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Why is My Dog Running Away & How to Stop Him from Escaping

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Whitney has over 10 years of experience in dog training, rescuing, and healthcare.

Dogs Roam

There are different reasons as to why your dog may be trying to run away, and no one of the reasons is not that he doesn't like you and is trying to get away. For the most part, some dogs just like to get out, and typically there are breeds that are notorious for that. Huskies are one of the many breeds that are bad about escaping the fence or the door.

But, for the most part dogs are the descendants of wolves which in the wild walk and roam miles and miles a each day. You dog still has some of that inbred in him. So what I'm saying is that roaming is completely natural for your dog and the entire roaming process involves several other natural behaviors such as scouting, exploring, and hunting, but that doesn't mean that you want your dog to roam out into your neighborhood and get lost just because it is natural for him to want to roam.

Now, although some dogs will be able to find their way back home, you don't want to leave your fence open to let your dog roam because your dog may not be one of those dogs. Plus because our world is made or concrete and tar, it can be hard to find the right scent to find a way home.

I'll tell you if I were to try that, my yorkie would get bored and find his way back after traveling as far as the front yard probably, whereas my American Pit Bull Terrier would probably just keep going. She'd probably eventually run into something that spooked her, turn around, and not know where to start.

But, anyway, you don't want to hear about my troublesome mutts, you want to find out why your dog is running off and how to stop it. Right?

Flickr Image by Ryan Lindsey

Flickr Image by Ryan Lindsey

Flickr Image by TOMTEC

Flickr Image by TOMTEC

Why Your Dog Runs Away

There are a number of reasons as to why your dog keeps running away, and as I said above, it's not that he doesn't like you. The first step to stopping your dog from running away is to figure out why he's running away.

First off consider whether or not your dog is neutered, and yes unaltered male dogs have a strong propensity to roam. It's his drive to reproduce, so if you get him neutered you will reduce your male dog's "need" to roam in about 90% of males, which means in about 10% of males it may not change the roaming habits.

Consider whether or not your dog has enough stimulation. For the same reason your neighbors dog digs, you dog may be trying to run away to find something to do. Boredom will do wonders for the human brain, just as it will the canine brain, so if you know that you dog is naturally curious and active, you want to make sure that you provide plenty of stimulation, which typically means runs in the morning and at night.

Another strong drive, is the predatory one. If your dog has a strong predatory drive, he is likely to see a squirrel, rabbit, or even another dog, and take off after it. This is one of the harder causes of your dog running away to correct because the predatory drive is a self-rewarding natural drive; the dog takes after what he wants and when he catches it, he's automatically rewarded.

You will notice that like their ancestors, dogs have their home, or den, but some dogs will have a secondary one, and if they have the ability to do so, they may run off to their secondary den, so to speak. For example, when my grandmother's Dalmatian was younger, every chance he got he would run off and always end up in my yard. I've also heard of dogs going missing and always going to the same spot each time, and although this makes finding the dog easy, it can be a pain to go pick them up.

Flickr Image by somethingstartedcrazy

Flickr Image by somethingstartedcrazy

And, similar to the second home cause, if a dog knows where he can get rewarded, such as a source of food or attention, he may escape to that area when given the chance.

Fear is another big one. There are so many dogs that are terrified of thunderstorms, which is why after a big storm, you will find the local ASPCA's and animal control facilities packed. If something spooks the dog, such as a big storm, the dog may find a way out and just keep running until he feels safe. If you know what you dog is scared of, it will be easier on you to prevent your dog from breaking out of the yard or house. For example, if your dog is scared of thunderstorms and loud noises, you probably want to find a safe place inside to put your dog on the 4th of July when you know that fireworks will be booming all around.

Stop Your Dog From Running Away

Depending on what reason you've concluded as to why your dog is running away, will vary your end result of fixing the behavior. So, it is very important to figure out why your dog is running away in order to figure out how to fix the problem.

There is no one answer for everyone or every dog, and you may have to try many different things before you can figure out the best method for your, your family, and your dog.

Get a sturdy fence (Flickr Image by Jordon)

Get a sturdy fence (Flickr Image by Jordon)

Plenty of exercise and stimulation (Flick Image by Marionzetta)

Plenty of exercise and stimulation (Flick Image by Marionzetta)

Scroll to Continue

First, if your dog is a male, I'm going to assume he's unneutered, which leads to the first fix to get him neutered. I wouldn't expect results the day the dog comes home from the vet, but given a few weeks or months, I'd say 90% chance of stopping the problem is pretty good odds that your dog will stop trying to get out of the fence. Now, if neutering your dog still doesn't help the problem, don't think that the surgery was a waste, because you've taken the first step towards preventing prostate cancer as well as an unwanted litter.

But, if neutering the dog didn't really help, you want to make sure that you have a strong, sturdy fence with a gate that your dog can't push open or kick out. Having a good fence will prevent dogs from coming in your yard, as well. Plus, if you put your dog on an outside tie, run, or within an electric fence area, you're not using a real fence; all that you're doing is increasing the potential for territorial aggression and sometimes your dogs want to get out.

You want to make sure that your dog's environment, yard and overall way of life is 'dog friendly,' which means make sure that your dogs basic needs are met. A dog's basic needs includes: food, shelter, and plenty of enrichment.

If your dog runs when he is frightened, you want to figure out what is scaring the dog, and go from there. Like a mentioned above, if you dog is scared of thunderstorms and loud noises, bring the dog in when it's going to storm or during times when you expect loud noises such as fireworks. You also want to consider other methods of helping your dog get over his fears, and if that doesn't work, you can always try anxiety medications, but ask your vet first!

  • Check out Dog Fears and Phobiasif you want to find a few methods of helping your dog get over his fears before trying to put him on meds.
  • Check out Games to Play with Dogs if you want more information about stimulation for your dog. Remember that a good long game of tug of war is still no replacement for a good ole run



Doona on January 25, 2020:

My female australian shepper runa away 3 times

Kayla Andrews on March 04, 2018:

I think you just need to try hard. And just get another dog to get the to run back to play with the dog that is running away.

emma on January 27, 2015:

Danielle, your story is mine exact to the "T"...Now my weird neighbor called the police and told them my dog has been getting out and making a mess of their garbage/trash. They know how hard I have tried to keep him contained. He has a terrier playmate and MMMEEEE!! Eats good and has all the amenities a dog should have. I am at wits end.

nancy on August 10, 2013:

really I don't know what to do with my dog anymore. I have a 5 year old husky female dog, and she has everything she could need - she comes in and out the house as she pleases, very large yard with plenty of shade and trees, she's always got water, she's never gone hungry, there's always someone at home, and we even got her a wolf-dog playmate. my family is very active, so she gets taken for a walk just about every day by one of us to a 3 mile trail that leads to a dog park. but as soon as she gets the chance, she runs off to the yard and starts digging her way out of the fence. we placed cement blocks all over the yard, we even added chicken wire, but she makes her move in the nighttime. we don't like keeping her indoors at night because that's where she spends most of the day, but it seems that if we're not monitoring her 24/7, she will find her way out and we're afraid of the mischief she can get into.

it's been 4 times that she's fled. she came back the first 3 times, but this last time she was about 7 miles from home. we thought she was gone for good, but by that afternoon we got a phone call by a man that caught her and called the phone number in her tag.

we've spent so much money on her and dog proofing the yard. she's a happy dog, and she loves us very much, but this can't keep happening every time we turn our backs. she wasn't like this before, but after she got out the first time, it's like that's all she thinks about now.

John on October 27, 2012:

You are all a waste of time and do not know anything about animals. You do not deserve to own a dog if you cannot take care of it in the proper manner. If your dog is causing harm to itself or others because of its behavior, seek professional assistance or admit you don't deserve to have a dog while seeking help to rehome your animal immediately.

Annoymous on August 14, 2012:

My dog keeps on running away even know he has my cat to keep him occupied and is happy at home. But he gets out whenever he gets the chance. Then he gets caught by some random stranger or one of our neighbors and we have to yell at him. Then he mopes for a few days and runs off again. Please help!

paige on May 16, 2012:

hi i have got afew planks covering up holes were my new dog may be able to get out would he be able to nock the planks over?

Helen on April 03, 2012:

W e have a 2yr old whippet cross and the last few times he has gone out for a walk and let off lead to have a run he has ran off and will not come back to us even though treats are offered ,he has been lucky so far as not to have been knocked by cars and vans and killed, he has been neutured and is a very lovable dog, this is driving me and my partner to distraction as we don't know what to do for the best, please can anybody help us .

suniti on March 28, 2012:

we have a7 yr old male lab he has tendency of running away from home.Two times he was caught by some other people and some how we managed to bring him back.can u help us how can we this habit.

doglover1998 on February 25, 2012:

my male husky is not neutered and ive tried everything to keep in his own yard he has plenty of food and water another dog to play with a big back yard a dog house.ive tried tying him with a long chain putting him in a cage locking him in his shed he broke the dore and got out he excaped his cage he jumps the fence and it's a high fence i should have named him hudini!!!

Lexie on February 13, 2012:

Hello, my dogs keep on escaping because of when I come in from work I open the electric gate and When i'm driving my car in they both run out and today they almost got ran over D:

Paul on February 03, 2012:

Every one is telling there problems but there is no feed back Wat a wast of time

Nicole on January 20, 2012:

My APBT has a yard every dog would dream of having and acres of woods, I normally do not put her on a leash when we are home because she loves to run. She never ran away before until recently. Recently she will play a trick on me by running up a trail that is in our back yard, but then she quickly cuts across off the trail and runs right to the neighbors yard. Of course this is a problem neighbor and although he has dogs that roam, he constantly will complain about mine coming into his yard. Which I understand, but he makes up stories as to what my dog does in his yard, I know my dog and I know she would never do what he is saying she does. I have tried tying her out recently and she manages to get off and go right down to that yard. I punish her for it and show her its wrong, but even that doesn't work. I guess its time she stays on a leash for good now. Its so odd that she only just now began doing this and shes 2 years old.

kai on January 18, 2012:

i have a husky girl,and she ran away just this morning,i was lucky i caught her(she listens to my father but not me,although i take care for her most of the time)

,i've noticed,that she likes to flee on the path i always take her walking,because i live in a small village near the river and the street goes along the river,where i walk her,i'm afraid of her jumping in to the river that has pretty strong current.. should i stop walking her and leave her at home?????

Twp on January 07, 2012:

The information here is not really that educating. The title should not be how to stop him from running because you offer no advise other than build a fence or bring him in during a storm. Thanks for the insight. Maybe if he barks I should tape his mouth shut with duck tape. Please do more research

Jenna Grace on December 27, 2011:

we have two dogs one is named toby and the other one is maverick. we have had toby when i have been born and i got maverick when i was 6, my mum and dad are split up and my dad now has a wife so have a step mum and they had a baby boy named jack one day jack was pulling toby's tail and toby bit him so dad gave toby to my mum and that is when toby started to get out. but when we where at dads house toby would get out there to. but maverick never wants to get out when toby digs a hole,and now toby has been to the pound 4 times and now it is two hundred and twenty dollars to get him out and now mum is thinking of giving him away and now im very sad so can you please give me some advice to make him stop getting out and also he can dig under wire and things like that and please tell me today at 8:00pm please send a email to

Thank You so much

john on December 21, 2011:

this article has horrid sentence structure..Many ,many spelling mistakes..I would be embarrassed to put my name to this.Hopefully it's a fake name.jeez....

Tamalia on December 18, 2011:

My dog Bandit i have problems with him leaving Jumping when i leave he escapes it is like he is always starving for attention and he is way too friendly anyway he gets pleanty of attention... i am so tired of it...

Oscar H. on November 15, 2011:

I have a dog whoe doesn't go away (he is like 5 years old)but i am about to buy another one , in the past i lost 2 other dogs and i don't want this to happen againg i don't know what i did for this dog from running away what's the best secret to keep them near my house i live near a highwayis another concern what can i do

farmman on November 02, 2011:

i have two great pyrenees cross dogs about a year and a half. over the last month or so they have been running to a neighbours overnight and chasing their cattle . one cow even ran through a metal fence and broke its nose. the situation could have been way worse with a dead cow. i was so angry they have been tied up since and i just don't know what to do with them. i love them. but i also love my money and i don't want to have to pay my neighbour $1500 for a dead cow. i don't know what to do anymore, i have almost had it with them!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE HELP before i get to mad

louis on October 26, 2011:

my dog, LAMBo disappeared not long ago, about 2 months now. I came home from camp and my other pup Striker was not home both dogs have put the laughter back into our lives and I talk to him when i can. I want to find my dog but as it is snake season, i don't know if i will be able to. PLEASE HELP

sam on September 18, 2011:

I've heard that if your dog is digging under your fence you can detour this by raking your dogs droppings around the fence they will not dig through their own droppings.

bellawahini on September 15, 2011:

My dog keeps getting out and wants to run through the neighborhood and she actually barks at people in their own home through the windows. She is a full blood Great Pyrenees and I rescued her from an abusive home, but it was a 221 acre ranch where she could run. She has a big yard here which I maintain with grass and lots of trees and shade and a 6ft fence.

I am at my wits end, last night I actually broke down and cried for a long time. I haven't cried in years, I am pretty tough, but this dog is breaking me. People respond to her with fear even though she is a marshmallow. What can I do. She lives with my other full blood Great Pyrenees and they are very close. He gets between her and I when I am upset to try to make it easier on her. I have never hit her or abused her, and I have other animals. Cats, a bird, and horses and everyone is happy, even her most of the time. My fear is that someone will shoot her, she'll get picked up by animal control, or someone will say she is vicious and try to sue my landlord who is known as a very wealthy land owner. Not only would my dog probably be put down, my other pets including my 3 horses and myself would be evicted and homeless. I live in a very unique spot and don't want to ruin it. I don't think I could find another home where I could have all my animals that is as affordable as this and close to work. I was off work for awhile after surgery and kept her in the house with me all day and most of the night because she is also a barker. OMGosh, what to do???

Shorty12345 on September 10, 2011:

my dog likes to run away but comes back afterwards. i don't know how to get her to stay like my other dog without tieing her up. what do i do?

????????? on July 23, 2011:

i lost my dog 7 weeks ago and he came back yesterday with about 6 puppies following him along with his mom and some other weird dog!!!!!!!!!!! probably should have neutered him!

jagpreet Singh on June 09, 2011:

my dog is pamelian he cut my sisters hand we give him to my bro my bro make him escape he ran away we could not find him we will give a prize of 1000

how can i find him

L A Dreamin from Pennsylvania on May 13, 2011:

Our Black Lab Torry loves to "escape" when he sees squirrels running up the neighbors trees :( luckily we live on a dead end street with not much traffic and he only does it occasionally.

Danielle on May 07, 2011:

I have a lab. He is about 4 years old (we adopted him from a friend of a friend) great dog, loves my kids, loves other dogs, friendly and just all around awesome, EXCEPT he gets out. We have a pretty big back yard, it is fenced in (about a 6ft fence) at first he stayed in the yard. Then he started digging holes, only two holes and he will make a B-line straight to them if we bring him outside. So we tried putting him on a long cable for short periods of time when he went outside. He then starts jumping the fence, and getting tangled up by going over then back, over then back. Then he actually broke the fence by going THROUGH it. We fixed it, he did it again. SO I had to shorten his cable so he can reach any fences. I feel bad that he has to go on a cable and can't just roam freely in my back yard. Also when he tried to get out and we call him he runs faster. He gets walked daily, gets attention, played with, treats, fed, etc.. treated like he should be. And any other time he is really obedient. Except when it comes to getting out. The reason we ended up adopting him is he got out from his other home and we found him, his previous owners posted an ad looking for him so we returned him, a few days later we get a call and the guy thought he would be treated better at our house (guy didn't have time for him)So we took him because he fit in so perfectly with our family. How on earth do I stop him from getting out, under, over, and through my fence?

Dean B. on March 19, 2011:

I saw an ad posted up for free puppies and behold it was my neighbor across the street. To my surprise the puppy wolud go back where he come from and never return until I pick him up. I don't like him chain up. I wanted him as a watch dog. His mother, sisters and brothers live there. How can I keep her home? My neighbor had the same problem the mother politely came and pick up her pup and took it home.

JamesW on March 15, 2011:

My dog who receives plenty of love and care and stimulation except in the middle of the day, keeps on ripping lattice away from under our gate. He escapes regularly. Apart from an electric dog collar what should i do?

debbie on March 04, 2011:

I'm at my wits end. My dog HAS training she knows the stay command but when we open that gate she makes a run for it. She is a 3 y.o. german shepherd bernese mountain mix according to the shelter. We have literally tried everything but she continues to run when we open the gate. Despite her breed mix she's only 50lbs. We take her to the dog beach a lot because she loves to run and is lightening fast at it which makes me wonder what else she's mixed with. I would like to be able to open the gate , bring my car in or take out the trash without always having to tie her up. She's the only one who has to be tied up.

I have 2 other dogs. An 8 y.o. chihuahua mix and a 100+ lb 2 y.o. german shepherd mix. Shelter rescues as well. Neither runs out the gate. In fact I can clean up the sidewalk and have either of them sit on the sidewalk while I clean. Neither likes when I'm mad at them. They prefer only love. The other one seems to care less. I'm sure she doesn't like being "put in the corner" (the you've been a bad doggie room or the bad tree with the tie) but she continues to be bad.

An fyi, I've also had huskies (rip shadow and nanook) who were as you know how huskies are, hard to train but within the year I had them trained. ITS BEEN 3 YEARS!!!!!!! And she will just not stop from bolting out that gate. She is a really sweet dog and extremely intelligent. I can literally teach her a new trick in 15 minutes but she will not unlearn bad habits. She learns the good stuff fast but she also learns the bad stuff fast. And she seems to figure out quickly that when she's punished she'll stop being punished and things will be good again. I know it sounds crazy but this is how she has us thinking.

She is an extremely energetic dog and I fear that we just aren't giving her the amount of attention she actually needs even though my daughter spent all day with her during summer breaks. She thinks sh'd be good as those competition dogs that run those courses but of course we can't do that.

I love my dog. Any other tips and advice would be completely appreciated.

Deb on February 19, 2011:

I am trying to figure out how to train a year old golden retriever how not to run off or chase cars when she goes out. I got her from an older lady that had her since she was born, but she always had her in a fenced yard. I live in the country and want her to run loose with us when we go out with the other two dogs, but as soon as she can get out the front door, she runs around the barns checking things out, and if a car goes by, she chases it. I don't want her to get hit. We live on a pretty quiet country road, but I want her to some how learn to come back to us when we call her. What do I do?

claudia on February 12, 2011:

I am so stressed about this problem I have been in tears today over it. I have 2 dogs, both mix breed rescues, one is 10 months and one is 7 years. We have a house with a large 750M2 garden and chickens. Both dogs have figured out how to squeeze under the chain link fence and get into my next door neighbours chicken coop, they do not harm the chickens, but steal eggs and any food scraps, my neighbour has repeatedly complained to me and I have spent hours fixing the fence where they break out only for them to break out somewhere else. They also repeatedly break into my chicken coop. The only solution I can think of is to build a six foot wasll around my garden but I cannot afford to do this. The other option is to chain them up which I do not want to do. They are walked every day, well fed and they have been punished enough times to know what they are doing is wrong. I am at my wits end. Please help!

juliana on January 18, 2011:

My puuppy Buster gives us the honest trustful face like we can trust that he will not run away when we let him outside sometimeswe fall for it but when we let him out boom he is gone. Yesterday we let him go outside and he ran away again usually my brother and I walk to find Buster but my mom took us in her car.And we found him pretty far away from our house to find his female girlfriend.When I saw him I shouted Mom I found him then she go and get him meet us at the house.When I got to the house they were not there yet so I waited and waited until finally my brother Lucius and my mom came home i went outside with my puppy Buster on his leash and my Mom ,Dad My brother Lucius, and I Juliana were very angry with him.But for we are taking him out on his leash to go to the bathroom.

Tinnele on January 16, 2011:

Any ideas on why all of a sudden my 10yr female has started jumping the back fence? she gets plenty of exersice, she's usually well trained, the feces are 6ft high and she has plenty to do with a child to play with?

juliana on January 16, 2011:

my puppy Buster keeps running away every time we let him out like tinight he ran out again we thing he has a girlfriend because he ounce went to a female puppys house and starting licking her

DoItForHer on January 07, 2011:

Your focus, which is common for most people, seems to be in the negative. In part you said, "...How to Stop him from Escaping." I prefer to take a more positive approach and would have said something like, "How to Teach Your Dog to Stay with You." Some people think that is splitting hairs, but I disagree. If we approach training in a negative manner, then we will tend to forgo positive rewards that encourage desirable behavior and will therefore utilize negative rewards that discourage undesirable behavior.

The last comment by Bob was excellent. I'm sure many have looked at that and thought ,"Dogs aren't like that! Why is he saying that? *rant, rave, rabble-rabble*" But he qualified his statement by saying, "...dogs are a pain in the butt to have for me."

"...for me." Perfect words.

Instead of getting a dog and eventually giving it a horrible life or giving it up to possibly being euthanized, he realized his limitations and acquired pets that he was able to care for appropriately with his skill set. I wish more people realized their limitations and had pets according to their skills, lifestyle, and environment. Far fewer pets would be in the pound or otherwise live a less than fulfilling life.

Bob on January 02, 2011:

Interresting article. This is why dogs are a pain in the butt to have for me. They run away, never content about anything, destructive, nerotic, unpredictable, attack other dogs even if the dog/s have been socialized, trained & gets plenty of love & long walks. I guess I'm just not a dog person. I prefer reptiles & cats because they're easy to care for & aren't as demanding as dogs.

lynny on December 23, 2010:

Our neutered 3 year old tibetan terrier has started bolting when out for his night time trip to the loo. He's never acted like this before and is as laid back as ever when he is in the house, not even asking to go out. We have had heavy snow for the last 4 weeks and we've had a new baby in the house for 4 months. We haven't seen any behaviour change at all so can't fathom his current escape artist act - we've now had a week of late night escapes - mostly away and finding his way back after 2 hours, last night though was captured by police after a 4 hour trip - he was in a yard only 10 minutes away.

He gets off the lead when out on his daytime walks and happily walks to heel or is off for a run with other dogs so gets plenty exercise. In the house he tends to curl up and snooze all the time. He isn't a lap dog.

He often goes with a dog walker too and loves that - she sometimes keeps him over night - last time was about 10 days ago but she's had him for as long as 3 weeks before without any problems.

Any ideas for what might have triggered this?

Ashley on December 18, 2010:

I have a 4 year old black lab/husky mix. I absolutely adore her. I found (Fiona) While driving to actually adopt another dog, I almost hit her with my car..amazingly the owner of this small fluffy puppy, was actually giving her away, it was fate! Anyway, the first year was a breeze very typical, chewing, digging,ect. she eventually grew out of these things. the second and beginning of third year for her, I was leaving the state for 6 months, during these months I choose to leave her with my father and I felt it would be a better idea as she was used to there home as much as mine, as well as there company. I never had an issue with her running, or jumping the fence before, I used to take her on walks with or without a leash depending on where we were going on risks of other dogs ect. I had no problem taking her anywhere or letting her into our yard with out a leash....Now, I cant let her off a leash, she will instantly jump the fence or run off, causing the only way to making her return to me is if I drive my car up to her so she can hop in ready for a joyful car ride. : ) then feeling guilty I take her on a car ride as I feel as if I had tricked her otherwise.heh Probably a bad idea to reward a dog with rides.....Anyway I know she is happy, and I know husky's are a breed to have there urge to roam and be a "pack dog", but I'm wondering if there are any options I can take other than to confine her to a leash, I miss being able to let her out my back door to roam the yard...I also have a family member owning a large amount of property I would love to let her run free on the land but fear she will get lost, or hurt herself, or possibly run too far which could lead to a highway.....the situation does not anger me, its more upsetting to know i cant fulfill her need to run or let her be free a few times a day without restrictions....Any ideas?

Pam on December 15, 2010:

We have a 4 year old, neutered, border collie (that we adopted from the SPCA when he was 1 year old). We live in a rural area, with lots of forested land, where he used to play a bit, but always, always came home shortly after. In addition, he generally gets lots of exercise, as he goes to work with my husband almost daily for 8-10 hours of 'walking' in the forest. About 6 months ago he started running away to the same house each time... And now he bolts for this new place (about 0.5 miles away) as soon as we turn our backs. We have 5 acres, and don't want to fence it... but do we have any other alternatives if we don't want to escort him around each time he needs to go out?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on November 24, 2010:

The leash isn't the problem, the collar would be. Try a harness instead.

Also consider keeping the dog inside when you're not watching, as well as consider a fence. If this is a regular occurrence, reconsider how you're caring for the dog.

I AM SAD on November 24, 2010:




and every leash we buy for her is too big {she is a chiuahua]

Keaton on October 15, 2010:

Alright I really need help!! I have a 4 year old Black labrador Retriever. We also have some chickens and my neibors have chickens, and my dog likes to attack them and we have lost over 12 chickens so my dog is chicken thirsty and i need to know what to do to stop my dog from attacking chickens???? please right back??

Summer on October 13, 2010:

Okay I need help. I have a German Sheperd and she is fixed and trained pretty well she listens when we are anywhere in the area. The problem that I am having with her is when she is left alone. I have a finced in yard with plenty of room and yet I can not leave her in it or in the house alone. She will brake through the wood in the fince and has torn through 10gauge fincing. She has torn through doors in the house and almost got the windows in just an hour. I am left with no idea of what to do. Please anything that might be helpful. I can't keep getting a sitter for her every time I have to get my kids from school there is not anyone left to do it.

chris on September 11, 2010:

every time i open my door my dog runnes out anyone help

PrometheusKid from Heaven on September 09, 2010:

My neighboards dog likes to jump tours my yard, most of the time my dog is inside the house. The other day my neighboards dog jump again in my backyard and my dog attack it and almost killed it. My neighboard took there almost death dog to the vet, and the vet told them it was better to kill it. The good thing i don't have to worry about the dog going to my backyard and making stupid holes all over the place.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 27, 2010:

Like you said, schedule isn't an excuse. I'd try to patch the area the dog keeps getting out at.

Car rides, aren't forms exercise.

Alex on August 27, 2010:

Hi! I love this article! But I have a bit of a problem that I couldn't figure out from reading. I have an American pit bull terrier not neutiered. My mother believes neutiring a dog is cruel to them but I can Roy protest to much since I'm only 16 and she is such a stubrun woman. So my 5 yr old dog keeps going in the front yard to the mailbox. We live in a very dog rich neighborhood full of pitbulls and cats. There is an opening between our house and garage that isn't fences and our back fences he can crawl thru the wholes sometimes getting stuck or going thru to the yards behind us and they have children. A new fence really isn't in my family budget right now espically in this economy. I'm an only child and most of my friends live far away or work. I take him for walks when I can find someone to go with me but they usually get tierd before we do. I take him for car rides thru the country when I can. I know being busy is not a good excuse but this is my last yr before I go to college and I know my parents aren't going to pay as much attention to him as I do, espically if he runs away or gets caught by animal control. So I fear for his well being. Is there anything I can do to keep him in the back yard and out of animal controls reach unless we go places?

dukes on August 22, 2010:

my dog run off when he sees other dog. and when i call he dust not come back. but he dust when there no dog around

Brenda on August 11, 2010:

My 4 month old Lab/retriever is very good on off leash walks, he will wait and sit at my command, He comes and sits by my feet if I say CAR! But once we get home, and he's in the house, he will only respect my commands 50 % of the time, he is now trying to jump on furniture and has started peeing on the carpet right in fromt of me, I feel like I'm losing control in my own house! Help!

AintMsBehaving on August 02, 2010:

Hi, A friend of mines has a beautiful purebred female German Shepherd that they adopted. She is 2 years old and recently adopted her (3 weeks ago). They have had a couple of obidience classes and looking forward to more. However, he took her to a swimming hole trusting that the dog would swim and stay close, he let her off the leash. The first chance she got she bolted. Mind you the area where he took her is totally new to her, several miles away from his home and nowhere near her previous owners. It's been 6 days and many sightings of her, but she won't come to anyone. Dog officer, police, everyone is looking for her including my friend, she runs away from him. Others in the small populated town have seen her but has not been able to catch her. The area is heavily wooded. The dog is timid and I amagine is afraid. Dog officers are leaving food for her and she does come out of the woods and eat. She's been seen drinking water in peoples ponds, ect. Any suggestions on what the dog officers can do to catch her w/o harming her? Thank you for your time and any suggestions you can offer would be so appreciated.

tony on August 02, 2010:

i just want my dog to play out front with me without running away :(

jessica on August 02, 2010:

my dog is a beagle, and as of yesterday she figured out how to un buckle her chain, the chain i use when i put her outside for awhile to go potty. she got off yesterday so when i let her out today i made sure her collar was on right, and the chain closed when i clamped it to her collar.. i checked on her about 10 mins later and she was gone... and the chain was left behind, she still has her collar on and everything.. how can she possible know how to get that clamp off?? what do i do now??

Whitney (author) from Georgia on July 13, 2010:

Labs and Goldens typically calm down between 2-4 years old. Calming down doesn't necessarily mean that she will not run away. Try to find where she's getting out of the invisible fence and fix the borders. Or, put up a regular fence, which will be more reliable anyway; the invisible and underground fences aren't the most reliable, as you've seen dogs can still get out.

Having puppies will not calm her down, nor will that stop her from running away. Not spaying a dog that keeps getting out will more than likely end up in mix breed puppies anyway though.

Madelyn on July 13, 2010:

My golden retriever is about two. She runs off all the time but she likes exploring. My parents tell me chasing her is not the answer because it makes her think that her running off is a game like tag. We have an invisible fence and dog ties but she always ends up out of the yard. When we met someone with a golden retriever not to long ago they said that the normal age that a golden retriever starts to calm down and be more laid back is 3 is that true. If so would that mean she probubly wont run off anymore. If I didn't mention she loves chasing cars!!! What do i do about that!? My dad says we should have her have puppies to calm her down? Would that work?! As you can see I really worry when she runs off. I nearly pass out every time she runs off. I just don't want to see her get run over or chase a car on the interstate or never get to see her again. Please help me!!! :'-(

country dog no more!!!!! on July 08, 2010:

I moved from 5 acres where my 3 1/2 year old (mutt)dog is used to roaming free amongst my acreage as well as the 80 acres that surrounds us to "town" we now have a fenced in yard and I fear my dog will not adapt. We have lived in town for a week now. I would hate to have to find him a new home but I will if it is what is best for him. Advice?

Whitney K. on July 07, 2010:

I am young and saved up all my money for a lab puppy and finally got her. She is now a year old and knows basic obediance.We just moved about half a mile away and she is determined to get out.She is spayed and I have never seen her so ready to escape. Every time I open a door she is trying to sqeeze out.And today i freaked and accidentally slamed her head in the door.Will someone please help?

Grace on June 23, 2010:

My partner and I have a collie, lab, huntaway, newfoundland cross. Hes 6 mths old and we have just had him fixed but he keeps finding ways to get out of the property. What is the correct way to tell them its a bad thing to do but be glad he has returned? We are feeling pretty stuck with what to do.

Gladys McDonald on June 07, 2010:

I adopted a 1 1/2 year old chihuahua/pitbull mix (so they told me) and live on a 5 acre parcel. For the last 2 months he has been running away to the same place (a senior community which is right behind my house. He runs there every time he steps out of the house. I have been called many times to pick him up which I always do. I am so frustrated and don't know how to stop him from going there. The last time I pick him up. They had him in the kitchen and I figure they must feed him human food. They actually let him in the building. How do I stop him from going there? Any advise will be appreciated.

nikkipuzzc on June 01, 2010:

I have a 9 month old pure-bred Boxer.. Very well trained, excellent manners in the house, but every time she's let outside she tries to run off, our wall around the house is not huge but its rented property so not much i can do on that. I have the electric fence and shock collar, neither of which bothers her in the slightest, i've tried training her by calling her back and when she comes i reward her, i've tried telling her no past a certain point, she gets plenty of exercise, mental and physical, and has a playmate, is there anythin else i can try, im terrified to let her out anymore with fear she'll get knocked down, (main road outside our house),


chardee42 from Orlando, FL on June 01, 2010:

My lab is great as long as he is in our fenced in backyard. However, when we travel into open areas he has the tendency to wander away from me. Thankfully he's very friendly so no one has gotten hurt, but I worry about the day when we walks up to a dog with a bad attitude.

This is something we'll have to work on. : )

Debbie on May 31, 2010:

I have a 110 lb chocolate lab and 2 white goldens @ 70 lb. ea. All of them will sit/stay/come for indefinite periods of time, both indoors and out, and over long distances. However, when I am not paying constant attention to them, the lab runs and the older golden follows. They're all chipped and neutered; I have a picket fence which stops them, and an electric fence (which doesn't faze the lab if there's something on the other side that he wants. (Currently the electric fence is broken due to some diggng.) I hate to chain Forest because he has 2 acres to run, but it's better than finding him in the road. I've tried training him with treats and it works every time as long as I'm working with him, but if I stop to water a plant or fill the bird feeder, off he goes. HELP!!!!

Heather_Page on May 26, 2010:

I have a 2yr old Husky/Rot/G.Shepherd mix named, Blaze,aka P.I.T.A. he -is- neutered. I've tried so many methods to try to train him out of the bad habit of running off. It's caused a lot of problems with my family, they even had him chained up outside. I've had him on runners before, he's snapped those, I've had him attached to iron spikes in the ground he's broken 2 of those in half. He's made holes -in- chain link fences, he's dug under them, he's climbed over them, he's slipped out of collars, Halters. I give him plenty of exercise, walks with him daily, hard play with his favorite toys, i've tried rewarding him with treats when he comes back when I call him inside. Don't get me wrong, he's very very smart, knows his basic commands well and he listens to every word I say when he's indoors with me. But once he's out that gate, it's like he doesn't even hear me. I've tried making interesting sounds, calling his name, crouching in a play position, I've tried being stern but calm, i've gotten angry before and i've yelled. He just looks at me and takes off. If I chase him on foot he only runs further. Only way to get him home is go pick him up in my car, then he'll hop right in. I've tried positive training (treats, playing, praise) and I've tried negative (scoulding, grounding) Nothing seems to phase him. Someone, Anyone, Please help! I don't want him to live a life on a chain and I definitely don't wanna give him up to anyone. I picked him from a litter when he was born and I'm not giving up on him. I love my P.I.T.A. Pocket.

dogs smile on May 25, 2010:

my dog runns away all the time. he loves me, but he just cant resist the temptation.

NATALIE on May 17, 2010:

My dog nana just ran away i loved her she was 4 years old i think and i loved her so much why oh why has she gone and where?!?!?

Bailey on May 14, 2010:

My 3yr old Jack Russel will not come back when called. I normally just put him on a lead when outside, but I would prefer to train him how to run freely and then come back when called.

Shannon on May 12, 2010:

I have a pomchi, she is a year and a half. She used to be really good about coming to me when I call her but now she just runs away from me and does not come to me, I have to trick her to get her. Is there any easier ways? Please help(:

Yesh015 on May 12, 2010:

My dog aged of four always run away after eating to go and have a walk but i am always scared thet he doesn't come back.The garden is well fenced but he will find a way out today i hope he will come back well i shall cross my fingers.Thanks for the information:)

lancourn on May 02, 2010:

I have a nine year old golden retriever/spring mix and he's neutered. He has never had a problem of running away until the last half year or so. As of late he neglects his food dish as well. Every time we let him out to go to the bathroom we have to watch him or he will run off aimlessly. He doesn't get nearly enough walks and I think I will have to walk him so he can get out and explore the neighborhood under my super vision with a leash. His behaviors have changed drastically within this last few months and he seems to be neglecting what he was taught. I can use any tips/help, thanks.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on April 21, 2010:

30 minutes is definitely not a lot of exercise, whereas an hour is more ideal. It's probably a mix of needing to be persistent and no off-leash training until the dog is ready. There could also be something that he's running after or a place he's trying to get to, while at home.

Terrier Mix on April 21, 2010:

I have a seven year old terrier mix of some sort. He was born on the streets and we adopted him when he was about six months old. We have vigorously trained him, especially in the past year, and he has improved a lot in all areas. The one problem is that he loves to run off when given the opportunity. Our house is on a hill and landscaped, there is no possibility of a fence. We trained him indoors and transferred the training slowly outdoors. We can take him off leash at the dog park and people will comment on how well trained he is and responsive when we call him, at home it is a different story. If we try and let him out to go pee or anything he runs off and ignores all training. Why does he run off from home but listen in all other situations? Is it just a matter of being persistent? We take him for daily walks or runs ranging from a minimum of 30 minutes to as much as two hours. He is neutered.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on April 14, 2010:

No one has said that female dogs do not run away. The tendency of male dogs running away and escaping is just a little higher if the dog is un-neutered. Female dogs also like to get out of the fence if given the opportunity, which is why there is no where on this page that says female dogs do not try to run away.

The breed you have chosen is a very hyper and high-strung breed. Jack Russells are pretty good climbers. Research on a breed before getting it is always a good thing to do.

Is she getting plenty of exercise? Both breeds that she is a mix of need a good bit of exercise as they can easily harbor pent up energy.

The dog sounds like she needs a little training and more exercise. I can't give an answer as to why she's like that half the time, other than hyper breed tendencies, and the fact the the dog is still a puppy and young.

pam on April 14, 2010:

Why assume all roaming escape artists are male. Min jackRussell X chihuahua is a yr old female, palmed off on me by Dogs rescue and I fell for her looks and trusted the staff when they said she'd settle. HaH. she's heaps better than she was, but she does sometimes - when she snifs a cat or a rat or whatever in the air, she does everything in her power to find an escape. The most effective is catching em unawares and slipping out when I've stupidly left the door open. Second, is just jumping the five foot fence, not all of which I've managed to block or cover with something.

I'm not young, and she's wearing me out. But why is she only like this 50% of the time? She is crazy usually in the evenings. But it doesn't stop her finging rings around me. She can always find her way home, but one day a car might get her first.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on April 07, 2010:

Is he climbing or digging? Have you tried to fix the spot he keeps getting out since it seems to be the same spot? Is the dog neutered?

edelmc on April 06, 2010:


I know this topic is old but you mention that some dogs create a second den - this is my problem. I have a 3year old Bernease and for the past few months he keeps eating through the timber fence in his run and breaks out to get to his favourite spot in the garden. I try to walk him to keep him active but he hates to walk - i still do it tho. Is there anything I can do to stop him breaking out to try and get to his second den?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on February 24, 2010:

The dog needs a collar, even inside dogs should wear a collar at ALL times. That's your mistake. Teach the dog not to bolt out of the door when it's open; that's simple training. The neighbors should be upset, as the dog shouldn't be running around the neighborhood. It's your job to train the dog not to run out of the door. Teach him the wait command, which will allow guests to come into the house while he doesn't come close to the door or past whatever marker you told him to 'wait.' It's like stay, but the dog doesn't have to stay in the the exact position that you told him, he just needs to not progress any further past that spot.

hwit on February 23, 2010:

I need help! i love my dog so much, i run with him 5-6 miles, make him pull me on a scooter (if I'm tired) and i take him to the dog-park, where he has a tendency to get jealous, but it was getting better, regardless i know i need to run him daily. BUT even after all this activity, he escapes out of the front screen door, when strangers/friends drop by and it takes me hours, (in the worst weather, to get him back. he annoys and frightens other neighbors who can't figure-out why he's running around w/o a collar etc? i am so completely frustrated, i want to cry and then beat him and then give him up, for real! i love this dog so incredibly much, he can be so lovable, but he will not listen to me when he escapes and it's killing me, i'm so afraid he's going to hit by a car while chasing a cat. he is completely black and so hard to see at night. he also scares people and jumps and chases neighbors trying to walk their old half-dead smaller dogs, doing everything he is trained not to do. Most of these neighbors get very upset and can't seem to figure out why the dog is out and then there is the one neighbor that actually tries to help me. i feel i may actually punch one of these ignorant neighbors in the face, very soon if i can't fix this problem. i have already voiced my opinions loudly to a couple of the ignorant neighbors, asking them how do they actually function without any commonsense, then thanked them for being so incredibly understanding, i doubt they really got it. please help me i would be so appreciative.

martha grimes on February 21, 2010:

thank you soo mucuh for this information its was very useful.My one year old dog has the same problem when she goes outside without a leash and I call her to come back she just looks at me and runs even farther.But this was great information thanks a million XD

Whitney (author) from Georgia on January 09, 2010:

as for commands outside, I have answered that question many many times in the comments above. you can only add one distraction at a time. You can't expect the dog to be perfect inside with few distractions, and be just as good outside with the birds, bugs, dogs down the street, people, smells, wind, etc. There's too much for a dog who's not 100% trained to be able to answer the commands.

As for jumping, the only thing I can think of is a kennel when the dog has to be put outside unattented, such as if you go to work. Jumping is hard to correct unless you catch the dog. It's a self rewarding behavior.

Calvin on January 08, 2010:

I have a Mix German Shepard that i rescued. She is able to jump my 6' fence! And then runs away. She wont approach anyone and she is very cautious when there are other dogs around, but becuase she is big my neighbors are scared of her. I took her to an obedience school and she will do all my commands indoors, but once we get out it's "see ya in about an hour!"

My question is how do i get her to stop jumping over my fence and how do i get her to listen to my commands when we are outside?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on December 28, 2009:

Try adding one distraction at a time, you can expect a dog to listen inside with few distractions and be just as obedient outside with tons of distractions. In most cases, most dogs have to be weaned into that. Add one distraction ata time until the dog obeys constant with that one.

You should also get a fence. Some dogs are reliable at staying around the house, but not all dogs need that freedom, as they will wonder.

cap25 on December 28, 2009:

Hi,I have a mixed breed dog she is part maltese and toy poodle. The problem is our dog Chloe always tries to run away every time we open our front door, also we do not have a fence. I do not understand this because she goes on walks regularly and gets played with until she is tired. Every time she does escape she is running all over the place. That really worries me because cars driving by and she does not have a leash on.

I tried doing the sit,stay and come commands inside and they worked well but outside for her is a whole other world. She will not listen to my commands. Otherwise she is a good dog, she doesn't play rough and is good with children. As you can see I need help!

Whitney (author) from Georgia on December 28, 2009:

Keep the dog within a fence or inside the home when no one can watch it.

kc on December 26, 2009:

I had to give a Rott I adopted yrs ago to my dad because I moved out of state and could not bring him. My dad loves him and spends his days walking and playing with him and treats him very well.

However, he takes off constantly now! Is he looking for me? I am so worried that he's going to get hit by a car. How can he stop this?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on October 19, 2009:

Sounds like you need basic obedience training and more exercise. Border collies are high energy dogs- 30 minutes a day isn't nearly enough. Also sounds very unlikely all that has happened and nothing has worked. No offense, but the story just doesn't sound plausible.

katelyn10 on October 17, 2009:

I have a male neutered border collie who is a little over a year old. Before we got him neutered he never ran away and was very friendly to everyone, dogs and people, but now he runs away daily, wont come when called (actually runs farther away when called), he barks non stop at the neighbors and their dogs. No one can catch him because he is so fast and the only way to get him back is to wait until he wants to come home and that can range from 5 minutes to 8 or 9 hours. I do walk him at least 30 minutes daily, but sometimes even trying to get inside the door from his walk he will escape again. When he is inside he is the perfect dog in the world and listens to every comand. He has already be to obedience lessons twice and done well. We have a fenced in yard, but we have to stand outside with him so he wont jump over it or somehow find a way out (we have redone our fence over 5 times now trying to keep him inside it). We cannot take him out on a leash to go to the bathroom, because he will not use it, he wants his privacy? He will hold it until he can't anylonger and will go in his crate, which is a pain to clean out. Our yard isn't small its almost 3 acres. We have even tried invisible fence along with regular fence, bark collar, shock collar everything! He is also a very smart dog and will even find ways to sneak outside the front door when you open it to leave. We keep him in a crate to sleep at night and when we leave the house, he loves his crate and we don't even have to lock it for him to stay in it. We have honestly tried everything to keep him from running escaping. I love him to death, but can't handle him not listening anymore! What should I do?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on October 15, 2009:

If the dog doesn't listen in those situations, it means he's not fully trained. A trained dog should listen in all situations.

allpetsdeb on October 15, 2009:

My male poodle (who is neutered) is a runner. He has a high predatory drive and chases just about anything that moves, including the lawn mower!! I have to be very careful to keep the gates locked because he is impossible to catch once loose. All of his obedience training goes out the window. He is a terror to even take on a walk.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on October 08, 2009:

American Pit Bull Terrier

Angie on October 07, 2009:

Okay, thanks for the information, it is very useful. =)

BTW what kind of dog is in the picture with you?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on October 07, 2009:

The only thing I can tell you about the other dog that's coming around is to try to find the owners and complain. There's nothing else you can do. You can call your local animal control and have them pick him up when he's loose.

As for keeping your dog from running off, if you know why he's doing it, correct it.

Build a fence. You can't expect a dog to stay, especially if you know he has problems running off without a fence. An outdoor kennel will do. Indoor crates.

It is your responsibility to keep your dog within a fence. If you don't he'll likely get hit or taken into animal control.

Angie on October 07, 2009:

Okay, thanks. I'll try walking him daily in the morning...he'll like that! He loves his walks, he gets all excited and starts jumping and barking.

I think I will get a kennel. I usually keep him in the house when I'm gone, but often I need to go over-night somewhere else and I have to drop him off at a friend's house. A kennel would be good. Thanks.

I have one more question if you don't mind. There is a Pit bull that comes down to my house almost everyday. He has a collar but no tags. He isn't neutered either. When the pit bull comes around my dog and him run off. To where I don't know. But one day I got a call saying that they had my dog...he was about 3 miles away. The pit bull will often hang around here for hours and just whine and cry...waiting for my dog to be let off his chain. He comes around at least once a day, and every time he does, I have to chain him up. If I don't they'll run off...probably to the pit bulls house that lives 3 miles away and across a highway. I don't know where the pit bull lives, and I've always been a little scared of pit bulls so I have no idea what to do.

Thanks for your information, it has been very helpful!

Thanks again,


Whitney (author) from Georgia on October 06, 2009:

The dog should be walked daily, not just twice a week.

The only suggestions I have you've already said that you don't want. I would suggest kenneling the dog while you're not home.

Build a fence.

Angie on October 05, 2009:

Hi, I have a mix breed dog. I live in the middle of know where and there are acres and acres for him to run. But he runs off and crosses high ways. He is either chasing something, playing with another dog, or just running off. He isn't happy on his chain and I'm not happy when he is on his chain. But I can't have him running off all the time. He will ditch me in a heart beat as soon as something better comes up. He has acres to run, I take him for a long 4 mile walk at least two times a week, I am very good to him, he gets fed enough, and he sleeps on his dog bed in the house, why does he want to run off? I don't want to put an electric fence in, or a fence, I don't want to get a kennel, and I don't want him on his chain, I just want him to hang around the house. He is neutered. He is a mix of so many things....the vet doesn't even know. He is really big though. Some other helpful information might be that he is only a little over two years old and he has had 5 homes. People gave him away because of his size. He didn't even know his name when I got him. I really love this dog, and is very sweet and gentle, but I really need him to stay around the house. Any suggestions? Please help!!!

Whitney (author) from Georgia on September 28, 2009:

Sounds like you need to work on basic obedience. Shock collar really isn't necessary. Clicker training is very efficient.

Becky on September 26, 2009:

Hi! I too have a roaming neutered young male who doesn't know you exist when out of the fence, not on lead. I had read that a whistle training may help when used with training treats. I also have a shock collar for him, but would prefer not to use it. Thanks and have a great day. Becky

Whitney (author) from Georgia on September 22, 2009:

Yea, that's just not really smart, especially if you know that the dog has a problem of running off. Common sense says if you found the dog as a stray that appeared in good health and standing, you'd keep the dog confined as it ran off (after trying to locate the owner, as a dog that small probably didn't run from another county but more of a nearby neighborhood).

More than likely the previous owners felt, "he's always come back" theory like you have, and well he didn't come back that time because you kept him. It can happen again.

Hopefully, you tried to find the owner, as I'm sure they'd like their dog back.

Desirae on September 21, 2009:

My dog bubba hes a miniature pincher. and he likes to take off he always comes back. we actually found him that way he was a stray and all our kids were out there and called him in. So I just thought to let him run lose so he can visit his old friends. lol but I know that's bad so know im going to start walking him around on a leash.

Wealthmadehealthy from Somewhere in the Lone Star State on September 16, 2009:

This is a great hub! My dog is very afraid of thunderstorms and the 4th/July...she climbs in my lap and I pet her and she feels better....this is so funny to come across your hub...I had recently written one on bad doggy behavior, and to kaitlan, I had a dog once who behaved in this manner and did the same thing...I purchased pieces of tin, left the dog in the house while I dug and buried the tin so she could not dig out in the same place..I let her out, watched her and when she went to dig, she couldn't get out....I did this in all the places she escaped...pretty soon she figured out she wasn't going to dig out any more and stopped...It did require watching her though...Great hub


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