Well, we know that it is one of your worst nightmares to lose control of your dog when it is off-leash. Although you do everything in your power to prevent this from happening, we can’t dismiss the possibility altogether.
What if the next time you take your dog out for a walk off-leash, it manages to escape just because it was too excited seeing a cat or a squirrel across the road? You must know how to retrieve a dog off-leash.
You need to have a plan. Indeed, you would not face issues if the dog is well-trained, but not all dogs are trained well enough.
This post briefs you on how to retrieve your dog who has managed to escape. We shall start with “what not to do” followed by some tricks which are known to work. Let’s get started!
What Is The Least Effective Method To Retrieve A Dog That Has Got Off-Leash?
Although it is very natural and common, chasing a running dog is the least effective method to catch it. Yes, it may sound a bit difficult to accept, but chasing a dog never works. Doesn’t matter how fast you run, you can’t outrun your dog (except for those who have puppies, not dogs!).
Chasing just sends panic waves down the system of the dog and makes it run even faster or worse, hide somewhere out of your sight. Thus, as tempting as it may sound, never chase a dog who has gotten off-leash and is running away from you. Let it run for a short distance and stop all by itself.
Don’t Lose Your Calm and Use Your Recall Command
So, what to do if your dog goes off-leash? Well, first of all, you must not lose your calm. The majority of pet dogs can sense their way back to their owners.
Thus, one of the early measures that you need to take if you lose your dog is to call it in an authoritative manner using your recall command and see if it comes back wagging its tail.
It is also a good idea to offer your dog some incentives to come back. Shake or rustle the treat bag to help him see that you have got something for him.
Make the Dog Curious
One of the lesser-known yet effective methods of retrieving a dog off-leash is to get him curious. For instance, rather than chasing the dog, start walking in the opposite direction or lie down on the ground. Yes, it may sound silly at first, but dogs find this behavior odd.
Chances are that the dog would come back to see if you are fine or just to see what is happening. And, if you are flexible enough, you could even stop, roll and curve yourself up into a ball. The dog would approach you to sniff you or investigate what’s going on.
Offering a Car Ride
If you have lost sight of the dog altogether, rather than chasing it manually, consider driving around and spotting him. Dogs love car rides and odds are that as you open the door, and cheerfully invite him to jump in for a ride, he would jump in!
Finally, it is always important to have the necessary, up-to-date ID information for your dog. A tag or a collar, and preferably the microchip information must be updated. In case the dog manages to escape, the ID tags and microchips could help you two reunite.
These were some of the ways that you can employ to retrieve a dog off-leash. Retrieving a dog is more about understanding the psyche of the dog and acting accordingly rather than chasing the dog or hitting it with something.
While the dog is on the run, try not to shout at it, act frustrated or visibly show that you are angry. The dog is less likely to come back to someone who seems harmful or angry. Be cheerful as you call the dog so that he doesn’t feel like he is in trouble.
And when the dog comes back, don’t forget to praise him, love him and give him a quick, nice treat. This would make it easy for you the next time he manages to escape.
A lot of guides on “how to retrieve a dog off-leash” may be available online but the key takeaway is to stay calm and come up with something that is not expected and instinctual. Is there something counter-intuitive that you can think of? Do it!
Finally, if you have never had a dog and are entirely new to it, we are sure that you must be wondering what to do if an off-leash dog approaches you. Check out this article for more details!