When you call your dog, and he barks and runs away, you likely feel confused, concerned, and disappointed. It might make you question your connection with him or wonder about the reasons behind his unexpected behavior. Such moments can evoke feelings of uncertainty about your approach or training methods.
Many dog parents are worried about this behavior and want to know why it happens and how to stop their dogs from doing this. If you are one of those dog owners, you are in the right place.
Reasons Dogs Bark and Run Away from You
- Playfulness: Some dogs bark and run away as an invitation to play. It’s their way of engaging in a game of chase. They might look back at you with a playful demeanor, expecting you to chase them.
- Fear or Anxiety: A dog might bark and flee if something has scared them. This could be due to loud noises, sudden movements, or unfamiliar situations. Their bark, in this context, is a sign of distress, and running away is their way of seeking safety.
- Seeking Attention: Dogs quickly learn behaviors that get them attention. If barking and running away has previously resulted in you chasing or playing with them, they might repeat this behavior to get the same reaction.
- Lack of Training: Dogs that haven’t been trained to come when called might not understand what’s expected of them. Instead of coming to you, they might bark and run away out of confusion or because they are distracted by something else.
- Asserting Independence: Just as toddlers sometimes enjoy the power of saying “no,” dogs can also exhibit independent streaks. In these moments, they might bark and run away to assert their own will, especially during adolescence.
- Territorial Behavior: If a dog perceives a threat to their territory or feels challenged, it might bark as a warning sign and then run away to get a better vantage point or to distance itself from the perceived threat.
How to Stop a Dog from Barking and Running Away from You?
Step 1: Understand the Cause
Before addressing the behavior, it’s crucial to understand why your dog is barking and running away. Is it fear, playfulness, or a cry for attention? Observing the context and the dog’s body language will give you insights into the cause.
Step 2: Establish Basic Training
Begin with fundamental commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” Training sessions should be consistent and short to ensure your dog remains engaged. Reward good behavior with treats, praise, or play.
Step 3: Use Positive Reinforcement
Whenever your dog responds to your call or stays calm without barking, reward them with positive reinforcement like treats or affection. This will help them associate coming to you and staying calm with positive outcomes.
Step 4: Implement Recall Training
Start training in a quiet, enclosed space. Use a leash at first. Call your dog’s name followed by the command “come.” Reward them generously when they come to you. Gradually increase distractions and practice in different environments.
Step 5: Avoid Punishment
Never punish your dog for not coming or for barking. Punishment can create fear and anxiety, which might worsen the problem. Instead, focus on redirecting and rewarding positive behavior.
Step 6: Address Underlying Fear or Anxiety
If fear or anxiety is causing the behavior, consider working with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide techniques to help desensitize and counter-condition the dog to whatever is causing the fear.
Step 7: Increase Exercise and Mental Stimulation
Dogs with excess energy are more likely to engage in unwanted behaviors. Ensure your dog gets enough physical exercise and mental stimulation through play, training, and interactive toys.
Step 8: Stay Consistent
Consistency is key in dog training. Ensure that all family members are on board with the training methods and commands to provide a consistent environment for the dog.
Step 9: Seek Professional Help
If, despite your efforts, your dog’s behavior persists or worsens, consider seeking help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can offer expert advice tailored to your dog’s specific needs.
Why my Dog runs away when I approach it?
Your dog may run away when you approach due to fear, past negative experiences, or viewing it as a playful game. It’s important to observe their body language to discern the reason and ensure your approach is calm and non-threatening to build trust.
Can I use Anti-Barking devices to stop my Dog from Barking and Running away?
Anti-barking devices can deter excessive barking, but they don’t specifically address the behavior of running away. It’s essential to use them responsibly and ensure they don’t cause fear or distress. Addressing the root cause of the behavior through training and positive reinforcement is more effective and humane.