Animals that escape can face various dangers, including getting lost, hurt, or taken. While some dogs may naturally tend to wander, implementing measures to prevent your beloved pet from running away is crucial. Understanding the reasons behind their behavior and employing the right strategies can minimize the risk and increase the likelihood of a safe return. In this guide, we will explore steps to protect your furry friend from potential dangers and ensure their well-being, covering aspects such as exercise, secure fencing, training, and identification.

portable fences for dogs

Keep your dog safe

Revisit basic training

Revisit your dog’s fundamental training to ensure their obedience, as instincts may occasionally override their training. Re-emphasize basic commands like Sit, Stay, and Come through consistent practice. Reward good behavior and ignore undesirable actions, using positive reinforcement methods like clicker training. Be mindful of how you give attention to your dog, avoiding reinforcing escape behavior inadvertently. Training fosters trust, enhances safety, and strengthens your bond with your furry companion.

Exercise for your dog

Prevent escapes by offering daily exercise, keeping your pet physically and mentally engaged with activities like walks, backyard games, hikes, agility courses, food puzzles, and treasure hunts. These outlets will reduce the urge for adventurous escapes.

Protect your dog from loud noises

Protect your pet from loud noises like fireworks, which can cause fear and escape attempts. Keep them in a quiet room during festivities, offering distractions and calming aids. For noise-sensitive pets, use a leash or a fenced yard outdoors to prevent sudden escapes due to thunder or gunshots. Bring them inside during storms and consult your veterinarian for anxiety medication if needed.

Build a fence for your dog

Install a secure fence in your yard to prevent pets from roaming. Avoid allowing them to roam freely and opt for leashed walks or fenced play areas. While electric fences have limitations, a sturdy, tall fence can deter climbing or jumping. Regularly check for escape routes, such as holes or obstacles.

Why is my dog running away?

Dogs often run away for various reasons. Common causes include boredom, seeking excitement, enjoying ‘catch me’ games, and breed tendencies. Breeds like border collies and huskies, inclined towards exploration, are more prone to wander. In contrast, toy breeds usually stay closer to owners. Recent moves can confuse dogs, prompting them to seek their old home. Additionally, unneutered dogs may escape to find a mate, necessitating extra training for high-risk breeds.

Can I train my dog not to run away?

Train your dog not to run away by consistently practicing recall commands, rewarding them with treats for obeying, ensuring they receive ample exercise, and securing your yard to prevent escapes. Establishing a strong bond and understanding through regular, positive reinforcement training is key to discouraging the desire to run away.


Always make sure your dog learns that returning to you is enjoyable and rewarding. To prevent your dog from running away, use a collar or harness with a leash, and only allow them off-leash in secure, enclosed spaces. Diligently practice recall training in these enclosed areas before considering off-leash time.

How to increase the chance of a safe return

ID Tags: 

Ensure your dog’s collar tag is robust and non-rusting, such as Providence Engraving Pet ID Tags, displaying their name, your contact number, and city.

Personalized Collars: 

Opt for a personalized dog collar to have essential details like your dog’s name and your phone number engraved directly on the collar. 


Implant a small identification microchip under your dog’s skin. Veterinarians or animal shelters often do this for a nominal fee. Don’t forget to register the microchip’s unique ID with the appropriate registry.

GPS Smart Collars: 

To keep track of a lost dog, using a GPS-enabled smart collar can be effective. These collars usually provide real-time tracking and may send escape alerts to your phone. They often come with an initial purchase cost and a monthly subscription fee for continuous service.

Can my dog grow out of running away?

Dogs may not necessarily grow out of the tendency to run away as it often stems from instinctual behaviors or unmet needs. Consistent training and fulfilling their exercise, social, and mental stimulation needs can significantly reduce this behavior.

Can dogs find their way home?

Dogs frequently find their way back to their owners after running away. Research on lost pets reveals that 93% of missing dogs are eventually recovered, higher than the 74% recovery rate for cats. This suggests that dogs, similar to cats, possess notable navigational skills, aiding in their return.

Where do dogs usually go if they run away?

When dogs run away, their behavior varies by personality. Outgoing dogs may seek out other dogs or friendly humans, often venturing into neighbors’ yards or public parks. In contrast, shy or older dogs, wary of strangers, tend to hide in secluded spots like bushes or under cars, seeking safety away from public view.

Should I punish my dog for running away? 

It’s best not to punish your dog for running away. Dogs link punishment to what they’re doing at that moment, so scolding them after they return won’t solve the problem of them running away. It could make them scared to come near you. Avoid correcting them, especially if their escaping is because they’re afraid or anxious from being separated.