The first reason why our four-legged pal could run away is related to its instinct of reproduction. In fact, if your dog smells a bitch in heat nearby, he could decide to go look for her, hence run away from home. To prevent this occurrence, unfortunately, there’s not much that you can do. Indeed, even a very obedient dog, in the absence of his human, follows his instinct. The only precaution you can take is to confine your dog in the house or in an escape-proof pen or box.
Another reason for your dog to run away is related to boredom or to its desire to explore. In fact, most dogs live a sedentary and boring life that is not fit for an animal that is an explorer by nature. That’s why your dog may decide to leave home to visit places and sniff around the neighbor; remember that from your dog’s point of view, leaving home is only a temporary episode, like “I’m going to take a stroll and come back”, and not “I’m leaving home”, because the dog is a social animal that loves staying with its “pack”.
The desire to join the pack could be a reason for taking off. Dogs that are not used to be alone or find themselves all of a sudden in places they don’t recognize, could run away to rejoin their “pack”.
The dog runs away also when it is frightened or scared by an unexpected event. During a storm or a firework show, its brain might advise it to escape the danger that it feels close. If the dog is scared and confused, its ability to analyze the problem might fail, so as to lead it to do things that it wouldn’t do normally.
The predatory instinct is another reason for taking off. It is more marked in hounds, sniffers and northern dogs, but it is present also in dogs of other races. The predatory instinct is part of the DNA of our four-legged friend and, even if it is concealed and sedated for most of its life, it could be aroused by sniffing a special smell or by the sight of a free animal.
Finally, don’t forget that dogs who have spent a part of their lives in dog pounds or shelters or that have often changed their environment are more prone to run away. This is because the animal needs time to settle in and recognize a new place as its “den”, and, if during the transition period, it is not sufficiently monitored, it might decide to try to return to the place that it considers safe.
To put a remedy to all these possible reasons to run away, we remind you that all dogs must be trained for the life they are going to live, that is, they must be accustomed to places and persons, noises and smells. The more you show your dog different situations and the more you accustom it to face them correctly, the less your dog will be prone to follow its instinct in special situations. In addition to the training, a dog also needs its daily physical and mental exercise, because the dog is a social animal that needs to feel useful to its pack; it needs contact, discipline, and, last but not least, it needs to move adequately.