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Why Do Dogs Run Away?

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Why Does My Dog Run Away? There are two main reasons why a dog will keep trying to escape from its garden.

One is if the dog has been confined for long periods with little or no exercise. The dog becomes bored and frustrated and tries to escape as a form of entertainment.

A dog that has been suitably exercised is content to lie and sleep while its owner is elsewhere. A good play session combined with lots of reward-based training will tire your dog both mentally and physically.

Another reason why a male dog suddenly becomes an escape artist is if there is a bitch in season in the vicinity. Any intact dog is motivated by a strong natural drive to find a mate. When an entire male gets a whiff of a female on heat he will dig under fences, scale walls or even smash through gates in an effort to break free and procreate. Whilst many dogs do this, a well trained, well grounded and well disciplined dog will not, whether it is entire or not. It is also worth noting that some entire dogs have been known to do this as well.

Other reasons why your dog is trying to escape from the garden could be down to its breed. Terriers are renowned for being expert diggers and climbers. Jack Russells especially will jump onto shed roofs then hop over the fence, leap onto dustbins or even into trees so determined can they be to get out. All the working dog breeds have high energy levels. Insufficient exercise and a lack of training can cause such dogs to wish to escape from the garden to find an outlet for their energy.

Your dog could also be trying to escape in a response to something that has frightened him. This could be a clap of thunder, a car back firing or many other things.

Separation anxiety also causes dogs to try and escape from their environment. This is common in dogs that form an overly strong attachment to their owners. If there have been any changes in the family’s schedule such as a new job, new house or even a new baby the dog may become anxious when left alone.

If the place your dog goes to when he escapes provides him with fun things to do then he will try anything to escape again. Generally speaking, ANY place outside of the confines of your house or garden are a rewarding place for your dog, so the answer is to make sure your property is secure.

Never punish your dog if he has escaped. Any dog will associate punishment with what they were doing at that exact point in time. Punishing your dog even verbally won’t eliminate the unwanted behaviour and will more than likely make it worse.


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