Dogs commonly learn to escape to get to desirable things outside of their home or yard. Common things that dogs seek are people, dogs, other animals, food, and fun! Very often the home environment is not interesting enough for the dog and the dog easily learns to seek a better life elsewhere. Some dogs who escape are suffering from fear and/or separation anxiety. If your dog shows signs of separation anxiety when you are not home (chews, cries, barks) and escapes, please see more about separation anxiety on our website and/or see your veterinarian, dog trainer, or a behaviorist for help.
Follow the below guidelines to assist in safely managing your dog and have a happy and long-lasting relationship with your new dog!
- Keep your dog within a reliable, conventional fence (not invisible) while on your property.
- Supervise your dog at all times when outside. When supervising, you should be with your dog.
- Keep your dog leashed at all times when off your property. Use a limited slip collar, like a martingale, that your dog cannot slip out of.
- Teach your dog to sit and stay before you open the door. Teach your dog to wait until you exit the door first. Teach all family members to do the same.
- Lock your doors and windows for the next two months when you are not home – and even when you are home.
- Provide your dog with interesting things to do when left alone (stuffed Kongs, other long-lasting delicious chews).
- Exercise your dog before leaving him or her alone. A tired dog is a good dog!
- Enroll your dog in a humane dog obedience class.
If you are not successful in curbing your dog’s escape behavior, please contact a local certified dog trainer or behavior consultant. You can find a list of recommended behavior professionals on the Oakland Animal Services’ training resources webpage.
You can download this handout here.