Least Effective Method to Retrieve a Dog That Has Got Off-Leash!

Yaniv Oxenhandler
Yaniv Oxenhandler
I'm a content writer and researcher. But bottom line, I loveee animals. I had my first animal which was a guinea pig at age 8. Later had a bunny, dog and a lot, a lot of fish. Writing about what I know about pets will allow me to share my knowledge and love for them with everyone else. Dealing with dogs my entire life, I know a lot.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click and buy we may make a commission, at no additional charge to you.

Table of Contents

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Least and Most effective Ways To Catch a Dog Off Leash

If you are searching for what the least effective method to retrieve a dog that has got off-leash, is then well your search is over. We got you covered.

Quick Answer

Running after a dog and shouting his name is the least effective method as this activity can make your dog aggressive and annoyed, and as a result, he runs with more speed than you can never chase. Plus, a dog running 20 miles per hour can get to unfamiliar directions, making retrieval difficult.

If your dog has ran away in the park, or somewhere else. There are plenty of things you can do that will make him run even further. However, in this article, we’ll go over three ways on what not to do and ten ways on what to do, to get your dog back. So lets dive right into it!

3 Least effective ways to catch a dog off-leash

1- Chasing Off-leashed Dog

Chasing or running after an off-leashed dog is probably by far the least effective method to retrieve and catch him. Running towards him may get confused and he’ll take the wrong idea that you’re playing a chase game with him. He’ll run even faster if you do that.

Since dogs are three times faster than humans running after him won’t be the best option and he’ll just simply outrun you. Another downside is that, running after him may put his life at stake because when you desperately run after him, he doesn’t pay attention as to where he’s going. As a result, your dog may encounter an over-speeding car or traffic jam and have an accident. So don’t run after him!!

2- Asking Strangers to Run After An Off-leashed Dog

Never ask any stranger to run after your off-leashed dog as he will take it as a danger and run faster to save his life. Dogs are pretty familiar with their family and owners, which helps them access whether a person following them is a stranger.

Your dog is smart, they’ll realize a stranger is running after them and they’ll get afraid. Sometimes they can also attack strangers in their defense so, it’s better to avoid this method. On the other hand, your pet can face the same troubles as mentioned in the first least effective method to retrieve an off-leashed dog. Therefore, you can ask anyone to help only when your dog is in his range without running or chasing.

3- Shouting and Screaming to Get His Attention

Shouting and screaming at a running dog is never a smart solution. In fact, it can flip the situation and he can get annoyed with your shouting. As, dogs get off-leashed when they find something different and want to explore, your voice can increase their excitement level. They assume that you enjoy and encourage their running. On the other hand, your high-pitched voice can get them frustrated and angry. Which will negatively impact them, and they’ll prefer to run away from you aggressively.

Least Effective Method to Retrieve a Dog That Has Got Off-Leash!

10 Best Effective Methods to Retrieve an Off-leashed Dog

1- Calmly Call the Name of Your Dog

If your dog gets off-leashed, the first thing to do is stay calm and don’t overreact. Your reaction will add to the trouble, and most likely make him run even faster. So, don’t immediately rush towards your furry baby. Try to rather call him with a pleasant voice.

Most likely, he found something interesting in his surroundings that intrigued him. So try to go the same way and to get his attention back. 

Make sure your voice is loud and clear without any rage or fear. If you successfully divert his attention from running, your off-leashed dog will be back in no time.

2- Lure Him With His Favorite Food

Well, do you love eating? Everybody does, and so do your lovely dogs. They enjoy their dog foods, meals , and treats. So, if your dog has just run off-leashed, show him something that he loves and craves. You’ll see him running straight towards that delicious treat, forgetting about his surroundings and findings. 

This method to retrieve an off-leashed dog is amazing and does wonders to retrieve running dogs back. Try to show him a treat before he goes 10 to 15 feet away, as this is the optimum range from where he can see or smell the food.

You can try practicing this approach on regular days to see whether he gets lured to his favorite treat. If he gets used to this approach, it’ll be normal for him to come back than run further.

3- Show Him a Toy

Sometimes, showing a toy to an off-leashed dog magically helps in retrieving them. When a dog gets off-leashed due to anything interesting, your ultimate purpose should be to disrupt his attention, and you can do so, by showing him his favorite toy.

Most dogs have an affiliation for toys and are attached to them. Politely call his name and when he turns back, wave his favorite toy. You’ll see, him forgetting his findings and runs back to cuddle his toy. Thus, try to keep your pets’ toys within reach to combat and help in a off-leash situation.

4- Immediately Lie Down on the Ground

Wait, what? Lie down how would that help? Dogs are curious and caring at the same time. So, you can play smartly and lie flat on the ground to give them a feeling that something unexpected happened to you. Your dog will be worried about you. He’ll run over to see if you’re feeling fine.

This trick mainly helps off-leashed dogs that are far away but attentive towards you. Thus, lying down on the ground is one of the best and effective methods to retrieve off-leashed dogs

Note: Catch your dog only when he comes very close to you without feeling that you are pretending to grab their attention. Hold his leash and set his collar when your he’s in your range.

6- Run Opposite to Your Off-leashed Dog

It may sound weird at first, that if your dog is off-leashed, you should run in the opposite direction. However this neat trick works really well. 

So, if you lose control, and your dog starts running away try running in the opposite direction. Your dog will be confused and come back your way to chase you

Least Effective Method to Retrieve a Dog That Has Got Off-Leash!

Well, after trying all those methods and despite them, they didn’t work. These next three are for a dog that has completely run away.
7- Seek Help from Animal Control

If your dog doesn’t or hasn’t come back despite all efforts. Then, it’s best to inform animal control and ask them to help. There are professionals and experts to assist in finding your lost dog that can make this process easier for you. In fact, your dog also remains safe with their expertise. So, whenever you notice he has gone out of your capacity and has not come back. Even after many hours of waiting. Then, don’t make a delay in informing them.

They will assist with all possible means and provide the necessary guidelines to keep your dog safe. Once he’s back, ensure that he is microchipped. So you’ll be easily able to trace him and make sure an incident like this doesn’t reoccur. 

8- Aware Your Neighbors or Friends

Dogs have footprints of places they visit, so your lost dog will likely get back where you often take him with you. If you take him to walk in the nearest street or he often plays with your neighbor’s dog, it is more likely that he will turn there.

Similarly, it could be your friends’ place where you hang out and keep your dog with you. Therefore, it would be best to keep your neighbors and friends in the notice. So if they see your adorable pup wandering around, they’ll let you know.

9- Use The Power of Social Media 

Social media has extreme power. News on these platforms spread like fire. So, why not take advantage of these platforms and the communication they offer. You can post pictures of your dog and mention any distinguishing features to help fellow community members identify him quickly. Try mentioning specific details such as, any chain in his neck or specific eye color to make his identification clearer.

By offering a reward to the finder it might also help bring the stakes up. In a faster finding time.

10- Keep Doorway Open

If your dog doesn’t come home even after a couple of hours, or even days. Don’t lose hope!! Try keeping the doors of your house open. It’s possible that he’ll discover his route home all alone.

Therefore, don’t close your main entrance or lawn entryway so, when he returns home. He’ll be and feel protected, and won’t run straight back out.

There are specific ways to prevent a dog from getting off-leash, such as:  

  • Pay close attention to your dog and loop the leash on your hand so even if he tries to run, the other side of the leash is still in your control.  
  • Train your dog to follow your commands. You can train him to respond to commands like Come and Stop positively. This will also help to keep your dog calm in crowded places.  
  • You can also take the assistance of your vet to train and socialize your pup. Plus, take him to the pet store or vet clinic to see if he properly socialize. When you are sure enough that he feels secure among people or strangers, you can trust him off-leash. 

You can access the dog’s behavior and get a clue that he is ready to be off-leash. For instance, if he doesn’t take your commands seriously and goes without following you, it means he lacks interest in you and wants to run away.  

Secondly, if he suddenly encounters a mob or traffic, he may get puzzled and find running the best way. Therefore, it is imperative to familiarize your dog with other people and noisy areas and train them to behave nicely. However, it is not an overnight task and takes time plus patience but is worth it.   

Final Words: Least Effective Way to Catch a Dog off Leash 

So, after getting all the “what not to do methods” and retrieving methods, you should have understood what the least and best way to catch an off-leashed dog is. As you continue to let your dog off-leash these methods will help in retrieving him back and growing him as an independent dog. Let us know if these tips helped you.

About The Author

I'm a content writer and researcher. But bottom line, I loveee animals. I had my first animal which was a guinea pig at age 8. Later had a bunny, dog and a lot, a lot of fish. Writing about what I know about pets will allow me to share my knowledge and love for them with everyone else. Dealing with dogs my entire life, I know a lot.

Get Furbulous tips & tricks into your inbox

The Latest