Taking your dog for a walk is a great bonding experience and gives you both some much-needed exercise. However, not every walk is a smooth experience, even with a well-behaved dog. Dogs slip off their leash and get away from their owners more often than people realize. Instead of thinking it can never happen to you, educate yourself on what the best course of action is in case it does happen.
When your dog starts to run off, it’s easy to panic, but that’s the worst thing you can do. Your dog will notice the anxiety in your tone of voice and body language. This typically causes them to run even further, which is the last thing you want. Take a deep breath and figure out the best course of action to get your dog back safely.
Methods for Getting Your Dog Back
Every dog is different. Some are more prone to getting distracted and running than others, so keep your dog’s breed and temperament in mind. Follow these methods to get your dog to return.
- Start by calling your dog in a calm, confident tone.
- Don’t yell like you’re angry. Why would your dog want to come back if they think they’re in trouble?
- Briskly walk or lightly jog to keep your dog within eyesight. Don’t run or your dog will think they’re being chased and run faster.
- Offer a yummy treat to your pup! A lot of dogs are more likely to return if they think there’s a reward waiting for them that’s more interesting than whatever they’re doing.
- If your dog loves car rides, try following in your car. When you get close enough, hop out and ask your dog to join you for a ride! This method can even work with other loose dogs you encounter that aren’t your own.
Prevention and Preparation Are Key
The best thing you can do to protect your dog in the event they get off their leash is to prepare ahead of time. Always have an updated picture of your dog for others to reference. Talk to your vet about microchipping the dog. This allows the dog to be scanned if they’re found by someone else or the dog warden. The microchip will be loaded with your information so the dog can be safely returned home. Finally, always keep treats nearby when you’re out with your dog just in case they get away and you need to bribe them back.
Preventing a dog on the loose before it happens is an even better option! Keep your dog on a leash anytime they’re not in a securely fenced area. Make sure their collar fits snug enough that they won’t be able to easily slip out. The best prevention of all though is good training! A dog that’s trained to return when you call, or even better, trained to not run in the first place, will be a lot easier to manage if they get loose. Train your dog using positive reinforcement. This means praising them when they return at your call, instead of punishing them for leaving your side.
Contact Argos Dog Training
If you’re located in the Boston area, contact Argos Dog Training today to start working on training your dog. As the leading dog trainer in the Boston area, we believe even the most stubborn dogs can be reformed with the right methods!