A male dog that is left to run free will often roam, sometimes for miles and miles. While some owners don't think anything of this behavior, it can be extremely dangerous for your pet. As a pet owner, it's important to understand why your male dog roams and what you can do about this negative behavior. You should also be aware of the risks and what to do if you dog has gone missing.
Male dogs may roam for a number of reasons. Not being neutered is the most common. Unaltered male dogs will stop at nothing to get to a female in heat. This leads dogs to roam miles away from their home. Another reason is boredom. If your dog doesn't have enough toys keep him entertained or feels neglected, he will be more likely to venture out and find something fun to do. Dogs may also roam because they're frightened. If your dog doesn't feel safe in your yard, he may escape to find a safer place to stay.
There are a number of risks associated with roaming dogs -- the most common is death. Dogs who roam are often struck by cars or killed by other dogs or wild animals. Another risk is to people; your dog may get into a fight with another dog and end up biting an owner who's trying to protect her dog. Your dog could be put down as a result. Roaming dogs may also eat something that isn't safe for them, but their worst threat is humans. People have been known to poison or shoot roaming dogs. Those who are mentally disturbed may even harm a dog in a cruel manner.
For each reason a dog roams, there's a solution. Your first task is to get your dog neutered. This will prevent the urge to chase after females who are in heat. Second, make sure your dog is entertained. This includes playing with him so he doesn't feel neglected and having toys that will keep him occupied while you're gone. You should also make sure the area you're housing your dog is safe and comfortable, and that he has enough food.
Contact your neighbors and local animal shelters immediately to determine if anyone has seen him and to leave your contact information in case they do. If you spot your dog out in the neighborhood, do not run after him. This can cause your dog to run in front of a car. Instead, use body language that encourages the dog to come to you, such as sitting on the ground and calling for him.
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