Are you a dog lover? For many dog owners, having a dog can be like having another member of the family. Many new pet owners want to find out everything that they can about what a dog requires.

One thing you may find out is that dogs really like to run. It’s in their nature, and what can I do if my dog suddenly runs from me?

Puppies have a lot of energy, and adult dogs enjoy getting some exercise too. This is a good thing, but it can be very stressful if your dog decides to suddenly run away when you are not expecting it.

You may think that you can prevent your dog running away. That may be so– depending on the size and speed of your dog. Unless your pet is severely out of shape and older, chances are that they could easily lap their human owners.

Dogs were descended from wolves, after all, and can be pretty strong and fast when they want to be. There’s only so much that pet owners can do to chase after their dog. A small or quick dog will be too fast too catch, while a powerful and agile breed could reach speeds that rival a car.

If you do lose a dog, put up flyers and online posts in relevant forums immediately to increase the chances that you’ll be contacted. Remember to get your dog tags for their collar and chips as soon as possible in case this scenario ever occurs.

You may be able to tell from your dog’s body language what they are thinking or feeling. Figuring out what it was that caused them to run is key not only to breaking the pattern but finding them too if this ever happens. If they’re scared, they may be hiding. If they’re excited, they may be wildly running and may well cover several blocks.

Dogs can also run due to negative association. From fearing punishment to having collar sensitivity, the reasons can vary. Your dog may even have been attempting to play with you, an attempt at having fun.

Keep in mind that a shelter or rescue dog also has a past and they may associate certain things with punishment. They may even scare off a car backfiring or take off after a squirrel.

Dogs run out of fear, to avoid things, to hunt, for fun, for exercise, as a game– for many reasons! A behavior consultant or dog trainer may be able to help you understand how your pup thinks. Try to build a positive association with being called and obedient by rewarding them with treats and speaking in a tone of praise. By figuring out what they dislike or want to achieve by running, you can prevent it in the future and never worry about your dog bolting again.

Break up the negative associations if you can. For instance, if your dog reacts poorly when their name is called but comes anyway, give them a treat for coming. Break up the negative association. If your dog thinks it’s a fun game to run away, you may have to call in a trainer if you can’t get results on your own.

Understanding what’s going on with your pup will help you with breaking the cycle. Do your research and don’t be afraid to hire help if you need it.