Question of the Day: How do I keep my dog from running off?

keep dog from running off

This is a common question: How do I keep my dog from running off?

Dogs run off for so many reasons – boredom, prey, curiosity, lack of boundaries, any reason really. But it’s so dangerous, and stressful, when they do! They can get lost, hit by a car, stolen, freeze in the winter or become a heat casualty in the summer. The number one thing you can do to keep your dog safe is to keep them in your yard and under your control. Here another mini-blog with some of our advice to keep your dog from running off!

Supervision or Containment

First, if your dog is in the habit of taking himself for a walk you have two (and only two) options – he must be supervised, or he must be contained. A physical fence is great, because it keeps your dog in AND other animals out. If that’s not an option, a wireless fence could work – as long as you do the training that goes along with it! Halo is a GPS-based collar system we’ve used and love. They have a great training program on their app that goes along with the system. DO NOT SKIP THE TRAINING!

Containment might mean using a 15-20′ leash when you’re outside with your dog instead of a fence system. That works too! Whatever it takes to keep them safe!

If containment isn’t an option, you’ll need to supervise your dog 100% of the time outside. Dogs are so smart. They know when your back is turned or you step back inside the house for just a minute!

I’m Watching My Dog, But He Still Runs Off

If you’re supervising your dog but that doesn’t stop them from running off, then the solution you’re looking for is in obedience training. Specifically, off leash obedience training! If your dog hears you calling, looks at you, flips you the bird and then keeps going the direction he was going, you have a bit of a relationship issue with your dog. He doesn’t think there’s any incentive to shift his focus from what he wants to what you want.

Any of our off-leash obedience packages will help change the way your dog responds when you call. We want your dog to hear you and enthusiastically come running to get their praise and affection! The e-collar helps be sure they can hear us when we call, but the real underlying training method is giving such high praise & affection (sometimes treat or toy) reward that your dog doesn’t even question turning around, they want to!

Building The Relationship

Once your dog sees you as the most rewarding, most exciting thing out there, you’ll be surprised to find that they don’t run off nearly as often, if at all! But, just in case something tempts them, we make sure your dog’s recall (coming when called) is 100% solid before you ever take the leash off. The daily practice you do between lessons will strengthen your dog’s recall at the same time it’s strengthening the relationship.

Between strengthening the commands and strengthening the relationship, most dogs without major underlying behavior issues (extreme fear, anxiety or aggression) can be reliable off leash! It takes practice and consistency, but once you have a dog you can trust to not run off when you’re outside with them it can be such a joy!

If your dog isn’t coming when you call, call us!