Why do dogs run away?

April 13, 2012

Flyers of lost dogs… newspaper ads, radio and TV announcements about a lost pet… these are only some of the things an owner of a lost dog would do to recover the pet. Other owners would even offer a reward. This only shows how a dog is valued, how a pet is loved. Dogs are given the best care as these animals are considered to be one of the most affectionate and loyal pets. But in spite of the love and the care, dogs are known to run away.

Dogs are wanderlust. The itchy feet and the desire to roam were inherited by the dogs from the wolves whose home range cover hundreds of square miles. Dogs these days, especially the homebound pets no longer need to hunt unlike their progenitors. However, they still wander and in doing so got lost. This primitive trait is one of the reasons why dogs run away. Dogs will always be enticed to break away from the leash, to climb over high fence and to dig tunnels just to be able to wander freely.

Of course there are other reasons why a dog would run away. Dogs are social animals. They get extremely attached to their masters. However, the family may not always have the time to spend with the dog. Dogs are generally left alone at home alone all day. This situation will result into a very bored dog that can either be property destructive or one that can upset neighbors by its incessant barking. The dog may also decide to run away. We know that dogs are voracious eaters. The dog may run away because of food motivation. Canines have heightened sense of smell. A starved dog would run away to follow the scent of food. The scent of food is not the only thing that a dog will follow. Dogs will unthinkingly leave its beloved master if it gets a whiff of the distinct smell of a bitch in heat. This time the reason for running away is the desire to mate.

Because of a high prey drive, dogs will always be enticed to follow an interesting scent. The sight of a squirrel or a hare will make a dog leave its loving owner. Wolves have built in GPS. A wolf may hunt for miles and still be able to return to its den. Present day dogs would find it very hard to find its way home. The concrete forest with its countless automobiles would be very confusing not to mention dangerous to a stray dog.

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