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  • Writer's pictureJan

Why does my dog try to escape?

It is incredibly frustrating to own a dog who has mastered the art of escaping, or in other words, is like “Houdini” in disguise. Dogs usually try to escape by slipping out as soon as the door is opened or by digging under your backyard fences. There are many reasons why your dog might be trying to escape, but rest assured there are ways in which you can minimise the chance of this happening. The biggest concern would be that your dog ends up either hurt, stolen, lost or fatally injured. All these are the worst possible scenarios but that is even more reason to do everything in your power to stop anything like this from happening.

There are several reasons for your dog wanting to escape. Some of those reasons might include boredom, isolation, or in search of a mate. It is important to make sure that your dog is kept well entertained during your absence. Dogs love the companionship of us humans so leave them with a variety of toys and treats which will keep them occupied while you are away. If your dog is wanting some company from the opposite sex, it might be time to have them de-sexed.

Anxiety can be an enormous problem for some dogs, particularly if they are frightened by loud noises such as thunderstorms or loud cars and bikes. Remember to keep them in a quiet area of the house if you are going to be away, especially if there is a chance of a storm.

For some dog breeds, particularly those which are considered working dogs including Collies, German Shepherds and Cattle dogs it is instinctual to go looking for work. Hunting dogs such as Beagles will be more inclined to go chasing wildlife.

Puppies and young dogs have an enormous amount of energy so when they are unable to release it, they will be tempted to wander. They are also inquisitive enough to want to check out any noises or cooking smells coming from your neighbours.

There are a number of things you can do to prevent your dog from escaping, some of which are quite obvious.

Spend quality time with your dog so that they don’t become bored. Use the time to train them, even teaching them to come to you when you call them. Try to walk them every day as you will also reap the health benefits of regular exercising. If your dog is happy and tired, they will be less inclined to roam. In doing all the above, you are forming a long lasting bond with your dog, which will make them less inclined to want to leave the house because they know they are well loved.

Organise play dates with your friends who have dogs as catching up with their four legged mates will curb any kind of roaming behaviour. Dogs are very much like people and thrive on that social interaction. Look into doggy daycare as your pooch will be given an abundance of social stimulation and will certainly be too tired to try to escape after a day with their buddies.

If all else fails, consult your vet as they might be able to put you in touch with a pet behaviourist who can work with your dog. Your vet is also the right person to be able to give you something to calm an anxious dog.

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