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Lost dog: what to do when your dog has run away?

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Posted on November 15 2018

Many dog ​​owners face this great problem of running away from them. They can happen once or twice in some cases, but can also become repetitive in others, installing a sort of trivialization that can become even more problematic.

Whether they occur occasionally or are regular , canine fugues are as much a source of peril for the dog himself as anguish for his owners. The more time passes, the more the risk of accident increases, hence the need to react quickly , but while keeping a cool head to be able to proceed efficiently. Before we look at how to find your dog as quickly as possible, it is important to understand what can drive a dog to escape and see ways to prevent future escapades.

Why is he running away?

There are several reasons for a dog to move away from the home of its owners (detailed version here ...). It is essential to identify them so that they can then adopt the right method of research and prevention.

Fugues can result from behavioral disorders , which very often originate in weaning far too early and socialization of poor quality, or totally absent.

Dog escapades can also be explained by their need to join a group of congenerists who are used to passing by the home. The pack instinct is still very pronounced among our four - legged friends. This is what governs their behavior in their human families. The desire to find others, to belong to a collective and to interact with other dogs is very natural.

The fugue can, moreover, be consecutive to a violent noise , like that of a big storm, or a fireworks display.

Some traumatic events are also disruptive for dogs and can lead them to flee: move, death of one of the masters, etc. During periods of heat , males attracted to breeding females may be led away from home. Finally, loneliness and boredom are also factors that motivate runaways.

How to prevent escapades?

  • Start by checking all of your fences . Enlarge them if they are low enough to allow him to jump over, scan and repair any gaps your dog may encounter.
  • Spend more time with your dog so he feels less lonely
  • Make him less bored during your absence; leave him a chew toy, for example
  • If runaways occur because of females in heat, take your dog to the vet for hormonal treatment
  • Give it an anti-fugue collar or install a virtual fence
  • When he returns after a runaway, do not scold him, but praise him for not associating his return with something unpleasant

How to react in case of running away?

  • As soon as you realize the disappearance of your dog, focus your research by car on the main roads near your home (about 3 or 4 km). Then move on to smaller roads.
  • During your research, pay attention to any barking of other dogs in the neighborhood, the village or the surrounding area. These barking could be pushed in response to the presence of your dog.
  • Ask passers-by if they have noticed a single dog by giving them a brief description of yours (size, type or breed, color). If so, ask the direction he has taken.
  • Try to spot possible packs . Your dog might have joined one of them.
  • If farms are nearby, go to their areas because the dogs remain attracted to the farmyard animals.
  • If you spot your dog off, go past it and stop your vehicle a few meters ahead. Do not run after him, but remember him with a cheerful tone to encourage him to join you.
  • If searches continue, contact the nearest veterinarians , shelters , the town hall and the gendarmerie . Distribute posters with a photo, descriptive text and contact information to the neighborhood and businesses.

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