Keep Your Hairy Houdini in Check: 8 Tips for Keeping Your Dog From Running Away

Nothing worries a dog “parent” as much as the thought of a pet running away or getting lost. Animals are often excited to see and smell the wide, wide world for themselves, but responsible pet owners know it’s important to keep them safe. You don’t have to worry about losing your pet if you follow these tips.


1. Secure Your Yard

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Keep a lid on your furry Houdini by securing your yard. A standard 4-foot fence may work for small dogs, but large dogs and jumpers require at least 6 feet. If you can, replace a chain-link fence with a different type, as the links can offer footholds for climbers. It’s smart to “check your perimeter” on a regular basis to look for week spots, missing slats or the beginnings of tunnels. No one is better at re-enacting “The Great Escape” than a determined digger.


2. Microchip Your Pet

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A microchip won’t keep your dog from running away, but it’s a wonderful tool for recovering a lost pet. A tiny chip, about the size of a grain of rice, is inserted between the dog’s shoulder blades. Just about every vet’s office and animal shelter in the country has a scanner that enables them to read the code on the chip and discover the pet’s address. Even if your dog loses his collar, a microchip can reunite the two of you.


3. Use a Leash

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Dogs love to run off-leash, and we love to let them. But if you’re not in a dog park or other fenced area, it’s safer to keep your pet on a leash. Even the most well-behaved dog can lose her head and run after something truly distracting. (Did someone say, “Squirrel!”?)

4. Teach Your Puppy to “Come” and “Stay” as Early as You Can

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Along with housetraining, the commands “come” and “stay” are among the most important things your puppy can learn, and you should teach them as early as possible. A dog who can stay on command is less likely to run off, and a dog who loves to respond to your “come!” is not going to run far.

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