OH NO! Your dog is on the loose and embarking on a freedom run.
You’re about to panic and run after him screaming his name like a banshee.
But, wait! Stop!
Take a breath and remember these helpful tips. It could save your dog’s life and maybe you’ll prevent your own heart attack while you’re at it.
Try these 10 tricks to get your dog back to you.
1. Never chase your dog because you will never win. He has four legs to your two. Chase is your dog’s favorite game and you can use this to your advantage! Turn around and see if you can get your dog to chase you instead.
2. Grab the highest value treats you have. The stinkier, the better. Chicken, cheese, or hot dogs are best and you’re likely to have at least one in your fridge.
3. Always using a treat jar that makes a sound when you open it will help condition your dog to recognize the sound of treat time. You can take that outside and your dog will hear it at quite a distance.
4. Sit down right there on the ground and pretend to cry. If he doesn’t hear you, cry louder, sob your heart out! He’ll come running back to see what’s the matter.
5. Pretend you have found the best thing in the whole world on the ground. What is it? Maybe it’s food. Maybe it’s cat poop! Roll in it! Exalt its marvelousness! Your dog will want in on it too.
6. Act a fool. Make crazy noises. Dance around. Your dog may think you are having a medical emergency and come to help.
7. Take his leash and ask him if he wants to go for a walk. Your dog has become hard-wired to love the leash because it means a walk. Sometimes they will come running and forget that they could take their own walk. They don’t need no stinking leashes.
8. Take another dog. Preferably, one he knows. He can’t resist running back to greet the dog you have. “Hey, look at me! You can’t catch me! I’m freeeeeeee!”
9. Open your car door and ask him if he would like to go to Bojangles. Few dogs can resist a ride in the car to Bojangles.
10. Sign up for a lesson or an online course to gain skills and build the bond you need with your dog to ensure they want to come back happily when you call them. Having a reliable stay and recall makes your dog easier to live with and may one day save his life.
Never, ever scold your dog for not obeying, especially once they have finally returned to you. Don’t do something your dog dislikes after he comes to you. Coming when called should always result in a positive experience for your dog- praise, treats, play with a favorite toy- or he will hesitate to come next time you call.