What to Do if Your Dog Gets Off-Leash

dog run away from leash

If your dog ever gets off the leash, it is important that you have a plan in place. 

There are all sorts of bad things that can happen in a split second when your dog is off the leash. This is why you need to know what to do.

Should I Ever let my Dog Off the Leash?

It is generally not a good idea to allow your dog to run free unless it is in a fenced-in area like a dog park. The fact is that there is just too much risk involved with doing this. Your dog could run into the street and get hit by a car, or get into a fight with another animal.

If you want to keep your canine companion safe, it is very important that you keep them on the leash at all times. Even the best-trained dogs are still animals, so they can be unpredictable. This is especially true when you are in an area with other animals and people all around.

Steps to Follow When Your Does Gets Off-Leash

1. Don’t Panic

The first and perhaps most important thing that you’ll need to remember if your dog gets off-leash is to remain calm. Panicking is only going to make the situation worse, which is the last thing you want. You need to make a point of keeping a cool head so that you can respond appropriately at the moment.

2. Call Out to Your Dog

While your first instinct might be to chase after your dog when it gets off the leash, this is not a good idea. Instead, you will want to stand still and simply call out to them using their name. There is a good chance that your dog will come back soon after you start doing this. 

Make sure that there are no traces of panic or aggression in your voice when you call them. Your dog is unlikely to respond if they feel like you are mad at them. You’ll want to stay calm and keep an upbeat tone. This will give you the best chance of getting your dog back as quickly as possible.

3. Offer It a Treat

If you happen to have a treat with you, it is a good idea to offer it to them. Just hold it on your hand and extend your arm outward. You don’t want to run around with the treat trying to get them. Your dog will likely be so enticed by the prospect of a yummy snack that they will forget all about their glorious moment of freedom.

4. Utilize Commands

If your dog is already familiar with the “come” command, you’ll definitely want to use it when they get off-leash. Make sure that you give your dog the command with a firm but friendly tone of voice. There is a good chance that you will get them to come back to you without any issues.

labrador with a leash in his mouth e1582860474724

Tips for Keeping Your Dog on the Leash

There are a number of helpful tips that you can follow to prevent your dog from getting off the leash in the first place. These tips can help you keep your beloved pet safe when you go out together.

1. Train Your Dog

It is crucial that you train your dog to behave properly when it is on a leash. You should ideally start this training from an early age. The younger your dog is when you start doing this, the more likely it is to stick with them.

If your dog is still a puppy, you should get them familiar with the leash from the time they are a few weeks old. You can start off by simply showing them the leash and letting them sniff it. The next step is to hook it onto their chain and walk them around the house before going outside into the big wide world.

2. Use Positive Reinforcement

When you are training your dog on a leash, you should always give it verbal praise and the occasional treat when it does well. This positive reinforcement will encourage your pup to keep up its good behavior.

3. Keep it on a Short Leash

The less slack there is on the leash, the less likely your dog is to get away from you. The leash should be long enough to let your dog explore a bit, but not so long that they can pull it away.

beagel walks on a leash

 4. Pay Attention to Your Dog

Make sure that you keep a close watch on your dog while you have it on the leash. A lot of people are so distracted by their phones and other electronic gadgets that they are hardly paying attention. By doing this you will drastically reduce the chances of your dog getting off the leash in the first place.

5. Get Your Dog an ID Tag

If your dog doesn’t already have an ID tag on its collar, you should really get them one. This tag should have their name along with your contact information. If your dog gets off the leash and becomes lost, its tag can help them get home safely. It doesn’t cost much to have one of these tags made, and it is a great overall investment.


  • If your dog happens to get off the leash, it is absolutely imperative that you stay calm.
  • You’ll need to resist the urge to chase after your dog, as this will most likely cause them to just run away.
  • Try calling out your dog’s name to get them to come back to you.
  • If your dog knows the “come” command, you should absolutely use it to bring them back.
  • Offer your dog a treat if you happen to have one in your pocket.
  • The best way to keep your dog from getting off the leash is to train them from an early age.
  • Make sure that your dog is familiar with the leash from the time it is a little puppy.
  • Always keep a close eye on your dog when you have it on the leash outside.
  • It is a good idea to keep your dog on a short leash so you maintain full control at all times.
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