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question about active dogs (running away)

momhappy

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Question for dog owners. Do you have a dog that's a runner? I mean an active breed that is prone to jumping a fence, running away, etc? I ask because I wonder if this indicates an underlying problem? Does a fence (or some other kind of enclosure) solve the problem or is it more complicated than that? It would seem to me that yes, a fence could keep a dog in, but maybe they might be forever "bothered" by the fact that they can't be free (which could result in other destructive behaviors)? Thanks for any insight.
 

AGBF

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My dog is not a "runner", although he sometimes manages to escape our fenced-in yard when there is a bitch in heat! Laurie (JewelFreak} has Siberian Huskies, though, and is an expert on dogs that will take off and wind up in Anchorage or Nome if allowed loose. If she is still reading the boards, she would be a great resource on this. I know there are many other dog experts here, however.

Deb :wavey:
 

YadaYadaYada

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We adopted a Coonhound years ago from a city shelter to save her from being put down. I had read up on them but I was not prepared for her at all apparently. She would dart out the door even if you opened it a crack and being a hound she would follow ANY scent until she got bored. The first few times I ran after her, I'm talking all out run as fast as I could and couldn't catch up to her, then I would just wait for her to come home. Obviously this was not a good match for us so we ended up fostering her and finding her a new home that was not on a busy street and with a very active couple that adored all of her quirks.

Until we re-homed her, we put her out on a lead which we would leave the part you hook onto the collar in the house and hook her up before opening the door and she would go flying. This way she could have some freedom while being safe. Depending on how strong your dog is this may be an option but if the dog is too strong the run could snap. It worked for us and is not greatly expensive so might be worth a shot?
 

momhappy

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Thanks, Deb & Stephanie. I know that there are lots of dog owners on here, so that's why I thought I would post. I know that there are ways to solve the running, but I guess I'm wondering more about the overall temperament of a dog thats prone to bolting/running. Maybe there's no way to tell because every dog is so different?
 

PintoBean

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Six feet fence kept the big dogs contained. But the little dogs? OMG - it's so easy for them to move a few rocks, dig a small hole, and dart out from under the fence! My neighbor has "fido fence". But what happens when there's a blackout?
 

parrot tulips

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I think we got lucky, because we have a very fit boxer, and she's never once attempted to run away. I've heard rumors of boxers being able to clear a 5-6 foot fence from a standstill, although I've never witnessed such a thing first hand. People working on the house have left the door or back gate open, and she's never gone past the driveway. I'd like to take credit, saying its because she gets out for a walk daily, but I think most likely it's simply her personality. She likes home. She bolts for the front door to get in the house when we've been out.
 

AGBF

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Well, the question wasn't about clearing a fence. My best friend, who is now living on her land in Maine (she has many acres there, whereas in Connecticut she has limited space), has at least ten dogs. Several of them can easily jump a six or eight or even higher foot fence. And she also has small dogs (Valhunds as well as mixes and other breeds she has rescued) that burrow. In Connecticut her husband had to reinforce fences at their base with concrete to thwart the burrowers. The most dangerous escapees were the Malamute/wolf hybrids, however, because like Siberian Huskies, they do not return. They love and adore her (and love and adore her husband even more), but they would never come back unless corralled. Once they did escape, and her husband returned from driving towards Connecticut to Maine and found them before they had gotten too far.

Being prone to leave forever and being fast to run out a door are different phenomena. We had a Cocker Spaniel who would run out a door into a parking lot full of cars or onto a crowded street (like StephanieLynn's Coonhound), but he wasn't interested in leaving home forever. My friend's Malamutes aren't desperate to go out a door, but if they do stray, they won't be returning. Neither phenomenon is safe for the dog!
 

Rockinruby

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Momhappy, I don't think a fence necessarily eradicates the problem. There are lots of factors to consider, but dogs who do get loose quickly learn it's fun. They get to do whatever they want so they find it to be a self rewarding behavior. I think breed/mix plays a big part as does boredom, mental & physical stimulation, separation anxiety, whether they are fixed or not, the amount of natural drive they have, etc. Some dogs have different needs just like people do.

I've had breeds/mixes who are notorious for roaming. The things I've found to be helpful are fencing in my front yard so I don't have to worry as much when the door opens. Taking the dogs to obedience classes and having a great recall. (I don't mean one class when they are puppies. I mean multiple classes which helps your dog bond with you and a solid recall with different distractions.). Training them to go to a mat when someone comes to the door is helpful. (I think Mayk was Having her puppy trained to do that?). My current dogs love to scent so we make sure to take them out to do that pretty frequently. There are also lots of dog puzzles, kongs and other things you can give them to keep them busy. It does seem to help a lot with certain dogs if you give them plenty of things to do. :wavey:
 

Gypsy

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John, my husband, had a dog that was a runner. She was a Shepard. They got a better, and higher fence and were very careful, but she got out on occasion despite that because she was always looking to be free. And, on one of these occasions got run over.

His next dog, also a Shepard wasn't a runner but thought getting away and making you chase him was fun. But he only was in it as long as you chased him. If you didn't chase him he'd get disappointed and would come back to you. We researched trainers because there are a lot of bad ones out there who will 'break' a dogs will and found a good one (who has since passed, sadly) and we and the dog went to intensive training. After that, he never went away again. Primarily because we learned never to chase him and to be firm standing in place and having him heel us, even when he managed to slip the leash.

And yes, since he was a herding dog part of his training (and ours) was to keep his body and his mind active so he didn't get bored.
 

monarch64

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We have a beagle. They are known for escaping and running away because they're scent hounds and can easily get confused by too many smells, ending up lost as they track farther and farther from home. Her temperament is jolly and sweet, though. Beagles are very pack-oriented and want to be with their family members or close by all the time, so it's not that they WANT to run away. Their noses just get them into trouble.

I don't know if that helps at all, but I thought I'd offer my experience with that particular breed.
 

lyra

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I always say a tired dog is a good dog. Engage your dog's body AND mind, daily and frequently. Meet his needs and he might be more prone to sticking by your side. IMO.
 

kgizo

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Excellent question. I recommend a fence for the safety of your dog. Please don't use a tie out. Those can be dangerous for your dog and can lead to aggressive behavior. I also second the comment about taking your dog on walks and engaging their mind. Many working and sporting breeds need more stimulation and physical activity than just running around a yard. If you haven't already, look into getting your dog microchipped. This can help him find his way back to you if he loses his collar When he escapes. And, keep the information updated if you move. I work in rescue and it seems like 20% of the "strays" have a microchip with outdated information.
 

iLander

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Depends on the breed. I would never have a Border Collie, because they were bred to herd sheep for 10 hours a day. No way would I be able to exercise him enough. If I had a Lab, I would take him out for a hard run (or fetch) of 2-3 hours at least once a week. A fence might keep a dog in, but a dog's unmet exercise needs are sometimes what makes him want to run off or leave.

I have toy breeds and their whole job is to sit and be petted. One of them hates outside, and can't wait to come in from "the big yucky potty" (our yard). That level of exercise I can handle. :D
 

House Cat

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Well, I have a shepherd/border collie mix and she's a rescue. We got her when she was four months old and it seems that was just long enough for her to bond with her first family. Any time we would open our front door, she would try and bolt. She managed to get out a few times. We would have to follow her until she found a neighbor that was interesting enough to love and that was usually our chance to catch her.

Once, she got out while everyone was distracted. It took us about twenty minutes to realize she was gone. :(( She got very, very far. Luckily, my son, her favorite person, found her and when she saw him, she ran right to him. We think she scared herself because she has never tried to run again.


She is a "house dog." Yes, she has a yard to utilize for playing and to relieve herself. The yard has a six foot fence.
I would never tempt fate by leaving her outside for extended periods of time. She is crate trained.

Active, intelligent breeds need exercise and stimulation in order to be happy and healthy. Leaving a herding or working breed dog with a tendency to bolt outside all day with nothing to do would probably lead to a frustrated dog who will act out in all kinds of ways. If the dog with a tendency to bolt is made a member of the family and is kept active, it will be less likely to display negative behavior. The bolting at the door will still require training though...
 

AGBF

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PintoBean|1465311128|4041168 said:
Six feet fence kept the big dogs contained. But the little dogs? OMG - it's so easy for them to move a few rocks, dig a small hole, and dart out from under the fence!
Or they can dart under the fence into a yard! We experience this daily. I have a 147 pound male Newfoundland. He is very well contained by my white picket fence, in part because he is extremely calm and uninterested in leaving unless he can open the gate. But my new next door neighbors moved in with a 13 year-old female Dachshund, Sofia, who won't come to me, but who sneaks under our fence and comes into our front yard. She has gotten used to Griffin and approaches HIM, although she leaves (via her own little exit) whenever she chooses, leaving him brokenhearted. She is in charge of everything and Griffin just gets to see her at her whim. She also poops wherever she likes. Sometimes I see my neighbors looking for her. They have no idea she is in my yard, although I have been over there with treats for Sofia trying to get her to come to me, so they know she comes over!!!

AGBF
 

AGBF

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Ever since momhappy started this thread I have been thinking about a posting written some time back about a member's Shiba Inu. Here is a link to the page in the thread where she describes her dog. There are also pictures of the dog (who is adorable). The basic reason I thought of this is that the Shiba may be the ultimate runner among dogs. Besides this posting, the member once described a run she took through her neighborhood after the dog (I believe somewhere else in the same thread).

Deb/AGBF ;))

Link to thread...[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/random-pictures-stories-of-our-furbabies.183988/page-15']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/random-pictures-stories-of-our-furbabies.183988/page-15[/URL]
 

momhappy

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A fence is not an option for us. The previous owner had a fence and it was the first thing we took down. We considered an electric fence, but I've heard of that backfiring. Has anyone had issues where an electric fence (with the proper training) traumatized the dog(s)?
 

Arcadian

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Greyhounds CAN be runners. Mine isn't...she's too lazy :lol: But regardless, I work on recall every single day because I believe its extremely important.

I can't stress that enough because its a must for any dog, but double for sight hounds in general. I trained her that she can't just go out the door as soon as its opened, and its reinforced every.single.day. She has to wait for me to release her, then she goes through. Otherwise the door can sit open and she just won't go outside of it.

When we move, she'll be in daycare only because she hates having her stuff moved. It upsets her and stresses her out (she doesn't bark or snap, she just looks confused and sad)

She can even jump a 6 foot fence without taking a running start. we have a 6.5 foot stone wall on the side of the house. She jumps on top that thing like it was nothing. In the back we have a 4 foot fence. You'd think it was more like an 8 foot wall...she can't be bothered to jump it. :lol:

There's no way to catch a greyhound when they got a one track mind. I do off leash her in areas that are not close to roads, like in forested areas. We do a lot of hiking, and she tends to stay very close. Last week in the forest we saw some deer. They looked me, didn't even care...lol looked at her as she came up behind me and took off. She ALSO wanted to take off after them but thankfully that recall I do everyday kept her by my side.

With her I use different voices. She has to know when something is urgent and she should come immediately, or when its playtime. I make that distinction with her constantly. Its like having another job honestly.

IMO all dogs and owners should take some sort obedience training, because it forges a bond between you and the dog. It may or maynot be totally successful, but I think it can be really a lot of fun and teaches you about how your dog is and teaches your dog how you are too.

I reinforce the bond by doing other types of training like nose training. That is so much fun for both of us. I tried with coursing but well....lol thats where the lazy comes in. She does a good job but will flop over after a while (she's 6, I give her a pass) Most of the time she just wants to run loops around mommy and do some really close (and quite dangerous) buzz bys. One time she miscalculated and sent us both flying! I had a bruise for a week!

I think the dogs attitude also matters. Mine is a mommy's girl and doesn't like to be too far from me. If she had a different attitude, I wouldn't be able to do half the things we do now.
 

House Cat

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momhappy|1465390121|4041581 said:
A fence is not an option for us. The previous owner had a fence and it was the first thing we took down. We considered an electric fence, but I've heard of that backfiring. Has anyone had issues where an electric fence (with the proper training) traumatized the dog(s)?
I would say that a dog with a tendency to run isn't an option for you. Let's put it this way, a rescue for such breeds wouldn't give you the time of day because you don't have a fenced yard. Your environment isn't appropriate for the animal. You should consider a different type of pet.
 

momhappy

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^I have actually been approved by several local rescues and yes, most of them have asked about fencing. I understand that certain breeds have tendencies to run and that's why we aren't rushing into any choices. The issue is that with mixed breeds (and rescues), you don't know exactly what you're going to get. We would maybe consider an electric fence if I felt a pet's safety was at risk and I am also open to some basic dog training. However, we feel that a dog should fit into your life/family and that if you have to drastically alter your home/yard, invest in serious dog training, then maybe the animal is not a good fit for your family. I saw a mixed breed that's active and might be prone to running, so that's why I was asking things like overall temperament, how to choose, expectations, etc.
 

AGBF

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I would not leave a dog outside nowadays unless I had a fenced-in yard. I would only take him out on a leash. When I was growing up, in the late 1950's and early 1960's, we had an older spaniel whom we had inherited from a friend of my father. She never roamed. We lived on a dead end street that had been a dirt road until very recently. (The tarring of the roads was a big deal to all us children in the neighborhood.) Dogs slept in the street, and cars went around them or blew their horns until they moved. We did let Dilly out in the yard then. (We had no fence.) Everyone else let his dog roam, too. But that was a different era.

I have tried an electric fence. I have had neighbors with electric fences. I think they are better than nothing. But an excited dog will easily go through one. In Virginia we often had our neighbor's Golden Retriever on our property when he leapt through their electric fence. The sight of a deer was way too exciting to make him worry about a shock. But then he refused to return home, because he didn't want to get shocked re-entering his property! So the teenage son used to come over to our house looking for him. ;))

Deb :wavey:
 

House Cat

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momhappy|1465396060|4041622 said:
^I have actually been approved by several local rescues and yes, most of them have asked about fencing. I understand that certain breeds have tendencies to run and that's why we aren't rushing into any choices. The issue is that with mixed breeds (and rescues), you don't know exactly what you're going to get. We would maybe consider an electric fence if I felt a pet's safety was at risk and I am also open to some basic dog training. However, we feel that a dog should fit into your life/family and that if you have to drastically alter your home/yard, invest in serious dog training, then maybe the animal is not a good fit for your family. I saw a mixed breed that's active and might be prone to running, so that's why I was asking things like overall temperament, how to choose, expectations, etc.
Strange. Maybe geography is at play here. In my area, everyone has fenced yards. It is VERY rare for someone not to have a fence. Maybe you live in one of those areas where it is rare for someone to have a fence, so the rescues have to compromise that criteria. The rescues in my area wouldn't even consider someone without a fence and actually come to the house to verify that at least a six foot fence is installed.

What is the breed of dog you were considering? Is the dog currently being fostered? If so the foster parents can probably tell you an awful lot about the dog. I look at rescue German Shepherd Dogs all of the time. The foster parents give a good background on all of the dogs. Sometimes I go to adoption events and talk extensively with the foster parents about the dog. I have done this again and again because there really is no messing up with a GSD. I already have a half breed. She was pretty much a nightmare when she was a puppy and required a lot of training and patience. She was really overwhelming at times. Now, she is the best dog in the world (at 11 years old!!)

If the dog is a super intelligent breed and strong willed, like my dog, I imagine the electric fence will not go too well. My dog chooses her training. She likes her crate. She will sit and lay down. She will NOT fetch unless she feels like it. She is very easily trained but she does not have a strong will to please. She is a mother dog and loves children and young dogs. We have accepted her temperament.

This dog that you are looking at will be a product of its breed but its temperament will be a bigger issue. It is a myth to think that with a rescue, you never know what you are going to get. That is simply not true. That is the truth for puppies. With a rescue, the foster parents should know the dog well enough to tell you all about it.
 

Arcadian

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Beagles don't tend to run off. bulldogs don't either. (or pugs, though they can be a bit barkie) Frenchies don't tend to run off but they can be also um...stubborn.

I think you should also take into account your lifestyle. If you're going to go without a fence, smaller breeds may be the way to go for you. Bigger breeds, are likely going to not work out because even with in efence, they can be intimidating.

FWIW, I don't do electric fencing( can't because she wouldn't feel it!) IMO, efencing is more effective with smaller and/or slower breeds. If your dog can hit over 20mph, efencing will not work.
 

momhappy

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House Cat|1465398232|4041650 said:
momhappy|1465396060|4041622 said:
^I have actually been approved by several local rescues and yes, most of them have asked about fencing. I understand that certain breeds have tendencies to run and that's why we aren't rushing into any choices. The issue is that with mixed breeds (and rescues), you don't know exactly what you're going to get. We would maybe consider an electric fence if I felt a pet's safety was at risk and I am also open to some basic dog training. However, we feel that a dog should fit into your life/family and that if you have to drastically alter your home/yard, invest in serious dog training, then maybe the animal is not a good fit for your family. I saw a mixed breed that's active and might be prone to running, so that's why I was asking things like overall temperament, how to choose, expectations, etc.
Strange. Maybe geography is at play here. In my area, everyone has fenced yards. It is VERY rare for someone not to have a fence. Maybe you live in one of those areas where it is rare for someone to have a fence, so the rescues have to compromise that criteria. The rescues in my area wouldn't even consider someone without a fence and actually come to the house to verify that at least a six foot fence is installed.

What is the breed of dog you were considering? Is the dog currently being fostered? If so the foster parents can probably tell you an awful lot about the dog. I look at rescue German Shepherd Dogs all of the time. The foster parents give a good background on all of the dogs. Sometimes I go to adoption events and talk extensively with the foster parents about the dog. I have done this again and again because there really is no messing up with a GSD. I already have a half breed. She was pretty much a nightmare when she was a puppy and required a lot of training and patience. She was really overwhelming at times. Now, she is the best dog in the world (at 11 years old!!)

If the dog is a super intelligent breed and strong willed, like my dog, I imagine the electric fence will not go too well. My dog chooses her training. She likes her crate. She will sit and lay down. She will NOT fetch unless she feels like it. She is very easily trained but she does not have a strong will to please. She is a mother dog and loves children and young dogs. We have accepted her temperament.

This dog that you are looking at will be a product of its breed but its temperament will be a bigger issue. It is a myth to think that with a rescue, you never know what you are going to get. That is simply not true. That is the truth for puppies. With a rescue, the foster parents should know the dog well enough to tell you all about it.
I agree that it's a myth that with a rescue you never know what you are going to get, but there are circumstances in which you might not be so certain. Breed can be tricky, so even though a certain breed might be prone to run, the breed mix could complicate those tendencies. Also, I've found some rescues that won't give you anything but basic info about a dog until you fill out an application and are approved. Once you are approved, they expect you to commit to the dog immediately. I find it odd that a rescue would be very thorough in checking out potential adopters, but they don't expect that a family might want to be very thorough when checking out a potential dog :confused: I suppose some people are comfortable rescuing a dog without ever meeting it first, but I am not one of those people.
 

Puppmom

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Training is very important but I don't think that would solve an issue if you had a really good escape artist - especially a rescue that's not a puppy since they've already established these habits. Hollis is not a runner unless there is prey but he's always in the yard or on a lead. We took him to the vet the other day and my 5 year old let him out of the car. I freaked out but Hollis went straight to the front door. Our back yard is fenced but our front is not. When the sun is on the front side of the house, he wants to be on our front porch. There we use a lead. He's perfectly happy to be on the lead. It's long so he can explore the front yard but the length is such that he can't reach the sidewalk.

I have no personal experience with an electrical fence but I've heard that some dogs will run through but are then scared to come back because of what happened on the way out!

My brother's dog (basset hound) is a runner - you open the door and he bolts. He's also a very anxious dog in general. He's not trying to get away when he runs (or so it seems) - it's more like a game/attention getting behavior.

I would absolutely not adopt a dog without first meeting them either. And hopefully you find a good agency. Some have the best intentions but poor execution due to lack of resources or knowledge. And some agencies are less than honest about the history of the dog.

I could talk about dogs all day. :lol: Good luck!
 

AGBF

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puppmom|1465402403|4041693 said:
I have no personal experience with an electrical fence but I've heard that some dogs will run through but are then scared to come back because of what happened on the way out!
That was what I was describing above when I wrote this:

AGBF|1465397075|4041633 said:
In Virginia we often had our neighbor's Golden Retriever on our property when he leapt through their electric fence. The sight of a deer was way too exciting to make him worry about a shock. But then he refused to return home, because he didn't want to get shocked re-entering his property! So the teenage son used to come over to our house looking for him. ;))
Deb :wavey:
 

Puppmom

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Deb, I can imagine. They aren't stupid! Get shocked on the way out? You better believe they're not coming back!

It's very interesting. I'm a huge proponent of training because I think it generally works if you're persistent. And I think it develops a good bond between you and your dog. But, I have seen dogs with zero training who are good off-lead. I have a friend with a golden doodle with zero training. I would like to wag my finger at her and tell her how foolish that is. But this is one of the most well behaved dogs I've ever been around. She plays in the front yard with the kids with no fence and does not cross where the grass meets the sidewalk...ever. And they did not teach her that.

I take credit for Hollis' good behavior (and the bad!). :bigsmile: When you see him, it's very obvious where we've focused our attention and where we let things slide.
 

monarch64

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Arcadian|1465398446|4041652 said:
Beagles don't tend to run off. bulldogs don't either. (or pugs, though they can be a bit barkie) Frenchies don't tend to run off but they can be also um...stubborn.

I think you should also take into account your lifestyle. If you're going to go without a fence, smaller breeds may be the way to go for you. Bigger breeds, are likely going to not work out because even with in efence, they can be intimidating.

FWIW, I don't do electric fencing( can't because she wouldn't feel it!) IMO, efencing is more effective with smaller and/or slower breeds. If your dog can hit over 20mph, efencing will not work.
I have to disagree with this. I've owned 2 beagles and know many others who've owned the lovely breed in the past. They run off all the time. I wrote a post about my current beagle above. To expand on that, they were bred to hunt rabbits. They don't eat the rabbits, but they run them in circles until the rabbit is worn out enough to stay still, and the hunter shoots it. When my dog particularly wants something, like food or a bone, she runs circles around me trying to round me up. I've seen it several times in purebreds and mixes. When I want to give my dog a huge treat I take her to my parents' 60 acre property and what do you think she does? She runs, and she stays gone for an hour. She typically comes back covered in animal feces because beagles also like to roll in stinky stuff. So yeah, beagles DO tend to run off, and there are two problems with it. 1. they have selective hearing--if they don't feel like listening, no amount of recall training will do any good. 2. they get lost easily because too many scents on the ground confuse them and if you aren't there to recall they might not be able to find their way back to you.
 
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