It happens to most dog owners at some point. You believe your dog is well-trained and can be taken off-leash. But once you do that, your dog suddenly runs off on their own, leaving you racing after them. Dogs might think it’s fun running around and don’t know that it can be unsafe to run untethered near busy intersections. So, what can you do besides keep your dog on a leash all the time? The good news is that with a bit of training, you can help your dog to stay put.
You should have a sturdy harness and at least a couple different lengths of leashes. Treats will help too.
In the beginning, you may have to ensure your dog stays within your yard. This may involve some new fencing and bushes, but it will be well worth your efforts. Plus, it will make your home look nicer too. When you obstruct the view from your dog, it will also help to reduce temptation.
Inside your home, baby gates can help your dog to stay put within areas they’re allowed. Sometimes it’s not convenient to close doors, particularly if you’re doing maintenance. Baby gates also give your dog more free rein in the house than simply being locked into one room.
Most dog lovers agree that dogs should never be tethered outdoors for very long, particularly in our Florida heat. This is only a temporary measure.
If you’re in the park and your dog happens to run off, don’t punish them. You don’t want them to become scared of you. Stay calm and quietly return to your vehicle or home. They will eventually learn playtime is over if they runoff.
Always keep your dog on a consistent routine, especially meal times. If your dog is hungry when running around in the park, they may run off because something is tempting them.
Be sure to give your dog regular exercise several times a day. This gives them a chance to run off their energy, making them less likely to run away the first chance they get.
Teach your dog all the basic commands, including come and stay. When they obey, give them a treat and show them how happy you are with them. The more encouragement, the more they’ll be happy to make their humans happy. If you haven’t already taught your puppy or dog these commands, be sure to start indoors. Once they know the basics, move to the back yard, then try a dog park, then an open park.
If you’re still concerned your dog might run off, ensure they have a microchip fitted, a collar with your phone number, and a GPS tracker. These all increase the chances that you’ll find your lost pet.
Eventually, you and your dog will have 100% trust with each other and you’ll never have to worry again about your dog running off and becoming injured or lost.