4 min read


Why Do Some Dogs Always Run Away



4 min read


Why Do Some Dogs Always Run Away




We do not have any doubts that your dog loves you. However, there are times when the just won’t stay put and they run away. Having a runaway dog is a stressful time but as long as you get your dog back safely at home and in your arms, it won’t take long for things to return to normal.

However, there are some dogs who seem to make a habit out of running away. There are some dogs who respond to certain triggers while there are others who seem to take after magicians and disappear right in front of their human’s eyes. 

Although there are some dogs who may not go very far and just enjoy checking out their neighbor’s yard, running away can be dangerous. It can result to your dog getting attacked by another animal, getting hit by a car or ending up at the shelter. You are not alone if you are struggling to give your dog freedom to run and play but also want to keep him safe at the same time. 

The Root of the Behavior

So, let’s understand the problem. Why do some dogs just enjoy running away? Think back to the days when you were a young girl or boy. What were the reasons you wanted to run away? Did you want to find adventure? Did you love the great outdoors so much? Dogs run away for the very same reasons too. 

Our dogs love us. They enjoy getting treats from us and they enjoy greeting us at the door when we come home. So, it can be quite difficult to imagine a dog wanting to leave a safe place where he is loved and cared for, where he gets food several times of the day, as well as love, attention and toys. Why would they want to leave doggy heaven? Why would they want to abandon their humans?

One of the reasons why dogs run away is because they are looking for a mate, especially male dogs. The reproductive drive is powerful and even well-trained dogs can be overwhelmed by natural urges. If they catch a whiff of un-spayed female dogs, they will go straight through the fence and down the road without second thoughts. 

If your dog is bored, they will run away. If they are left alone to themselves for a very long time and start feeling lonely, they will take off. The same thing will happen if he has a lot of energy to use up but nothing to do because he does not have any chew toys or other canines to play and have fun with. Another thing is when he is having fun somewhere else. He could be always running away to the neighbor’s because there are dogs or children he can play with. Dogs do not like confinement, they naturally seek adventure and when they find it, they will keep on coming back.

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Encouraging the Behavior

No sensible dog owner is going to encourage their dog to leave home. It is not a behavior which you want to encourage. Rather it is something which you want to prevent from happening. 

Not every dog is a runner, but genetically creatures with four legs are built to roam and not for confinement. As a species, majority of dogs are curious, and they want to explore and discover their surroundings. Having a fence that is too low or having a gate that can easily be opened makes it very easy for a curious to dog to set off exploring.

It is important to ensure that your windows have security screens and it is also helpful to put up door barriers or even perhaps baby gates to keep your dog from running away. If you are out in the yard, do supervise your dog and make it a point to periodically check your fence for any holes or weak spots. 

Having your dog spayed and neutered is also another way to prevent constant episodes of running away. Studies have shown that neutering decreases sexual roaming in many cases. Once your dog’s hormones are in control, they will be less likely to go out chasing other dogs.

Other Solutions and Considerations

There are numerous reasons for dogs running away and there are solutions to each of these reasons. If your dog likes to run away because of their naturally curious behavior or because they have too much energy and nothing to do, you can invest in quality barriers and security screens, as well as safe chew toys which can help entertain your dogs.

As a dog owner, spending time to play with your dogs and taking them out for a walk also comes with the territory. Remember the 3 Es that every dog needs; exercise, enrichment, and entertainment. An important thing to remember about your dog’s yard time is that it can be a great tool for exercising, entertaining and enriching your dog but it should only be limited to when you are home and able to supervise your beloved canine. 


Do not think that your dog is unhappy with you because it always leaves the house and runs away. It could be doing so because of its natural urges but as a dog owner it is also your responsibility to examine the possible reasons why your dog enjoys leaving the house so much. If you have not been giving your dog ample exercise or entertainment, there are things you can do in order to correct this. A little research and observation of your dog’s behavior can go a long way towards a happy ever after for you and your four-legged best friend. 

By a Shiba Inu lover Patty Oelze

Published: 02/06/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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