What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?
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Thread: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

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    What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    I was just reading the thread about Carsten dashing out of the car and in the replies a lot of people have said that their dogs ran off once when the door was open or when the leash dropped, etc.

    My dog has absolutely no urge to run off even if I open the door wide open and tell her to run away. Of course I've taught her never to dash out of the door but even if I leave her in the yard and leave the gate opened up she won't run out. I know a few BCs and retrievers like that as well.

    So my question is, what makes a dog dash out of the door or want to run out of an open gate? Is it breed? Training? What's outside of it?

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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    I think it is generally because it's something new. "Oh, the door is open, and I'm not being asked to stay inside?" and off they go. The leash is dropped- something new, OR the shock on the face of the owners as the dog sees it. Owners move quickly and the dog thinks it's a game and runs away. Sometimes it might just be wandering in general like with a gate left open, just new area to explore. Could be prey drive if something is moving.

    I can leave a door open while I'm in the house most directly watching Frag and I know he wouldn't leave, but I don't doubt that if the door was left open and I wasn't around (no one was around) that he would walk out. Same with a gate.

    I don't know, this is an interesting topic. I'm looking forward to more responses.

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    Senior Member ThoseWordsAtBest's Avatar
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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    I got a house full of hounds, so maybe I'm not qualified to answer. ; ) Just kidding of course, no one here bolts for the door. I can in fact open the car door with them free to go, walk away, and come back to a car full of dogs.

    Smalls is my wanderer, though. She would leave if the door was left open. She just is a fiercely independent dog and has the most interest in the forbidden.

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    Senior Member Crantastic's Avatar
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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    It's at least partially breed, I think. I've dropped Crystal's leash before and she didn't even react. I've dropped Casper's and he's started zooming around like he thinks it's time for a game of chase! AKK have a reputation for being an unsafe breed to have off-leash, while papillons are considered reliable. Crystal has always been much more interested in sticking by my side than Casper is.
    Last edited by Crantastic; 01-02-2011 at 10:04 PM.

    Crystal the Papillon and Casper the Alaskan Klee Kai

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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crantastic View Post
    It's at least partially breed, I think. I've dropped Crystal's leash before and she didn't even react. I've dropped Casper's and he's started zooming around like he thinks it's time for a game of chase! AKK have a reputation for being an unsafe breed to have off-leash, while papillons are considered reliable. Crystal has always been much more interested in sticking by my side than Casper is.
    I've probably dropped Nia's leash more than 50 times and she has a strange reaction. As soon as the leash hits the ground, she actually freezes. For example if she's trying to tug on the leash really hard and run ahead to something interest or she's just in a hurry to get home or something. If I drop the leash and let her go she goes a few steps and then stops and stares at me.

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    Senior Member Laurelin's Avatar
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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    I have had a papillon run away (Beau I am looking at you), but he came back less than 5 minutes later.

    Breed plays a part as does individual temperament. In general papillons are what I call super velcro. I have never had a breed that is so into their people. I don't think it's possible to have a breed that is more into their people than they are. You could not pay or force Mia or Summer to leave. If I lock the dogs out, they will sit at the door and cry even though they can all fit through our fence and they know this. They all stay by my side 24/7 all day every day no matter what I do. I can't leave the room without the brigade following me. Papillons are not independent dogs in the least and are very very people driven. I have never had to work with them off leash, they pretty much instinctively stay right with you. Summer literally has to be forced to walk a ways away or else I am walking with an off leash papillon constantly bumping into my legs. Other breeds are not like that...

    My shelties both bolted and didn't come back. One when he was at the vet and scared and pulled out of the collar. The other through a hole in the fence and went exploring. She was a very independent thinker and very self serving lol.

    ETA: On the other hand, Mia is self serving yet still is reliable off leash. It's just a different personality type I guess.
    Mia CGC - (5 year old papillon)
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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
    They all stay by my side 24/7 all day every day no matter what I do. I can't leave the room without the brigade following me. Papillons are not independent dogs in the least and are very very people driven. I have never had to work with them off leash, they pretty much instinctively stay right with you.
    Nia's actually pretty independent for a Pap. she will spend half the day sleeping by herself if she's tired or if I'm downstairs with a lot of friends or something. She likes her alone time a lot. Even so, she has no will to leave my house or my yard...

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    Senior Member melaka's Avatar
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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    Buffy bolted when I dropped her leash a couple times when she was younger, and has also wandered out of an open gate three times. She is getting better though. If I tell her to stay/wait when I open the door/gate, she will. I don't know if she would stay if I didn't close it right behind me though, and I don't want to test it. She seems to have pretty high prey drive, so I think it wouldn't take much for her to take off chasing something, unfortunately. I chalk it up to age and not enough training.

    But, what's cool now is, since I generally tether her in the car, she's gotten used to waiting before getting out of the car. A few times lately I didn't tether her (forgot her harness) and she still waited for my OK to jump out when I opened the door.

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    Senior Member KBLover's Avatar
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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    Wally stops dead when the leash drops. He'll look at me like "um, you let go". Didn't explicitly/formally train this so it's his decision to do it.

    I suspect it's training that keeps him from going out open gates/doors. He'll sit there. He won't even follow me in or out without a cue, even if he's cold, etc. Sometimes he'll bark once or twice, or two quick alert barks (kinda like, "hey you forgot your dog!") but won't follow.

    Only thing that used to make him bolt was fear. Otherwise, he stays close to me or if he's exploring and off leash, he's staying in sight distance of me.

    I'm guessing personality has a lot to do with it.

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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    Toby always wants to go find something. Who knows what, but evidently it's more interesting than what's at home, LOL. He will come back after 5 minutes or so. Penny will just start running around, but not AWAY. Moose just wants to stay close. It depends on the dog, I guess.

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    Senior Member Laurelin's Avatar
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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiyo-Fir View Post
    Nia's actually pretty independent for a Pap. she will spend half the day sleeping by herself if she's tired or if I'm downstairs with a lot of friends or something. She likes her alone time a lot. Even so, she has no will to leave my house or my yard...
    Oh wow that's actually pretty unusual in my experience. Rose is the only one of ours that doesn't constantly stick with me or the others. She's a little more independent and doesn't seem to wilt away if she's being left in a room alone for a while.
    Mia CGC - (5 year old papillon)
    Summer TG2 TBAD - (10 year old papillon)

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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    When I was giving Nubs plenty of run time he would never run off, now if I would drop the leash he'd take off in a second. He always returns when told to but he's a totally different dog since we stopped our daily walks. Now when I say run off I mean super zoomies around the area then return. Nubs has never wanted to venture far from me. I can take him for off leash hikes without even a little bit of fear that he will take off and never return.

    It's not just with me either, Nubs won't take off on my parents either. The fence in my backyard is just to protect nubs from unknowing neighbors, in fact if nubs wanted to he could push the fens over with a paw. He's opened the gate to my yard and ended up never leaving my front steps (now that was scary just because has another person or Dog came by he'd go say hi)

    So I do think how much exercise a dog gets plus training and breed. Velcro dogs are gonna stick closer then spitz breeds I always use a long 50ft line and keep yummy treats in my pocket and when ever the dog is beside me they get a treat. A few months of this they never run far. Even today I sometimes walk around with treats in my pockets just to keep that mind set.

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    Senior Member Keechak's Avatar
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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    my dogs have never bolted away from me.

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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    I think that running away is sometimes caused by not enough stimulation and exercise. Kodi does not like to be out of my sight and always comes to check on me. I sometimes let him run around on a 30-foot line outside while I am there with him. I would never allow him off leash yet, though. He has a strong desire to chase rabbits (of which we have many) and any moving objects, including cars. He doesn't even try to dash out the door and I've taught him to stand back and wait if I'm leaving. He does get long walks around the neighborhood. I think it is important to always walk dogs in every possible area of your own neighborhood so that if they ever do get away from you, they know their way back home.

    Kodi - 17 months

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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    Lol there isn't even a dog fence around our little house at the ranch, but the ranch isn't anywhere near a major road or highway. The perimiter of the property is fenced with barbed wire, when Izze firat got here I took her on plenty of runs (she will reliably follow anywhere) using the ATV showing her the perimiter so she is plenty familiar. Plus she will never leave me & if sometjing happend & we lose each other she always heads back to the house & waits.

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    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    Cracker will only take off if there is a cat or squirrel to go after. Luckily she has a pretty good recall so that helps a lot, along with the velcro dog thing..lol. If I drop the leash she immediately stops and waits (again if no squirrel to chase).

    I think it all comes down to personality, prey drive, training and how much freedom the dog gets to run and explore in the first place. Dogs who don't get out much and haven't been worked with want to go and explore the world...
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    Izze always is after those darn squirrels... that & moles & gophers lol she always tries to dig them up with very little success, she occasionally gets one but as soon as I see it I take them away because she will... um... eat them, blech .

    Josephine, the puppy is also pretty reliable for a puppy but she always stays on a retractable leash but she is only 3 months old & not nearly ready by a long shot for off leash yet lol.

    Izze always is after those darn squirrels... that & moles & gophers lol she always tries to dig them up with very little success, she occasionally gets one but as soon as I see it I take them away because she will... um... eat them, blech .

    Josephine, the puppy is also pretty reliable for a puppy but she always stays on a retractable leash but she is only 3 months old & not nearly ready by a long shot for off leash yet lol.
    Last edited by xxxxdogdragoness; 01-03-2011 at 09:19 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Senior Member sassafras's Avatar
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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    My dogs don't bolt away from me. But Maisy would, for example, leave the yard eventually if I left the gate open. She's very nosy. Pip tends to stick pretty close, though.

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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    All 3 of our dogs get plenty of off leash time. I try to give Nia off leash time every single day. Our other 2 get off leash time in the park at least 2-3 times a week so perhaps running away and freedom isn't that enticing to them.

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    Re: What makes some dogs want to run away when they get the chance?

    When Upendi was in her butthead teenager stage she slipped her collar when we were out for a walk, she didn't run away per say she ran to a dog that was tied in a yard and proceeded to play. -_- Luckily the dog was very dog friendly, but friendly with me not so much. In the end after many failed attempts to snatch Upendi I gave up and started walking home to get help, Upendi had run back to me before I hit the corner of the street. lol

    Another time Upendi slipped her collar (the reason why all of my dogs except the puppy now wear martingales :P ) we had her and Mina out for a walk, she didn't run off. Instead she bounced around play bowing and tormenting Mina.

    Mina I could probably trust off leash, but we don't really have anywhere to test it and I'm too much of a chicken to do it at our house as we live next to the main road for our town.

    Cara is getting a lot of work on a 50ft. line being rewarded for sticking close and working on recall.


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