4 min read


Why Do Dogs Come Back When They Run Away



4 min read


Why Do Dogs Come Back When They Run Away




Your dog is a part of your family and losing your dog or having them run away is just like losing your own child. Owners feel just as nervous as a parent who lost their child when their dog runs away. What happened? What could they have done to prevent their pups from running away? Are they safe? Do they have shelter? Will their beloved pooched ever come back? These are just some of the questions which are on the mind of every owner whose dog has run away.

Some dogs do come back when they run away but there are also other dogs that never make it home. Do dogs come back when they run away? Most importantly, what can you do to prevent your dog from running away in the first place?

The Root of the Behavior

Every owner dreads having their pet pooches run away and not finding them again and losing them forever. There are dogs that are able to find their way back but there are also other dogs that were not kept indoors properly or not provided with the right identification that they end up somewhere else. Let’s take a look at the most prevalent reasons why dogs leave home.

One of the most frequent reasons why dogs run away is that they have easy escape routes. Not all dogs like to runaway but genetically, all dogs are born to roam and discover their surroundings. As a species, dogs are naturally curious creatures. They are active and they want to explore their surroundings so if you have a fence that is too low, a gate that is broken or a window that is open, you can be sure that your dog will start exploring.

Dogs have an extraordinary prey drive and there are some that will chase squirrels up a tree unless you keep them on a double harness. Although there are some dogs that care little about going after what they would consider prey, prevention can help a lot in keeping your dog safe and secure at home.

Boredom is another reason why dogs run away. Having too much energy and nothing to do at home can drive your pup crazy. So they will hit the road out of boredom. Your dog’s exploratory instincts can be calmed by the three Es; exercise, enrichment, and entertainment. Although your yard is a great tool for exercising, enriching, and entertaining your pooch, you must be there to supervise them and one of the things you have to make sure of is that the gates are locked so they don’t end up running away and getting lost.

Loud noises, big crowds and bright lights can scare your dogs and can cause them to run away. This does not mean that you should no longer celebrate the holiday season but you should consider your dog’s safety by keeping them indoors.

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Encouraging the Behavior

Preventing your dog from running away is always better than hoping that they will come back after running away. Some dogs come back when they run away simply for the reason that there is a good reason for them to come home. You should never make the mistake of getting angry if you call your dog and he doesn’t come immediately. Even verbally reprimanding your dog teaches him that if he comes or allows himself to get caught, bad things will happen. This is not a very exciting thought for a dog to come home to if he runs away.

When your dog comes back after running away, teach him what you want to do so he does not run away again. Practice obedience training to show him that he is the subordinate and you are the pack leader. Various things such as verbal cues, dog treats, and games can be used as rewards when he does a good job. Doing so will make him want to repeat his good behaviour and prevent him from running away. If your dog does run away but then remembers just what a great home he has, full of treats and positivity, he will definitely want to go back.

Other Solutions and Considerations

There are plenty of reasons why dogs run away but one of the most common is because they can so do not give them the chance of escaping. Make your home as secure as possible so you do not have sleepless nights about lost dogs and how you can bring them back. Check your property and fix issues which provide your pooch an easy escape. 

If you have recently moved, you might want to make your dog’s new abode as familiar as possible. Start by surrounding him with his favorite things that smell just like his old home. Take your dog around his new place so he has an opportunity to smell everything and get acquainted with his new surroundings. This will help automatically create a sense of familiarity.


Keep your dog secure so they don’t end up leaving your home and running away. Most of the time, the usual reasons that dogs run away is that they have easy escape routes and what could be more enticing than an open gate and a world beyond the four walls that is full of adventure and fun? 

Written by a Chow Chow lover Jhoana Carla de Toro

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 02/22/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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