Why does my dog love to wander off? (and tips to stop it)

Updated: Jul 19

“One second he was next to me, and the next he has vanished!”

“I’m tired of going around in circles looking for my dog Lily; she has a knack for disappearing on me every time we go for a walk!”

Sounds familiar? If you have a dog that loves to roam, you would know the anxiety it entails. It’s common to be engrossed in a phone conversation while walking your dog. Your attention might shift a little, and when you look down, your furry friend is no longer there. Your dog going missing is a terrifying thought. 

Source: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals survey, 2012

Not all dogs wander off, but many of them do for various reasons. Here are some.

Your dog is mighty bored

This is one of the least surprising reasons but also one of the most common ones. Many dogs remain at home the entire day without human company while you go to work. The pandemic hasn’t changed things much for your dog. They are still cooped up at home while you’re busy working. When you do take your dog out for their evening walk, their ‘jailbreak’ instinct is at its sharpest. And off they go, exploring to their heart’s content.

Your dog is seeking a mate

Has your dog been restless lately? Your dog could be in heat. Digging under a fence, climbing over walls, and wandering around are all signs of a dog that’s frantically searching out a mate.