What It Means When Dogs Try To Sneak Out Of The House

By Katie Garrity

Has this ever happened to you? It's late evening. You're posted up watching Netflix, when all of a sudden, the room is quiet — a little too quiet.

You immediately start to wonder where your pooch is. Then, the panic sets in. They are nowhere to be found. You run outside to see them digging their way to freedom under the fence you share with your neighbor. This is not the first time Fido has snuck out of the house, and you know it won't be the last. Have you ever wondered where that behavior comes from? We've broken down a few of the most popular reasons why your doggo just won't stay put.

Dog is digging a hole.
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They want to get home.

Is your escape artist new at his tricks? Did you just move to a new place? This is probably the saddest reason ever, but your pup might just be trying to get back home! Dog Whisperer Extraordinaire, Ceasar Milan writes, "All he knows is that he's in an unfamiliar place and needs to get back to the home that he knows."

While this reason may break your heart, it's up to you to break this habit. Milan recommends surrounding him with favorite belongings that smell like home to help make his new home as familiar and comfortable as possible.

abandoned and lost dog
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They want to explore.

We may automatically think that if our dog is bolting every chance they get — it means they don't like us or their living space, but it might be way simpler than that.

Sharon Crowell-Davis, DVM, DACVB, a professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia, says your dog is likely trying to tell you that he needs to explore the great outdoors! Crowell-Davis explains, "..as a species, the majority of dogs are curious and want to be active and explore and discover."

Dog meets the new day
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Dogs want to sniff and run and get into as much as they possibly can. It's nothing personal. They're just wired that way. Crowell-Davis went on to say, "If you only take them out to potty and for a 10-minute walk, dogs may run off simply to seek activity and stimulation."

Which leads us to our next reason your furry friend might be making a run for it.

Jumping dog                                  (© Lobke Peers)
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They have too much pent-up energy.

Dogs need more than just a casual stroll every now and then, but you already knew this. Our dogs need exercise (just like us) to keep our nerves at bay. When dogs are not walked or exercised properly, they can become agitated and also pretty sneaky. Certified dog trainer and author, Jolanta Benal, writes in detail on this topic. She writes, "Many people put their dogs out in the yard "to play." What happens is that most dogs trot around for a few minutes and then wait by the door to be let back in again. Not much exercise there, so pretty soon, we're right back to boredom and loneliness."

Letting the outside isn't enough. They need to be properly exercised and tired-out. This will help prevent future runaway attempts.

Is your pup an escape artist? Do you have any tips on how to stop them from running away? Let us know in the comments!