the urge to find a mate. Doing so will also reduce the risk of cancer.

4. Boredom and Loneliness

Dogs are often social animals that require interaction and stimulation. When a dog is left alone for extended periods without mental and physical stimulation, they can become bored and lonely.

In an attempt to alleviate their boredom and loneliness, they may wander away from home. They are searching for excitement or social interaction.

Provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation. This can be accomplished with toys and physical activity.

5. Fear and Anxiety

A scared dog in search of a safe place to hide

Why do dogs run away when they are scared or anxious? This is because they feel their home is a source of stress rather than safety. Loud noises, such as fireworks, thunderstorms, and construction, can produce feelings of panic and anxiety.

This will cause dogs to flee in search of a safe place to hide. Address any underlying anxiety or fear issues. Your vet can help you with this.

6. Are Not Properly Trained

One of the main reasons why dogs run away is because they have not had proper obedience training. A well-trained dog should come when called and walk beside you without getting distracted.

Obedience training should start early in a dog's life and continue throughout. Invest in professional dog training. With proper training, your dog will learn to respond to commands, reducing the risk of them running away.

If your dog begins to run away from you, avoid chasing them. Instead, attempt to encourage them to chase you by running in the opposite direction.

Invest in a Pet Tracker

A dog wearing a pet tracker

Investing in a pet tracker, like a microchip or GPS device. These options provide reassurance for pet owners. Microchips offer a permanent form of identification, which can help vets and shelters locate you.

On the other hand, GPS trackers offer real-time tracking, allowing owners to locate their pets instantly.

Now You Know Why Do Dogs Run Away

By addressing the reasons why dogs run away and implementing measures to prevent runaway behaviour, you can help ensure your dog’s safety. From reinforcing your fence to providing mental and physical stimulation, there are various things you can do.

So, the next time your dog makes a dash for freedom, remember there is a reason why they are doing this. Approach the situation with compassion and understanding. Do not get mad at your dog.

Our furry friends depend on us to create a loving and secure environment. That is why it is important to consider the question, "Why do dogs run away?” before they wander off. 

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