How to Train Your Dog Not to Run Away: 7 Tips

7 Tips on How to Train Your Dog Not to Run Away

Dogs can bring love and happiness into our lives and they offer good company making them great companions.

But if they try to run away, it can be scary and at the same time frustrating. Dogs that run away may possibly be attacked by other animals, stolen, hit by vehicles, and end up at shelter. The latter happens because dogs run away from their owners and never claimed. As a matter of fact, this is one of the biggest concerns to a lot of dog owners who want to give their pets freedom to play and run while keeping them safe.

Training your dog not to run away is going to be hard and challenging. So if you’re wondering what you can do to stop it, then keep on reading. But before that let’s first find out some of the reasons why dogs run away.

Why Does My Dog Run Away?

1. Fright/Fear

If a dog is startled, it may wildly look for an escape way. So, if this happens to your furry friend try to recreate the noise and show that there is nothing to be scared off by giving treats, showing some love and remaining calm.

On the other hand, if you notice that a loud thunderstorm is approaching or there is a firework, make sure to bring your dog inside where it can hide safely.

2. They Are Searching for a Mate

Intact or unaltered males are shamefaced of traveling the neighborhood searching for love. Having that said, getting a female dog or neutering your pet will not really prevent it from deciding to travel.

If a male dog smells that there is a female in the area, especially if she is in heat, he will exert a lot of effort just to jump over the fence and see the female dog. Females, on the other hand, may escape looking for a mate as well.

3. They Are Bored

Just like us humans, dogs are social. In fact, they also need enough attention as well as something interesting to do. If your dog is bored and loneliness because you are not playing with it, don’t get surprised if it starts to run away.

4. The Habit of Your Dog

If your canine can do whatever he/she wants or used to having lots of freedom to play and run around and that freedom is taken away all of a sudden, there is a possibility that your dog will roam because it is what he/she is always done.

It is worth noting that this is pretty common if there is an unexpected change in the surrounding like moving from a busy city to a rural area or if there is a change in a home dynamic like a new baby, marriage, and even separation.

5. Excitement 

Aside from fear, excitement can also cause dogs to run away. For example, most dogs try to let go of their leash every time they see other dogs and even unfamiliar people, cats, rabbit, and squirrels. Imagine, you are not around and this scenario takes place, for sure, your dog will run as fast as he/she can to get into the object due to excitement.

Tips on How to Train Your Dog Not to Run Away

Here’s a list of the proven tips that you can try to prevent your dog from running off.

1. Use Different Commands

One of the best ways that you can do to prevent your four-legged friend from running off is to train it to come steadfastly. If your dog comes back, make sure to reward it with toys, treats, as well as affection.

However, keep in mind that if you are only giving positive reinforcement to your dog at the end of your playtime, it will definitely associate the “come” command with playtime.

On the other hand, if the dog runs off and comes back to you, do not lecture him/her for it. Because your dog will think that he/she is being yelled at for coming to you.

In addition to “COME”, your dog needs to learn the “STAY” command as well. Teaching your canine to stay can help in fixing a number of inconsistent behaviors.

2. Get Your Dog Spayed

Just like people, our four-legged friends have needs too and as mentioned earlier, this will urge them to run away and look for a mate.

One of the simplest solutions that you can do to solve this issue is to get your pet spayed. In case you didn’t know it can reduce 90 percent of roaming urges most especially in males.

However, if vasectomy doesn’t work, then your pet needs to undergo intensive training in order to fight this instinct.

3. Take Out Your Dog from Its Leash and Train It to Come to You

A lengthy leash can offer your canine more freedom. Train your dog to come to you with some treats and then tug its leash slightly.

This tip must be practiced on a regular basis so that when the right time comes that you need to remove its leash, your pet will immediately come to you.

4. Do Not Reprimand Your Dog When He/she Does Not Come to You

If you want your dog not to run away, then do not give punishment if he/she doesn’t follow your command. In fact, punishments will be associated with the “come” command but with negative experiences.

5. Become a Porter

Teach your canine to wait for your signal before going through open doors. Guide your dog to a gate or door on a leash and make your pup sit. After that, reach the doorknob. The moment it stands up to go, remove your hands and for the second time make your dog sit. Do this repeatedly until he/she learns that your signal is needed to go through the door.

6. Use Treats

During your training sessions, make sure to give your dog special treats. As a piece of advice opt for healthy treats that he/she will enjoy. Further, use treats that are specially made for dogs, instead of small bits of your food. On the other hand, keep the treats out of your dog’s sight.

Additionally, choose treats that your dog only receives when you practice training. Because if it obtains the same treats at other times, it will become more difficult to get your dog to associate the treats with the desire needed behavior.

7. Perform Exercise First

Before starting obedience training, it is a good practice to perform exercise so that your dog is more inclined to listen and relaxed.

Train your furry friend in a wide yet enclosed location that has no distractions. If you think that your pet has improved, consider bringing it to an open area that has lots of distractions, for instance, in the park.


As you can see, there is a lot of ways that you can do to train your dog not to run away each time you open the door or allow him/her to roam off-leash.

However, it is also worth mentioning that some canines are bred, especially as herders or hunters and might need professional or extended training.

Hopefully, you have learned a lot of things in this post. 

How to Train Your Dog Not to Run Away

2 thoughts on “How to Train Your Dog Not to Run Away: 7 Tips”

  1. I do not think my dog is trainable. He has escaped out of four different harnesses. I chase him for blocks. I’m 63 years old and it’s hard for me to run after him. He is a four year old small Shichon breed and neutered.

    1. I just saw this post. I’m only a year late. I hope you have figured out how to keep your dog from running away from you. When you chase your dog, he probably thinks it’s a game. Try calling his name and running the opposite direction. Ask someone at the pet store how to put the harness on correctly so he can’t slip out of it. Sometimes it’s a matter of getting it adjusted correctly. Good luck!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *