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Why do dogs run away – What makes your dog run away?

Updated on February 18, 2012

Have you ever had a dog that was lost or one that has run away? Any dog owner would be overwhelmed with worry not knowing what happens to the dog and not knowing if the pet will ever find its way home. Dog owners wise to the possibility that the dog would run away and get lost would have the pet tattooed or micro chipped.  Dog tags with the dog owners contact number seem to be inadequate given that they can be detached and get lost. Running away pose many dangers on the life of the dog. The dog can be hit by cars, injured in accidents. Poisoning is also a possibility given that runaway dogs would have to eat anything because of hunger. Dog are well loved. These animals are one of the best cared for pets. What can be the reason why dogs run away?

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Loneliness/separation anxiety

Dogs are the most common choice for a pet. However, most families are one-dog households. Because dogs are social animals they would crave for attention and companionship. Since canine companionship is not available, the pet would turn to its human family. A dog that is often left alone would get lonely and suffer from separation anxiety. The dog would find ways to escape and once there is an opportunity, the dog will run away.


Dogs are highly energetic animals. These creatures would need physical and mental stimulation. It is very important for owners to ensure that the exercise requirement of the dog is satisfied otherwise the owners would have one very bored pet in their hands that can develop into a property destroying dog. It is also possible that the bored dog would run away.

Prey instinct

Dogs, even though domesticated for a long time still retain their strong prey drives. Dogs are predators that will be enticed by interesting smells and sounds. Once a squirrel, a rabbit or the neighbor’s cat is seen or scented, the dog would vault to start the great chase.

Reproductive drive

The desire to mate is one of the reasons why a dog would run away. We know that dogs have heightened scenting abilities. Female dogs that are in heat would have a very distinct smell that advertizes its availability. Once the scent of the female is smelled by an intact male dog, it would run away. This time running away is spurred by the reproductive drive.


A scared dog would run away to be able to escape from what is causing the fear. Dogs are usually frightened by the sound of thunder. After a thunderstorm, a number of dogs find their way in animal shelters.

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