Dog caring can be a challenge when you have a runaway on your hands. Does your dog appear from nowhere and bolt for the front door as soon as you open it? Or perhaps he won’t stop digging under the garden fence in a bid for freedom? When a dog runs away from home, it can find itself in imminent danger. Being hit by a car, being attacked by other animals or getting picked up and placed in a shelter and never found again, these fears are all very real if your dog goes missing.

Why would a dog do something so risky? In this article, we will look at some of the reasons for this behaviour and tips on how to manage it.



Moving house

If you have recently changed address, it could simply be that your dog is trying to get back ‘home’. While we know that home is where the heart is, your dog faces a challenge in unfamiliar territory. To help combat this, take your dog around your new home, inside and out, on a leash for a good sniff so that he begins to become acquainted with his new environment. You can also place things with a familiar scent around the property to create a sense of familiarity from the get-go. You may need to keep him on a leash when you are in outside areas of your new home until he really begins to feel at home. Consider getting a tag with name and address. You can find dog collar supplies in Hong Kong available in our online store or local pet shop. Also, don’t forget to update the address associated with your dog’s microchip just in case he does give you the slip.

Mating urges
The urge to mate can be very strong in some dogs, especially in those that have not been neutered. Sterilising your dog has many health benefits as well as helping to curb this drive to find a mate. It also help to avoid any unwanted puppies being born with uncertain futures. Speak to your vet about the most appropriate time to have your pet neutered and avoid this issue altogether.



Boredom
Dogs are highly intelligent and social beings; they need stimulation, exercise and affection every day. We know how busy life can be here in Hong Kong but setting aside time each day to ensure your dog isn’t lonely or bored is achievable if you make it a priority. Set time aside each day for walks, play, training and affection so that your dog has a good reason to stay home.

Fear and excitement
If your dog experiences something frightening, it is only natural that he should try to escape from it. If you know that your dog is afraid of loud noises like fireworks or thunder storms, prepare for it with training. Teach your dog to stay on command and also to relax more when they hear these sounds. Make sure that you have prepared a safe area to keep you dog from escaping should these events happen. Excitement can also send your dog running for the hills, especially if they see a squirrel! The key here is training. Teach your dog to stay calm when the object of his excitement is around by practicing having him stay while you throw a toy or have someone try to distract him with something you know he will find hard to resist. This will take time and patience but the outcome is a safe and controlled dog so it is well worth the extra time and effort.

Whatever the reasons for your dog’s behaviour, providing the right environment, stimulation, training and affection will help keep your dog safe from harm. However, if the worst should happen and he does go missing, take a look at our article of how to find your lost dog in Hong Kong.