Why Dogs Wander

Some dogs are born escape artists — jumping over fences, plowing through barriers or anxiously eyeing the front door for opportune breakouts. But why do they engage in this behavior? Understanding dogs’ drive to drift may help you curb it while making remedies like a hidden dog fence more effective.

So, the next time you feel frustrated at your freewheeling Fido, consider these reasons why he may want roam along with our suggestions on how to correct the behavior.

Dogs Are Natural Wanderers

Dogs Before they were domesticated, the ancestors of dogs would have territories stretching hundreds of square miles. They would patrol these territories regularly, looking for opportune prey and potential mates while trying to scare away any unwanted competition.

Based on this knowledge, we can infer one big reason that domesticated dogs want to break out and run: they think there is something worth investigating. Whether that is the hypothetical squirrel who lets his guard down, a rival pooch or just some interesting smells, a dog’s natural instincts tell it that “something cool” might be waiting for them on the other side of the fence. Unspayed and unneutered dogs are especially prone to want to go out and find love, so consider having them altered to prevent both unplanned puppies and disappearances.

Certain breeds and mixes also have a stronger predisposition towards not being confined. Alaskan malamutes, for instance, were bred to be independent, resourceful and wide-ranging so that they could survive harsh conditions with minimal intervention from an owner. Beagles have a combination of a scent-following instinct and elevated levels of intelligence, turning them into virtual Harry Houdini’s of the canine kingdom.

These tendencies vary by owner relationship and individual genetic expression, but they show how some pups may be more apt to abscond than others.

Most Wandering Dogs Are Just BoredDog playing with ball

Boredom and an excess level of pent-up energy drive both humans and dogs to do some pretty desperate things. If your pup has low levels of exercise, attention, interactivity and stimulation, then may try to embark on a “self-help” course to find those things elsewhere. Dogs left alone for extended periods of time or ones who do not have regular, rigorous exercise and play in their routine are more likely to exhibit this behavior.

Some Dogs May Be Feeling a Flight Response

Like all animals, dogs have a natural preservation instinct. If something like loud fireworks or construction is disturbing them, they may feel a strong enough urge to flee that they tunnel under or break through their current confines.

Some dogs experience bad separation anxiety from owners, triggering a similar type of panic response. If you have moved recently, your dog may also feel a drive to get back to their old territory. Giving your dog exercise and teaching it to be more independent rather than anxious can help reduce their urge to “get out.”

How to Stop Dogs from Escaping with Training and a Hidden Dog Fence

To curb your dog’s tendency to escape, you will need a combination of behavior reinforcement and the needed equipment. Foremost, you need to find ways for your dog to get plenty of exercise every single day. Secondly, you should try to establish a new routine by reinforcing positive behavior. Spend time with your dog in its typical outdoor area playing with toys and inventing games. Try to teach it new tricks since learning is more likely to keep them active and engaged.

You also may need some tools to prevent them from feeling positive about escaping. Hidden dog fences like Dogwatch provide that needed barrier without having to invest in stronger fortifications or dramatically change their routine. You can see how these devices help and then find one at a nearby dealer to stop worrying about Rover roaming once and for all.