How to Wrangle a Dog on the Loose!

Catch me if you can!

You’re on your way home from work, and you see a dog running down the street, zig-zagging through traffic. Your heart skips a beat. You have to save it! Your instinct is to pull over and run after it. Make kissing noises, whistle, talk in your baby voice, you know. That’s what all of us would immediately think to do! But, how often has this worked for you? Think about it…

The more you chase a dog, the more likely they are to run away from you!

Here are some other options:

(Keep in mind, before you try any of these alternatives, assess the situation:  Does the dog seem aggressive?  Is the dog acting sick (maybe rabid)?  Don’t put yourself in a risky situation!)

  • Display non-threatening behavior, such as not making eye contact, yawning, or pretending to eat.  If the dog doesn’t feel threatened by you, it is more likely to come willingly to you.  Try not to call them to you, or pat your legs to get them to come.  Those noises could be interpreted as threats.
  • Ask the dog if they want to go for a ride!  The dog might love taking rides in the car, and get excited and jump right in!  And then you may have the opportunity to check their tags, get them to a vet to see if they have a chip, things like that.
  • Lie down!  Get on your hands and knees, lay down completely, or even curl into a ball.  The dog may be curious at your odd behavior, and will most likely view this as non-threatening.  They will be more likely to come up to you, sniff you, get comfortable with being close to you.
  • Run in the opposite direction!  The dog may think you’re playing and start running after you!  This will possibly build comfort as well!

While these are suggestions for a dog you don’t know, it’s worth trying for your dog as well!  You know that look your dog gives you?  When they freeze and look at you, and you say to them, “Don’t!”  And the second you say that, they bolt!  Then you run after them, screaming their name, and embarrassing yourself in front of your neighbors, apologizing to them as you sprint past.  Try these!

Have you already tried any of these suggestions? If so, share your experiences with us! How did it go? Did they work? Not work? Do you have any other things you’ve tried that worked? Let us know!

Good luck!  And happy hunting!