You’d think dogs don’t have a sense of humor until your dog slips her leash while you’re out on a walk.
While you panic and look out for cars, there’s your very funny dog, dancing around and daring you to chase her.
How To Catch A Loose DogFirst, if there’s a road between you and your dog, check for oncoming traffic. Try to get to the same side of the road, but don’t go directly towards your dog. Don’t run, and don’t panic or get yourself hit by a car.
When you’re on the same side of the road or there’s no immediate danger, you can start to call your dog. If you have any treats, snacks, or anything edible, hold it out while you call your dog. This is the one situation in which bribery is absolutely acceptable.
If you don’t have any food, try rustling a bag, a receipt, or something to give your dog the impression that you’ve got the goods.
Try skipping from side to side, imitating the bouncing, prancing movements of a playful dog. With these movements you can encourage your dog to make a game of chasing after you.
Most of all, you’ll be able to convince your dog that you’re not terrified/angry/anxious, or anything other than your usual, fun self.
Practicing Better RecallHopefully you’re not reading this while your dog is on the loose, but if you are, best of luck!
When you’re not chasing your dog, you can work on her recall skills to help ensure that she listens next time she’s loose.
Always practice recall in a safe, fenced-in area like a backyard or dog park. Or, try an open space with your dog on a long line.
Give your dog a high value treat when she comes to you as often as possible. Shoot for at least 90% of the time.
A high value treat is usually meaty and smelly, like a piece of lunch meat, freeze dried liver, cheese, or something they absolutely love. Dry milkbones and kibble are considered low value treats. What would your dog sell her soul for? Tricky Trainers are a huge hit with Matilda and Cow.
Avoid giving your dog opportunities to chase prey. It’s very difficult to recall a dog while she’s in the middle of chasing a squirrel. You can work on this skill while your dog is under control, on a long line.