When our dog runs away off-leash we tend to scream instantly, either out of fear of not getting him back or because he is running somewhere dangerous. The reality is that this is one of the worst reactions you can have. Not only will you scare him, but you will also damage your throat for no reason.
Find out in this article what not to do, how to retrieve your dog and how to prevent him from running away again.
The Least Effective Method to Retrieve a Dog That Has Got Off Leash
It is probably one of the first resources we use. But, unfortunately, this will generate two types of reactions in the animal that will only worsen the situation. It will get scared and run away in panic or it will increase its excitement and think you are playing. Whichever reaction it takes, it will not come back to you.
Running to Try to Catch Up
Running after an escaped dog is a wrong decision. They can reach up to 20 miles per hour. You'll make it run even farther away and you won't be able to catch it. Even in the eagerness to run away, you may take dangerous paths, such as approaching areas with heavy traffic.
Under no circumstances hurt an animal. Would you want to be with someone who hurts you? Your dog wouldn't either. You will increase the desire to run away from you.
What You Should Do When Your Dog Runs Off
Call Its Name Softly
Call their name without raising your voice. If you have developed a good relationship with your pet, he will love to hear you and will come to your arms quickly.
Lie Down on the Floor
Although this may seem like a strange tip, you'll find it's very effective. Your dog will think something has happened to you and will come running to you. They are called "man's best friend" for a reason.
Identify Its Distraction
If this situation happens often, it is important to think about why. For example, if your pet is not spayed or neutered, he may have found someone he likes in the neighborhood.
Maybe there are children in the park and he wants to play with them.
Many dogs run away when they see a place to get wet. It is an almost irresistible temptation. Although it is rare, another reason may be discomfort. Many times we buy leashes without checking that they are the right ones for our dog.
Offer Him Food or a Toy
Nobody can resist the taste of treats. And dogs even more so. There are many options on the market that your dog will love. Show him from afar what you have and he will come running to you.
The same goes for toys. For example, if your dog likes to play catch, take the opportunity to throw a ball far away. That way when he sees it, he'll catch it and run to you to give it back.
Run In the Opposite Direction
Make him feel like it's a game. Then, if he sees you running in the opposite direction, he will interpret that he also wants to run with you and will run in your direction.
Post His Picture
If you have tried everything and your dog still escaped from your sight, post his picture as soon as possible. Social media are an excellent communication channel. They have the virtue of virilizing information very quickly. Look for groups on Facebook about lost dogs in your city and your contact information.
How to Prevent Your Dog From Constantly Running Away
A dog that constantly gets off his leash is because he has found something more interesting to do than walking. The first key is identifying where he is going every time he runs away from you.
Just as with children, you have to capture his attention with eye-catching elements. Other actions you can take are:
Opt to Use a Different Leash
Once your pet has figured out how to get off the leash, he will do it again and again. A good option is a harness leash. It will be practically impossible for them to get it off. Just don't tighten it too much. It can impede his good breathing.
Change the Route
It is practically inevitable that your dog will want to run away if he walks in places with many distractions. He will be anxious to discover everything. It is better to opt for walks with lots of vegetation and less human traffic.
Use a GPS Tracking Device
Technology makes our lives easier, and keeping your dog close is one of its most outstanding achievements. While a GPS chip won't stop him from running away, you will be able to find him more easily. You'll also be able to see where he often escapes to and discover what it is about those places that are so attractive to your pet.
Keep Him Distracted
If you see your pet getting restless, distract him. Talk to him, pet him and take him on a different path. This way you will alleviate the moment and his mind will think of something else.
Don't Walk Him Without a Leash
Although it may seem obvious, many people ignore this point. Not only is it essential so that he doesn't run away, but also so that he doesn't become a nuisance to others. Unfortunately, no matter how good and harmless your dog may be, not everyone shares your love for pets.
Always remember that owning a pet is an act of responsibility. Don't keep animals at home unless you are willing to take care of them and give them all the attention they deserve. I assure you that all the love you give them will be returned. There is no animal more grateful and faithful than a dog.