Vizsladogs, Ltd.

What To Do If Your Dog Runs Away
by Verne Foster

With talk of dogs dashing out and getting away I thought maybe some of
these suggestions might help in that horrible emergency situation. One of
the scariest things in the world is to watch your dog get away from you. To
take off and turn a deaf ear to your calls. If it happens it is an
emergency you need to get your dog back at all costs.

Here are some suggestions for the dog that gets away or just takes off and
refuses to acknowledge you. These are less likely to work on a dog that has
been traumatized and is in flight and panic mode.

Keep up with your dog so you know where they are, but try not to make it a
chase game. Be aware if you run after your dog they will keep going. If you
get close you may have only one chance to grab and if your grab fails then
your dog will just prance further away and you probably won't get a second

Here are some suggestions fro getting that dog back.

1)When it first happens resist the urge to do a recall in the panic voice
that we would all feel in that situation. Try the sweet here -is -your
-cookie- voice. Crouch down so you don't look intimidating. You can use
every bribe in the book in this emergency situation. Pretend you have a
cookie on you- Put your hand in your pocket and pretend to be getting food.
Use your buzz words- dinner time, play ball anything that will bring the
dog back to you. BUT DON"T PANIC.

2) If the recall command has failed and you have tried every voice and
volume in your repertoire stop. It isn't working. Be careful that that
angry voice isn't coming out too often. It rarely works on a loose dog. Try
whispering or singing in an unusual voice your dog has never heard.

3)Try to get his attention and make a game where your dog chases YOU. Run
away from your dog with a silly loud noise thrashing your hand. They will
often join in the chase. When they get close to you just fall down and let
yourself be caught. Of course at that point your can catch your dog. If you
have a leash get it on him quickly.

4) If your dog is heading for a dangerous area try to get something to
throw for a game of catch and steer him away from danger. A rock, a bunched
up leash, gloves anything to re route your dogs path. This doesn't
necessarily get your dog back to you it is just to keep him from immediate

5) Throw something interesting on the ground for your dog to investigate.
A Box or a full plastic bag can sometimes cause a curious dog to come in
close to investigate. If your dog is closer to you and absorbed in it's
investigation you have a better chance of catching him.

6) Try crouching down or lying down and look at some invisible goodie in
the grass. Polk at it and talk to this thing in the grass. Many curious
dogs will come see what is interesting. No eye contact. Resist the urge to
make a lunge. Reach out slowly and grab the collar. If there is no collar
I'm afraid you will need to grab coat and HANG ON. This is an emergency
remember. To get your dog back home you may need to carry him. A belt can
make an emergency leash.
7) If your dog loves to ride in a car, open a car door and let your dog run
and jump in.

8) If your dog is doing a run towards another dog for a game of play, try
to get the other owner to call their dog to them and catch your pup when

9) If there is a reliable dog near by, that is a friendly dog with an
absolute recall you can let that dog go and then call it back. Chances are
pretty good that your pack animal will follow the other dog. This is risky
if the other dog decides to take off too- But I have seen it work with a
trained dog that brought back a lost dog that had gone feral..

10) if there is a blanket near by it can be thrown over a dog if the
situation warrants it. It has to be big enough so that the dog is not able
to quickly wiggle out. Coats and jackets don't work.

11) And finally resist the urge to yell at the dog when you finally catch
him. Consider your self fortunate that you got your baby back and try to
prevent another occurrence. Protect your dog from himself.

Vizsladogs, Ltd.
5-21-95 © 1995 - 2006
Last updated 02