Why Do Dogs Abandon Their Owners? (5 Reasons)

Why Do Dogs Abandon Their Owners

It is common to wonder whether your dog can abandon you in times of need or just run away.


It is a common question for dog owners and just for reassurance, your dog is as loyal as could be and most times would only run away in case of mistreatment.


However, there are a couple of reasons why dogs may choose to run away.


Dogs rarely abandon their owners. What is common is dogs being abandoned by their owners. Dogs will only abandon their owners or rather run away from home if they are not okay. They are very loyal pets that stick with their owners till the end.


Let us see some of the reasons why dogs will abandon their owners and homes.


Reasons Why Dogs Abandon Their Owners

There are a few reasons why dogs abandon their owners and below is some of them:


1. Easy escape routes

dog escaping


Genetically from their wolf descendants, canines are known to roam everywhere.


In the past, wolves did not have a specific place for shelter and when they started going, they would move to where they would find food.

And where they got tired, they would sleep there.


According to veterinarian Sharon Crowell, dogs are curious animals and due to their activeness, they want to discover and explore.


In your compound, if you have a low fence or a broken gate, or an open window, a curious dog will simply want to discover what is usually out there.


You can’t always keep the windows closed; the house needs some fresh air.


Always ensure that the windows have grills and security bars to prevent your dog from jumping outside.


You could also put a baby gate or a door barrier that will keep your dog from sprinting out and running away.


Always supervise your dog when you are playing around the yard and check for any holes and weak spots on the fence.


2. When chasing something

Some dogs have a very heightened drive for catching prey.


If for instance, you are taking a walk and your dog is not on a leash, a collar, or a harness.


They will most likely chase a squirrel or a rat up a tree or as far as he can run to catch these other little animals.


It is important to keep your dog on a leash always.


No matter how much we think they will not run away, dogs are dogs and sometimes their prey drive will come unexpectedly and he might run and never come back again.


Always remember to train him on the recall command and use helpful tools for control to keep your dog by your side fully.



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3. Reproductive drive

When dogs are in heat, it makes them move without the thought of what will happen next.


Intact male dogs are driven to search for a mate.


No matter how you think you have trained your dog.


They can be overwhelmed by their reproductive drive.


If the neighbor’s lady dog is around and your boy senses her availability, their urge to mate will most definitely lead them through the door, to the gate, and down the road in search of them to fulfill their natural urges.


With a secure fence and gate, of course, he will not be able to get out but the best way to do this is to have him spayed or neutered as soon as you can.


According to research, neutering reduces sexual roaming in about 90% of dogs.


Once your dog’s sexual drive reduces, they will be more chilled and less likely to chase the lady dog next door.


Some Vets advise spaying to be done when the pup is 8 weeks or when fully developed like six months.


The time is not sensitive to when spaying should be done.


4. Boredom

two dogs looking outside


The reproductive drive is not only the thing that drives the dogs to abandon their owners, dogs also leave because of boredom.


You Can help your dog chill his explore instincts by providing:



a good walk daily (depending on the activity level and age of the dog), will calm your dog and help them relax when you are not with them in the house.



give your dog a brain workout using puzzles, games, and training.


Do not forget to give them treats when they achieve what they are supposed to.



when you do not distract your dog with things that entertain him, he is most likely going to seek somewhere else with more fun.


Socialize with your dog or let your dog play with other dogs.


Give them toys or even, some dogs love some cartoon shows, keep them occupied with that.


You may also consider taking them to the park to play.


5. Scary sounds and sights

Disruptive noises, bright or flickering lights, and big crowds could easily heighten the anxiety of your dog because he is frightened.


It is important to go to family events and parties but you would rather leave your dog home or safely put him indoors at home as the party rages in the other rooms.



Scary sounds may also include; gunshots, thunder, and car accidents.


Such sounds could easily make the dog take off and you may never see your canine again.


If your dog is easily spooked, you could try the following ways to keep him calm and secure.


a.) Secure your dog with a fitted leash and collar.


You could as well use a backup collar when you think the area you will be in has a lot of triggers for your dog.


When dogs are scared, they could easily break off from a loose leash.


b.) Work on training and practicing the recall command.


A panicked dog may not entirely respond to his name but when her recall command is instinctual, they will be able to respond to you.


c.) Have a safe space for him that he knows he cannot be harmed when he is in that area.


It could be a crate or a room that has doors.


Keep him in there when there are thunderstorms or when you are hosting loud celebrations.


In that room ensure that all doors and windows are well locked.



Dogs rarely abandon the owners and when they do, they have a valid reason for doing so.


It could be because it is natural, or their reproductive desires are overwhelming them, or they are bored or even scary sounds and lights.


Always take care of your dog well to ensure he does not run away from home because of lack of attention.


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A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.