A dog that continuously escapes from its yard can be a real nuisance to pet owners but it can also be fatal if you live in an area with a lot of street traffic. The good news is that this problem can be solved by keeping your dog's life as interesting as possible. But it is still up to you, the pet owner, to make sure that the dog's living environment is as escape proof as possible.
What Causes A Dog To Escape?
There are many reasons why a dog escapes. The most common motives for a dog to go roaming are boredom, isolation, and sexual roaming. Dogs that are neutered or spayed and given lots of exercise and attention tend to remain at home and are less likely to try to escape from their yards. When a dog feels like part of the family they usually want to stick around to enjoy the company of those he loves.
But there are some breeds, like Border Collies, which have a strong herding instinct and will escape just to go looking for a job to do. These dogs require daily exercises in the form of work for them to feel satisfied and stick around.
Another group of dogs that have a high wanderlust potential are puppies and adolescent dogs. These dogs have a strong curiosity about their neighborhoods and want to find out all they can about where they live. These dogs should be given plenty of exercise and play to minimize their wanderlust potential and curiosity.
It is important to remember that all dogs will follow their nose if they catch a powerful scent. If somebody in the neighborhood is cooking something that smell delicious to the dog he will do everything possible to try to follow that scent. This is especially true if a female dog in heat is somewhere in the neighborhood.
Is There A Way To Treat The Problem?
There are many things that can be done to minimize the chances of your dog escaping. The following is just a sampling of what can be done.
- Set aside some time each day to spend with your dog. This will make your dog feel wanted and comfortable in her environment and she will become very attached to all members of the household and not want to be away from them.
- Make sure that it is not easy for your dog to escape. If your dog has strong canine instincts to herd or chase prey you must make sure that your yard has a good fence around it. Such fences should be high enough so that the dog cannot jump over it. And it should go underground at least three feet to prevent the dog from digging under it. Even if a dog is well-trained they are still canines and have strong instincts. And when you go for a walk with your dog you should always keep them on a leash.
- Have plenty of indoor and outdoor toys for the dog to play with. These will help to keep the dog occupied. Having a good variety of toys is key. Dogs will get bored if they have to play with the same toy day in and day out.
- Some dogs love the company of other dogs. If yours is one and you only have the one dog you could invite friends over and have them bring their dogs for a doggie play date. This will help to make your dog less inclined to go and search out other dogs if she has regular friends to play with.
- When you are not at home you should keep your dog in the house. If necessary you can hire a pet sitter or dog walker to provide regular walks and bathroom breaks for the dog.
What Can I Do To Prevent the Problem?
Again there are many things that can be done to prevent the problem in the first place. The following three recommendations are at the top of the list.
- You should Spay or neuter your dog before it reaches sexual maturity. This will help to prevent your dog from sexual roaming.
- If you are going to be away for several hours or work all day you should either hire a dog walker or place your dog in a doggie daycare program.
- Give your dog plenty of exercise. Dogs require both mental and physical exercise throughout the day. This will help to tire out the dog and get rid of any excess energy.
Sooner or later all pet owners are faced with escaping dogs. If you create a strong bond between you and your dog there will be a lesser risk that your dog will want to go roaming. Training is another key element to prevention. This will also increase your bond with the dog and it will also put you in the position of pack leader. And don't forget to give your dog lots of attention.