The following are ideas to keep your dog from running away:
Spay or neuter. Dogs’ drive to breed is very strong, so intact male dogs are hard to keep at home when there is a female in heat in the neighborhood. Intact females can also be driven to seek out males. Spaying or neutering your dog is a key component in keeping them from running away to mate.
Invest in quality fencing. A traditional fence, at the right height, is usually always the best choice. If you choose an electric fence, make sure you go with a professional invisible fence company. Online or box store electric fences are inferior and do not provide the necessary training provided by a professional invisible fence company. Even with traditional fencing it is important to walk the parameter regularly looking for holes, fallen branches, snow piles or other potential exit aids. Self-closing gates can be helpful, particularly in homes with children. Locks on the gates can provide additional safety too. It’s important to play games within your yard and help your dog understand their parameters.
Provide interactive exercise. Dogs do well with 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a day. Walk, run, play fetch, swim, hike, throw a frisbee, the ideas are limitless. In addition, provide enrichment activities to keep them busy at home, such as putting out dog puzzles, stuffing a food toy with peanut butter (freeze it for a longer activity), hiding treats or toys around the house, baiting your yard with fake rabbits in tunnels, or a building a sandbox for digging.
Use positive training methods. You don’t ever want to punish a dog when he comes back to you—that’s certainly not going to make the dog want to come back. Instead of calling your dog when he is running circles around you, try teaching him to lie down quickly to earn a treat. It can be a game you play whenever the dog is running. Another trick is to train your dog not to go through a door or gate until invited. Use reward-based training (like giving a treat for correct behavior) instead of correction-based training (like using shock collars) to avoid creating fear and aggression in your pooch.
Evaluate the needs of your dog. Before you acquire a dog, it’s best to do your homework. Sites like https://vetmatrix.com/pet_selector/index.html can help you choose the right breed for your lifestyle. Some breeds, like huskies, have a reputation for independence and roaming, but each dog’s temperament and drive is different. For best results, work with a trainer or animal behaviorist to create a tailored approach for keeping your dog happy at home. You can train any breed—you just might have to work potentially harder at it.
Call us if you suspect separation anxiety. It’s one thing if your dog mopes when you leave, but if he shows signs of extreme distress about being alone, such as leaving scratch marks on the door or jumping through a screen or window you should give us a call at (509) 928-PETS (7387). The sooner your dog gets help, the better.
Create a home dogs don’t want to leave. It’s a habit to stay home—that’s really the bottom line with dogs. They should learn it’s a really good habit to stay home because there’s so much value in our home that there’s no reason to go.
Finally, even when we take every precaution, our dogs can still get out or lost. Make sure your pet has been microchipped and wears a collar with the proper ID. You also have the option of pet locator companies such as www.petamberalert.com or www.findtoto.com.