4 Reasons Why Do Dogs Keep Running Away?

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Last Updated on March 22, 2023 by Camila Coleman

Have you ever had the experience where one moment your furry friend is playing in the backyard and the next moment it disappears? It can be quite alarming and you may wonder why a dog runs away all of a sudden.

It’s important to understand that there is a difference between a dog roaming around and getting lost. Even if your pet only goes next door and comes back, running around freely can put them in danger, and they may get injured or lose their way back home.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone! This is a common issue that can happen when a dog is new to a neighborhood or hasn’t been trained well on a leash.

In this article, we will discuss the reasons Why Dogs Keep Running Away and provide you with some helpful tips to prevent this from happening.

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Why Do Dogs Keep Running Away From Home?

There are various reasons why a dog may run away. Some reasons may be apparent, while others could be unexpected.

However, the good news is that whether it’s running after a squirrel, digging under a fence, or for any other reason, your dog will typically return on its own when it’s ready.

1. Boredom

When dogs get bored, they may start to think of ways to escape. This could happen if you’ve left them alone for a long time and they start feeling homesick. Also, if they don’t have anyone to play with and have a lot of energy to expend, they may run away.

On the other hand, it’s possible that they’re having a more enjoyable time somewhere else. They may be going to your neighbor’s house to play with their pets or children.

2. Desire for Mating

The desire for mating can be a significant factor in why a dog may run away in search of a partner. When a dog is over 6 months old, they become ready for breeding. Due to their strong desire for mating, it can be challenging to keep them contained or isolated.

3. Fear

Fear can also be a reason why a dog may feel compelled to leave home. When some dogs are scared, they run away. Two common reasons for this are fireworks and lightning strikes. After experiencing a loud noise, around one out of every five dogs will run away.

4. Separation Anxiety

Dogs may run outside to look for their owners when they feel stressed due to separation. If they get anxious while you’re preparing to leave, damage your belongings while you’re gone, or have issues despite being housetrained, it could be a sign of loneliness.

A Lost Dog

If a dog experiences separation anxiety, it may run away as soon as you leave. However, the good news is that they usually stay within the vicinity of the neighborhood.

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How to Stop a Dog From Running Away?

Here are some suggestions to help stop your dog from escaping:

  • Prepare for events like Halloween or Christmas by closing windows during fireworks and thunderstorms.
  • When you leave home, keep your dog in a confined area with long-lasting food or toys to keep them occupied.
  • Train your dog to follow commands or enroll them in obedience training.
  • If your dog is prone to escaping, invest in a stronger fence, preferably one with wooden panels and a cement base in the ground to prevent them from breaking out.
  • If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, consider taking them to pet daycare or having a friend or family member look after them while you’re away.
  • Find alternative ways to keep your dog entertained, play with them daily, and make sure they have enough social interaction to avoid feeling lonely.

Tips to Stop Dogs from Running Away

Here are some ways and gadgets to prevent dogs from getting lost or aid in finding them:

  • Use a GPS tracking system to keep track of your dog at all times.
  • Check the gates and doors of the backyard whenever a guest or anyone arrives at your house.
  • Be cautious when visitors arrive at the door by keeping hold of your dog’s collar or putting them in a dog crate.
  • Ensure your dog always wears an ID collar with your contact number, address, and identification tag.
  • Teach your dog strong commands like sit and stay and practice them regularly.
  • Always keep your dog leashed when going for a walk outside.


Dogs running away is a natural behavior for them as they have a strong instinct to explore their surroundings. Instead of panicking, it’s essential to provide dogs with enough attention, affection, and training to prevent them from wanting to run away.

Moreover, investing in preventive measures such as stronger fences, GPS tracking systems, and keeping them on a leash during walks can also be helpful.

Remember to greet your dog with love and treats when they return to reinforce positive behavior. With patience and effort, it’s possible to keep your furry friend at home to avoid the stress and danger of them getting lost.

Ryan Dahmer

Ryan provides in-home pet care services as a side gig. Even though he operates as a groomer, he is knowledgeable about dog and cat training. He currently works full-time as a contributor at BestDogLeash.Org, where he blogs or tests products by giving recommendations to share his knowledge and opinions.

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