Why did my dog run away? A Comprehensive Guide

1) Fear and common dog triggers

Just like us, our furry friends feel fear. And when they do, it might trigger their fight, flight, or freeze response. If they decide on flight or flee, they’ll run away.

Dogs are most likely to exhibit a fear/flight response when they encounter the following:

Every dog parent knows that loud noises may frighten dogs. Dogs have a very sharp sense of hearing, and can hear sounds between 15 – 50,000 vibrations per second. For comparison, humans can only pick up sounds between 20 – 20,000 vibrations per second.

If your dog gets scared by fireworks or thunderstorms, they will likely run away or find somewhere to hide. In either case, you won’t know where they are unless your dog has a GPS dog tracker.

Pay attention to the subtle signs that show your dog might not be comfortable in a certain situation. You can do this by learning to recognize the signs of fear in dogs.


There are several factors which may lead to a dog running away. Let’s explore them in more detail below.

Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe

Take these steps to keep your dog from wandering and to help find them if they do take off.

  • Make sure they are microchipped and always wears a collar with an ID and your phone number.
  • Check gates and doors anytime a visitor, yard worker, or repair person comes to your home.
  • Hold on to your dogs collar when people come to the door, or put them in their crate or another room.
  • Teach your dog a solid “stay” command.
  • Never let your dog off their leash when you’re out walking.
  • When you find a runaway, dont chase them. They might think youre playing a game. Stop running, sit on the ground and call them instead.
  • Always reward them when they return to you. Never punish them when they return — they’ll link it with bad things and may not come.
  • 4 Reasons Why Dogs Run Away And How To Stop It

    My dog ran away. What do I do? One in three pets goes missing at some point. It’s pretty common for dogs to get lost and sometimes, your canine friend might have gone missing because he actually ran away! It could be that someone left the door open or something scared your dog enough to make him bolt. If you own a dog that jumps the fence more often than you feel comfortable with, it helps to understand the different reasons why dogs leave home.

    According to a survey by Blue Cross, these are the dog breeds with the highest tendency to run away from home:

    Will my dog run away off leash? If you own a dog of the above-mentioned breeds, you may want to make sure your yard is well-fenced. Remember to check if the leash is extra secure when you walk your dog outside. Also, start behavior training at a young age to help manage your dog’s prey drive and behavioral tendencies to escape.