Asociación por los Derechos de Animales Abandonados
Association for the Rights of Abandoned Animals
CIF: G29463635

Information and Advice on Dogs

Risk of losing your new dog is high at time of adoption!

I think everyone will agree that most dogs like to run free. However every time your dog escapes there is the possibility of a tragic ending.

A dog that has lived in a shelter for a long time will welcome the opportunity to run free. He/she has not settled into their new life yet and everything is strange and exciting. Some dogs will never have lived in a family environment and this can be very daunting for them.

Outside influences e.g. people, a cat, another dog, a motorbike, children etc will seem very interesting when they have been stuck in a shelter all their lives and they will naturally want to investigate and look for a way to do so.

Some animals hate fireworks, thunder and other sudden, loud noises and may be frantic to bolt!

New adopters need to be particularly vigilant and take measures to make sure their new dog is secure, as bolting is a common problem.

Potential Problems
1. Are your doors and windows secure? Do you teach your children and ask your visitors to make sure the gate is shut?
2. Can your dog jump over the fence/gate?
3. Are there potential ‘escape routes’ underneath the fence?
4. Have you trained your dog basic commands e.g. stay/sit etc?
5. What do you do when you have visitors? Is there a ‘safe’ room where you can put your dog whilst you are seeing your visitors to the door?
6. Is your dog lonely and bored? If so, he/she will look for distractions.
7. We would all agree it is lovely to see your dog running free after being cooped up in a shelter for a long time but don’t be tempted too early in your relationship to unclip the leash. Make sure he/she is sure of their way home. Try and complete some basic training before taking the chance of letting your dog run off-lead. If your dog does refuse to come back, don’t chase the dog and beware of turning it into a game. Walk away, gently calling the dog’s name.

Recommendations
1. Ensure your dog has plenty of exercise – dogs do need a lot of sleep (around 15 hrs per 24) therefore will be less likely to escape if they have had a good walk.
2. Play with your dog at every opportunity using toys like a ball or Frisbee for stimulation. Make this time safe and enjoyable and again your dog will be less likely to want to bolt and this will assist the bonding process.
3. If you are at work for long periods think about what your dog will do during this time. Walk your dog before you go out, alternate toys, think about a doggie day care centre or hiring a dog walker.
4. Make sure your new dog is chipped and registered with your current phone number for easy identification. A good idea is the collar disc with your current telephone number inscribed.

What to do if your dog is lost
1. Contact local shelters and vets
2. Print out photos/leaflets and share on local media groups.
3. If you happen to see your dog and he refuses to return when you call him/her and runs off (very common with new dogs and not your fault), try and distract the dog with food/toy. If the dog has been missing for a while they may be feeling nervous and disorientated. Walk up slowly and make a big fuss of him/her when they do return (even though you may be feeling angry). Call gently. If the dog thinks you are angry he/she will have less reason to return.