Dogs run away for so many reasons, and whippets aren’t an exception. Statistically, about 10 million pets are lost annually in the US.
The American Humane Association reports indicate that approximately 15% of runaway pooches lacking microchips and tags don’t reunite with their possessors.
Such statistics are disheartening and worrying for most dog owners and keep worrying whether their dog will also head out one day and never come back, especially if the dog tends to run away frequently.
If your whippet has this tendency, you must be concerned and eager to know why and what you can do to break this trait. Well, your concern brought you to the right place.
This article provides comprehensive details about why dogs behave this way and how to stop your whippet from running away.
Why Do Some Whippets Run Away?
Considering whippets are highly athletic and agile, they tend to chase more after things, especially if it’s eatable. Some of the reasons why whippets run away include;
When He’s Attracted To A Mate
Most whippets usually run away when attracted to another dog of the opposite gender at some point in their lives.
When a female canine is in heat, she’ll produce a pheromone whose scent attracts the males. When your dog smells this scent, he may run away to look for the female dog.
Generally, whippets were bred to hunt and race and have a higher prey drive, a character that made them dubbed ‘a poor man’s greyhound’. Therefore, don’t be surprised when he runs away, plays, and hunt for rabbits most of his time.
However, there’s a point where your whippet keeps on running away, and delays to come home, goes very far from the house, or on worse occasions, fail to go home forever.
You don’t want that; therefore, it’s better to train it to recall and stop running away alone without permission.
If your whippet is happy, you’ll be happy too. Only feeding and grooming your dog won’t make him happy; he needs to socialise, play, relax, and exercise.
If he doesn’t get to play and socialise more often, he’ll become bored and start chewing things in your house or run away for a while.
Some of the boredom signs on whippets include; constant mugging for attention, separation anxiety, chewing stuff, a clingy attitude, and more.
Frequent exercise, enrichment, and entertainment are among the best ways of how to stop your whippet running away since they’ll break the boredom and loneliness he usually feels when alone or in a crate.
When He’s Afraid
There are some environment settings that whippets can’t withstand, for example, a place with fireworks, blaring music, loud vehicles and planes, lightning storms, and thunder.
Whippets are usually calm and gentle dogs, and such environs can make them feel insecure and afraid.
The last thing your furry friend wants to hear is those disturbing sounds; therefore, he might run away as far as possible to avoid hearing the noise.
Change In Routine
Dogs thrive in repeated routines, and even a minimal change can disrupt them. He might run away because he’s upset or finds it hard to adapt to the new way.
Your dog can start running after a sudden change, like relocating, divorce, you gave birth, or brought another pet home.
Your Home Has Easy Escape Routes
Your whippet might not be a runner, but he might leave if he finds an easy way out, especially if he’s not trained or bored. Normally, whippets are highly intelligent, curious, active, and love exploring.
If your home has a broken gate, low fence, or an open window, your whippet can get curious and head out and circle further. Most sighthounds have a strong smell sense; if they catch an attractive scent, they tend to follow it even for hours.
Just like you, your whippet needs adequate food and water. If you leave your whippet hungry for more extended hours for several consecutive days, he can run away to look for food.
If he doesn’t get that food near his home, he’ll continue walking for so long until he forgets his way or delays reaching home.
Providing him enough and a balanced dog diet and water can be a great approach on how to stop your whippet from running away.
How To Stop Your Whippet Running Away
Whippets can take-off quickly, especially when they see something that appears to be prey. When your whippet is in the back yard or on a walk and leaves you behind without consent, it may get lost.
It would be best to circumvent this situation by brainstorming innovative ideas on how to stop your whippet from running away. Here are guides on how to prevent whippets from running away while at home and during walks.
It’s quite simple to lose track of your whippet when you’re out in public, especially if it is off-leash. Here is a look at what you should do when your whippet runs away while you’re out on a walk.
First, Don’t Chase After Your Whippet
Whippets are incredibly athletic, and if it starts chasing after something and you follow, the chances are that you won’t catch up. Also, your whippet may become scared you’re chasing it or assume it is playtime and may run away entirely.
If your whippet speeds off and you can still see it, enticing it to chase you. You can use a toy or treat to coax your whippet to chase after you instead of running in the opposite direction.
Try To Remain Calm And Composed When Your Whippet Runs Away
Although many whippet owners tend to start shout or scream when they notice their whippet bolting, you should attempt to remain composed. Since your whippet may be agitated, kindly call the whippet in a calm, soothing, and happy voice.
Use Commands That Instruct Your Whippet To Stop
As your whippet runs away, you can quickly stop it by instructing your whippet to stop and rollover. Whippets also respond positively to commands they associate with food or fun.
You can also use your whippet recall word that resonates with your hound. Such phrases help to communicate with your whippet that you want it to return to your feet immediately.
While At Home
Whippets that love straying away from home can cause distress to their owners. Here are proven ways of how to stop your whippet running away while it’s at home.
Consider Nuetering Or Spaying Your Whippet
Neutered or spayed whippets are less likely to stray from their homes searching for a mate during heat season. These processes are also quite beneficial to your whippet’s health.
Find Ways To Contain Your Whippets Instinct
Whippets are renowned for their high-prey drive, and it means they love chasing after small animals. Taming your whippet’s prey drive can help tame roaming behaviour, and you can achieve this feat by training your whippet through positive reinforcement.
You can also ensure your whippet gets adequate mental stimulation by allowing it to walk off-leash and explore calm prey-free environments.
Ensure You Know How To Tackle Your Whippets Fear
If your home continuously has loud noises such as thunder, construction, or fireworks, your whippet may seek refuge by fleeing. If you can identify such whippet fears early on, you can efficiently train your whippet to withstand such noises.
You can start by these playing sounds that your whippet fears at low volumes, and with time begin increasing the loudness until your whippet is no longer skittish.
Stick To Your Whippets Schedule
Whippets prefer to have a specific daily program. Always ensure you stick to your typical whippet schedule, and if you need to make alterations conduct them slowly.
Ensure Your Whippet Is Well-Fed And Engaged Throughout The Day
Whippets that are well-fed and entertained rarely leave their homes in search of adventure. Always ensure your whippet has enough play toys and food, mostly if you work part-time or full-time.
Secure Your Fence And Seal Off Any Potential Escape Routes
Kindly consider sealing of exit point that your whippet can use to roam the neighbourhood. If there’s no way out, your whippet will have to stay put even if it has smelled something interesting over the fence.
Why Your Whippet Running Away Needs To Be Stopped
A whippet that keeps fleeing from home can be a nuisance. However, if you entertain such whippet behaviour, it may result in various unpleasant situations for you and your whippet.
Problems that can arise if you don’t know how to stop your whippet from running away include:
- Your whippet may have an accident or nasty encounter while it’s roaming the neighbourhood. Cars can run over your whippet and break its not so strong bones, or other dogs may fight and injure it.
- Whippets that run off continuously may end up leaving for good. If your whippet leaves your home and gets lost, it probably won’t come back.
- A roaming whippet is more likely to contract illnesses. Since you don’t know what your whippet interacts with when it leaves home, it can contract different dog illnesses and parasites such as fleas.
If you are worried about your whippet running off, kindly consider looking for preventative ways to avoid it.
Also, try to procure digital dog tags and microchips that ensure you always get your whippet back, even if it runs away.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!