Pitbulls are adventurous dogs. Also, their main instinct is to chase and run when they see a moving object. If you happen to leave the gate open, they can get lost really quick. The chances of finding lost dog after 24 hours dwindle every passing minute.
According to the American Humane Associate, around 10 million dogs and cats get lost or stolen every year. Some of these dogs run away for a variety of reasons and most of the time, they will lose their way back.
In each hour that your dog is in the loose, danger becomes a major concern. The pooch might get hit by a car, hungry, dehydrated, and even picked up by irresponsible people.
But to solve the problem, we have to identify the root cause.
Why Pitbulls run away
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There are many possible reasons that surround why a dog will run away from its home. It can both be the fault of the owner or the dog has a predisposed issue that wasn’t fixed early on. But if you’re at a loss why your Pitty got lost, here are some of the possible reasons:
Dogs are curious beings. If you keep them indoors despite their strong urge to explore, you’ll just fuel their interest on what can be found beyond the fence. So when the doggo found the chance to escape, it will bolt on the sight of an open gate.
And with the sniffing and new things surrounding them, they can get lost out of fear or enjoyment. Pitties can travel long distances if not searched right away.
It’s also important to note that Pitbulls have a high wanderlust potential.
🐕Easy escape routes
Not all Pitbulls love running, but they still have strong bodies and four legs. If your fence isn’t high enough or if your lock is too easy to chew, they can get past it without a sweat.
A broken window or door can also be a gateway outdoors. Remember, Pitbulls can dig too which is usually the case for many households.
Pitbulls can’t find the urge to chase a squirrel running in high speed. Their natural instinct is to run which will lead them to unchartered territories. It won’t take long before they lose their way back. And in the course of trying to retrace their steps, they could probably travel farther away from your house.
Pitbulls have a high prey drive. This hard-wired nature is common among this breed. As the owner, you should take proper caution when letting your dog roam in your yard. If not, you’ll have to deal with the chances of finding lost dog after 24 hours.
If your Pitbull runs out of things to do inside your home, they will look for entertainment somewhere else. It will dig, mouth things, and destroy a flimsy gate. This will open the opportunity to run and explore the neighborhood on its own.
When you’re going to work and leaving your dog behind, remember the three important ‘Es’ – exercise, entertainment, and enrichment.
All of these boil down to keeping your dog busy and mentally engaged in an activity. If not, the Pitty will seek a greener pasture beyond your fence.
This is the most common reason why dogs of all breeds run away. Pitbulls will try to escape if they live in a violent and abusive household.
If you’re a responsible owner, your Pitbull might have been afraid of thunder, loud fireworks, and other noise. And as an effort to get away from the fearsome object, they will run away.
Bright lights and big crowds can also scare a Pitbull off. If you’re hosting a party, make sure that your doggo is tucked tight on a bedroom with lots of toys.
If your Pitbull has a history of running away, here’s what you can do:
The behavior of dogs once they got lost
No matter how friendly or affectionate your Pitbull is, its behavior will differ once it gets lost. It would be fearful, aloof, and defensive. Also, you wouldn’t know what it encountered or experienced while wandering. Dog behavior after being lost will be affected by fear, hunger, and aggression.
It’s also important to remember that dogs that got lost for more than 24 hours will be hungry and thirsty. This will make them edgy and a bit aggressive, Pitbull or not.
For sure, your Pitbull will be panicky. Even if it’s the calmest, loving, and affectionate pet, the dog will be terrified. Some of the lost dogs would even run away at the sight of their owners.
It’s also not a good move to call your doggo by name once you spot him. A lot of people might have tried to catch him prior to you. The calling might be a fearful signal which will cause the Pitty to run even more.
The key here is to counter the panicky behavior with calming gestures. Mind your body language and make sure that you have some yummy food to lure the doggo over.
Places where you can possibly find your lost Pitbull
The problem with some Pitbull owners is they tend to search without a plan. Blindly calling your dog in the open isn’t a time-efficient method. If you can, tap the help of family and friends to check for the following areas:
Around 6% of lost dogs are found on local animal shelters. Although this is just a small probability, it’s a possibility nonetheless. Call or visit the local shelters in your area and ask if a dog with your pet’s characteristics have been brought to them.
If your dog can’t be found on these shelters, you should file a lost pet report on each shelter, advisable within the 60-mile radius from your home. This will let the areas know that someone is looking for a stray pet.
🐕Their favorite outdoor spot
Some Pitbulls would just try to escape so he can go back to the park and sniff on the grass. Check the places where your Pitty tends to go. There’s a chance that you will find the pooch there. If you don’t, it’s still worth the shot. Just remember that the chances of finding lost dog after 24 hours are getting smaller by the hour.
The outdoor environment can be dangerous to your Pitbull. It can get hit by a car, got injured in the woods, or suffer from allergy attacks. There’s a chance that someone might have picked him up and brought the dog to a vet clinic.
Like what you did on the shelters, check all the local veterinary clinics on your area and ask them to contact you when a stray dog is brought to them.
When your Pitty got lost, don’t jump to the conclusion that it already got too far right away. Drive along the neighborhood and see if the doggo just wandered in a short distance. You can also ask some of your neighbors if they’ve seen your pooch roaming in the area.
It will be better to have multiple people looking for your dog so you can cover more ground. Remember, coordination is important so you won’t waste any time.
How far can lost Pitbulls go?
Dog behavior after being lost is quite a challenge to predict. If your dog is a runner, it might have traveled a bit farther over the past hours. Still, some factors may affect the mileage of a doggo on the loose. First, your pet’s temperament will be a major factor. How your dog reacts in the presence of a stranger will affect how far it will go.
For Pitbulls that are aloof and scared of other people, running away is a common occurrence. Basically, you have to think of where your dog falls on these three categories:
🐕The Wiggly Butts
When we say wiggly butts, these are doggos that are very friendly toward strangers. They would usually approach the first person that will call them by name or other means. Usually, they won’t wander too far from the neighborhood.
If your area has a dense population, there’s a chance that someone might have let them in. This is an ideal situation as long as the person who got them has no unscrupulous intentions.
🐕The Fearful Doggos
Pitbulls that are afraid of anything foreign are likely to run in longer distances. Due to the fearful behavior, these doggos also stand the possibility of getting hit by a car. Also, some people who will observe the cowering behavior may conclude that the owner is abusive.
Even with ID tags and chips, they may not contact you. This is the worst case scenario but some of these people will take the time to reach out to you.
🐕The Aloof Ones
If your dog keeps on hiding in the presence of a stranger, it’s likely that it will travel far. The good thing here is that these canines can give in to food and water once they got hungry enough.
These dogs can be rescued by strangers although their wary disposition can be interpreted as a product of abuse.
But since these dogs will try to evade any human, they may not be rescued for weeks and even months. Once they are thin and emaciated, the rescuers might think that the pet has been neglected.
Factors that may affect your search
As much as you have the energy and zeal to look for your dog, some factors may make it harder for you. Here are some of the factors that may affect your search efforts:
If it’s a rainy or snowy day, you’ll need more effort to go around. Also, a snowy day will cause your dog to travel less compared to a sunny day. This goes the same to your efforts.
🐕The landscape of the area
Is there a forest near your house? A Pitbull that wandered off can travel farther in the woods. And since there’s no one to see the pooch, it’s less likely that it will get rescued on the same day.
Also, searching on the woods is way different than scouring the grounds of a subdivision.
You have more advantage of finding your dog if your area is highly populated. This means that someone can easily encounter your dog outdoors. The fences and gates will also limit your dog’s travel distance. However, you should also consider the next factor.
🐕Time of the day
If your dog got lost during the night, it can travel great distances without being seen even if you live in a populated area. The time of day will also affect how easy it will be for you to search for your pet.
When darkness unfolds, the challenge to look for a missing dog becomes more difficult.
🐕The appearance of your pet
Does your Pitbull have a special mark? Or does the pet got lost for too long that it might have lost weight? Also, the problem of having a Pitbull on the loose is that not all people are inclined to rescue them due to the aggression stereotype.
Also, if the Pitty appears to be trotting calmly on the road, motorists may perceive that it’s a community pet that needs no rescuing.
What you should avoid when searching for your Pitbull
When searching for your Pitty, avoid relying on the wait-and-see attitude. Sure some dogs can trace their way back home but it’s only a small chance. Once you confirmed that your pooch is missing, plan your search right away.
Remember, in every hour that you let the dog in the loose, the chances of finding lost dog after 24 hours become smaller and smaller.
Also, don’t succumb to tunnel vision. It’s when you base your search on the wrong theories like your dog is stolen or that it’s sold to dog fighting rings. Always look for proof before you assume.
Moreover, don’t give up too easily. Some dog owners tend to give up if they can’t find their dogs for days. But those who have a strong bond with their pooch won’t stop until they find their beloved Pitbull.
Once you spot your dog, don’t run into its direction right away. Remember the pooch is panicky and it will just run away if you try to lunge over. That would decrease your chances of finding lost dog after 24 hours.