What do I do if my Australian Shepherd is lost or runs away from home?

What do I do if my Australian Shepherd is lost or runs away from home?

What if your australian shepherd gets loose?

What do I do if my Australian Shepherd is lost or runs away from home?

Its every pet owner’s worst nightmare. In the moment it can be nearly impossible to know what to do. It can happen so fast, one minute you are on your typical evening walk and suddenly your Australian Shepherd gets away from you to chase a squirrel or bird. Or maybe you left the back door open, just this one time, and your Aussie takes off running in a blaze after the UPS truck.

With the tips below, you’ll know exactly what to do to get your dog back home safe and sound.

First and for most…DO NOT chase them.

It may go against every instinct you have, but it’s important not to chase your Australian Shepherd as he is running away. If they think you are playing a game, you will only make things worse. With very few exceptions, most of us can not outrun our four-legged friends. They are much too fast. If your Aussie is afraid, you also won’t have any luck catching him.

Instead, Pet Med.com recommends turning the game of chase around and convincing your Aussie to run after you. Getting your Australian Shepherd to chase you can be fun for him! You can try running with a toy or treat which might get him to follow you, or even try getting into your car if your furry friend is one who likes to travel.

You must remain calm and positive when your Aussie runs away.

Again, you must work against your instincts. Although you’ll want to yell and freak out for your Australian Shepherd, resist the urge and try to keep a cool head. You do not want to add to the excitement or fear your Aussie is experiencing or make him think that you are angry at him. That will only make the situation worse.

You can try calling for your Aussie in your happy voice and make kissy noises while you turn around, as if you are going in the opposite direction.

If your Australian Shepherd fears that he will be in trouble, he will be less likely to follow you or rush back to the house. Now would be the perfect time to break out your best, “Who’s a good boy?”

If you don’t already you need to make sure you have a recall word in place with your Aussie.

Ideally, you must train your Australian Shepherd to respond to an emergency recall word. This is a word, phrase or noise that cues him to immediately return to your side regardless of what is going on around him. Teaching your Aussie, a recall word can be an involved process, but it is well worth the time. There are a few secrets to help with this.

When your Australian Shepherd responds to their recall word, you reward them BIG TIME. You must make it worth their while to do what you want them to do. Use a special treat or high value food that your Aussie doesn’t get at any other time. If your Australian Shepherd knows something completely amazing will happen when he responds, such as cheese, he’ll choose you over what he is running away or chasing after.

When selecting a recall word, go with something short and snappy that you do not say daily to your Australian Shepherd. “Come”, for example is too common of a word. “Hot Dog” however might be a good candidate. It is not likely to get worn out and your Aussie might already associate it with something tasty.

Stop the Action that is happening.

Trying to get your Australian Shepherd to run back to you is best. But this requires him to stop and turn around, which can be difficult if he is really excited. You can try a simpler method by instructing him to stop and lie down. One of the best skills you can teach your Aussie is a fast lie down. It will be easier for him to drop than to turn around a run back to his person.

In fact, it could help to bring EVERYONE down to ground level. I recommend sitting down quickly yourself, then pretending to play with a toy to lure your Aussie to come check things out with you.

Preventing Future Run A Ways.

While it is nearly impossible to prevent all emergencies, there are a few steps you can take to make it less likely that your Australian Shepherd runs away.

Using your rock-solid recall word, never have your Aussie off-leash in an area that is not confined. Stick to enclosed dog parks if there’s any chance your Aussie will choose a squirrel over you. Its very important to “know” your dog.

Its is extra important to make sure your fence is secure, and your doors are shut or latched tightly. The same goes for Australian Shepherds who are not spayed, or neutered-no type of food will deter them from trying to meet up with a mate.

Most importantly, confirm that your Australian Shepherds ID tags and microchip are up to date. If worst case scenario, your Aussie keeps running from you, you want him to be able to get home as quickly and safely as possible.

6 Critical things to do if your Australian Shepherd is lost.

  • Start searching but don’t panic!
  • Spread Out-gather friends and family to help you if needed.
  • Search smart-you know your Aussie, think as he would.
  • Visit shelters in person-they are busy places and a just phone call might not be good enough.
  • Post on Social Media-the power of FB, Instagram, Twitter, and others can be unbelievable. The more people who know to be on the lookout, the better.
  • Put up Signs. The old fashioned “lost Dog” posters will still work wonders!


No matter what…never give up hope of finding your furry best friend!


Hi there! My name is Erica and I am absolutely in love with Australian Shepherds. These pups have been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I have learned so much about them over the years. I am now excited to share all of my knowledge and experiences with you through my writing for Aussie University. When I'm not typing away, you can find me out and about with my own Aussie crew, exploring all that nature has to offer or participating in fun dog-centered activities. I can't wait to connect with all of you fellow Aussie lovers out there!

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