When a dog runs away it can be scary for both the dog parent and the pet.
One of our foster dogs was a scaredy dog. She only wanted to be inside in her corner. She hardly moved during the day. It was sad but we were there to help her get through it.
Better to be in our home that at the crowded rescue kennel.
When we it was time to take her out for a walk we would put her on the leash. We knew that if she came off that leash she was gone. She would not come to us or respond to commands.
We used a longer leash that we used hoping that she would feel free to walk away from us instead of us having to drag her through the walk.
She really didn’t want to be outside. Her tail would be between her legs and she would cautiously walk beside us.
Our backyard is fenced in. It’s an older fence that was put up back in the 70’s or 80’s. It is complete and high enough to where a dog would really have to get going to jump over it. Hattie was not that type of dog.
Our Foster Dog Ran Away
One evening when we came back from the walk, we closed the gate and let her roam around the yard. We had built her up over the course of a couple weeks to try to put her at ease to explore. We were told to keep the leash on her as she walked around the yard.
She immediately went to the far end of the yard into the brush.The long leash managed to get tangled up.
She panicked and it took everything I had to get her untangled. I tried to simply unsnap her from the leash but it was help tight against the brush. I finally managed to get the leash unwrapped from the brush.
She took off toward the house. The door was closed and my wife tried to reach out to her to get her to calm down.She kept running.
She ran over to a corner where the fence connect to the gate and wiggled through. Horrified, I watched as she took off out of the front yard, into the street and away from the house.
She Was Gone
My wife and daughter each got in their car. I grabbed my mountain bike and gave chase. I caught up to her a couple of times but she went into more bushes and just kept running. We had no idea how far or where she would go.
We immediately called Big Fluffy rescue and they mobilized help. When a dog runs away it is serious business for the rescue. It is something I greatly admire.
They told us a couple things to do for that night. We put out some incredibly stinky dog food at the end of our drive.
The rescue was planning on bringing out a trap and motion detector cameras later the next day.
Dejected, we went to sleep sad to think where this scaredy dog was that night.
The next morning I got up to go to work and took the long way around the neighborhood in the hopes that I might see her. I got to work and got a call from my wife. She said she found Hattie.
My wife went out to refill the dog dish with food when she walked back out to the brush where Hattie got stuck before. Sure enough, she was back in the brush. She came back!
We were incredibly happy.
Tips When Your Dog Runs Away
If your foster dog runs away these are some tips we’ve learned since to get them back:
- Don’t run after them. Don’t yell or clap your hands to get their attention. We obviously made that mistake when Hattie first ran away. We quickly learned that chasing the dog does nothing but make her run faster.
- Entice them with treats. Get something as stinky as possible and put them out around the dog’s home. Hopefully the dog will come back home and the treats will entice them even more.
- If you see the dog just sit down quietly and don’t make eye contact. Let the dog come up to you in their own time. You have to have patience. Use treats to get them to come over if possible.
- Use another dog to get them to come to you. They respond more to other dogs than humans.
- Remember, dogs are more than likely going to remain in the area that it ran away from. Don’t send out big search parties and try to hunt the dog. You will likely only drive the dog further away.
We are proof that the foster dog will more than likely return. Chasing the dog was the worst things we could do. Sometime in the night the dog just came back home. Maybe the stinky treats were a help.
There are situations where the dog won’t return. Our rescue uses motion cameras and tracking dogs to find the lost dog. They were set to do that to recover Hattie but thankfully it was not necessary.
When a foster dog runs away it is not fun. We were worried for her safety and well-being. If you have a foster dog that ran away, don’t panic. These tips will help them come home safely.