Older Dog Has Started Running Away?

I have a very old dog and just yesterday she has started to run off. We have to chase her down because she will not stop for anything. She has never run off from us before, as a matter of fact she is always at our side when she is outside. Why would she all of a sudden just start running off?


Eugenea from IN

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January 30, 20090 found this helpful

Well, I have 2 ideas. Maybe she's got the dog version of "old timers" and maybe she's sick and lots of dogs want to go away when they're ill. Maybe you could ask your vet by phone.

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By ginger (Guest Post)
February 2, 20090 found this helpful

I hate to say this but she maybe trying to go off to die. I have had 3 dogs do this over the years and I have learned that old dogs will leave their pack when they are ready to die because in the wild they do not want other predictors to realize that there is a weaker animal in the pack.


Since you are the head of your dogs packed she may think she is getting protection from you by running away. I pray that isn't the case here but it is what has happened in our family.

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February 2, 20090 found this helpful

We had this happen to us, and I agree that she is ready to go and is looking for a certain place.
We brought our dog home twice and the third time we went for him he had passed.
It was very heart breaking, he was 17 and was missed terribly.

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By Jean (Guest Post)
February 3, 20090 found this helpful

My Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix has managed to go off to a very busy street several blocks away when inadvertently left outside for a few minutes. She is evidently suffering from Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, which is the canine equivalent of Alzheimer's in humans. My last little dog also had this at the end of her life. Maggie is probably about 16 to 17 as near as the vet or anyone can tell, since she came from a shelter with no info.


She also now gets very agitated and vocal in the car. They are giving dogs the same drug they give people (Anipryl, I think), but I prefer not to give her a drug. I would advise consulting your vet about this. Good luck, and keep loving her!

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August 7, 20210 found this helpful

My dog is now 15 and has doggie dementia. The last few days he's been running off as soon as the door is open and our backs are turned. Today he took himself off to his old walking route. Luckily a lady stopped him. He's deaf so we can't shout him.


In the last month or so his appetite has been unbearable, he's putting his head into laps where food is and scrounging all the time. Never did this in his young days. When your dog was running off did you consult the vet? Also was everything okay?

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By Jazzylazzy (Guest Post)
February 3, 20091 found this helpful

Sometimes you have to outsmart them. When they successfully run off, they realize how easy it is. I would try keeping her on the leash so that she cannot run off. Anything could happen to her. You will never know exactly why she is doing it. Now all you can do is protect her. I know how challenging older dogs can be. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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February 3, 20090 found this helpful

I agree you should phone your vet. He or she may have an answer for you without a visit, or may want to see your "fur baby."

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February 4, 20090 found this helpful

Maybe dementia?

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August 5, 20180 found this helpful

My dog just started doing this did you ever why? And it's the exact same thing. He's always by my side he's 14 and he just today he won't stop leaving.

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October 28, 20190 found this helpful

My dog has started doing this over the last week. His only 6. His behaviour has changed dramatically. I'm not to sure what to do. His out smarting us at the minute.

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