Home > Animal Rescue, Dog Behavior, Lost Dogs, Pet Safety > Loose Dog? Don’t chase! Stop, Drop and Lie Down

Loose Dog? Don’t chase! Stop, Drop and Lie Down

June 1, 2014

StopDropLieDown Have you ever had a dog escape your arms or car or home? What is the first thing you do? If you’re like most people, you chase after them. They run and then you run. It seems almost instinctual, doesn’t it?

I’ve come to believe that it REALLY IS INSTINCT that takes over when we chase after our loose dog(s). It’s not just something we do when our own pets get loose, but something we do when a friend’s dog gets out of the house or when we see a stray dog running down the street or the highway. There is even a recent video showing police officers chasing after a dog on a highway in California. They never even had a chance of catching him. It was a losing proposition.

The problem with our first instinct (to chase) is that it rarely gets us closer to getting them. In fact, the more we run the more they run, and in most cases, they run even harder and faster. It must be pretty scary seeing a bunch of people chasing you. (Heck! It’s scary being a human and having a bunch of people chasing you! I would run too!)  I don’t imagine a dog is likely to stop and ask itself “Does that person mean me harm?” No. They’re probably thinking “I am in danger. I need to run!”

The truth is it can be pretty hard to go against the instinct to chase a loose dog, but we really must learn to so, because when we chase we risk putting ourselves and the loose pet in danger.

This past week, a lost dog was lost forever when a good samaritan gave chase. The person was only trying to help. They saw a lost dog and wanted to reunite him with his owners, but in giving chase, they put Marty in more danger and sadly, he was hit by a car and killed. I cannot imagine how the person chasing him must have felt. One never expects to do a good deed and end up feeling like they did the opposite. I feel badly for both Marty’s family and the good samaritan. How could the person chasing Marty know what would happen? He/She was doing what was instinctual.

But what is instinctual is exactly what is most likely to put the dog in more danger.

There are a great many things I learned while working at our local animal shelter, but among the most helpful were the tips we received on how to get a loose dog back once it has slipped its leash or collar. I thought it might be helpful to share them here in the hopes that it will prevent one more family and good samaritan from feeling the pain of what happened to Marty.  (Please note: These may not work with every dog, but they have worked with many.)

What to do if a dog gets loose:

  • Stop, drop and lie down – It might sound silly, but dogs find the behavior odd. When you don’t give chase and instead lie down and lie still, a dog will get curious and will often come back to see if you are okay or to see what you are doing.
  • Stop, drop, and curl into a ball – This is also a curious behavior for a dog. Because you are not moving and your hands are closely wrapped around your head, they see you as less of a threat and will come to check you out. This gives them a chance to sniff you and realize it’s you, their owner, or to allow you to pet them and grab their collar.
  • Run in the opposite direction – What? Run away from the dog? That’s right. Some dogs love a good chase. Instead of you chasing them, let them chase you. Even if the dog is not up for a good chase, he may be curious about your odd behavior and follow along until you can get him into a building or car or someplace where it is easier to corral him.
  • Sit down with your back  or side to the dog and wait – Again, dogs are thrown off by this odd behavior and will become curious and approach. The other advantage is that by sitting down with your side or back to them, you appear less threatening and they are more likely to approach. If you have good treats, place a few around you to draw them near.
  • Open a car door and ask the dog if she wants to go for a ride – It almost seems too simplistic and silly to be true, but many a dog has been fooled into hopping into a car because they were invited to go for a ride. It makes sense, especially if the dog has learned to associate the car with good things (e.g., the dog park).

Although it is no guarantee, I can tell you that I have seen nearly every one of these work with one of our shelter dogs. The key is to fight your instinct to chase the dog and do something that is not as instinctual.  Instead, do what seems counter-intuitive to both you and the dog.

Have you had luck catching a loose dog doing something counter-intuitive? Please share your own experience. I would love to learn from you too.

My condolences go out to Marty’s family and the person who tried to help. May what happened to Marty be a an inspiration and reminder to us all so we can help reunite other lost dogs and their owners in his name.

Note: If you are chasing down a dog that has been lost for a few days or more, then I would recommend your read my other post “Why your lost dog may not run back to you” for more tips on how to capture a lost dog.

Lost Dog _Marty

  1. June 1, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Great tips! I have successfully used two methods of catching loose dogs; Crouch down like you’re inspecting something interesting. They often come over to see what’s so interesting. My girl Phoebe would try to dash off when we first adopted her. One day she door dashed and starting trotting away. I stood still in the driveway and softly called her name. It made her stop and turn around. Phoeebe I cooed, don’t you want to come with me? She turned right around and came back inside! That was the last time she ever tried to run off.
    Catherine Armato

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 6:41 AM

      Great suggestions Catherine!I love the crouching down because it makes the dog curious about what you are doing. So glad that Phoebe came back when you stopped and called her name. You must feel so fortunate that she has not run again. She sounds like such a sweet dog.

  2. June 2, 2014 at 1:09 AM

    Great post. When I visited Tilde in the shelter the first time and went out to pick up Kenzo from the car for a meetup, I didn’t notice she followed me, and as soon I opened the fence she sneaked out! My first instinct was to run after her, which she noticed, and made her ran towards the road. I stopped, sat down on my knees, and called her. She looked, gave me a split second when she was wondering what I was doing on my knees, in which I started running the other way…. she returned. Phew!

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 6:40 AM

      Holy cow Leo! I didn’t know that! I am so glad you did what you did. Tilde seems like such a perfect fit for your family. She is gosh darn adorable too! You were so smart to drop to your knees. Wow!

  3. Julie deRosier-Paul
    June 2, 2014 at 5:37 AM

    GREAT post Mel!

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 6:37 AM

      Thanks Julie. 🙂

  4. June 2, 2014 at 5:52 AM

    You are correct. If you chase us, it becomes a fun game of chase for us dogs and we will win it. Mom learned that with Katie as a puppy. All your ideas are great, just never chase.

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 6:36 AM

      I bet that was a lot of fun for mom (i.e., chasing Katie) huh? So glad she knows what to do. Running was definitely a game for my last dog, Aspen.

  5. June 2, 2014 at 5:53 AM

    These are fantastic tips! I’m a dog walker and home boarder and there has been many a time I’ve had to get a dog back, thankfully I have eventually, but a very difficult task it was! I’m going to save these and remind myself over and over. Will tell others too. Thank you xx

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 6:35 AM

      Thanks Georgia! I was a dog walker and home boarder too. I have had this happen before (mostly with my dog Aspen) and found that running the other way worked for her.

  6. June 2, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    Thanks for your great tips and a very important post. Mom found a Collie once on the street who chased cyclists. Sadly the dog was shy and wouldn’t come to my mom. But he entered the back seat of our car, so mom brought him to the next vet office, where they could read his chip and informed the owner. It was a kind of playing va banque, the dog was totally nervous and growled as mom tried to touch him…. she felt very uncomfy with the dog on the back seat who showed his teeth the whole time while she had to drive :o)

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      Holy cow! That is a bit scary. I have never hearda Collie growl, but I would bet it would be pretty darn scary. OMD. I would have been freaking out. Your mom is very brave.

      • June 2, 2014 at 12:23 PM

        she had no time to think about (and collies/shelties always smile, right? ) there was this dog on the street between the cars and the cyclists, but later as the adrenaline was gone she was speechless about herself too :o) At least the dog was back at home.

  7. June 2, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    Just last week my in-law’s family Beagle got out. He loves to run and they have chased him on more than one occasion, because as you said its instinct. But this time we just watched him run down the sidewalk and the funniest thing happened … he kept looking back to see where we were as he was running. To the point that he deviated from his same path because no one was chasing him (he always runs the same path) and went into the yard right next door. That’s when my husband opened the car door and the Beagle came running back as fast as he could so he could go for a ride (which he did get since he came back on his own!). He has used the vehicle method before but its normally involved actually driving the vehicle to a point where the Beagle’s path would intersect with it. Never has it worked from the driveway, but this time no one was chasing behind him so he took the time to turn around and see the car door open and waiting. Great article!!

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      That is absolutely hilarious and wonderful Rebecca. Dogs are amazing and smart animals, but sometimes you can fool them into thinking they have to jump in the car to go somewhere cool. The other thing I love? That you rewarded him for coming back by giving him that ride in the car. Now THAT is positive reinforcement!

      • Ashley
        June 5, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        Yes, unless that car ride is to the vet 😛

      • Meagan
        June 18, 2015 at 11:04 AM

        My dog loves the vet 🙂

  8. June 2, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Always a very important reminder since it’s so counter intuitive. Eko got loose once and it was scary, but thankfully I had the presence of mind to run the other way and he thankfully chased right after me.

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Thank goodness! I am so glad you thought to run the other way!

  9. June 2, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    What super tips you have given to the hoomans. Whee hope that, if our Mummy ever saw a lost dog she would be able to do the right thing.
    Mop, Dusty, Billy, Pip, Cupcake and Cocoa xx

  10. Linda
    June 2, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    I used to have and english setter and a cat. He loved the cat, and when he got out and started running down the street I just started calling “here kitty kitty kitty”. He made a u-turn real quick and back on the porch and in the house – he wasnt about to be left out of whatever the cat was doing!

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      I started laughing at your story. Who could have figured that your cat would have brought your dog back? Love this!

      • Linda
        June 2, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        That’s the funny part – the cat wasnt anywhere around!

    • June 18, 2015 at 9:58 PM

      HAHA! Sounds similar to mine. “You want some?” and they know they better be watching for a treat!

  11. erinmichal
    June 2, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    A few weeks ago, while picking up a few rescue dogs from the vet, my dog hopped out of the car on a mission to explore the parking lot and it’s wonderful smells. She is a dog who LOVES a good chase, and I’ve learned that running after is not the way to make her approach me off leash. My go-to solution is usually to walk away clapping my hands and talking in an excited voice, but when this didn’t work, all I had to do was open the door to the vet’s office and tell her she was going to make some new friends. She darted straight through the door, and into one of the open examination rooms where some people were (thankfully) pleasantly surprised by a strange visitor, and lots of kisses.

    Thanks for your wonderful post!

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      LOL! I love your dog! She obviously is a social girl who loves people. I am so glad you had an option that worked. It freaks me out to think about mine getting loose from my car in a strange location. Of course, having had that happen to one of my dogs and having her missing 12 days kind of explains why. 🙂

  12. cafall
    June 2, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    You know, I’m not so much as chasing my dogs as to trying to give drivers a taller visual that something is wrong, please slow down, and keep an eye out. Our boy is a runner, and we’ve had more close calls with him darting out from between cars into traffic. Those drivers were already slowing down because they saw us. I try to run parallel to him, instead of after him – I can’t catch him anyway – but I need to let others know he is coming. I constantly veer away from him when he is running. Just so that he knows I’m not chasing him. …and yes, this is after three years of working on his recall, off leash in safe areas, etc. Once that leash is off of him he is gone. He knows when he has escaped and goes wild. When it is a quieter area, we’ve tried the stop, hold still, sit, curl in a ball, make funny noises, yadayadayada, open a car door, toys, treats, other dogs – he never looks back at us.

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      You make a valid point. Some dogs just will not be fooled by following the tips I listed, but oftentimes they have also been chased in the past and have come to see it as a trick or a game. I don’t know if that applies in your case, but I imagine it’s pretty damn scary when your dog gets loose. I am sorry that none of these work for your dog. Hopefully, you won’t have to experience him getting loose very often.

      • cafall
        June 4, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        We rescued him when he was two, so we have no idea what his history is. There is nothing more frightening then to hear “Monty’s loose!” We’ve actually gotten quite good at avoiding “accidents” that let him get loose. Harness instead of collars, double checking doors, double seat belt in the car, and having no house guests – LOL, but that is no a hardship on us. If only one of us is him and we need to take the other dog somewhere we use the garage to leave instead of the front door, just so that we have an extra barrier should he slip out. We even have a leash with a distinct texture for him in case one of us is walking both dogs. This way we can always feel that we have him in hand. Since retraining him didn’t work, we retrained ourselves.

      • Donna
        June 18, 2015 at 6:12 PM

        My Bichon is also a wild child when off leash, and I put myself in the view of traffic waving and making noise to try to protect him. My best success had been someone on the other side of him, from me, to approach him. He’s very friendly and will go to anyone but me when on a lark. God has blessed my boy by sending friendly caring people to hold on to him for me. If you see such a scene, please be the godsend to the pet’s human, and gently try to capture the escapee!! Thanks, Donna

    • Jamie
      August 7, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      My dog is a rescue, and I adopted him when he was 18 months old. The moment his leash is off or he’s out of the yard he becomes a wild dog. He’s the most gentle dog I’ve ever been around, but there is definitely something wrong with him. I’ve had to just leave the front door open and after he’s marked everyone’s yard he returns. It’s too dangerous for me or him to try and go after him. I just have to wait and hope for the best. Btw- he’s almost nine, and I’m still hoping he will eventually learn to come when called.

    • Melissa
      September 20, 2015 at 6:12 PM

      This! Our Husky/Foxhound mix would send a postcard from his next destination if we took the time to stop for an instant.

      Catching him is a 2 person job. One person has to run after him to keep eyes on him, while the other person grabs the car while praying that he’s traveled to someplace that’s car-accessible. But the car trick works! “Come on, Burton! Let’s go bye-bye! Come on, let’s go!” And in he jumps, like he’s forgotten the car is his one-way ticket back home.

      We’ve gotten much better about containing the jumping, digging Burton, but he snuck out the unlatched door last week when we stayed at my mom’s, and there was nobody to help catch. He was nice enough to let 2 of his siblings out the door as he went, so I had to corral them back into the house first, before I was able to pursue the escapee. By then I had to guess where he’d gone. Not far, luckily. I’m getting too old for this!

      Someone tell me that Husky’s eventually slow down, or at least lose their ability to leap small buildings in a single bound!

  13. June 2, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Through experience I have learnt two main things on this topic. The first is that you really have to maintain trust between you and the dog (if possible). The minute you do something to startle the animal, e.g a sudden noise or raised voice, you lose hope of getting closer to it. I’ve noticed this is often the case on animal rescue programs.
    And number two, I agree that getting low to the ground can be key! In the past I have crouched down with open arms as a dog heads away from me. You’re not in, ‘panic mode’ so the dog isn’t either, and your open arms are welcoming. I’ve even said things like ‘ooohh what’s this?’ to create intrigue (or attempt to!) and it seems to have worked! But I’ll definitely try to remember the lying down one, no matter how silly you feel, it is well worth trying!
    I spotted a dog wandering in our local area recently, and as I’m a dog walker I always have treats on me, even when I’m not with a dog! So I crouched and approached him with food, hoping he might be hungry, but he was more interested in his freedom! We were very close to an extremely busy dual carriageway so instead of chasing him, I thought it be best to report a sighting, as there was nothing more I could do. Hopefully he found his way home 🙂

  14. June 2, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    I think you should make your living doing public service announcements. You rock at them. 🙂

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 8:55 PM

      LOL! Thanks, I think. It sounds like kind of boring life to focus on only public service announcements doesn’t it? 😀

  15. Angie Noe
    June 2, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Great tips! I was once trying to catch a dog that had been dumped in the country. She wouldn’t even get close enough to realize I was throwing hot dog pieces toward her…but we noticed she was chasing cars. A few hot dog pieces out the window of the car, and she jumped right in when I opened the door…tail wagging the whole time!
    Another time a dog I had fostered got loose from her new owner…who proceeded to move and leave her loose! She wouldn’t come to us for anything. One evening I took my other dog and a bowl of food and sat far away, but within her sight. I spent time loving on my dog and feeding him pieces of food…rattling the food as much as possible. She came crawling up, and I was able to catch her and find her a new, loving home! 🙂

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 8:57 PM

      You my dear Angie are a natural! Wow! I am truly amazed at your wit and skill. I think Granite State Dog Recovery could use you.
      Great stories and great way to think outside the box.

  16. Donna
    June 2, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    My previous pup, Harley and her sister Kati, would get out once in a while due to the landscapers leaving the gate unlocked. Well one time the girls got out but Harley went around the corner and started coming back home but I had jumped into the car (they absolutely love going for rides in the car!) and started driving toward Harley. Once Harley knew it was me coming, she stood at the corner and waited for me to stop and open the door for her to get in as if she was waiting for a bus! We drove off and then Kati showed up and also jumped into the car and we all went home safe and sound! Unfortunately Harley passed away a few years ago due to cancer but Kati and I have adopted a new pup- Emma and I have used this trick on Kati and Emma also!
    So if you have a pup that gets away and loves riding in the car, try this if you can, I find it works!

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 8:59 PM

      That is so cute Donna! That is exactly the image I had too – of a dog waiting for a bus. That is so clever! I am so sorry Harley is gone. I have a feeling Harley was a special girl. It sounds like Emma is benefitting from Kati and Harley’s adventures. 🙂

  17. shesaid702
    June 2, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Opening the car door works so good. I had an escape artist. I was out chasing that dog once a week. He would not come unless I pulled up in the car, flung the door open, and called…. he would jump in every time. I came across a group of people trying to get a dog off of a freeway exit..he had fallen out of a truck, and people were trying to corral him with not much success ..I pulled up open the car door, whistled, and in he popped right in. Like I said, “works every time”!

    • Mel
      June 2, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      LOL! Wow. That last story was impressive! it is something that always makes me smile. Dogs love a car ride don’t they? 🙂

  18. Elysa
    June 2, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    My soon-to-be 3 year old four legged fur kid is prime example of the success of this. She’s a runner. If there’s an unattended crack in the door as it’s shutting behind someone, holy hell, look out. She bails. And she thinks it’s a game when I chase her. So, I either sit on the sidewalk and pick at the grass so she’ll come over and wonder, “Why are you not paying attention to my antics?!” or I’ll get in the car and drive around the neighborhood (honking at intersections to alert other drivers, if there might be any) while she chases me like the speed demon she is until she’s too tired to put up with my crap. I love dogs. They’re so much better people than people.

  19. Katherine
    June 3, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    We deal with loose dogs all the time at my shelter. Sometimes I crouch down and make loud smacking noises like I’m eating something and pretend to be picking food up off the ground……works like a charm.

  20. Shana
    June 3, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    My girl Bella goes the same direction evertime she dashes out the door so I just sit on the front step and wait for her to come back, she only goes a couple houses down before she realizes “this is no fun” she’s a great dog for not going on the street too

  21. June 3, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    The car door thing is the one that works best for us. He LOVES to ride in the car!!!

  22. June 3, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    It wasn’t exactly intentional, but when I was out walking my dear old border collie in the woods, off the lead, she put up a rabbit and took off after it. I automatically took off after her as well, but took a (very) bad step and sprained my ankle badly and fell. I managed to sit up, but the shock, pain and earlier loss of blood (I had donated blood earlier in the day) came together and I fainted.

    I couldn’t have been out for more than a few seconds, but when I came to Leah was sitting right next to me, standing guard.

  23. Debbie
    June 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Generally, a fast, “Hey, Lily – you want a treat and to go for a ride?” has done it, but once our yellow lab did get way far away and I couldn’t find her anywhere. I was totally panicked. She showed up about an our later, wet, muddy, and grinning from ear to ear. She never did say where she’d been.

  24. June 3, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Such great advice, thanks Mel! You’re so right, it is instinct just to panic and run after them in such a scary situation. Hopefully after seeing this list though if one of the pups ever does make a break for it on a walk etc I will remember to keep my head and think of one of these!
    Hugs, Carrie and pups x

  25. June 3, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    My neighbor’s dog got loose yesterday. I was watching them chase him around both of our backyards and down the power line trail behind our houses. He just kept running circles around them and from them. After a few minutes, I put my own dog on his leash and took him outside. Their dog immediately came to say hello and I was able to grab him for them. Fortunately, our dogs are well acquainted and friendly with each other. I am going to pass this information along to them though as their dog is only 8 months old, still very much a puppy, and this is not the first time he has escaped.

  26. lori
    June 3, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    my dog got out of his collar today going to the vet..we were running up to the door he stopped and got right out of it..headed for the parking lot with a truck coming..i called her name and ran to my car cause she loves going for a ride and as soon as we got to the car she stopped and i was able to pick her up

  27. lori
    June 3, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    years ago i had a male boston terrier when he got out i would say hey max treat treat do you want a treat or i would say max grandmas here and he would come back

  28. Debbie Mitsakos
    June 3, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    It was a Whippet, I was dog-sitting and the owner said “let him run at the park” and he did. Would not come back to me for his toy or food, so I ran after him until I was crying and my heart was pounding so hard I had to rest. Went to my car to rest, opened the car door, damn Whippet ran right into the car. I would totally try that one again.

  29. June 3, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    I’ve had good luck with stopping, sitting down, and pretending to cry. Worked with dogs I’ve owned and strange ones as well.

  30. Mistie Mills
    June 3, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    When my 9 month old pitbull pup gets loose, instead of running after her, I command her to sit sometimes repeatedly as I walk towards her and if she sits, I’ll command “stay” or just repeat the command “sit”. I can then get to her and carry her home… she is used to me walking towards her during commands because we do the same with treats and also walk away from her to set treats afar and make her “stay” until “get it” command is given =)

  31. Jestjbo
    June 3, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    i run back inside and grab something that rattles, then yell “mmmm, wanna bite” …. and he comes running.

  32. sfvlostfoundpets
    June 3, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Great tips! I’ll be sharing these on my lost pet websites. I had an experience when I was walking a rescue dog and she slipped her leash. She was running all over the place playfully, but was in danger of running into a busy street. I stayed where I was, knelt down, and slapped the ground hard with both hands in an exaggerated play bow. The dog stopped and her face lit up with joy. (“PLAY!!”) She came running back so fast that she knocked me over and I was able to get a leash on her. I don’t think this tactic would work so well with a frightened dog, but for a dog who thinks it’s a big game, it worked great!

  33. Diane
    June 4, 2014 at 12:50 AM

    Great tips! When he’s chasing a deer, do you think he’s going to care about what I’m doing?? Heck, he doesn’t even care if I’m alive because his instincts are guiding him, and he’s full-boar into going after the deer.

    • Wilma
      January 17, 2015 at 11:09 AM

      I hear you…We life in the country, when my son was walking his hound mix dog when he slipped out of his choke collar, he took off very fast sniffing the air. He has tags and it was 2 hours later that a farmer on the next road parallel to ours, phoned to tell us that they had him. They noticed him in amongst their other hound dogs, except he had tags. He was a rescue found running along a highway and very skinny. I think he was a failure as a hunting dog and was turned loose. He’s a sweet dog and loves attention, car rides and the dog park. We initially got him as company for my daughter’s cockapoo and they get along very well. Only problem is when he gets loose and follows a scent, then the hunting dog comes out and he’s off.

  34. Sherri
    June 4, 2014 at 5:56 AM

    Wonderful tips, always worked for me. I had a runner & if you chase he ran farther so I would run just out of the yard stop call him & run into the house he came running every time into the house. I also had one that loved treats so all you had to say is do you want a treat & he would come running!

  35. Tina Homan
    June 4, 2014 at 5:57 AM

    Great article and I’m happy to say it’s already been shared several times on my Facebook wall by friends. 😄

    My brother used to have a husky. Max got out a total of three times when we first adopted him, before we trained him to sit/stay everytime the door was opened. Thankfully, he never got too far. First time, he just wanted to be with my brother and luckily followed him right back inside. Second time, I was apparently taking too long cleaning out the car to go to the park, so he came out and jumped in to help me. Lol

    The very last time he got out was the only time he wasn’t running towards one of us. My brother was home alone and had the presence of mind not to yell at him or chase him. By that time, Max was crate (aka box) trained. My brother said he yelled “BOX!!!” really loud, and Max came running back around to the front of the house, up the stairs, into the house, and straight into his crate. 😆

  36. June 4, 2014 at 6:31 AM

    A couple of months ago, I spotted a dog running – clearly panicked – in a busy intersection. I opened the door of my car and suggested we go for a car ride, he hopped in and all was well…. found his owner through Facebook shortly after. The car ride thing has worked well for me with most of my dogs as well…. the other thing that has worked for me is to snap the leash on my other dog and go for a walk – my male (the runner) can’t bear to be left out of a WALK!

  37. June 4, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    I really feel for the person who was only trying to help but ended up being a witness to such a tragedy, Thanks for sharing.

  38. Sandi
    June 4, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    The open car door works for mine. She doesn’t get out much and as long as she is not chasing some other critter all I need to do is open the car and ask if she wants to go bye-bye.

  39. rachel
    June 4, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    One of my favorite dog catching techniques is to take a box and wave it around in the air for them. All of our dogs love a good box ‘fight’ and will come running back. A large toy or ball also works well. We’ve also used the running away technique very successfully.

  40. Dana R.
    June 4, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    One of my neighbors had a new dog at her house that slipped out of her gate. She and her son chased that dog all over the neighborhood. The dog was enjoying the game. A man driving by gave us catfish from his to go box. My neighbor and I sat down on the ground and started a conversation, ignoring the dog except that she was tossing out pieces of the catfish. After a few minutes, he was sniffing/licking her face and she was able to pick hum up and take him home.

    June 4, 2014 at 10:04 AM










  42. June 4, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Great blog post! This, convincing dog owner/guardians and dog rescuers to NOT call a stray/lost dog is one of our biggest challenges! Here’s a video that explains how and why using “Calming Signals” and food will calm and attract a panicked dog https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmiZzB643is

  43. tonysweetJohnson
    June 4, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Reblogged this on Tonysweet Johnson.

  44. Deanna
    June 4, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    What worked for me (to the amazement of the girl who had been chasing the dog for an hour). Was to get down on my knees and mimic a ‘play bow’ while calling, “come here puppy dog” in a soft, slightly higher pitched voice. Dog trotted right over and I grabbed his collar!

  45. Michelle Fisher
    June 4, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    A few weeks ago I had to utilize this technique. Dixie, my 2 year old Doberman, is usually a very good & obedient girl. After a long winter, she has a bit of spring fever lately. When she took off running full speed I knew I’d never catch her, being as I was 33 weeks pregnant I couldn’t even follow her! So I laid on the sidewalk and said “Dixie come help Momma!” She ran right up to me & home we went. The only problem was my 13 year old neighbor seen me on the ground, and thinking I really fell, immediately called her mom, who called my husband who in return called me in a panic!

  46. Jane
    June 4, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    we have a boy who wasn’t socialised or taken anywhere until we got him at 5 months , so he is scared of absolutely everything. after a while we had him lose on the beach and he did a runner , went into a busy car park and was running around scared, we opened the car door and said “are we going then” and he jumped him. we are really struggling to get him confident and not switch off and just run, but he is improving slowly – and his trust in us help loads, thanks for the tips though, we have chased him when he pulled out of harnesses and always managed to get him in the car, but will be tryind the dop and crouch if he does get away again

  47. K
    June 4, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    I’ve definitely had success with running the other way or opening the car door. Another thing that has helped me before is looking the opposite direction of where the dog is and calling- the dog wanted to make sure I would chase her so she ran right in front of me to make sure I’d know where I needed to go- I was able to grab her and we were on our way home.

  48. June 4, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Thanks these were great suggestions, I only have one problem suppose the dog runs off and goes behind the neighbors house and can’t see what you are doing?

  49. DJ
    June 4, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    I had our dog Gilligan run away a couple years ago and I made the mistake of chasing him which made him run further and out of sight. I ran into a guy while looking for him that suggested putting a shirt of mine down where I saw him last. 6 hours later we found him sitting on the shirt. Worked excellent!

  50. Rosalynn Martell
    June 4, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    This sounds like a solution to a problem that shouldn’t be able to occur in the first place. Don’t let your dogs get in a situation where they can run off if they don’t recall well! Keep them tethered to you if you have to. If the tether breaks, then these tips are helpful. But geesh people, if you have to use these techniques frequently, you need to smarten up.

  51. June 4, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Did the last one plenty of times, always works

  52. June 4, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    The only way I can catch my Sullivan when he runs off is to hop in the car and follow him, open a door and ask if he wants to go for a ride. He jumps right in. The only other thing that has worked is getting a jogger who happened to be running by to call him. He goes right to strangers, but runs from me!

  53. June 4, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Great tips. Never thought of the laying down idea! I have successfully tried the “run the opposite direction” thing, though!

  54. June 4, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    When I read your post, I said outloud to myself, “exactly”. This happened to me…but not with a dog, but with my bunny. I had taken my first bunny for walks a lot on her leash. So when I got this second one, I tried the same with her, at this time she was about 2 years old. She wiggled out of her harness, and started to run, as we were in our apartment area…I just knew she would keep going…I yelled, “Stop!” and to my surprise, she did….I tried talking to her in a soft voice…but she would not come closer. I finally started telling her there were cars that would hurt her; and there was no carrots or veggies, no water, plus her brother would not be out there….She still did not budge; I finally got down lower to the ground and slowly wiggled towards her…until I was close enough to ‘pounce’ on her and I took her inside and we never walked again.
    I know understand that my first bun was very bonded to me; and this was the main reason she stayed with me…she never tried to run away. Whereas, the second rabbit was more bonded to her brother…she was still young enough to act on her own fear.

  55. June 4, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    Excellent tips. I learned about running in the opposite direction by accident. A foster dog’s leash came undone an hour before I was to deliver him to his new home. I ran after him for a couple blocks and he got so far ahead of me that I decided to turn around and run home to get my car. As I ran into the house I turned and looked and he was right behind me!

  56. Jodi
    June 4, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    I didn’t read all the replies you received about chasing a loose dog, so I don’t know if anyone mentioned this. On the odd occasion that my Australian Shepherd, Micky, wouldn’t come when called I would crouch down and whine, or moan loudly. He would come right over to me with a look of great concern on his face. It never failed! And it always made me laugh!

    • Fay Kelley
      June 5, 2014 at 1:36 AM

      that’s a good one!

  57. Lisa
    June 4, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    I’ve got a recently acquired dog from the shelter who runs if she ever gets out of the gate. I will definitely be keeping the first two in mind. This is a great help sheet!!!! Thank you so much!!!! He’s a great dog but I’m moving to a much bigger city soon and I don’t want to have him run away.

  58. pet nanny
    June 4, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    what if the dog is not looking at you and keeps running?

  59. Fay Kelley
    June 5, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    I have not had a dog (or bunny) that wouldn’t come when called (they were all pretty well trained) but try falling off a wild desert Arab who wants to prance home all the time … I had the wind knocked out of me and thought “Oh I bet he’s gone off across the highway and that’ll be the end of that.” I was laying on my back not able to move and when I could finally got up he was about 15 feet away from me looking at me like “What are you doing on the ground?!” I’m sure if I had tried to chase him he would have run home, LOL

  60. June 5, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    Great tips! What works best for my dog is of she decides she doesn’t want to come inside-but she never runs away- then I just leave her and go inside and shut the door. When I check back a minute later her face is pressed up against the door begging to be let in!
    I have tried the running away from the dog a few times with other pups but not all dogs have that chase drive unfortunately!

  61. scott
    June 5, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    I’ve found that if you get a dog’s attention and “play bow” (get their attention, bend slightly forward while looking at them), then run in the other direction, they’ll chase right after you.

    I live near a very busy street where cars and large trucks come barreling down. I have this recurring nightmare that I’m walking my dogs and they accidentally run into the street. Thank god this has never happened.

  62. June 5, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    I have a 9 year old hound/shepherd mix. I met her the day she was born and waited 8 long weeks to take her home with me. She has always been a runner, and it took me a while to learn that chasing was not the solution to catching her. We’ve made lots of moves around the country together – I got her when I was in college, and then I married a military man. There are lots of long chases in our past! We’ve now settled down and bought a home in a safe neighborhood with very little traffic, so my new solution for when she dashes out the front door is to just let her go and close the door behind her. She doesn’t go far or stay out long before scratching on the door to be let back in when she realizes that being out there alone with no one to chase her isn’t much fun!

  63. Brianna
    June 5, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Two of our dogs were rescued from the streets, sisters almost inseparable. One of the sisters escaped from the back yard and was trying to introduce herself to our neighbors. When I went outside she was so happy with herself for having gotten out and simply stared happily as I called her name. She refused to come when I called so I crouched and opened my arms and she ran towards me

  64. C.Lewis
    June 5, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    I have used the car trick a few times. I find that the key to that trick is to take my dog for a short ride after she gets in. If we just grab her or just go home it is not as effective the next time.

  65. Pat
    June 5, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    I thought these tips were very interesting and want to try them in the yard with one or both of our dogs. When one of our dogs got loose, we may have just adopted her and as a pup and she kept slipping the collar; although she did not run far from me she was in the street. At first I started back to the house and she followed at a distance. Then what worked was asking, “Who wants a treat.” Both know the word and she came running right over past me and into the house. I would definately recommend having a word that they associate with a befefit. Another word that works for me is “outside.” If the dogs are in the yard or at the dog park and its time to go, holding the leashes isn’t enough. With the “outside” word they run over to be leashed up. They know it means a walk.

  66. June 5, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    What a great and important post! I love all the tips you listed as ways to get a loose dog back. They make perfect sense. So much better than running after the loose dog causing it to run further away and potentially putting the dog in danger. I can’t believe I didn’t have the common sense to think of some of the valuable tips on my own. Thank you for sharing this.

  67. peacewalker
    June 5, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    have been a dog sitter for years..had one vicious dog got along with no one but his owner.I would have to sit with my back in front of him and hold the leash in the air…if he had to go potty he would calmly come up allow the leash we go potty and then once the leash was off he was his vicious self…lol

  68. Tater's owner
    June 5, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    My Schnauzer likes to run out of the front door if he gets a chance. We just stay calm and let him pee on a few bushes in the yard or neighbor’s. Then, I shake the treat box and he comes running. He knows he gets a treat if he comes back on his own. Once, I saw him slip through the gate. I went to change from my bed clothes to go out and get him. When I walked back through the house he had returned to the back door. I let him in and he kept looking at me. He then wanted back out, I let him out and he slipped back out of the gate and began barking at the front door. He wanted his treat!!

  69. Nikki
    June 5, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    I had a boxer that would take off if she got loose. The only way to catch her was to squat and jingle her leash. She would think we were going for a walk and come back to me.

  70. Donna Williamson
    June 5, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    I have captured our neighbors run away dog by using the car trick a couple of different times. He is a Boston Terrier and in his younger days he would run whenever he got out of their house. All I had to do was get ahead of him in the car and open the door and call him. Like in the article if you chase him it just makes him run harder. I would drive him around the block and then take him back home.

    I have gotten one of mine back in the yard by calling them then turning around and running in the opposite direction. He thought it was a new game. I just ran back into the yard and shut the gate when he got inside.

  71. Tabi
    June 5, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    I’ve only tried any of these on one dog before, which is my own. She had gotten so used to us just opening the door and letting her into the back yard, which was fenced in, to run around and play. When we moved to a new location though, that didn’t have a fenced in yard, the habit still stuck. Every time we opened the door, she’d dart out. After months of chasing her down to get her back, we found a different solution. My mom would simply open the car door and ask if she’d want to go for a ride. It worked nearly every time. The fun part it, it worked with any kind of vehicle my mom was near. There was a time when our dog got out when my parents were at work, so there weren’t any cars to use as bait. Me and my brother chased her for blocks and were trying to corner her in someones front yard when a school bus stopped. The doors open to show none other than my mom, who was already asking our dog if she wanted to go for a ride. So I got to ride with my mom back to our house to drop off the dog, which made a lot of kids happy that day.

  72. June 5, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    Reblogged this on YouViewed/Editorial.

  73. William
    June 5, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    Adopted a baby pup one time last year. Wonderful little guy! I took him outside and had yet to buy him a better leash considering I just got him that same day. He broke free from his leash and ran away down the street in our neighborhood. So, instead of running after him, I sat down in my drive way and waited. I only had to wait two minutes until he came back. I saw this article and instantly thought back to that moment. This stuff works people!

  74. June 6, 2014 at 12:10 AM

    Reblogged this on whoiscinderella and commented:
    Yes, my dog Lacey falls for nearly all of these everytime. Go read this if you have a dog!

  75. June 6, 2014 at 12:15 AM

    Open a car door (if it’s your dog). It really works. Lacey, our lab, associates the car with freedom and walking off leash in the country. When she gets loose, an open car door is just too enticing to resist! Treats work well, too!

  76. Punkyjazz
    June 6, 2014 at 2:18 AM

    I have used the crouch down with side to dog successfully, and also the run in the opposite direction. The crouch with side to dog is very non-threatening to dogs and is the best technique for timid dogs, where as chasing them or looming over them is seen as threatening behaviour. Also, a good lure for dogs is tripe…they love the stinky smell.

  77. June 6, 2014 at 3:04 AM

    I’ve used the open car door many times, with variations like starring it, on my own dogs. It helps to have taken them for enough rides that they associate the car with fun. For your own dog a silent whistle is also useful; sound it when you feed them, or, perhaps, when you give them a special treat. Then you can roam the neighborhood blowing it at the top of your lungs without worrying about looking silly. Of course, it is critically important to TRAIN your dog to come when you call; an awful lot of people seem to expect the dog to respond to their spoken commands as though they can understand English.

    • Mel
      June 6, 2014 at 6:34 AM

      Completely agree! Training is a must! My biggest concern is how many people say their dog has snuck past them and scooted out the door multiple times. I use baby gates and other methods to prevent this from happening the first time. I cannot imagine letting it happen over and over again.

  78. June 6, 2014 at 6:29 AM

    I actually had a dog about a week ago that had been running in a cemetery the whole weekend one of our Officers spent an hour trying to get him he did not chase him he sat and tossed him cookies but the adult male American Pitbull would only come within arms length, after an hour he returned to the office to pick up a dog trap. With what he told me was happening I asked if he wanted me to go with him and give it a try. When we arrived I saw a larger red and white male intact APBT just walking around trying to stay cool (it was very hot that day) I got out of my truck and starting walking in the direction of the dog but on the opposite side of the road to watch he reaction he would continue to try to widen the distance between us as we walked so I turned around and started back the other direction and then walked acrossed to the side he was on and sat down under a tree in the shade with my back to him. After a few minutes he did come up behind me and I was able to reach back and rub his chin but nothing more. He then went down into a wooded area where there was a small pond and I thought he was gone so I was talking to the other officer who was standing close by with a catch pole since I was doing this with nothing but dog treats in my hand. I told him to step back behind the trees again. When the dog came out I again was sitting and waiting and we did the same routine. After about an hour of him walking off and laying in other areas I decided the next time he came near me I would crawl away. So when the dog returned I was sitting on my knees and started to crawl away on my hands and knees, I would go a few feet and then sit back on my knees like a dog after about the third time as I was starting to sit back down he decided he was comfortable for a meet and greet and had to sniff my bottom as embarrassing as it was I allowed this to happen and then sat down again. This time he came and stood right next to me, (sorry I was not sniffing back) after a second I again got up and started crawling away this time when I stopped I laid my head on the ground with my butt in the air (OMG this is so embarrassing with people standing around watching) the dog then came up right next to me and laid down I leaned in and rubbed my shoulder against him and he then laid more to his side at which time I was able to sit back up and start petting him as I fought to get the leash out of my pocket and maneuver around his neck with out ruining all my hard work. Once the leash was on my only fear was what would happen when I went to start walking was he going to freak out and turn on me even with the other Officer standing by he had to stay at a distance that by the time he got to me the damage would have been done..I stood up talking quietly to the dog and after a minute he got and walked by my side he even allowed me to pick him up put him in our truck and even wave a micro-chip scanner around him to check for a chip. I have found the walking running and now crawling does work much better. I have even used a the run and chase but I would start running and then drop to a knee so the dog would then run past and then come back to see why I have stopped, I have had them running and playing so hard that when I hit my knee they have hit and rolled me in the process I would just lay there and wait for them to come check on me then I would kind of motion them to move back so I can get up to run again but have the distance between so not to scare them as I stand which seems to gain their trust more.

    • Mel
      June 6, 2014 at 6:33 AM

      Great job! I have used similar approaches before. Reflecting back to them in dog body language is so effective. Nicely done!

  79. Sue
    June 6, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    I’ve often used the ‘run in the other direction’ tactic, and yes, it works… most of the time 🙂

  80. June 6, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    I have three experiences that come to mind:
    1) I’m lucky that with our obedience training my girl is very good with her recall, but like you said it is instinctual to run after them. I didn’t know the yard gate was left open so when I let her out she at first was in the yard like usual, then when I looked out the window to check on her I noticed she was farther away than normal and then realized she’s outside the fence! I ran out and ran towards her which made her start to run away, towards the road no less. Then our training popped in my head, don’t chase! I stopped and called her back with her command word and she did a complete 180 and ran right back to me just as fast as she ran away!!!
    Now not everyone looses their own dogs, or are their dogs trained like mine so these are other scenarios where a simple recall won’t work.
    2) I ran a dog kennel and wouldn’t you know it one of our high risk escape dogs got loose!! I was freaking out because the owners were very worried about their dog getting loose because it happened at another kennel before and I promised them how I would be extra careful with their baby and here she gets loose, yikes! Now I did not chase her but first tried to coaxes her back into the play yard with the other dogs because she was very friendly and more at ease with the other dogs but she was to scared and still didn’t come. So I slowly walked towards her with treats, that only made her run away farther, so I started to walk back to the house to get the keys to my car to try the “car ride” trick, as I walked back to the house she was following me the whole way!!! As long as I kept walking she kept coming so I walked into the front office of the kennel and left the door wide open and in she came!!! PHEW! Tragedy averted!!
    3) I was driving home from work when I came upon a truck pulled off the side of the road, a dog running, and a guy chasing the dog. I instantly pulled over to help because I didn’t want to see this dog get hit by a car. The dog stopped to check out the new person on the scene, me, but the other guy was still chasing it so the dog started to run again. I instantly squatted down and the dog came running right up to me and gave me a big old kiss! I grabbed it’s collar and handed it back off to it’s owner who was so thankful.
    I have seen the run the opposite way work for others as well, and was taught that in obedience class if our dogs didn’t come to their recall command, in the puppy class they teach a “happy recall” which is you walking backwards(backpeddling) and in a high pitch happy voice talk to the dog, the dogs come running up to you so happily. That’s the beginnings of teaching a good, solid recall.

  81. Adrienne
    June 6, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    My dog is usually pretty good for not running off when he escapes. But one night, he managed to wiggle out of harness and immediately starting running off. I was quick and dropped to the ground on my hands and knees and starting gently thumping the ground asking him ‘what’s this?’ As if we were a game. He came running back and ran a few circles around me, trying to play, and I was able to catch him. It worked beautifully and I recommend others to try it.

  82. June 6, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Wow! I feel foolish for never having looked at it that way before! Thanks for the great tips. Although I hope Bentley never runs out of the front door, I will be better prepared now.

  83. Angela DeRosia
    June 6, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Thank You for sharing your thoughts on this approach. I can tell you I have used three of these scenarios and they worked for me! My Great Dane Shepard Mix named Mosey loved to run. I was always chasing him and let me tell you, he had legs for miles, and I couldn’t keep up with him. So next time he ran off, I got into my car and started out of the driveway, guess who was at the drivers door, looking at me like “where are you going without me”, opened the door and in he went!! That always worked for me with him. If I didn’t have the car, I would run the other way and he would come running after me and thought I was messing with him. I had so much fun with him, he was a beautiful furry child to us. Please try these, they save lives. My new pup will fall for the chase game and the “I’ve Fallen and Need Help” game too! Good luck!

  84. Tracy
    June 6, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    I have two dogs and they have gotten out on a couple occasions, we live in a small town and there is a very high deer population living within the town. Our husky, Tegan (love her to pieces) listens very well when there are no distractions, my fiance has even trained her to stay in our yard WITH the gates open and him on the other side, she would not cross the line. But if there’s a deer nearby, or a squirrel, or even a bird’s nest containing eggs, she gets very focused.. calling her name will not get her attention, sometimes the only way to even get her to look in your direction (if in the yard just looking at something she can’t get) is to physically touch her, even then it’s usually only for a second then she goes back to what she was interested in. I don’t see any of these solutions getting her attention because if she saw a deer and chased it I don’t even have a hope of getting her to look back at me to lie down or crouch.. or I would just look ridiculous because I know she would just go. Does anyone have a dog with similar characteristics or knows of something else that may help? I understand chasing her is not helpful but honestly sometimes its the only way to track her, because she’s long gone and I usually have to get in the car anyways. Our other dog is a boxer-cross (I have no idea with what) and only leaves with the husky.. I don’t think she would ever run away on her own. Once when they both got loose, they had gotten separated and I found the husky first, and discovered little Zoey going home all on her own because she had lost her friend. I was actually amazed, but knowing that she will always follow Tegan is a big concern.

  85. June 6, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    My neighbor’s Great Dane had slipped away and was in my back yard. Three of us kept trying to get close and could not. After tempting him with a stick I decided to just lie down on the ground. I don’t know why I’d did but it was seconds after I had done so that he crept up to me and laid down a few feet away. His owner walked up and was able to clip the leash back one with no problem. My daughter had questioned the move but now I can share your article with her to ease her mind. Thank you!

  86. Lana Weber
    June 6, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    I haven’t tried any but the car one. It always works on our Min Pin, but I offer him a treat. Though 3 times in the Kennel after running off seemed to correct his running out the door when the kids are trying to walk out.

  87. kd allison
    June 7, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    My dogs have never taken off,but,when it comes to getting a friends loose dog..I take a big crackly bag,with an open can of cat food,treats etc,,sit down and act like Im eating them,while crackling the bag.They always come up to see what I have.

  88. Em
    June 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    I’ve asked my dog if she wants to go for a walk.. Even though she’s outside, she ran turned right around and hopped inside to get her leash. We were on vacation at the time in Big Bear, so it was particularly scary, as neither of us knew the area.

    • Em
      June 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM

      I mean, ran right back into the house. 😉

  89. Angela
    June 7, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    The open car door has worked twice on stray dogs…one on a very busy freeway and the other a regular street. I always try this first for strays. Love the other tips, may come into use one day.

  90. Jairi Rai
    June 8, 2014 at 1:28 AM

    BRILLIANT article! I’m glad this is getting out there! I’ve had many, many instances where I’ve assisted in catching loose dogs (from working at a shelter, as a trainer, and dog show handler) and I always have to get someone else to stop chasing the dog! I’ve used the “run the other direction making super happy and awesome noises” tactic the most, but I’ve also had to employ “sitting down and being totally non-chalant about the whole thing” on occasion with great results. I hope this gets around to EVERYONE!!

  91. Stacey
    June 8, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    Whoever wrote this has never owned/tried to catch a Siberian husky.

  92. stacey
    June 8, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    My min pin would sometimes start to run off from me or get out the door. She was raised with a kitten so she loved playing with cats. If she started to run off i would just act like i was holding a little kitty in my arms and pretend to pet it and say all what a pretty kitty and she would come running back as fast as she could lol

  93. Kim Oliver
    June 8, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    I was letting my friend’s dog out for her. The dog was know for running wild if he got out and was very hard to catch. I put him on his chain and didn’t attach it correctly. Needless to say he was running around an open area near roads. The neighbors thought I was nutts, but I went out and started running around acting as goofy as I could. Before I knew it Jack was chasing me and when I ran back into the house, he came in right behind me. The neighbors all knew Jack and they gave me a round of applause. I’m sure I looked rediculous, but it worked like a charm.

  94. Megan
    June 8, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Another thing I do is play with another dog (if you have another dog or are around another dog when yours runs away). Nothing gets my dog to come to me faster than seeing me give attention to his brother or the neighbor’s dog. He comes back right away because he sees the pack is having fun and wants to be a part of it!

  95. Judie
    June 8, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Ive never laid down but have learned from mine not to chase! One of mine esp loves to run and hes fast! So, this only wirks at home but ive either said, ok, im goi.ng. in. now, bybe bye, and when i start to close the gate if he doesnt come back he will at least stop. Then i use the old, who wants a cookieploy! I have a squeaky that i only use fir cookie time, so i run in the house for the squeaky and bag of treats that i shake, which usually works.

  96. Judie
    June 8, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    With my pittie who isnt much of a runner, as long as she hasnt gotten too far i just crouch, moving slowly toward her and calling her name. And yes, the car door has worked in the pas esp if theyve already run away.

  97. Renee
    June 8, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    Dig! Stop, drop and dig! Growl at the ground and dig, dig, dig!

  98. Karen
    June 8, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    I have a weim that jumps 6 foot fences on occasion and she hates cats. I agree chasing is worthless, opening the car door works too but I don’t have time always to get in the car. When she out running and I spot her I find a place where I can corner her and then call her to come see the kitty. She comes running to the spot I am pointing to and I can grab her collar. Whew!

  99. Gordon
    June 8, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    This evening my 5 yr old, 6 weeks with me puppy mill rescue somehow got out of her harness and took off like a rocket. Across the road, with cars coming if I had curled into a ball we both would have been hit. What else can one do but freak out and run after her!?!? Fortunately after I asked God to help and asked her to please stop she did… I think she was just tired. I can not see what else i could have done.

  100. June 8, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    Good information. I think I’ve used most of these (the going in the opposite direction is my favorite) successfully. Fortunately they were not in life-or-death situations, but they worked and really saved at least my patience.

  101. Kathy pearl
    June 9, 2014 at 2:36 AM

    Like poster Tracy, we have a cocker who is a runner. He also is very prey driven, and we have several coops of chickens. If he gets out, he immediately runs to the nearest coop and just goes berserk running up and down and barking madly. Last week he attacked my broody hen and her 3 babies, luckily did not catch her. Hen was smart enough to draw the dog away from the babies. I have no doubt the cocker would kill anything he caught.

    I don’t think this is anything I can train him out of, and our solution so far is to keep him leashed at all times; too bad Because we have 10 acres for him to play on. He is still young(just turned 2), but even after this adolescent phase is over, I will never trust him aroun our chickens.

    I’d welcome any thoughts or comments.

    • Sharol
      November 19, 2014 at 12:32 AM

      Kathy I know this is going to sound disgusting it sure did to me but with prey driven dogs its about the only method that is sure fire….you need to take a deceased chickdn or whatever the prey is that they prefer and tie it around their neck,
      leave it on for several days…(its gotta get stinky) I guarantee they will never go after that prey again….

  102. June 9, 2014 at 4:25 AM

    When our Zoubi was a pup I took advantage of quiet mornings and evenings to practice walking her off leash. I always had her leash in my hand in case I had to attach it. Her leash meant that we would be walking where there were lots of wonderful people or animals for her to play with.

    This spring, a male dog from the neighborhood started sneaking into our yard to claim it as his territory and he came and went by jumping through a hole in the fence that Zoubi had never noticed before.

    Now she’ll sneak out every now and then and start walking herself. All I have to do though, is throw my shoes on, grab her leash and step outside letting the clasp jangle. When she looks back, I hold it up and ask if she wants to go for a walk, she will quickly and without fail run back so I can hook her up. If I don’t have the time for a full walk, I’ll just take her quickly around the block and she’s happy enough with that.

  103. Jason B
    June 9, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    Another good one is get some food or your dogs favorite treats and show it to them. That has worked for me in the past. And the car one works for me because I often take my dogs for car rides.

  104. Leslie
    June 9, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    The couple of times my dog has snuck out the front door, the first thing I go for is the very loud (by design) metal treat jar lid and I ask if he’s “starving” which is his dinner call. Every time so far he’s come bolting straight back in the door.

  105. Lauren
    June 9, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    I live next to a busy road, and my dog has darted out the door three times now. The first time I chased her down, but the other two times I ran in the opposite direction so that she would chase me. I remembered that if you act like your playing then the dog will want to approach you. It works every time on my friends dogs, and my dogs. 🙂

  106. June 9, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Great post! The ONLY way I can get my husky/shepherd back is to open our minivan door. He comes running down the street and hops in. Also, running in the opposite direction works a lot of the time as well!

  107. emmberr clark
    June 10, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    I stand still and talk in a high pitched “sweetie-pie” voice, praising my dog. Works every time!

  108. Tom
    June 10, 2014 at 3:58 AM

    Having the dogs lead handy pays, if your dog escapes you grab the lead hold it above the head so its easy for the dog to see. It knows believes that you are going to take it for a walk and comes running back. I use this method and its works.

  109. Rhiannon
    June 10, 2014 at 4:23 AM

    I love this advice and it’s so true! Coming from a dog lover that’s had her fair share of runners, it’s taken me a long time to realize this!
    In fact, I watched our 2 year old Siberian Husky get hit by a car when I was 15 as she was being chased by my younger brother who was trying to catch her after an escape out our back door. While trying to evade my brother, she spotted me across the street playing catch with a friend and she darted towards me and got hit by a car (which was speeding – and never even stopped after hitting her) which killed her. It was one of the most traumatic moments of my life.
    I’ve learned not to give chase since then, although its difficult to fight the instinct – especially, with that memory burnt in my mind which sends a panic through me every time one of my dogs get loose.
    But these approaches work so much better and can SAVE YOUR DOG’S LIFE!!!
    For instance, one time, hands full with my baby in one and my toddler holding the other, our dog darted out the door as we were exiting the house. I knew I wouldn’t be able to give chase at that time even if I wanted, that moment of panic hit, but I remained calm. I quickly walked to the car and opened up the door and hollered, “Does Bullet wanna go bye-bye?!” He quickly turned, ran to and then jumped inside the car! So, if you have a dog that loves going for car rides (like all my dogs always have) and your near your vehicle when they make a break for it, this is a fantastic method for corralling them quickly and safely! 🙂
    Thanks for the post!

  110. Yvonne
    June 10, 2014 at 7:08 AM

    This works. A neighbor had been chasing her little dog for blocks when I saw them. They were about a half a block away from me when I sat down on my front lawn and starting calling the dog to come to me. Didn’t know the dogs name, never met the dog before. She came right to me. The owner was shocked and asked me how I did that? Well you just saw what I did, try it next time.

  111. June 10, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    This works every time. I call them and curl up in a ball and whimper loudly. The dog thinks you’re in trouble — and being you are a member of the pack he comes back to help. It also works because I’ve rehearsed with them. I’ll get on the floor in the living room and curl up and whimper. When they come, I hug them, praise them and give them treats. It’s kind of a Pavlov thing!

    • Mel
      June 10, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      that is so smart!!!

  112. June 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Thanks, Mel. I figured it was no different than getting my dogs in the pool and teaching them where the steps were. They did not like the pool, BUT the one time Cheyenne fell in with a big splash — I was able to get outside and watch her swim for the steps!!! It worked! Yay and Whew!

  113. Melissa Austin
    June 10, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    I learned this years ago. When you chase your dog, it becomes a game for them; and, you will always lose. Forget the expression “curiousity killed that cat,” because I have found that when you walk into a room containing a sleeping cat, they open their eyes to see who it is; and, then go back to sleep. Dogs are the ones that are truly curious and when you stop chasing them, they cannot stand not knowing why you aren’t and I have found that they come back to you everytime to see what is going on and what happened to you since you are not chasing them.

  114. Melissa Austin
    June 10, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    The open car door works as well. You could tell my mother’s Great Dane that you had a treat for him until your were blue in the face with no result; but, open the back door of the car and get in the front and instantly you had a passenger in the back seat. If you just use logic which is what the dog whisperer does and put yourself in the mind of your dog, you can win because even the smartest dog only has the mental capacity of a 4 year old.

  115. Chrissy
    June 10, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    Thank you for the tips! I have successfully tried two of these and they’ve both worked at the time. Running away from the dog so they think they’re chasing you, and opening the car door so they think they’re going “bye, bye”. I have a Great Dane mix and he loves to run, but when he gets lose on a walk it takes all we have to catch him before he might get hurt or hurt someone else. The last time I used the car trick after trying to catch him for 20-30 minutes! So I will definitely give the other ones a shot. Again, thank you!!

  116. Rebecca S
    June 11, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    I’ve only had my dog get out of our yard once when he figured out how to get out of the gate while it was locked. He weighs about 120 lbs (he is a very tall and slightly chubby chocolate lab) and I was running up and down the street to get my mileage for the day in. I had just done my first Crossfit workout and my body was just shot. I had nothing left. When I saw him, I was a few houses down and he barreled right towards me. I didn’t have a leash on me and when I grabbed his collar he just sat down and it popped right off. Not that I would have been able to drag 120 pounds of dead weight that far anyway. So I ran as fast as I could towards my front door and he tried to beat me. When I got there, I let him in the front door and it was over 🙂

    I can’t imagine what the result would have been had I tried to chase him.

  117. June 11, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    These are great! I use another one. When my 90lb Dolly gets loose, she always goes to the same place, down the street to find Rex, the very handsome brindled pit. I used to chase her, then I figured out she was laughing at me. She runs REALLY fast. One day, i went across the street knocked on the door, and called their dog’s name. Dolly came running. Have tried it ever since and it works every time.

  118. Birdie
    June 11, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    I’ve caught three loose dogs before using the “car ride” method, one of which was in the middle of a busy intersection. That was a tense one- we were driving and saw the little guy running around in traffic, so we just threw open a door and asked him to come for a ride, and he jumped right in. Apparently he’d been wearing a harness seatbelt in his owner’s jeep, but wiggled free of it and jumped into the road out of the moving car. The owner was so relieved.

  119. Savannah
    June 11, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    When my jack Russell/shih tau mix got loose near a busy road my instinct was to chase him, but I remembered the run the other way tactic, having read it before so that’s what I did, terrified my dog would get onto the road (he has the WORST road sense!!) I ran away from the road cheerfully calling ‘this way, this way, come on’ and it worked a treat he stopped saw what I was doing and came running to see what was so exciting that I’d rather run after it than him!! Never chase a loose dog, make them chase you!!

  120. Christy
    June 12, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    I came across a whole group of people trying to corral a dog in a parking lot near a busy road. Even though there were enough people to make him feel a bit trapped in the lot, he was too frightened to approach anyone. I always carry a slip lead in my car. THIS IS NOT A TECHNIQUE I WOULD ADVISE FOR EVERYONE, but I took my own dog out of the car on her leash. The dog who was loose was definitely interested enough in her to come investigate! I was able to slip the lead over his head before he even got close enough to sniff my dog, and I handed him to a by stander until she was safely back in the car.
    MD veterinarian

  121. June 12, 2014 at 7:08 AM

    So let’s say you meet a lost dog, what do you do to get the dog to approach you? The dog wouldn’t approach you just like that right? Especially if you are a stranger who is out helping to look for the lost dog. The dog who has been lost for some time would likely be wary?

  122. Tess
    June 12, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    My grandparents have a Chihuahua who used to be a stray in Mexico. Since he has grown up there he’s used to being let out and roaming around. Since we live in the city and they come to visit he can’t do that so he takes every chance he gets to escape. Every time he has we always run after him of course. But I’ve usually solved it by either shaking a bag of treats or taking out his leash. But I will definitely try these next time.

  123. Erin
    June 12, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    I’ve managed to convince a roaming pet to return by sitting down and making loud, sobbing noises. They get very concerned and come to see what is wrong! lol

  124. June 12, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    Dog ran past me one rainy day. It stopped briefly to sniff at my hand, which is how I initially noticed it, then he took off again dragging his leash behind him. I turned around to find the very distressed owner running towards us several houses down. So instead of chasing too I stopped walking, bent over and patted my thighs, calling him to me. He seemed friendly enough. He actually turned from the noise, and jogged back to me for the rub. I grabbed his very muddy leash and handed it back to the tired owner when she caught up. she was very grateful.

  125. June 12, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    Happened to see this posted on a friend’s FB page. This works. I had a great pyr who used to take off. It happened one night in the middle of winter. The snow was falling hard and I had been running after her in heavy snow boats for a few blocks. Maybe it was instinct. Maybe it was exhaustion. But either way, I called her name one last time and dropped to my knees in the snow.
    It was as if she knew the moment I hit the ground. She turned around, couldn’t get to me fast enough, and then actually stood over me as if I were wounded. I pressed my face to her fur, told her ‘good girl’, and she walked me home.

    • Mel
      June 12, 2014 at 11:02 PM

      Wow. What an amazing moment that must have been.

  126. Karenne
    June 13, 2014 at 6:52 AM

    We lived on a farm for a while, and our dog took great pleasure in getting out.
    For a few times the drive one worked really well, especially as she knew the word.
    Problem was she is smart, and figured out that it wasn’t gonna happen. So she refused to get in the car unless we took her on a lead.

  127. Ken and Judith Whitley
    June 13, 2014 at 7:08 AM

    I have 2 German Shorthaired Pointers that are master’s at escape. They hurl themselves through screen doors, hop on the picnic table and then over the 6′ vinyl privacy fence. The police have been out 7 times to help us find them in the neighborhood. One even threw himself out of the car window (the car was stopped) into a pond with geese in it. What works for us is the CAR, police or personal. Yes, they are always, wet and full of dirt, but they come running when they see those cars. And I mean they come running. Even after all that commotion, we always praise them, give them treats, and then offer to Windex the inside of the police cars! Once again, for us, those cars are effective, and we are constantly trying to be vigilant and “dog-proof” the damn house!

  128. Wally
    June 13, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    My jack Russell LOVES LOVES LOVES a basketball. When he runs off (he’s a white blur) I walk in his direction bouncing a basketball. When he sees it I stop and yell READY? That’s his cue! I don’t throw it. I simply hold it on the ground. He immediately runs to it and goes crazy trying to grab it but can’t get his teeth into it. Then I scoop him up and take him home. 🙂

  129. Wendy
    June 13, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    I keep a squeaky toy in my car. This has been helpful in luring stray/lost dogs to the car so I can try to reunite them with their owners. I generally just pull the car over, step out of the car, and squeak the toy while calling “C’mon doggie let’s go for a ride!” in my happiest voice. This has been successful on a couple occasions and I was able to reunite the dogs with their owners. However, there have been several it did not work on. It’s hard to get running dogs to come to you, especially if you are not their owners. I agree though to never chase the dog. Just crouch down, stay still and try to lure it with a treat or toy.

  130. June 13, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Dogs do love the chase. They think it is a game and will try to get away from you by any means necessary which can put them in serious danger. This is a unique method for stopping them. I will have to try it.

  131. June 13, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    I’ve yelled “COOKIE” to loose dogs before and the stop in their tracks and come see me. It’s worked 5 different times…worth a shot.

  132. June 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    More than once, driving through my neighborhood, I’ve seen a stray dog trotting down the sidewalk. They don’t know me, I don’t know them, so getting out would be pointless. But I’ve rolled down the window, and in a firm voice said, “Go home!” 3 out of 5 have turned around and trotted back to a house! Strange, but true. It works even better with neighbors’ dogs that know me. Our friend at the end of the street has a beautiful Husky that is an escape artist. More than once I’ve gotten home late at night and seen her checking out the neighborhood. I just tell her “Bella, go home!” and then walk down the sidewalk towards her house. She’ll parallel me down the street, right up to their front door, while I knock on the door and (unfortunately) wake them up to say their dog is out again. (She’s gone so far as to burrow into the neighbors’ yard and escape through their gate! Anyway, dogs are all different, and it’s hit and miss on what will work, but I definitely agree with you that “chase” almost never does. Even if they’re not scared, like my daughter’s young dog, “chase” means “playtime” and he’ll run just to keep the game going.

  133. Lana Miller
    June 13, 2014 at 5:51 PM

    I’ve always had luck with an open car door (drivers side) and yell lets’ go bye-bye! I always have biscuits stashed in the car 😉

  134. Linda
    June 13, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    I’ve tried most of those things you listed but the thing that works best for me is this – I snap the leash on my other dog and take her for a walk. When he sees her walking with me he just has to come back to check out what’s going on and I can snag him. His reward for coming back to us is that he gets to go on a walk with us. 🙂

  135. Candace
    June 13, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    I have 2 huskies i.e. Houdini dogs. When they get out together they also do what huskies do best and run. And run. And run. Fast and forever. With no regard to anything around them. Rather than trying to call and chase them I immediately hop in the car. This is faster. Cause usually they are out of sight before I can even get out the door. And I pull up to them in the car and open the door all excited like. They hop right in.

  136. Julie
    June 13, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    Candace, your huskies sound like our St. Bernard & Great Dane. We live in the country but have a highway right there and many houses close by. They run like fools! They know the neighbourhood because they’re walked a few times a day. They only run when they both charge the door together and undoubtedly knock someone over in their path! I would love to hear suggestions from people on dealing with this! We have a dog yard that is wonderful for them but they still charge the door and I know its a game for them but a huge frustration for us. If both get out, they run and run and run. It’s so worrisome and, like all those who commented before me, we go looking for them, calling their names. Last time, they were found in the farmers field–freshly sprinkled with lovely smelling manure! Into the car…ride home. We know it all reinforces the game but how do we get it to stop??? I’d love to hear from others! Otherwise, we have the best dogs ever!

  137. Michele
    June 13, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    I’ve found that going up to another dog works very well, especially if you are handing the other dog treats!

  138. Kat Tiblier
    June 14, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    My dogs have gotten out a lot. Especially since we moved to a new house with a fenced in back yard. For the first month and a half, they managed to break out at least once a week until we filled in the bottom (they were digging under the fence.) I have 3 although luckily my 12 year old never tries to escape anymore. And chasing NEVER works lol. I’ve managed to catch them right after they got out by opening the car door and asking if they want to go bye bye. Works every time. But if they’re not close to the car, when I find them I crouch down and call their names, sounding excited to see them instead of frustrated or angry (like I usually am at that point) and they come running right to me. Those are definitely awesome ways to do catch dogs!

  139. RedDazes
    June 14, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    I’ve got a puppy that loves to get off leash and run. I’ve found the running in the opposite direction works very well for him, even more so if I get his attention and pretend like I’ve grabbed something cool off the ground and am running off with it… he just can’t help himself he MUST know what I got…..

  140. Kathi Keyse
    June 16, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    All of my dogs except Lucy fall for the car ride. Last time she got out I got around in front of her, got down on my knees and held my arms out to her and she came right to me. Usually it is the “I chase her and she runs”.

  141. June 18, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    A lady found my dog wandering in the middle of a four lane highway. She pulled over, opened her door and called out to him. She said he immediately ran to her and jumped in! She saved his life.

  142. Sara
    June 19, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    When my dog was about 5 months old, he slipped off his leash. My girls started to freak out and I just dropped to my knees. He ran around the house once, saw I was on my knees and came over to cuddle. That was that 🙂

  143. Taylor
    June 22, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    We have a lab that likes to escape, so when she runs out we get in the car and let her chase the car around the neighborhood(it wears her out) and she eventuall will stop to pee and that’s when we snatch her!(after she’s been running awhile)

  144. Jim
    June 27, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    We had a dog get off his leash, chasing him made him run farther ahead. So we just turned around and ran away from him, he started chasing us and we caught him. It worked perfectly.

  145. July 2, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Reblogged this on Diane Robertson and commented:
    Nice blog post for dog lovers.

  146. MyDogLikes
    July 13, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    This is great information. Although I have never thought to try this when my dogs have gotten loose I definitely will next time. I have noticed in the past that when I lie down on the floor in the house I become like a magnet to them, so I am quite confident that it would work for us!

  147. imafundork
    July 13, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    One thing that I’ve found works with my dachshund, Olive is to crouch down and ask her if she wants to go to Grandma’s. She stops running in the other direction and runs straight to me. My mom has a dachshund as well and they’re good buddies. She thinks she’s going on a play date and if I’m not hard pressed for time, I’ll bring her right over there. 🙂

  148. GinnyWeasley
    July 27, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    If you’ve got another person with you, we always immediately have one person go stand in the street to warn cars while the other person sits on the ground and calls for the dog. Cars can see you in the street from a much further distance and will slow down- it helps prevent them from unknowingly hitting a loose dog. When you call your dog, use a playful, excited voice, they respond to that before they will respond to you yelling in a ‘mean voice’.

    • Mel
      July 27, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      Great advice Ginny!

      How’s Ron these days? 😉

  149. Jennifer Gotschall
    July 29, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    We found a hunting dog on I-95. It looked like it had been lost for a couple of days. When we got out of my car to approach the dog it started to run towards the highway. I was so scared that I got down on my knees and yelled NOOOOO as loud as I could. She stopped and looked at me and came running back to me. She slowly got close enough where she started to sniff me. I then picked her up and put her in my van. We ended up adopting her and a month later she had 10 healthy puppies. She has since crossed the rainbow bridge.

  150. August 23, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    This is fantastic, thank you so much for sharing!!!!

  151. Emily
    August 25, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    Love this. The one that always works with my frisky Shiba Inu puppy:


    And then run to the door like mad.

    • Mel
      August 26, 2014 at 6:56 AM

      That is awesome. Training them to a command helps a lot.

  152. Summer temples
    September 13, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    I have a very playful and hyper breed of dog and he often times runs off to play with the horses and goats on our road. I have been sucsessful at running the opposite direction to get him to come home. It have never failed me. Also, I I ask if he wants to go or a ride I get an immediate response, there’s nothing he loves more than going to Dairy Queen an getting free ice cream. More people new to know these effective ways of retrieving a dog safely, I thoroughly enjoyed this.

  153. Sherrie
    September 17, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    I learned this by accident. We had our rescue for about a week or so. I was walking him, along with my husband walking our elder lab. A dirt bike came by and Guiness took off. His leash slipped right out of my hand! I instinctively turned and started running. I tripped over a tree root though and fell face first in the dirt. Of course Guiness had to come and check on Mommy. This have my husband the opportunity to grab his leash. I was thankfully ok. Just a few scrapes and bruises.

    • Mel
      September 18, 2014 at 6:44 AM

      Ouch! That must have hurt! I am so glad Guiness came running back. It happens so often with rescue dogs within the first two weeks of coming home. A friend I know had it happen to her the first night she brought her new dog home, and she was being extra careful because I had warned her about this happening! It’s why I worry about dogs getting lost so much. I am so glad you and he are okay.

  154. MaryAnn
    September 17, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Most dogs know what a “treat” is, so when my dog ran off for the first time, I called to her, “Tisha, do you want a treat?” She did an about-face and came running back. And yes, she received her treat. (May she RIP) And now it works every time for my new dog, Dakota, too.

    • Mel
      September 18, 2014 at 6:39 AM

      I’m so glad it worked and does with Dakota.

  155. vanya
    September 23, 2014 at 4:54 AM

    Great article! I adopted this “approach” too when I found my Siberian Husky thought it was a good game to run away and have me chase her. By sitting down and holding my arms out to her inviting her to jump on me she came back 99% of the time. Often doing quick small dashes past trying to tempt me to catch her until she would finally settle for an exuberant cuddle instead.

  156. Linda
    September 23, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    I did see a Shiztu running down the very busy street towards me while I was driving, I stopped and I just opened my drivers side door, said “come here baby” , she went around the front of my car and jumped right in….thank god she did, there were no cars as she was running, but just as she jumped in my car, the cars were all over the street. She had tags with her address, I took her home and Annabelle was reunited with her owner and other canine siblings. I miss her, she was adorable

  157. Christina
    September 24, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    Awesome! I hope i can lay down quick enough to catch her bratty butt! My husky is an ESCAPE ARTIST!! I will definitely try these, I bet they will work!

    • Mel
      September 25, 2014 at 6:02 AM

      I hope you can too Christina! Huskies such escape artists and travelers.

  158. Karie
    September 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    BE CAREFUL! I once seen a dog running down an alley, dragging a chain (he broke loose)…I sat down and called sweetly to th large dog (to appear less threatening), the dog laid his ears back and charged me…he was about 10′ from me when he leapt into the air, mouth open to bite-I threw my arms across my face and yelled “NO”! As loud as I could…my yell startled him and he dropped out of the air, landing 5′ from me…he looked left and right, confused…then remembered his intent and laid his ears back, slit his eyes and began snarling as he advanced toward me! Thank God a neighbor heard the commotion and came to my rescue, yelling at the dog to go home! The dog then turned his attention to my neighbor and began snarling and advancing toward him! The dog leaned back on his haunches and was preparing to lunge at my neighbor when we heard a voice call from down the alley “bullet, come here bullet”! The dog turned around and headed for his owner…thank GOD! Close call and valuable lesson! Appearing no -threatening doesn’t always work in your (my) favor!! BE CAREFUL!

    • Mel
      September 28, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      Wow! I am so sorry that happened to you Karie. Good advice. I think with a strange dog caution is always good anyways.

  159. Evey
    October 10, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    If my dogs starts to run, I crouch and pretend to cry. She’s very empathetic and immediately returns to comfort me. I have tried this with strays as well, and typically it works… as long as the dog can hear you.

  160. Kelly
    October 11, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    I have actually used one of these bahaivors before! Last winter our dog slipped out of his harness while we were playing in the snow and started booking it down our street towards a very busy road. My boyfriends first instinct of course was to call after him and start running after him. But I yelled no start running away from him and as soon as my boyfriend started running back towards me, our dog stopped, turned around, and started running back home. Was the scariest minute of my life but it saved our dog.

  161. kortenay
    October 12, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    What great tips! My 2 year old pug Kendyl use to run away any chance she got. I found that the best way to get her to stop dead in her tracks and come back to me is with the command “touch”. When I say touch she comes running touches her nose to my hand and sits. It has worked every time she has started to run away from me. The command was really easy for her to learn and within a day or 2 of teaching her she knew exactly what she was suppose to do no more running away for this pup 🙂

  162. October 15, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    When I worked at a pet hotel,there were dogs who were frightened and would snap at and even attempt to bite others. I would take a dog into an empty playroom,sit cross legged on the floor,in the middle to the room.I didn’t make eye contact and sat there playing with an imaginary something in my hands,on my lap.I talked quietly as if to myself,like I was trying to figure out this imaginary object. Every once in a while I would look toward the dog,pat the floor next to me and say,”Come on over.It’s okay”.It never failed..Workrd every time. Just takes a lot of patience.They need to see you in a calm state.You may need to do this in a few small sessions. Or not.

  163. beautybytwo
    October 16, 2014 at 2:50 AM

    Today my 5 month old american pit bull terrier who loves to run, got away from me while I was putting her in the car (after taking off her leash) I didn’t have anything to grab onto so she took off running into the neighborhood. I didn’t even waste my time going after her because I figured she’d be back since she hates when I am not with her. Sure enough after I came back outside from telling my boyfriend she ran away, there she comes running as fast as she could. She thought it was a funny game because she still wouldn’t let me grab her, running through the neigbors yards and driveways. What we did was say “byeee Molly” and ran inside and she came instantly. Any time I say “bye” she reacts immediately lol this is the third time she got away. Running the opposite direction works every time too

  164. Abby
    October 21, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Sometimes my Mabel manages to smooch through our legs when we open the front door. So we always calmly walk to the truck and open the door. She gets excited and jumps in every time! She’s never made it past the sidewalk bc of that trick.

  165. October 24, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Great advice, I’ll have to try this with my puppy when he storms from yard to the street..

  166. PearlsDad
    October 30, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    Great article! Very nice work!

    Our dog has gotten out a few times in the past and it terrifies me. My heart sinks, my face gets flush, its just the worst. Luckily for us she usually just slips into the alley but she has darted into the street before. Helpful tips I’ll be sure to remember.


  167. Teresa
    November 4, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    Hi my dog Rosie is a sharpei beagle mix I recently moved to Innisfill On . this past summer she ran off .. it took over an hour to finally catch her.. after walking for an hour we ended up in a field . i instinctly stooped over not looking up.. Rosie came right up to me i was able to put together a make due leash to bring her home .. this was after people trying to help me get her she just ran and ran.. well i was beside by self this time a worker who assist my mother let Rosie out . I did not realize this for 30 minutes .. same story she ran a neighbor tried to get her .. no chance Rosie ran and she would make this loud high pitched sounds ..typical beagle sounds I am guessing .. this went on until late running around neighbors yards yelping . nose to the ground .. well what do i do i said .. well I went online and found your page .. you said don’t run .. drop or get down low on the ground .. this will confuse the dog .. well I said great there is my answer .. why I did not think to do this .. well it was wet outside cold .. i went called her .. there she was making those loud sounds .. i get down on the ground .. she starts to bark .. loudly .. she comes up sniffing snorting .. right to me wagging her tail.. unsure .. i hold her leg get up put the leash on her.. she was more than happy to come home .. thank you for having this page up.. it was my answer i am writing this at 1:50am just came in Rosie had a tastly meal lots of water .. and is sleeping .. . this was my answer to prayer..

    • Mel
      November 4, 2014 at 7:06 AM

      Wow Teresa. What a day you had! I am so very glad Miss Rosie made it back to you safely. I hope you both sleep in this morning. I know you both deserve it!
      I am so glad this helped you. My goal is that people like you and dogs like Rosie can be reunited. Thank you for sharing your story and making my day. Welcome home Miss Rosie!

  168. November 5, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Very Impressive! !!

  169. Dani
    November 6, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    It was unintentional, but I actually got my puppy from stopping from running into the street when she got loose by falling down (or the stop, drop,lie down) now i know that process works, i will do it intentionally not by falling and breaking my ankle, but stopping and lying down. Luckily kimber (my puppy) stop and came back and sat with me instead of continuing to run.

    • Mel
      November 6, 2014 at 10:42 PM

      Yikes Dani! Did you break your ankle the time you really fell down? Ouch! I am so sorry. Hopefully, you will not need t go that far when you stop, drop and lie down next time. 🙂

  170. November 17, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Reblogged this on Jesus Cares and commented:
    Safer Way To Catch Your Dog

  171. Kate Jackson
    November 18, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    My dog has gotten out three times now because my sibling’s friends left the gate open. I have chased him every time now, once at night. The only reason I caught him was because he got distracted every time. If he gets out again I will try these. I think they’ll work…he’s kinda curious and he loves a good chase…whether I’m chasing him or the other way around. Thank you:)

  172. Sharol
    November 19, 2014 at 12:09 AM

    When I adopted my Dane/Mastiff mix from the shelter my son and I soon found out what his favorite game was….Chase me…he was like houdini…constantly finding new ways to escape. Once he’d figure the way out he would wait until one of us noticed he had escaped then of course we’d panic call the other one and…..give chase. After several months of this I was exhausted and done with the game….so the next time he ran out..I calmly walk back inside picked up my keys got in my blazer and drove after him…well of course he thought this must be part of the game so he started running…well, I drove right past him, this made him chase me, I drove for another couple blocks got a good lead , stopped hopped out oped back of blazer and asked him wanna go bye bye…well he hopped right in…this worked most the time but unfortunately this was his favorite game. sooooo I feed him and feed him some more and turned him into my armchair quarterback….lol we now both enjoy long walks and chilling on the sofa watching TMC while we enjoy a tasty snack..lol neither of us is over weight we just slower now that we older…:) Now I can leave door wide open and the farthest he goes is front door,he lays down right outside it or in doorway and watches the world go by…(possibly day dreaming of his past adventures)

  173. Lisa
    November 20, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    I just used the sit method to get my neighbors puppy to stop running! There were 4 people chasing this pup and I saw the commotion and could see the little guy. I sat down and called him and he ran right into my lap. My neighbors thought it was amazing. When I thought about it 4 big people chasing him was scary and a game at the same time!

    • Mel
      November 20, 2014 at 7:26 PM

      That is awesome Lisa! I hope
      Your example will lead them to do the same thing next time! Kudos to you!

  174. December 9, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Early on we associated the ringing of a bell to being served food or a treat. When our dog was able to get out the door or escape the leash, we waited a few minutes then rang the bell. She immediately returned and was given something she liked. In time we reduced the portion until she came back regardless of the food…just loving the hugging, patting, praise and attention became reward enough. Don’t know if it would work on a neighbor’s dog, though.

    • Mel
      December 10, 2014 at 9:14 PM

      Such a great idea! We taught my mother’s dog to ring a bell when he had to go potty, but I never thought of doing it for when it was dinner or treat time. Great idea!

  175. December 16, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    I have a 5 1/2 month old lab puppy who has gotten out of the house twice. I tried chasing her but it doesn’t work. She likes my neighbors’ full grown dogs so I just had my neighbor let his dogs out and she ran right up to them to play with them and I caught her. 🙂

  176. Penelope Shepherd
    December 19, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    A dog in our care (dog sitting) just slipped his collar yesterday! This would have been great to know. We had our other dog with us so we let our dog play with him to draw him close. And then snatched him! But chasing him at first was definitely sending him towards traffic! So scary!

  177. Clare
    December 22, 2014 at 4:35 AM

    I’ve found that walking away from my 2 dogs and saying ‘bye, see you later’ gets them to cme back, even if they are chasing squirrels or birds. They hate being alone anywhere but in our house

  178. raquel
    December 27, 2014 at 1:48 AM

    I find it helpful not to scold the dog when it returns back. Just resume as if it never happened, that way, it is not afraid to return on its own.

    • Mel
      December 29, 2014 at 9:37 AM

      Totally agree Raquel. I always praise mine for coming back and try to never scold. I want my dogs to always associate positive things with commands I want them to follow.

  179. Shelly McFerren
    January 1, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    Dog sitter, vet tech, husbandry specialist.
    One of my favorites is pretending I have food that I’m eating. I turn with my profile to the dog, & I get pretty ridiculous sometimes with all the, “Oooh, boy, this yummy! Mmmm! *making chewing noises and sounds of enjoyment* Yummy, yummy! *hands to mouth like I have a snack* Want some?”
    This rarely fails even with timid dogs.
    Nothing’s ever 100%, but all these tips are awesome. Thanks, folks!

  180. January 3, 2015 at 3:00 AM

    Hi, do you have any tips for rescuing a lost dog who growls when approached? I saw a lost dog yesterday walking in the middle of the road, obviously confused and slightly limping. I’m not sure if the injury was recent. I made the mistake of stopping the car in front of his path and trying to call him to me. He might have been threatened and growled immediately. I got scared and drove off to look for help. Unfortunately, local officials were unhelpful and animal control was closed for the day. I do not know what happened to him and I was too afraid to check. I cried over it because I felt helpless. I had emergency stuff ready in the car but I did not know how to calm down a scared dog so that I could help him. I’m thinking of buying a dog net because I want to be able to help immediately whenever I see things like this.

  181. Linda
    January 4, 2015 at 2:51 AM

    I adopted a german shepherd/black lab/chow mix. She used to run at first. What i found interesting is i would run after her and she would drop and roll over belly up lol (: problem was if i didnt have a leash with me she wasnt budging!! Thsnkfully she grew out of running! I imagine if i would have known your advice back then it may have worked better (:

  182. Gayle
    January 6, 2015 at 11:29 AM

    I used to have an ex prison service dog. He was sacked for being so indisciplined & having epilepsy, after a joint fight his handler & I were able to persuade them not to put him down & he came to live with me. He was a runner & nothing worked, dropping to the floor, opening the car door etc. You couldn’t run from him as he was trained to take you down if you did! The only time I tried that method I had a training sleeve with me just in case. Trouble was he took me down & wouldn’t let me move as he was trained to do!! I had to phone his old handler who lived 40 miles away to come & rescue me!! He’d come back when he was good & ready & not before. I used to walk him early hours of the morning in a large fenced field that he couldn’t get out of & where he would meet no-one, it was the agreement I had with the prison service. One day I took a prison whistle on the walk and when he invariably ran off I stood still and gave the emergency blast on the whistle & he ran straight to me and sat to heel! You’d have to slip his lead on quick or he’d run off again and it would be about 30 mins before he would (fall for it again) respond to the whistle again! Loved that dog so much though!

    We currently have a yorkie who only needs a gap of about 1mm to make an escape. He’s learned he can get out through the cat flap now as well in via it! He does the same thing everytime and sits at the side of the road, checks for traffic and then runs over to our neighbour opposite & paws at her door to be let in! If she doesn’t open the door, he crosses back over & runs in next door, through their cat flap & pinches their cat food before strolling home all innocent! He’s good when we are out walking and doesn’t tend to run but when he does I just call out to him “where’s Lewis” who is my son and he runs back to look for him or straight to my son if he is also with us. The car door method works with him as well.

  183. Karen
    January 6, 2015 at 2:05 PM

    My new rescue Humphrey is a bolter and after having larger dogs (35-50lbs) this little fellow at 8 1/2 lbs is fast and a challenge – very curious boy. Long story short I have learned not to chase as difficult as it is as I fear he will get hit by a car – the other evening a friend gave him a new collar for Christmas – apparently we did not get it on him too tightly so when I was leaving her house he slipped out of it and took off – I like to keep him in my sights without running but if I take a step that he sees he takes off again. After following him over hill and dale in the dark of night I finally just muttered “I give up” and sat on a stoop – guess who came running up to me – another time I just turned and walked away and the next thing I knew he was at my feet and lying on his back in a submissive position. As hard as it is to not chase you are clearly correct in your assessment – while I wish I could stop this from happening Humphrey clearly wants to see what is going on in the world.

  184. divya
    January 6, 2015 at 11:18 PM

    I have a crazy one….loves to run out of the house. We have gotten worried sick and chased her around the neighbourhood screaming after her….falling down…getting up and chasing again. One time I ran back home…picked up her food bowl and waved frantically…..she came bouncing back. Great tips…thank u!

  185. January 7, 2015 at 11:51 AM

    The vehicle trick totally works. We have a black Lab that, despite our efforts, occasionally bolts; she thinks it’s great fun! All we have to do is drop the tailgate on the truck (it makes a distinctive screech), and *maybe* start the engine. She’ll come running and bound into the back of the truck, ready for her ride.

    I think only twice we’ve had to actually back out of the driveway and act like we were going someplace without her. She couldn’t let that happen; it was top dog speed to reach us.

  186. Mark Scott
    January 7, 2015 at 9:51 PM

    Works best with small dogs: don’t directly run after them, run somewhat parallel to them with the intention of passing them. Since trying to grab a leash or collar tends to make you slower, if you focus on passing them you can double back and they will keep running and ultimately run right to you.

  187. January 8, 2015 at 7:03 PM

    We use a variation of this with our young cat. We have a very small home on a boat, which becomes even smaller on rainy, windy, cold days. She gets excited when weather blows in, then she can’t go on deck. So she immediately escapes, and runs up and down the docks, jumping on and off boats. Chasing is a great game, but if I turn my back and walk slowly back to our boat, she beats me aboard.
    Dogs are hard to catch, like games, become frightened. Cats, on the other hand . . .

  188. Kim C
    January 10, 2015 at 3:28 PM

    I have used 3 of these in the past and they do work, but I have one more. Picking up a stray once, I could tell he was scared of humans and wouldn’t come near me. Nothing working, I ran in my house and used one of my dogs as bait. It totally worked. I sat down on the driveway with my dog and he came running towards us happily wagging his tail in excitement and my husband grabbed him (and he nipped at him). I wouldn’t recommend this with all dogs especially if you don’t know the other dog’s behavior. Luckily this was a small dog and mine is medium size that doesn’t bark and loves other dogs. Now this does not work with my own dogs if only one escapes. It’s almost as if the one who escaped is laughing in the face of the one is stuck on a leash. On this note, all dogs should ALWAYS wear an ID tag regardless of microchip or “only being an indoor dog.”

  189. Jill
    January 11, 2015 at 7:30 PM

    What worked for me was run up to a neighbours door since my border collie always loves new people he thought we were going to visit and came and joined me on the step. I was able to get the leash back on him no issues.

  190. Barbara
    January 11, 2015 at 8:09 PM

    Had a foster dog known as a runner. Had him while visiting my mother in a senior mobile park. He got away from me and what did I do chase him Not working afraid one more road over he will be going toward the highway, I stopped and sat down he stopped and luckily for me a gentleman was walking his dog, my foster loved other dogs. I asked him if he would walk his dog to my mother’s home and into her fenced area and my foster follow them. One lucky day for us.

  191. Alice
    January 12, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    When I was about 12 I got off the school bus and there was a dog in my driveway. Honestly I was afraid at first. The dog was almost as big as me. But then I realized he was scared of me! So my first technique was to try to get him to chase me. It worked a little but after about ten minutes I switched it up. I sat on the ground with my side to him and played with the gravel. He came up to me and sniffed me. Once he started to rub against me, ten minutes after I sat, that’s when I pet him. I spent about fifteen minutes petting him before I stood up, went inside, and got some lunch meat. He had started to walk away again, but since he trusted me at this point he came back. I did, however, make the mistake of feeding him by hand when he was starving and he accidently scraped my hand with his teeth. My caretaker called the sheriff and when they picked him up they said they had been trying to approach him for ten days! It felt so great to help that dog.

  192. Gripsmom
    January 13, 2015 at 11:21 AM

    I caught my very rescued and terrified of people doggie by sitting quietly in my car with the door open and scrumptious goodies.. Patiently for about 2 hours a day for a couple of weeks. Many people chased him trying to catch him..
    I made him a bed in the trees nearby that smelled of my family and pets.. Then finally was able to live trap him.. He loyally has not left my side for 6 years now.

  193. sarah
    January 15, 2015 at 1:45 PM

    When my Luna gets loose I grab a ball and start bouncing it. She LOVES playing ball, and comes running back when she sees it out.

  194. January 16, 2015 at 12:21 AM

    When catching somebody else dog I usually use mine as bait. He’s really friendly so he draws them over to play. When they go over to sniff I use the second lead I always bring and catch them.

    When it’s my dogs the ball thing doesn’t work. They just stand there waiting for me to get up and chase them. Or they just keep running and at that point I loose track.

    Other peoples dogs are so much easier to catch.

  195. January 16, 2015 at 7:53 AM

    I stopped on my way to work wants to help a woman catch her dog that was loose in the yard and had started chasing cars. She open the house door, try getting the dog to go for a ride in the car, we ran away from the dog, finally we just sat on the front step and the dog kept running and running. Then the dog looked at me and I meowed like a cat and the dog got curious. I meowed a couple more times and she walked right over and we put her leash on!

  196. January 16, 2015 at 11:10 AM

    Great post! We don’t have a fenced yard, but do use a 100-ft longline for “loose” work. I use these tactics to encourage a natural recall instead of me “reeling her in.” The two additions I’d make are: 1. If you have one of the dog’s toys or a treat handy, walk in the opposite direction throwing it up in the air & catching it – make a bit of noise to ensure they look ’round to see what you’re doing. 2. ALWAYS reward the recall. It’s also pretty counterintuitive since you just want to hug or strangle the animal…but building in the idea that it is ALWAYS a good thing to come to your person has its own rewards in peace of mind!

  197. Amanda
    January 17, 2015 at 2:54 PM

    This is true, I saved a dog running on the road by simply opening my door and saying lets go. The dog jumped right in and I was able to read her collar and call a much relieved owner to meet me and get her back 🙂

  198. V C Koch
    January 17, 2015 at 6:01 PM

    I’ve done two different things: one sit down and pretend to cry. The dog came straight back to see if I was okay. Second, I hid behind a tree/car/etc on the dog and within seconds they came back to the place we had seperated looking for me. When I came out from behind the tree, they came running toward me. Worked like a charm!

  199. Kim
    January 18, 2015 at 8:24 PM

    My dog got out on my kids one day after school when they were small. All 3 of them were chasing her up the street, to no avail. She ran across a busy highway, at which point the kids had to stop, my son aged 11 at the time was upset knowing she would most likey get hit and fell to the ground crying. Charm (our shihtzhu) ran right back across the street to him, and sat right at his feet. Now my so. Did not know this would work at the time but after reading this article and knowing it had worked for us before. This is awesome and a great way to get our fur babies to come back to us without chasing them.

  200. Kay
    January 19, 2015 at 8:32 AM

    We rescued our beautiful Carolina dog/shepherd mix literally 8 days ago, and we have very quickly falling in love with him. He’s 1 1/2 years old, quiet well behaved but defiantly not trained. On our walk last night the leash came undone leaving it in my hand and before I could take two steps he was off full speed down the street. I started to run but than remembered reading your article. I called his name, he turned towards me and I dropped to ground. I could not believe that as fast as he ran away, he came running back. I can not thank you enough, I shudder to think how it could have ended had he continued to run straight toward the busy road ahead of him.

    • Mel
      January 19, 2015 at 8:43 AM

      OMG Kay. Now I am crying. You are why I wrote this post. I am so darn grateful you did not lose your new baby. Thank you for sharing your story. Oh my gosh I am so happy he came running back.

  201. January 19, 2015 at 4:07 PM

    Thanks so much for this post! I just can’t get my black lab to stop running out the door, and he’s so fast!

  202. Joy Goodyear
    January 20, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    These suggestions totally make sense! One day I was driving on a divided highway and saw a dog walking along the cement barrier. I slowed down to a stop and opened my window to see if the dog was friendly. I didn’t get a change to assess that before the dog jump into my car right through the car window so at that point I’m hoping/thinking ‘well I guess that’s a yes’ 🙂

  203. January 21, 2015 at 12:54 PM

    One of my girls is an accomplished escape artist. It used to be the only way I could get her home once she was loose was to hop in my truck and drive up and down the road calling her name. After she had a good adventure for herself, she would eventually come to the vehicle and hop in when I opened the door, but that was ONLY after she had her fill of fun. Needless to say, I was biting my nails with worry in the interim. Also, I always worried that she would figure out the vehicle scam and it would stop working, so I made a point of actually taking her for a ride once she hopped in (usually to get a special treat like ice cream or chicken nuggets). Than I read an article giving tips for training recall which mentioned running in the opposite direction. The last time she escaped I followed her up my driveway, called her name, and ran in the opposite direction. At first she didn’t give me the time of day, but after running a few more steps and calling her again she did stop and look at me curiously so I immediately took off in the opposite direction again and this time I could hear her giving chase. Once she over took me, I stopped running and called her name again to get her to look than took off in her original direction. She again gave chase and quickly overtook me. At which point I’m sure she was thinking this was a fun game Mama was playing, so I kept repeating those same actions getting closer to the head of the driveway with each pass until finally I sprinted down the driveway instead of continuing on the road, she quickly passed me and ran to the door where she sat panting, waiting for me to come let her back in. Turning the whole affair into a game of chase, where the dog is the chaser and you are the one being chased, certainly seems an effective measure!

  204. Katie
    January 22, 2015 at 7:30 AM

    I found if it’s my own dog that has gotten loose, I fall to the ground and “cry” they all come right back when I do this and try to protect and sooth me. Worked really well with my friends little sister too!

  205. January 22, 2015 at 9:12 AM

    One other thing along the lines of “want to go for a ride?” is to sound the horn if you can, whenever you go for a ride! Then, if you are trying to catch your dog, sounding the horn is one more key to an enjoyable activity…worked or us, most times. Of course, follow through and go get a treat!

  206. January 22, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    One interesting point is that when you crouch down, a dog sees you as being on “their level”. This makes sense because usually people are much taller than dogs and they see them as superior or even threatening. I’ve seen it every time, crouching down really makes a dog more curious and less afraid because you become more accessible to them.

  207. January 22, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    another thing when they get loose.. like camping.. is to leave an article of clothing of yours – preferably dirty – where they were last spotted, with articles going back to where you are. I’ve seen this work

  208. January 22, 2015 at 2:58 PM

    Reblogged this on thereisnosanityclause and commented:
    Good advice!

  209. Holly
    January 22, 2015 at 3:39 PM

    I always use the car trick with my chow lab mix. It’s the best way to get her back, she loves a good chase and loves a car ride so it’s the best way.

  210. jeri
    January 22, 2015 at 3:55 PM

    I grab a big pig ear, hold it out, and yell, “Look what I have for you” in a singing kind of way.

  211. January 22, 2015 at 4:03 PM

    When we first adopted Bailey, she was a bit of a runner. The first couple times she got out, I grabbed the bag of treats we keep by the door and went outside shaking the bag. Then I ran around our yard (probably looking crazy to our neighbors) so she would chase me. The idea of chasing me AND knowing she would get a treat at the end brought her right back to me!

  212. DPRL
    January 22, 2015 at 5:20 PM

    I came across a group of people trying to catch a puppy on the entrance ramp to a highway ( have no idea how it escaped from the man’s car, but there he was) Everyone was chasing the little dog and of course he thought it was great fun, unaware of all of the tractor trailers coming up at high speed. I pulled over, got out of my car, crouched down and the puppy ran right over to me, I scooped him up and handed him back to his grateful owner, who I hope securely kept him in his car until he got home.

  213. Clara brocchini
    January 22, 2015 at 6:51 PM

    I have a very embarrassing story about trying to help what I had assumed was a homeless stray dog. I had been grocery shopping and was on my way home. I was on a frontage road with fields on both sides when I saw him. He was limping down the road., skinny, dirty and his hair was hanging in clumps. I felt so bad for him. I passed him, stopped and got out. I tried to talk to him but he started to run. Since the highway was just across a small field, I didn’t go after him. He ran a short distance and got back on the road. I passed him again. This time I decided to use a treat since he looked so hungry. As I had been shopping, I had a couple of nice steaks (our dinner) and opened one up and offered it to the dog. He waited until I laid the steak on the road and moved away before grabbing it and running. Only then did I realize that my homeless, skinny dog was a coyote. I had fed my dinner to a coyote.

    • Mel
      January 23, 2015 at 6:53 AM

      Clara, your story made me laugh out loud. Not because I was laughing at you, but because I have a friend who once tried to catch a lost dog on the highway only to discover it was a coyote too. The radio announcer even mentioned the crazy lady on the highway chasing a coyote. LOL!
      I bet the coyote thought he hit the jackpot when he got the steak. 🙂

  214. American Dog
    January 22, 2015 at 9:01 PM

    What a great, informative article! Shared it on American Dog Magazine Facebook page with all our fans.

    • Mel
      January 23, 2015 at 6:14 AM

      Thank you for sharing! I hope it helps people save their dogs from being lost or hit by a car.

  215. January 22, 2015 at 10:47 PM

    Great post, thank you! I think it’s great to educate people in such a simple way that what instinct tells us might actually be the opposite thing we should do! I definitely learned something new.

  216. Jo Bristow
    January 23, 2015 at 4:09 AM

    tje car idea is good if it is your own dog. But not if its a dog you don’t know. That can back fire on you. I did that and then the one dog of the two got protective of the other dog and territorial of my car. He started to growl at me so I got out of my car. They were both big dogs and was not going to challenge that growl. So after I was out he got even more aggressive. And wouldn’t even let me near my own car. Animal control had to come remove them. I mean yes it worked I saved them from being ran over. But it turned bad for me since I was on my way to work and they were not understanding. It took animal control a long time to get the aggressive one out. Just an FYI for you. Hope this helps. But I’m always one who will try to find the owner before calling someone. I have learned once you get them you can take them to any vet and they can scan them for a micro chip. Even if it’s after hours you can take them to an emergency vet.

  217. January 23, 2015 at 11:01 AM

    My Great Dane got loose and I was home alone. I am disabled and walk slowly since I use a cane. I followed her around the neighborhood as quickly as I could but could not catch her. Finally I turned around to head home as my husband would be home for lunch in a few minutes and I figured he could catch her. When I turned to go home she followed me. The game was over. Great tips, If she ever gets loose again I will remember them 🙂

  218. Beverly Cook
    January 23, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    When our adopted bichon used to bolt every time the door opened, we learned it was futile to yell, “Stop!” since that wasn’t a command he knew. (Duh!) For our current trained bichons, we call, “Sit” to them—it worked from the first time I tried it! It was so instilled in them to respond that they immediately sit and we go and get them, or we command, “Come.” But by saying , “Sit” first, it gets them to calm down and listen. Works like a charm. 🙂

  219. January 23, 2015 at 4:12 PM

    Our family had a wonderful big orange dog, part Australian Sheppard and part ‘we’re not sure”. His greatest joy in life was to escape out the front door and run,run,run. We tried calling him and/or chasing him to no avail. Finally, I decided to try something different. During one of his joyous escapes I would simply close the front door. After about 10 min. we would find him quietly sitting on the front porch waiting for us to open the door for him to come back in the house. We’d give him losts of praise and a treat.

    • Mel
      January 24, 2015 at 1:59 PM

      Your story made me laugh. Aussies are hard to outsmart. You did it. 🙂
      Reverse logic works more often than we think it will.

  220. Cameron
    January 23, 2015 at 7:51 PM

    When my husky slipped through the fence he did a lap around our parking area before starting to go down the drive way. Knowing I had no hope of catching him I just opened my car door and he bolted back and jumped right in. So I know that one can work. Curios about the others to.

  221. BeckyDaTechie
    January 23, 2015 at 9:19 PM

    Reminder for the “Go for a Ride?!” Method: Please Shut The Windows First. When a dog in our rescue chewed his way out of his kennel and through a barn wall, a good Samaritan that saw him pulled over and called him into his truck. But since the helper hadn’t raised the window on the other side first, the dog bounced right back out and into the oncoming lane. All effort wasted. Poor boy is in an urn next to our family pets until we can dedicate a facility to his memory.

    • Mel
      January 24, 2015 at 1:58 PM

      Yikes! That is scary and so sad. I am very glad you brought this up. I am so sorry for your loss. Every dog in rescue is special, whether they are ours to keep or not.

  222. January 23, 2015 at 9:28 PM

    Thats was some awesome info, gonna share on my pg and keep a pic of it. Thanks !

  223. Brie
    January 23, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    Such a true article! I had tried to chase down my dog the first time he got loose and realized there was no way I was going to win. So I walked back in the house, grabbed his favorite toy, and sat in the yard playing with it like it was the most interesting thing I had ever seen. Worked like a charm! Also, just a reminder to all the pet parents out there, never punish your dog for running away. Always praise them when they come back, so if they ever do get loose again, they will remember that if they come home they will get lots of cuddles and treats!

  224. TJR
    January 24, 2015 at 12:46 AM

    Great tips! My boy, when he was about 3 months old, got off his new collar which was not tight enough and started running. So I turned my back and walked off in the opposite direction. He stayed still where he was (luckily he was in a parking garage) and then walked towards me. Second time, when he was about 9 months, we went for walk and I let him loose but he started running playfully, so I stayed where I was and yelled his name and said “come here right now.” he just walked back to me. He knows now that if he gets loose, he will just come to me and lay down in front of me so I could put his leash on or tighten his harness.

  225. stacey van winkle
    January 24, 2015 at 5:34 AM

    Wow great advise and all those really do work very well. I rescued a dog who just loves to get out n run out the front door. Its a very busy street and each time she was lose I had very little time for error. When I was chasing her I could see the danger of it and I was deperate to save her life. For some reason it came to my head to sit in the ground n call her. The instant I sat down she came straight for me without any problem another time a kid saw her lose n starting running from her so she was chasing him each time she crossed the street was a miracle she wasn’t killed so that time it came to mind to run and call her name. That worked as well I couldn’t believe it I saw it in her eyes she thought oh yeah let’s play lol. When I saw this acticle I was so happy I know all the info given works and works well. Its great must have info for everyone.

  226. Cristina Sanchez
    January 24, 2015 at 7:38 AM

    Lying down totally works. I was out walking my sisters dog, Woody, his lead got unclipped and he was running like the wind…straight into traffic. I was in shock, couldn’t move. I called his name and dropped to the floor. He thought I was playing and came running towards me. I grabbed him, and we walked back home, walk over. I was almost in cardiac arrest. Lol

    • Mel
      January 24, 2015 at 1:57 PM

      I can so relate. When my Cupcake look off we were in a very busy part of town with busy streets everywhere. I thought I would find her in a ditch somewhere. Thank God I did not. Thank God you did not either.

  227. January 24, 2015 at 7:54 AM

    Good tips!! My dog always go crazy everytime she got loose, I brought her from Philippines to the US and so new with her surroundings. One time we went to visit my inlaws and the kids open the front door and there she was run outside towards to the street, it scared me to death that maybe cars will hit her. We tried to chase her but she tried to run away more, so what I did was I called her name and went to the car, open the door and then voila!! she ran back, waged her tail and gave me that sweet innocent smiles, bark at me like she was asking me if we were going for a ride. On my mind, I thought, wow that was easy!!

  228. January 24, 2015 at 8:01 AM

    Great tips! My mother adopted a dog brought to CT from KY as she kept running away from homes and back into the system. Her first day with my mom – she darted out the door and my mother ran after her [in her nightgown] hollering Pixie! Pixie! (I can only imagine the sight! Pixie seemed rather delighted by this whole chase scene but was not going to be caught and my bet is that she would have finally gone off. My mother was smart enough to go over to her car and open the door and Pixie dove into the back seat!
    After experiencing all of the good cooking in her house – she never tried to leave again!

  229. Darlene
    January 24, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    Also keep your aggravation and anxiety out of your voice and be conscious of your body language. Would you want to come back to be scolded? When the dog does return, praise them for coming back.
    I know it is a hard instinct to overcome but it worked on our skittish dog.

  230. Diane Sullivan
    January 24, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    Last year 2 Scottish terriers were in the road being chased by 3 adults who had pulled over to save them from certain peril as this was very busy road I pulled up on side of road aways ahead got out opened my back car door and one jumped right in second soon followed I called local police reported I had the dogs within minutes animal control met me put the dogs in his van before the door was shut on his van the owner who also called police arrived a work crew had left gate open and dogs had escaped his yard. He was frantic as the female had just given birth to puppies so it was a happy ending for all involved .

    • Mel
      January 24, 2015 at 1:56 PM

      How lucky for the dogs and the owner that you came along! Smart move!

  231. Jeffrey
    January 24, 2015 at 8:05 AM

    I have found that hunkering down, rubbing my hands together, and looking at the ground makes basically every dog come check things out with me. Four successful attempts on loose dogs who didn’t know me. One of them was actually running from animal control when I tried this, and it still worked

  232. January 24, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    Reblogged this on PhillyAdopt and commented:
    Great tips!

  233. Santos
    January 24, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    I used something similar when my puppy’s leash broke loose. She ran away immediately, and I chased her. But when I realized I would not catch her, I WALKED away from her to a quieter street; she followed be and I tackled her. It was very scary!

  234. Lucia
    January 24, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    My first dog was a runner & escape artist, but a neighbor was able to catch him once by waving a leash & asking if he wanted to go for a walk. He screeched to a halt, ran right over & say do she could clip him. Oh Max…

  235. mrjure
    January 24, 2015 at 9:15 AM

    Always proven I run on the opposite direction & that’s when my dog (2 & 8 month old doberman shepherd) come chasing me instead & try to bump me to stop that’s when the time I grab he’s collar. I’ll try the rest. very informative. tnx

  236. January 24, 2015 at 9:19 AM

    Great tips! Reminds me of a time I was doing a training session with my own dog and my dog was in the “Down, Stay” position. I was running around the yard, tempting him to break out of his position. Like a dork, I tripped and fell flat on my face. My dog instantly came running to me to make sure I was ok. He was not reprimanded. 🙂

    • Mel
      January 24, 2015 at 1:54 PM

      LOL! Sounds like something I would do Ivy. 🙂
      Glad he made sure you were okay. You were, were’t you?

  237. Sonia
    January 24, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    I have learnt over the years to never chase my dog. If she gets loose we just jump in the car and go slowly closer to where she is and either open the door or pop the boot of our Wagon and ask her if she wants to go for a Drive. 100% of the time she will bolt to the car

  238. January 24, 2015 at 9:33 AM

    My dog, Maggie, becomes obsessive when chasing chipmunks. A busy two lane highway runs parallel to our backyard, so when she got out on a chipmunk quest, I panicked. Luckily she was in the side yard and not yet close to the highway, but she’s very unpredictable. I saw her coming and sniffing, so I stayed where I was and yelled “Maggie! Look! Over here Maggie! Here he is!” and pointed to the ground. She ran over to where I pointed, and with the help of panic and adrenaline I scooped up 63 lbs of pure muscle and ran toward the front door! Chasing her could have proved deadly. Great tips and I will definitely try them in the future if the need arises. Oh, and my son and I went into the backyard and secured anywhere she might have escaped, and probably a few extra areas, too!

    • Mel
      January 24, 2015 at 1:53 PM

      So glad you got your baby back! I bet you feel relieved to know that all the possible escape routes have been plugged. Nothing terrifies me more than to think of a dog on a busy street. So glad you thought of that!

  239. January 24, 2015 at 10:23 AM

    We have 5 rescued Beagles, so we have had to round one or two runners before. The first thing I do is grab 2 leashes and a pocket full of treats. I leash up another one of our pack and head out in the direction of our wanderer. I stop and give treats to the pup with me and make a big deal about him/her, while calling for my loose dog. I find they tend to come back and see what their friend is getting! Mind you, if a rabbit runs past, this may not be quite so effective…lol

    • Mel
      January 24, 2015 at 1:52 PM

      LOL! I can relate to the rabbit comment. I have seen many a dog come for treats when they can see if and are not afraid of humans. Great tip.

  240. Aimee
    January 24, 2015 at 11:28 AM

    I have used a few of these. Also another thing I have used, I trained my dogs to come to a whistle. Started out by blowing the it right next to them (softly) and popping a small piece of cheese in their mouth (it’s their favorite). I did that a few times then I would blow the whistle in the house, give cheese when they came. Then in yard, then calling them inside and start doing it at random. So when they got loose all I had to do was blow the whistle and them came running!

    • Mel
      January 24, 2015 at 1:51 PM

      A really great way to condition them to respond to the whistle. Smart!

  241. BILL
    January 24, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    On the few times my Rocky has gotten loose I found if I sit and ask where my baby boy is going he comes running to see if Im ok. .He is a big rowdy, but my big baby, lol

  242. benjamin
    January 24, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    A haha Omg the cat thing works every time with my dog, he’s so huge an fast and he’s a great pyrenees so he’s very stubborn and when he wants to go he will take off, but I feel bad bc every time he honestly thinks we are about to go for a car ride and really he just scored a one way ticket back into the house lol

  243. Amber Brannam
    January 24, 2015 at 1:18 PM

    I’m a professional pet sitter and certified vet assistant, and recently I came across a stray Lab. Luckily my husband (co-owner of our pet sitting business) was driving b/c after I attempted to coral/coax it into our car, we ended up having to follow it. We saw it run up and around a house. Hoping it ran into the yard, I got out and knocked on the door to talk with the home owner to see if they knew where it belonged, if it wasn’t theirs. Before the person could even come downstairs to the door, that same dog was barking at me from the other side of the door! We had successfully gotten it back home (“it” only b/c we couldn’t tell the sex)!! It definitely could’ve gone wrong, though – we got very lucky it turned out the way it did. Next time we will definitely try your tips instead – if we ended up chasing that pup away even further, I’d still not be able to forgive myself.

  244. Cindy
    January 24, 2015 at 2:43 PM

    Ask them if they want a cookie! I get them use to those words.

  245. Jaime
    January 24, 2015 at 4:16 PM

    I am a mobile dog groomer. On a few occasions I have had someone open my van door unexpectedly, or had a dog pull himself out of a collar, on way to said van and take off. I never, ever, give chase, unless we’re in a closed in area. Best bet- Walk up to the owners door, or any door, for that matter and say, “Ok, let’s go in”. I reach for the door handle and the dogs, out of habit, immediately want to go inside. They approach the door, I grab the dog and never open it. A mean trick I suppose, but it works and is better than the unsafe alternatives.

  246. Ren
    January 24, 2015 at 6:43 PM

    The moment my dogs run out of the house, i call her like i want to play catch. usually she would run back to me. after seeing me throw an imaginary ball.

    I also do the reverse running. she chases after me towards the house. it really works. But you have to give a little chase then go the opposite direction. just be sure your dog can see you..

  247. Amy
    January 24, 2015 at 6:44 PM

    My min pin is very food driven and the word TREAT ended up being a lifesaver last month while on the road traveling. He got away from me at a rest stop three states away from our home state and I immediately asked him if he wanted a treat and he stopped dead in his tracks and hauled tail back to me. He had already made it halfway across the parking lot but nothing was stopping him from getting his treat! I was so relieved and it was the scariest thing ever. I highly recommend being consistent when giving treats and using the word and they will learn it and it can be a powerful tool…

  248. Haley Parlin
    January 24, 2015 at 8:42 PM

    I have always had good luck with running the other way clapping my hands and using an excited voice and the word cookie. At home my dogs know cookie means treat and treats are good in or out of the house!

  249. January 24, 2015 at 9:48 PM

    i have caught two dogs in traffic by crawling on my belly on the side the road. one was a six week old puppy. she was scared but hopped to me wanting to play. i grabbed her and ran to my vehicle and headed straight to the vet. as soon as i grabbed her she froze and didn’t move even when the vet tried to examine her. i saw her grow up, grow old and go to the Bridge. i don’t think any one that knows me would think it strange to see my crawling on my belly somewhere on the side the road.

  250. March 5, 2015 at 10:15 AM

    I sat down when I saw a dog that was loose in the neighborhood. He barked at me and kept his distance, but he eventually came up to me and let me pet him. I put a leash on him and walked him to his home. It was a good thing, too, because animal control came by shortly thereafter. I saved him a trip to the shelter and his family the expense.

  251. March 8, 2015 at 8:52 AM

    I’ve done this before and it really DOES work. It is so strange and unexpected and the dog will be too curious not to come check out what is going on. But . . . it only works once, btw 😉

  252. Ken Youngblood
    March 11, 2015 at 11:15 AM

    Coral, a yellow lab, likes nothing better than to run and have me run after her. So, I bought one of those infra-red pointers, and on very special nights I would take her out in the fenced yard and let her chase it and chase it…which, incidentally, is a great way to max
    imize a dog’s exercise program without you having to move an inch…. After a while, all I would have to say is “red light” and she would lunge for the door in a frenzy of anticipation. I did not do this with her every night. Red light was an extra special occasion Coral could not get enough of. Fastforward to a walk in the deep Adirondack woods. Coral slips her collar and runs off barking “Free at last, free at last, thank god, I am free at last.” Until I said, “red light.” She was even faster running back into my arms, her eyes searching the ground in front of me.

    • Mel
      March 12, 2015 at 6:55 AM

      Thanks for the suggestion Ken. I think it could be one way to get your pet back. I am sure your dog is fine with it, but many trainers discourage folks from using these laser pointers with dogs because, unlike cats, it can make them a little crazed. They become obsessive about lights of all kinds. Dogs who become crazy with a laser pen will transfer the behavior to light reflected on the wall and other places.

    • me and a lot of others
      March 17, 2015 at 7:31 PM

      “red light” – that is great!

  253. Karen
    March 12, 2015 at 8:28 PM

    My dog escaped a walk tonight by slipping out of a harness. This dog is “my life.” As I ran after her in desperation, I realized this was not going to help and some more cars coming our way. I remembered seeing this article on the Internet, but I had not read the whole thing–but I slowed down and slowly laid on the ground. My dog became curious and made her way right back to me. I also acted as though I was slightly crying or injured to appeal to her, which I know was effective. She was running away because she was afraid of strangers that wanted to pet her… This was a nightmare for me, though I realize it could have been so much worse. I am thankful that article was shared on Facebook!

  254. robin burnell gagan
    March 15, 2015 at 4:43 PM

    my friend got her dog to come back by making a big loud fuss over my dog….hers got jealous and came running back

  255. Mary Cunningham
    March 15, 2015 at 9:36 PM

    I have had both the run the other way trick and the car ride work for me several times.

  256. me and a lot of others
    March 17, 2015 at 7:28 PM

    yes, the drop and lie down works, BUT… it will only work once or maybe a few times because a dog will catch on to the trick. The point is, use it for it to work and after that make sure your dog does not get loose again. learn what you need to do to make sure your dog does not run loose and wild.

  257. liz
    March 22, 2015 at 8:56 AM

    Maybe I’m not as crazy as I thought! I had one basenji who would come back if I pretended to cry.

  258. March 25, 2015 at 10:09 PM

    I did this when my dog got out – but not on purpose! I was 11 and so upset when he started to run down the street that I just sat down and cried. To my great delight I looked up to find him back next to me!

  259. Michelle G
    April 2, 2015 at 8:03 AM

    I didn’t read all of the other comments so maybe this was repeated but.

    On “It’s me or the dog” (the TV on Animal Planet with the British lady dog trainer) said to make a weird, loud, high pitch noise while literally falling to the ground. This could be a good way to get the dog to look at you to notice the weird behavior of falling to the ground.

  260. Kristen
    April 3, 2015 at 3:17 PM

    Yes! Had our extremely flighty (and fast!) 30 lb rescue min pin break through his harness going after a rabbit, I thought if he got out of sight I would never see him again. After chasing for awhile I collapsed in a panic attack and he came sprinting back to me. I was stunned, once he realized there was something wrong, he came back immediately.

  261. April 6, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    My roommate let the neighbor’s dog out of our front door. I started to run after her….She was too fast…so I yelled “You wanna go to the Park?”. She slammed on her front paws when she heard “Park” can came running back to me!

  262. Hei
    April 6, 2015 at 8:19 PM

    The car door trick doesn’t work with us! We tried it and it would sometimes work but more often than not, Hershey would come near to the car and then bolt. He is too smart for his own good!

  263. April 7, 2015 at 7:31 PM

    I have stopped dropped and layed down when rescue dog Caleb was young. He would run back and come up and sniff me to check if I was OK. He thought I was injured. He looked, well scared and concerned……not playful. So, I painfully and woefully got up, holding his leash to steady myself. then we continued out walk,,,,as he looked behind to make sure I was OK…….

  264. amanda
    April 7, 2015 at 9:22 PM

    I didn’t feel comfortable laying down and not being able to keep an eye on where she was so I knelt down and pretended to tie my shoe. One other time I started to pull weeds. She was so curious she came over and started to investigate and I was able to gently grab her collar and put a slip lead on.

  265. April 10, 2015 at 11:29 AM

    Read this only last night. Ten minutes ago someone came to the door and my dog saw a cat and made a run for it into next doors garden, I dropped to the floor and ‘looked at something interesting’ she came straight back! Thanks for sharing your tips x

  266. April 12, 2015 at 3:26 PM

    Fascinating. I didn’t go so far as to lay down, but once I could see the dog, I knelt down on both knees, sitting on my legs so to be as low as possible, and clapped gently while calling him. Came right to me.

  267. Cathy Dornon
    April 16, 2015 at 6:55 PM

    I had a dog who never learned “come” but she did learn “sit.” I would holler “sit” and that dog would “sit” and then “wait” as I hollered from a block away. I always gave her a treat for the good behavior of sitting and waiting. It worked!

    • Mel
      April 16, 2015 at 10:41 PM

      That is even better Cathy! A dog who can do that is much safer than one who cannot. 🙂

  268. Claire Lindelow
    April 21, 2015 at 5:17 PM

    When our dog got loose down the shore I held up the leash and called to him “Do you want to go for a walk?” He came running toward me, excited to go for a walk.

  269. April 27, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    Last year about this time I had gone to Northern Maine to teach a First Aid class for the weekend at a rafters camp. On the way home, in a remote area, I saw a beautiful Brittany confused on the side of the road. He was obviously lost. I stoped, open the rear door and he jumped right in on top of the camping gear. Oh yes, he loved the donut holes! Because the season hadn’t started yet it took me a while to find and open place that may know the owners. He had a collar with info. As it turned out he wasn’t too far from home but going in the wrong direction. When the owner came she said they noticed a hole in his pen that must have been made by a moose during the night. Happy ending!

  270. Coco
    May 9, 2015 at 10:17 PM

    Whenever my dog gets loose, he gets so easily distracted and curious with everything else outside. I have learned to stay the most interesting and enthusiastic thing that he notices until he is back to where he needs to be. Calling his name repeatedly and walking towards the door like its no big deal that he is out, he typically just follows me back in (reluctantly). I am always scared to death because if a car came down the road, he wouldn’t in a million years know to move out of the way. But I have to just pretend that I don’t care. I remember times when I freaked out and chased and he ended up very far away. But I’ve learned. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost him, he is my baby, my child. I take care of him, and he sticks up for me. I cry at the thought of not having him with me my whole life:(

  271. Princess Newman
    May 10, 2015 at 2:21 PM

    I have caught my dog twice doing this. My vet told me this trick years ago. I had just rescued a dog from a shelter, took her home and let her out in the backyard. Not realizing one gate was open. She of course she got loose. I was frantic at first because I just got her, and we hadn’t formed a bond yet. So I didn’t know if it would work with her. I sat down in the yard and called her name. She was hesitant at first she just looked at me, so I turned away from her, to see if that would work. She came right back in the yard to me. I grabbed her collar and praised her for coming to me. And closed the gate. Happy ending! She is still with me! She is 16 years old now. I love my Lucygirl!

  272. Michelle
    May 27, 2015 at 8:13 AM

    So,I need advise on our dog. We have had her since a puppy,she’s 2 now.(pittbull) Anyways,she constantly gets on a nose trail of something and off she goes. I wouldn’t have a problem with this normally if she would come back home after she’s finished. She doesn’t. Ever! Someone always calls our number which is on her collar. We call and call for her and wait and nothing. This last time she was gone 2wks. A guy had kept her chained up in his backyard,I’m assuming to keep her. So,back home again last wk and last night she ran off again but someone walked her back home in couple hrs.(at midnight,we were in bed,ugh) What in the world can we do? She has everything a dog could want and lots of attention and car rides as well. She stays inside out of bad weather but gets to roam and plays ball in the yard and so on. We don’t want her to constantly be leashed or chained up or anything. Please help us!!!!

    • May 27, 2015 at 10:28 AM

      Some dogs can never be off leash and no dog should be off leash unsupervised! Either re-home this dog to people who are willing to fence in their yard or do so yourself! I have a dog that can never be off leash even with me present as she is an extremely prey-driven dog and would be off like a shot. It’s how she got into the rescued dog system.
      (Your dog is still basically a puppy and you clearly have never spent the time to teach her where her boundaries are or what is expected of her.)
      You clearly don’t care for this poor dog or you would not allow this to occur time and time again, but ideally you would keep her in the “pack” she is used to and build her a nice pen. If you can’t do that for her – you have to let her go to someone who will. Tying dogs out can lead to them becoming aggressive, but a nice pen with the ability to join you in the house (not just in bad weather) will keep her a happy and SAFE dog.

      • Michelle
        May 27, 2015 at 12:19 PM

        We do care for our dog! If I didn’t I wouldn’t be checking everywhere for advice. She is NOT a chained up dog,she stays indoors. It’s a huge laundry room that was built onto the house. It’s the back door of our home. We do not own this home so for fencing and things of that nature are aren’t possible. I do not like your quick criticism on my needing help. And how dare you say we don’t care. She is like our child. I’m sorry you do not understand that. Have a blessed day!

    • Mel
      May 27, 2015 at 12:54 PM

      Michelle, clearly you care for your dog. She has treats and toys and a nice home to live in. That she likes to explore and sniff is not new to any dog breed, my dogs like to do the very same thing. However, because she is a dog and not a human, you cannot reason with her and tell her that she must stay in the yard because she has such a wonderful life. It’s like sticking a child in front of a plateful of cookies and then asking them not to eat it because they get fed breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday.

      To your dog, sniffing and exploring are the highest form of reward there is. She is getting rewarded with more smells and more adventures every time she wanders off, so she is not likely to stop now. That is why you have to be the responsible one and take the action that is necessary, even if it is not preferable, to keep her safe. As a pitbull, you know she is at higher risk of being stolen or used as a bait dog in a fighting dog ring or picked up by animal control and euthanized. She is also at greater risk of being shot at by police or a farmer or someone else because they see only her breed and assume she is dangerous. She could also be picked up and resold on Craigslist.

      You have two options as I see it: 1) fence in your yard so she cannot escape, 2) tie her up when she is outside and only leave her out there when she needs to take care of her business and then bring her back in. Tying her outside for short periods of time does not increase aggression and it is much more preferable to the things I listed above. I want you to have your dog and I want her to be safe. No dog is 100% on a recall, but no dog will ever stay in a yard if there are things to explore, sniff and taste. You must be the one to keep her safe.

      I would encourage you to consider reading Eileen and dogs’ post on this very issue for further information. If your dog comes to see walks with you as the reward over running away, then that is a bonus on top of keeping her safe.

      • Michelle
        May 27, 2015 at 1:15 PM

        Thanks so much for your help. And yes,she gets taken out if not for a walk then chained up while she does her business. We have a toy chihuahua,they get along great. I’ve just had 2 surgeries so it’s been hard for me to do much during the day while my husband is at work. We have been looking at it like well,this time maybe she learned her lesson and you’re right she doesn’t have the ability to comprehend what we do. Thanks again for the advice and I’m going to look that up and read also. Have a wonderful & blessed day:)

  273. May 27, 2015 at 2:22 PM

    Michelle, I’m sorry you took offense at what I said, but I equate fur-babies with human babies and I can’t imagine anyone allowing their child to continue to disappear for days (and weeks) at a time! Mel is right – there are so many potential hazards out there for dogs and especially pit bulls, and it upset me to read that this has happened so many times.
    I also rent and my landlord allowed me to put up a decent little pen – you can just use wire fencing and steel fence posts. If the dog is in most of the time tying her out for potty times is fine, but maybe your landlord would allow you to do something as well.
    My neighbor has a lab that they found could not be let out unattended. He’d get on a scent and off he’d go, but they did manage to train him to stay nearby with them outside and to follow commands. Like a 2 year old child they don’t reason and merely react to their environments.

    • Michelle
      May 27, 2015 at 2:49 PM

      I do understand and yes she is like our child. A lot of times we can be working in the yard and she stays in the yard as well. But she gets on a scent as you say and yep she’s gone. Sometimes she will start out of the yard and you can call her name and she turns around and she’s always watching you to see if you’re watching her. You cannot turn your back on her at all. But, I see we will need to do more of course. And our chihuahua never leaves the yard so we thought she might learn from her but again 2 different breeds of dogs. Thanks for your input. I’m just really stressed and hold it in lately praying she will change but we are moving to a bigger cabin in the woods in a month with lots of land a creek and all fenced in so maybe that will help her and us a whole lot! 🙂

      • May 27, 2015 at 3:16 PM

        Wonderful! (I’ll move into that scenario with you! 🙂 )
        Good luck!

  274. Lizzie
    May 28, 2015 at 7:20 PM

    when I found a dog running in the road I stopped got out and in the happiest/ highest voice I have said “come here baby!! Come here lets play!!” And clapped my hands together then held them out. The dog came running to me so fast and jumped into my arms.

  275. Laurey
    May 29, 2015 at 11:04 AM

    When my new dog ran off (again!) and ignored my calls, I got into the truck and drove slowly away (dirt road, no traffic). Soon he was beside the truck wanting in but I kept driving. He trotted alongside for probably a quarter mile before I opened the door. Since then, if he gets out (and immediately over the fence), I just start the truck and wait. He comes flying back and hops in. I reward him by taking a spin around the block before going back inside the house.

  276. Tammie
    June 14, 2015 at 12:06 PM

    A few days ago I took my almost 7 mo GSD to Lake Grace to do some training with her. I chose that place because 1.it got us away from our catahoula who she loves to play with every single second. 2. It’s down a very long dirt road, just in case. 3. She could cool off in the lake after we trained. We’d done some work and I was walking with her to the covered shelter to work on commands, and dropped the leash as she was walking with me, and i Had her water bucket, toys, etc in my hands. She started walking away from me and when I called her, took off. I initially ran after her, but remembered that wasn’t the right thing to do, and started running the opposite direction. It’s so hard, because I wanted to SEE where she was. When I saw she was running back toward me, I ran and grabbed the chuck it, which was already loaded with the ball, and bounced it low, and close to me and was able to grab her leash.

    • Mel
      June 17, 2015 at 6:31 AM

      I am so glad you ran the other way! It is so hard to do the opposite of what you want to do, which is run after them, but you proved that it works. So very happy it worked out this way! 🙂

  277. V
    June 17, 2015 at 1:48 PM

    A tip on the car method: Actually roll down the window a bit and cruise around with the dog. If you just use it to trick them into thinking they’re going for a ride, and not actually go for a ride, they get wise to it and it doesn’t work. They need to be rewarded, not punished, for coming back.

  278. Betty Sylvester
    June 17, 2015 at 4:29 PM

    It is hard to do but mine will usually come home if I just go in the house and close the door. Also asking him if he wants a bone usually gets him back. Then I have to give it to him even though I feel like I am rewarding bad behavior. I want to make sure it works if it happens again. Treats worked when I was trying to get my neighbors dogs home, too.

  279. Carol Forrest
    June 17, 2015 at 5:03 PM

    I did chase my dog once over two highways for 45 minutes. When I sat down on some grass and started crying, who do you suppose came over and laid down beside me!!!

  280. June 17, 2015 at 6:03 PM

    I chased my 1yr old lab for forty-five minutes, literally sprinting and stopping traffic. We were also out of town in unfamiliar grounds. Finally I couldn’t run anymore, I opened the passenger door , got in the drivers seat, the whole time he’s watching me from behind a bush, I yelled, mommy’s going bye-bye let’s go, he immediately jumped in the passenger seat!!!!

  281. Ray
    June 17, 2015 at 6:09 PM

    Thanks for the tips! My Corgi has a habit of letting my Boston out of the yard….and once she’s free…it’s like Braveheart with her yelling “FREEEDOOOOMMMM!!!” and running at full speed….I have found that using my unrepentant Corgi (who incidentally will open the gate then stand there in the yard smiling at her brilliance) and taking her for a walk with the other leash in my hands usually ends up with all of us back home because the Boston wants to come too. The other tried and true method is to grab a squeaky and start squeaking….Its hard to resist the squeak….

  282. Judi
    June 17, 2015 at 6:41 PM

    These methods work well with my chocolate lab when I am ready to come inside and he is off following his nose!

  283. Mary Cameron
    June 17, 2015 at 7:54 PM

    Have a code (magic) word. Mine was “Suppertime” which he always he heard before eating. After 5 days running loose he was so terrified he didn’t even recognize me. But the application of the magic word his ears came up and he remembered me.

  284. Deborah
    June 17, 2015 at 8:51 PM

    I am not sure this would work with our bichon. The few times she has escaped she runs like the wind and doesn’t look back. We tried everything, bringing out her favorite treats, driving up beside her and she wasn’t interested. It was scary. The only thing I found to work with her follow along behind her and every time she slowed down to rest I clap my hands and say run, run depending on where she was of course and watching out for cars. Finally, she gets so tired she is ready for me to pick her up and bring her home. I am blessed not to live on a busy street, but there is one close by. One time it was so hot outside, I just yelled bye, I am going home to get a drink of water and she beat me to the house and was waiting on the step. Each time though I was scared to death.

  285. Sheila Robles
    June 19, 2015 at 3:42 PM

    When my beagle gets out, I have found that driving the neighbor hood with back doors of my mini van works like a charm, she can’t resist. You just have to be aware from all directions, because the one night I almost hit her. I was looking to the left and she came at me from the right. Thank goodness I didn’t hit her because that would of broken my heart.

  286. Heather
    June 19, 2015 at 9:31 PM

    Never thought of the stop drop and wait ideas. With my Kelpie I have learned not to even bother chasing on foot. I grab the keys and a leash and head for the car. Sometimes just hearing the car start brings her back. Sometimes I have to drive after her and she comes right up and hops in. It was a face palm moment the first time bc I did it only bc she got too far for me to run. Ive never had to drive more than 1000 yards to get her in the car.

  287. colleen
    June 19, 2015 at 10:06 PM

    the open door to a car and saying let;s go byebye works. It was discovered by accident many years ago…I was trying to get my dog, some woman was just getting in her car, my dog turned around and jumped in the car, got in the back seat and waited for bye byes.

  288. June 19, 2015 at 11:25 PM

    I use the last one and it works everytime. Of course we have to give my dog a ride or something so that it keeps working.

  289. Vanessa
    June 21, 2015 at 11:28 AM

    Hi, when my dog got out of his collar when I walked him, or managed to get around me and out the door, I just use my “soothing voice”. The same one I use when I give him a command (e.g. sit, or come here), which I reinforce with a treat. That way, when he’s off collar outside running or walking away, he knows I’m not mad at him and that he might get a treat if he listens and comes back.

  290. June 22, 2015 at 9:57 PM

    A Few years ago our schnauzer got loose. At first hubby ran after him and Fritzy was getting close to a busy street, anyway, hubby stopped and ran the other way, calling him and Thank Goodness it worked. It saved our boy. Thank you for all the tips. I am sharing

    • Mel
      June 22, 2015 at 10:30 PM

      I am so glad your husband thought to run the other way. Thank goodness Fritzy followed!

  291. June 23, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    I have a deaf Great Pyrenees. Smart, too! During a walk with a friend, we sat for a few to talk. He chewed through his leash, but didn’t move until we were ready to start walking again. Two ends tied back together, we went on to finish our walk. I discovered how b a d of a job I did when the knot came loose and he started walking away. Calling him, of course, was no use. Told my friend to keep an eye on him and then turned away and stood. A few seconds later, he proceeded to stop, turn, look, then start walking toward me. Worked perfectly!

    • Mel
      June 24, 2015 at 6:11 AM

      That was really smart! I think you are a special dog owner because you have to think outside the box when it comes to training and working with your sweetie. How wonderful that he has you!

  292. June 23, 2015 at 6:33 PM

    We took our litter of puppies with us and as they running ahead we would hide. We ne er had aproblem with those dogs. If you chase the dog or cat he thinks it is okay to go on. Stopping and going the other direction usually works.

  293. Kristen
    June 24, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    Except that when my dog gets loose, he takes off running and doesn’t look back :/

    • June 27, 2015 at 9:42 PM

      When my dog gets out the front door and takes off out of my sight, I blow my car horn and she comes running to the car. I generally take her for a short ride to encourage her to come back. So far this has worked like a charm!

  294. divac63
    July 2, 2015 at 7:52 AM

    I used to have a boxer who thought it was fun to sneak out the front door and say, “You can’t catch me! You can’t catch me!” If there was anyone else around, I’d ask them to call my dog to them — he was super friendly and liked to meet new people, and that usually worked great. One time, he was doing the “you can’t catch me” dance on the front lawn, and I just went over to our parked car and asked him if he wanted a ride — he hopped right in! I went inside and grabbed the leash… 🙂 He was a great dog — still miss him.

  295. Gail
    July 2, 2015 at 10:00 PM

    My terrier/poodle, Rocket, good out of our van today while I was fueling up the van. We adopted him about three months ago and he has bolted out the front door a few times so normally I’m super careful to watch him but he slipped right by me today. At first I started after him but then I just knelt down and called him normally and he came right back. It is a very busy and could have been a disaster. Do thankful I read this article a few weeks ago and one of the suggestions worked!

    • Mel
      July 2, 2015 at 10:14 PM

      Oh my gosh Gail! I am so glad he came back and is safe! How scary!
      It’s stories like yours that makes me so grateful I wrote this blog post.
      Rocket, you stay near mom from now on, you hear?

    • Mel
      July 3, 2015 at 7:23 AM

      That is why I do not say these will work for every dog. Beagles and Bassets and dogs led by their noses tend to be like your Basset. The highest reward is being able to sniff and they will often ignore all other rewards for it.

  296. Tyler
    July 3, 2015 at 1:38 AM

    I have a Bassett hound. None of these work. She sees or smells another animal, and doesn’t stop until she gets it. I just lay out my jacket and she will be laying on it when she is done. Or someone calls the number on her tag and go pick her up.

  297. Amber
    July 8, 2015 at 6:06 PM

    My pup Ollie runs out the door as soon as he gets a chance! I’ve learned that if I run after him or even tell him to come he begins to run even faster! Sometimes I swear I even hear him laughing at me! S runs out the door as soon as he gets a chance! I’ve learned that if I chase after him he’ll be again to run faster !Sometimes I swear I even hear him laughing at me! So recently I tried grabbing his jar of treats and shaking it and asking him if he wants one! Surprisingly it works!!

  298. Ari
    July 17, 2015 at 5:10 PM

    Whenever my dog gets loose I always have like a panic attack because he can run for days. One time I lost him and I chased him up and down my street always almost catching him but he’d somehow trick me and run elsewhere. Luckily a neighbor heard my cry for help, simply called for the dog, and he came running into there arms. Everytime I lose my dog, he’ll go to a stranger but not me.

  299. Lois Ankrom
    July 20, 2015 at 4:38 PM

    I once had an experience with my very obedient Doberman when we made a trip to the vet and she slipped her collar. She had just recovered from 2 serious surgeries and this was a follow up visit. Normally being off lead wouldn’t have worried me because she always stayed at my side. This time I guess she was thinking about being left again for something unpleasant and she took off into an open field. I was shocked and panic set in. I began to run after her yelling “stop”, “no” , “come back” fearing that she would run out onto the very busy nearby highway. She looked back at me and kept on going. It was then that I realized that she didn’t know any of those commands so I loudly yelled “STAY” and she immediately stopped and waited for me. With tears running down my face I hugged her, put her collar back on and we casually walked back to the vet’s office. I was the one that was wrong when I chased her yelling commands she didn’t understand.

  300. Beth
    July 21, 2015 at 7:28 PM

    I have had my best results with the “lets go for a ride” approach. I have a chihuahua that was a runner. He would sneak out the door as you were exiting and take off across the parking lot. Instead of chasing him, I’d go to the nearest car and pretend I was opening the driver door while calling him and saying, “Hey! let’s go!”… it worked every time 🙂 I just hoped the car’s owner didn’t come out and wonder what I was doing rattling their car door!

  301. Emerson
    July 28, 2015 at 3:57 PM

    great tips !!
    My dog ,Marian , is a runner !! Every time there is even a little bit of opening she’s gone and of course we always chase her because we are scared something will happen to her ! But we are afraid if we try one of these techniques that she will actually get away !! Any suggestions ???

  302. Sarah
    August 10, 2015 at 4:19 AM

    Thankyou for these great tips!! My 16 week old puppy managed to get out of the house this weekend and I made the mistake of chasing her and she ran straight across the busy main road, thankfully we were lucky this time and the traffic stopped and a pedestrian on the other side grabbed her collar but I will definitely try these out if it happens again as we were very lucky that it wasn’t more serious this time. Thankyou.

  303. Paul
    August 14, 2015 at 6:33 PM

    we use our dog as bait. We don’t walk towards the animal. Instead we make a fuss of our dog to get its attention. We squat tell ours how good she is and give her a treat. Never facing the lost dog. This tends to bring them in and our dog loves to play. They check her out and she comes back for more treats. Next thing you know they are sniffing us and wanting a fuss and treats too. We are then able to leash with a slip lead easily.

    We call this and all your examples above a soft capture. The benefits of soft captures is the dogs are not traumatized and will likely come the next time too.

    Those giving chase or trying to use nets are putting the animals in needless risk. Worse still is they are creating a fear of people and this will make the dogs much harder to catch.

    Currently we are searching for a very aloof dog. The goal is to use rescuers to spot and cordon off an area. Then send in a soft capture team using all your above steps. If for some reason the dog bolts the other rescuers can track from a distance or if dog is heading for them attempt a soft capture while others reposition. It can take a lot of work to capture a runner that does not want to be captured. Time organization and educating the rescuers on what to and not to do is critical.

    This is a great page and fantastic to see. Well done.

    • Paul
      August 16, 2015 at 3:10 PM

      I should add the dog we are using as bait is our bloodhound. The escaped dog fostered with us and comes to her and then normally us. Some dogs just don’t seem to like other animals so this is a specific situation. It does work well though. All the tips you have provided should be given to all dog owners. For sure this message has and will help to save our pets lives.

      • Mel
        August 17, 2015 at 7:29 PM

        I sure do wish you luck Paul. Clearly, you have experience in this area. I’ve written many articles on looking for or finding lost dogs, but this one in particular seems to have hit a chord. You are right about having a dog with you can help in some cases and not in others. I have found that sightings help to narrow down the search area and then a trap can help in cases where the dog is a shy one. Please let me know if you get your foster dog back.

  304. arisgma
    August 18, 2015 at 2:52 PM

    My boy couldn’t resist a car ride. I would drive slowly down the road – at the end he was deaf and couldn’t hear so it helped to have the Jeep – then flash the lights, etc. and he would run right to me and into the back seat. Then we would do a little drive for a couple of minutes. Never, ever, never yell at them once you get them back. Love on them like they had been gone forever and they will always come back.

  305. September 3, 2015 at 4:33 PM

    Major is my service dog he was stolen from his home when I was in the hospital for over a month then I went into a convalescent center for six months, While I was in the hospital my friend was watching Major and several people were walking him for me, I live in elderly and disabled housing I’m a disabled veteran and Major is my service dog. When I was in the hospital one of my neighbors took Major away from his home, he came to the hospital and had my sign some papers I signed them but I don’t remember I was taking medication;, the note was not notarized or witnessed or anything like that I sure It’s not legal. I’m not sure how to get Major back I miss him and love him so much their isn’t one minute that goes bye without the thought of Major…If anyone can help me I would appreciate it so much, Major was born In Cayen Puerto Rico. I tried to contact this nurse but to no avail, I was told by the police not to call her or go to where she works, I want my dog back!

  306. Ashley
    September 12, 2015 at 1:56 PM

    This sounds like it would work for most dogs that just run out. Typically, my beagle runs away when he sees a rabbit. So once he goes, he’s got his eye on the prize. For dog owners like me, I’ve found that keeping up with him until the rabbit is out of sight works well. Once the rabbit is out of sight, he relies on sniffing the ground.. which slows him down significantly. I think most beagle owners will understand how “tunnel visioned” these hounds can get.

  307. September 16, 2015 at 10:12 PM

    When I was a kid, our neighbor had 2 German Shorthair Pointers, Fred and Bruiser. They would get out, and us kids would be enlisted to round them up. What we learned to do was to run away, as the article says, then when the dog inevitably caught up to us, we practiced our calf-dogging skills from jr rodeo – wrap your arms around his neck, tuck and roll.

    • Mel
      September 17, 2015 at 9:51 PM

      Your comment made me laugh Lori. Calf-dogging. LOL!
      It sounds like it worked.

  308. laura
    September 17, 2015 at 9:32 PM

    I think these are great ideas, but what if your baby is already blocks away and can’t see you?

    • Mel
      September 17, 2015 at 9:44 PM

      Then you call their name and sit down or start spreading the word so people can keep an eye out for her.

  309. JoIan s.
    September 20, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    My youngest rescue ran off when we first got her. I carried a squeaky toy around and squeaked it. She could never resist a squeaky toy. Now she will come right to me when I say “Zoey is a good girl” in a very loving voice. She will not respond to yells or whistles, she needs a calm, loving call.

  310. October 4, 2015 at 7:15 PM

    Quite accidentally,we found the best way for our dog… We panicked and ran inside to find a leash. When he realized we went inside, he came running back and inside the door. We couldn’t believe our luck. All the others times we chased him and failed. LOL!

    • Mel
      October 6, 2015 at 6:42 AM

      That is great! We all have little tricks like that we have to keep in our hip pocket. So glad you found one that works!

  311. Daneka
    October 7, 2015 at 12:15 AM

    Something that works for me is hiding behind objects! I find a nearby tree, or post, or garbage can-basically anything that will obstruct her line of sight to me. She almost always sprints back to find me, especially if I call her name or whistle. Therefore I am able to help reinforce her responding to both of those stimuli.

  312. October 12, 2015 at 3:12 PM

    Thank you for this great info. We made the mistake of walking toward our escapee and calling her. The effect was a mad dash through the field she was in and across a busy highway. We haven’t been able to locate her since, but hopefully she’ll be sighted again, soon and we can give these methods a try.

    • Mel
      October 12, 2015 at 9:16 PM

      I really, really hope you find her Lila. I know how you feel and all the worry you have right now. Sending her a message that she will go to someone for help so they can get her home. Sending prayers.

    • October 23, 2015 at 12:38 PM

      I would post flyers and use every option to publicize it. I cannot even imagine what you are going through.

  313. October 12, 2015 at 3:30 PM

    Reblogged this on Lila McGrew and commented:
    With our latest rescue dog on the loose, I thought reblogging this would be appropriate. Many thanks to No Dog About It for sharing such helpful information.

  314. Brittany Wong
    October 13, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    I had to chase my dog around a whole block one times. Then I looked up how to chase a loose dog. Now that I have this information, j know how to lure her in. She loves car rides. Though I eventually caught her, I was crying like my mother just died cause I really care. I’m just really happy that she is still alive. R.I.P. Marty😢

    • October 23, 2015 at 12:37 PM

      I know the feeling. When we got him, it was THE greatest feeling of joy because what could have happened keeps playing in my mind, as he was zigzagging across a busy street, both sides of which was a hilly curve around which people keep barreling down. I cannot even imagine it.

  315. October 21, 2015 at 3:20 PM

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, a million thank you’s. You may have saved many dogs’ lives. I wish and hope EVERY person out there could read this, especially law enforcement. I will be passing this on to everyone and posting it everywhere. I will also send this to our police and fireman services.

    This is exactly how I behaved when our dog went loose! How stupid of me! It took a lot of effort to get him back. At times, he seemed to think we were playing with him as we chased him! Now I know.

  316. November 2, 2015 at 1:58 PM

    Our Great Pyrr got loose during our son’s little league championship game and ran through the outfield while 12 or so little league players gave chase. I was too horrified to think, but luckily another guy walked his dog out into the outfield and ours immediately came running over to check her out. If you have more than one dog or another dog owner is around, it works like a charm.

    • Mel
      November 6, 2015 at 6:44 AM

      So glad you got him back! Having another dog doesn’t always work, but if your dog is socialized to other dogs, or likes other dogs, it can work.

  317. November 15, 2015 at 7:25 PM

    omg, we just spent the last 45 minutes doing exactly what you say not to do…give chase. Our dog crossed busy streets, ran through people and just kept running. She would look back and would see us and would go right back to running. We thought we were both going have a cardiac arrest or would witness our dog getting hit by a car. It was horrific…which is why I am on this website after googling “what to do if..” Thank you, we will try this in a safe place…I am SO hopeful it will work!

    • Mel
      November 15, 2015 at 7:32 PM

      Did you get your dog back? I so hope so!

  318. Iris
    November 20, 2015 at 2:56 AM

    I lost my dog a few days ago, because he wanted to swim. So he run into the water, and didn’t listen anymore.
    I said: bye Dex! And i walked away.
    Just walking like i will do when the dog is with me.
    When i was out of sight for Dexter he wanted to find me so he came running after me. I still couldn’t get him so i let him run around me en a few minutes later i sit on the Ground, i put Some cookies in front of me and just wait. When he Came for the cookies he know he had to sit down and be calm before he gets one. So then i could get him

  319. Jayne
    November 21, 2015 at 11:37 AM

    My working cocker (not worked) managed to back out of a tight step through harness and her recall is rubbish .She was running down an open field next to a road I panicked and tried to go after her which made her run faster and towards the road Then I remembered reading somewhere to stop drop and roll (as if you were on fire) and to my amazement she came back curiously and I grabbed her collar and attached the lead. Thank goodness I remembered or else she would almost certainly been run over.

    • Mel
      November 21, 2015 at 12:51 PM

      Jayne, you made my whole day. I am so very glad your dog is safe and that you got her back. Thank you for sharing.

  320. Sonya
    November 28, 2015 at 8:33 PM

    You are so right! My Gemma busted through the door one night as I was leaving and when I chased her, she ran. I had no idea what to do, was at my wits end! She started to run towards a busy street and I turned and ran the opposite direction to get my car and next thing you know, SHE was chasing ME down! It was a game to her even though I was in near hysteria. I learned that night to never chase a dog down….

    • Mel
      December 1, 2015 at 6:59 AM

      OMG. I am so glad you changed tactics! How scary! So glad you got her back.

  321. Marissa
    November 29, 2015 at 2:33 PM

    The open car door used to work but not any more. Now I have to get treats and throw them at him and hope he gets close enough to grab him. Even then he wiggles out of my hands. Pain in the ass….if neighbor didn’t get him he would have known what it feels like to stay outside. He has chip so when picked up they would call me. Really sick of it. 8 mos old pitbull puppy + single mother working full time= pitbull winning!!

    • Mel
      December 1, 2015 at 6:59 AM

      Do you have a long line or leash that is a bit longer? You can use it to train him to “Come” and learn a stronger recall. When they are this young it becomes a game. Helping him to see that he gets rewards for coming to you (whether they be actual treats or lots of praise) reinforces his recall and response. As a pitiful owner, you already know the dangers that await a dog of this breed if they get out and get lost. Not everyone views them as the loving dogs they are. People looking for a bait dog or who see the dog as a danger are out there waiting. It is up to you to keep him safe. (I know you know this already, but I felt it needed to be said for others who may forget.)

      Long lines are often available at Sporting Good stores for a nominal price. Lots of hunting dogs are trained using a long line. Good luck! Hopefully, you will be winning soon. 🙂

  322. L higdon
    December 2, 2015 at 3:14 AM

    Our dog got out tonight but thankfully we got him back but as said above our instinct was to chase him and he is very fast and loves a chase. He’s always taking things, showing us, and loves us chasing him around. We just got him a few months ago from rescue after our collie past away after 13 years. By the way, they are the best family dog in the world. We will definitely try the non-chase method next time. Thanks for info. This dog is a handful, I think he would be happier as a hunting dog, but my daughter isn’t ready to give up.

  323. Jinene
    December 10, 2015 at 9:01 PM

    I had 2 dogs. When my yorkie ran out of the house, all we had to do was put my other dog on her leash and say “Mellie, come go for a walk”. Jakey, my yorkie, was very jealous of her and would come running back to us, sit at our feet waiting for us to put the leash on him. Lol

  324. Terri Hostbjor
    December 11, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    I had great results with jingling a leash and asking if the pup wanted to go for a walk. Also, just have to say the word cookie, and my Whippet makes a U turn and runs right back..

  325. December 14, 2015 at 7:35 PM

    Stop and drop really works and I thought of this trick on my own years before I read this article. My son’s dog got away from me one time when I was walking him and he loves the chase. I knew I couldn’t catch him, he runs like a deer, so I laid on the ground and started whimpering like I was hurt and he ran right over to me to see what was going on. I grabbed his lease and all ended well.

  326. Dog lover
    December 18, 2015 at 5:10 PM

    I had an experience of my dog taking off to chase a deer. I yelled pets name and “No” “come” but she totally ignored me. I went into the house to get my shoes but when I came back out on the porch I was surprised to see my dog there. I didn’t chase her….turned the other way to get my shoes….you must be correct!

  327. Alissa
    December 18, 2015 at 11:28 PM

    We used the open the car door and SAY “wanna go for a ride” trick. Even before this website. So I know for a fact it works (:

  328. Georgia
    December 20, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    A lot of the times when my dog Bella was a puppy she would run away and we would always run after her but after a while when she got older we slowly but surely we did not run after her and after a while she just came back and were really thankful for that!

  329. December 21, 2015 at 1:16 PM

    Our dog was a stray who showed up on our door step. She is medium size, little, build, and runs like a greyhound. When she was little she kept slipping out of her collar or harness when she was tied up in the yard. We finally spend the money to make a pen w cyclone fencing, and she has run the dirt into a race track. She still has snuck by us or got her leash pulled out of our hands. She escaped, I ran as fast I could ( I have arthritic knees) to no avail. But hubby would get in his truck for the “let’s go for a ride” trick , successfully ! Due to finding this article, getting down is a good idea, but if I bend my knees, I definitely would need help getting up. Any other ideas beside ride or crouch/sit methods ?

  330. Brittany
    January 1, 2016 at 1:11 AM

    The car trick doesn’t work for my dog. We rescued a boxer mix lab and she loves to get out. When she does she takes off and it normally takes us 5 hours to get her back. The car method makes her run from us. When we try to ignore her running away and sit down she barks at us and then speed runs away

  331. Yuly P
    January 2, 2016 at 8:15 PM

    I lost my dog a boxer name Cookie the same way if I only teach him not to run when getting out of the car maybe a different ending, I’m heart broken. All my support to Marty’s family.
    Thanks for the article I still have another 4 paw angels and this is very useful.

    • Mel
      January 10, 2016 at 8:59 AM

      How sad. I am so sorry. 😦

  332. January 3, 2016 at 9:25 PM

    All of these are great . Mine is what I always used and never ever failed. My dog, Laurie was the best . She always came when called except when I really needed her to come immediately and time was of the essence . She would take off at a run and all I had to do was say very loudly ” BAM ” She would look at me and I would say. ” Oh, Poor baby, come here , and out stretch my arms as a hug and she would come running into my arms. !! It worked all the time, I got her and a hug !!!

  333. January 3, 2016 at 11:02 PM

    I’ve always been told it’s NOT a good idea to stand tall or over a dog, much better to get down to their level. Less threatening. My dog usually comes when I pretend I’m looking at something in my hand and say … Oooooo, look what I’ve got!! Sometimes I pretend I’m eating something and act like it’s yummy! He falls for those .. 😀

  334. Candy
    January 3, 2016 at 11:35 PM

    My dogs were clicker trained and I always keep one hanging by the front door. If one managed to escape I would just grab the clicker and go to town. They always came running right back wondering where their treat was!

  335. Sarah
    January 7, 2016 at 8:31 PM

    I live in an apartment complex and have dealt with this. There’s not a dog park available for me to take my dog to. I always keep my dog on a leash but one night the leash was pulled out of my hand and I couldn’t get my dog to come back. He was running through a parking lot and I was wondering if you have any more immediate solutions to get him to stop. While the suggestions you offered are great and I will try them (if there’s a) next time, is there anything that would get a dog to stop immediately (other than proper training, which we are working on)?

    • Mel
      January 10, 2016 at 8:51 AM

      Sadly, not much. If he thinks it is a game it can be hard. You can work with him on a long line and with treats. Give him length to feel like he is free and call him back to you intermittently and offer a treat when he sits. If you continue to build that skill up it may help. When you feel more confident, you could try him off-leash at an enclosed baseball/softball field. I have a dog who has been mine since he was 9 months old. He is now 7 1/2. I still can’t trust him off leash of there is a runner, biker, skateboarder or a rabbit nearby. He loves the chase.

    • Sonya
      January 10, 2016 at 11:09 AM

      We have two dogs….one will stop dead in her tracks for a loud squeaker toy noise so we always keep one in the car and near the house door for just in case instances….my other girl, well nothing will stop her unfortunately. I need to find something that will trigger her like our other dog and the squeaker. The one time she ran out, it wasn’t because she was chasing anything, she thought it was a game and when I turned around and walked back to the house she came barreling after me. Good luck!

  336. Juli
    January 8, 2016 at 3:05 PM

    My escapologist terrier, loves it when he gets out, he says to me, ‘ so long, see ya you’re dead to me now’! I usually run the other way, but he is wise to this and the car trick, also treats aren’t enough, I live in a cul de sac and nowhere else to go except one way, to the main road, so I run with him, like a pack, he knows if I have intentions of chasing or if I am just running with him, watching where he goes and trying to keep him safe, eventually he runs into a garden with a gate to shut, and no excitement – capture.

    • Mel
      January 10, 2016 at 8:48 AM

      Sounds like you have the perfect solution. Thank goodness he knows it’s a companion run, huh? 🙂

  337. Bad-Dog-Sitter
    January 9, 2016 at 11:40 PM

    I was dog sitting and the dog got out when my pizza was delivered. The owner warned me that he ran further when chased, so I hollered his name, waved a breadstick in the air and tossed it in the door. Worked like a charm….

    • Mel
      January 10, 2016 at 8:47 AM

      LOL! That was really smart. I used to have to wave the bag of pepperoni for my dog, Aspen, the escape artist. 🙂

  338. Meagan
    January 14, 2016 at 6:56 PM

    I taught my dogs the “no” command. When one broke loose from me one day, I shouted her name and “no” in a very stern voice (she was a puppy at the time), and she just rolled over in her back. She’s a very sensitive dog and the tone of my voice really scared her.
    I have tried running in the opposite direction too, and it does work.

  339. Whippster
    January 15, 2016 at 8:15 AM

    I have a whippet with a very high prey drive, and although her recall is excellent in any other situation, if she spots a rabbit I could be juggling raw steaks while riding on a unicycle and she would still chase it. We live in an area with lots of rabbits and lots of traffic, so here she’s offleash only in fenced areas. Once I let her offleash in a dog park and to my horror saw a big hole in the fence, with a rabbit on the other side of it. My dog had already picked up its’ scent and was running around excitedly, but she couldn’t yet see the rabbit. I had about two seconds to decide what to do. She was in the hunt mode so I thought a “here” command would likely be ignored. Instead I ran in the opposite direction shouting “Look, rabbit! RABBIT IS THERE! FIND RABBIT!” while pointing at some random bush far away from the actual rabbit. And it worked, my dog ran to investigate the bush, the rabbit ran away and I was able to leash my dog and give her lots of treats for a job well done. We then went back to where the rabbit had been and she got to track it with me while safely on a leash. I’ve used this trick a few times now, and it still works.

  340. Britt
    January 15, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    I have a chihuahua and four years ago I went to the dog park with her. There were fences around it but she doesn’t like being around bigger dogs. The fence did’nt touch the ground so she crawled under their and started running to the street. First I started chasing after her but she ran faster and faster until I made a click in my head and sat down on the ground. It was such a risk at that time because I didn’t know what she would do. But I had to do something. After I sat down she turned around to check where I was and came back. I was so relieved but went straight back home 🙂

  341. Kryptonite
    January 17, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    My dog love it getting out and having a nice run .She is more interested in smells and finding the owner of the smell , other dogs .Realistically that is what she wants interaction with other dogs.My best approach to get her back has been to rattle the car keys not yelling and showing restraint in the way I approach her.Definitely not chastising her but making it like its been a game and she has won,at the same time telling her not to run of without me.Funnily she understands. Till next time .None dog owners just don’t understand stand.

  342. Cindy
    January 23, 2016 at 2:01 PM

    Hi great tips, thank you. I’ve rescued several stray dogs using a couple if these methods. Opening the car door was actually one of them. The dogs got curious and jumped in. One word of warning though. You are now in an enclosed space with a panicked animal that is rather close to your face. When it’s a strange Rottweiler drooling over your shoulder while you drive it takes a bit of courage! The other way I’ve found helpful with park strays is to sit down and calmly start talking. If they’re friendly they will eventually see you as no threat. I carry a spare lead and different size collars in my glove box, highly smelling treats like liver snacks (yuk) (which are often ignored even if the dog is hungry except by my dogs!) and a bowl with a bottle of water.

  343. Laura Sementilli
    January 24, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Yes I did that when both of mine darted out the door. Went straight to the ground they think u r hurt a d run right bk.

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