Roaming Behavior In Dogs

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A dog that is left to run free will often roam, sometimes for miles and miles. While some owners don't think anything of this behavior, it can be extremely dangerous for your pet. As a pet owner, it's important to understand why your dog roams and what you can do about this negative dog roaming behavior.

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Roaming dogs can wander for miles.

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You should also be aware of the risks and what to do if you dog has gone missing. Most of the time, however, a dog roaming is unintentional and has escaped the backyard or tether. Microchipping your dog and tagging your dog with your cell and home phone number is important.

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Dog roaming reasons

Male dogs might roam for a number of reasons. Not being neutered is the most common. Unaltered male dogs will stop at nothing to get to a female in heat. This leads a dog to roam miles away from his home. Another reason is boredom.

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If your dog doesn't have enough toys keep him entertained or feels neglected left alone in the backyard, he will be more likely to venture out and find something fun to do. Sometimes, dogs roam because they're frightened. If your dog doesn't feel safe in your yard, he might escape to find a safer place to stay.

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Risks of dog roaming

There are a number of risks associated with roaming dogs — the most common are death and injury. Dogs who roam are often struck by cars or killed by other dogs or wild animals. Another risk is to people; your dog might get into a fight with another dog and end up biting an owner who's trying to protect her dog. Your dog could be legally put down as a result.

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Roaming dogs might also eat something that isn't safe for them, especially if left to roam near forests or areas with wild animals. But the worst threat is humans. In some rural areas, people have been known to poison or shoot roaming dogs. Those who are mentally disturbed may even harm a dog in a cruel manner.

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Altering the behavior

For each reason a dog roams, there's a solution. Your first task is to get your dog neutered if he's male. This will prevent the urge to chase after females who are in heat. Neutering male dogs actually makes for more manageable happy pets.

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Second, make sure your dog is entertained. This includes playing with him so he doesn't feel neglected and having toys that will keep him occupied while you're gone. You should also make sure the area you're housing your dog is safe and comfortable, and that he has enough food and water.

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Catching a loose dog

What do you do if your dog is loose? First, don't panic. If you don't see your dog in the area, contact your neighbors and local animal shelters immediately to determine if anyone has seen him and to leave your contact information in case they do. Second, continue searching in the area and take your phone if your cell number is one the dog tag.

If you spot your dog or another loose dog running around the neighborhood, do not run after him. This can cause your dog to run in front of a car. Instead, use body language that encourages the dog to come to you, such as sitting on the ground and calling for him. Or get his attention, call him and start to run away from him as though it is a game and he should chase you (if the road or area is clear). Enticing him with treats might help too.

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