Picture this: 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. You try everything you think will attract the dog to you, like making kissing noises, whistling, or talking in your baby voice. That’s what all of us would immediately think to do! How often has this worked for you, though? Think about it.
The more you chase a dog, the more likely they are to run away from you! A dog sees running as a signal that it’s time to play. The more you chase a dog, the more likely they are to run away from you. Here are some tips on how to wrangle a dog on the loose!
To Wrangle a Dog on the Loose: Be Calm
Before you try any of these alternatives, keep in mind that you need to assess the situation: Does the dog seem aggressive? Is the dog acting sick (maybe rabid)? Don’t put yourself in a position where you may jeopardize your safety!
Display non-threatening behavior. Do not make eye contact, yawn, or pretend 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. They may interpret these noises as threats.
You can also try laying down completely or getting on your hands and knees. The dog may be curious about 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.
Do Not Chase Them
This should not come as a surprise to anyone, but chasing a dog that’s already running freely can make it much harder to catch them. While it may be human instinct to run after something or someone we are trying to catch, dogs interpret this behavior differently.
By chasing them, you might unintentionally drive them into more danger, especially if they are running around along busy streets. To wrangle a dog on the loose, your best bet is to try and get their attention, and make yourself seem super interesting! Dance around like a manic, trick into thinking there is something really cool on the ground. If you have treats on you, even better! Most dogs are familiar with the sound of a bag opening as that can signal treat time.
Run in The Opposite Direction
As we mentioned earlier, dogs can see running as a signal that it’s time to play. Well, you may be able to use this to your advantage when trying to wrangle a dog on the loose.
Running towards a dog will make it harder for you to catch them. However, if you run away from them, they may be more likely to run after you. The dog may think you’re playing and will want to join in on the fun. 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!
Need help walking your dog so they stay tired, and less likely to run out the door? Check out our dog walking services today!