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Keep Your Dog Safe At Home

Prevention Is Key

Any newly adopted dog should be assumed to be a flight risk until proven otherwise. Please take all precautions to avoid the heartbreak, stress, and expense associated with the search of a lost dog.

Before receiving your new dog, make sure that you are prepared with the appropriate equipment for your dog and for your home. This will help to lessen anxiety for you and your new family member. 


What type of ID tag should I purchase for my newly adopted dog?

Granite State Dog Recovery recommends purchasing an engraved ID tag prior to picking up your new dog. This tag should be marked with your name, address, and phone number (preferably your cell number if that is how you are most easily reached).

ID tags that slip onto the collar rather than attaching via a metal ring are preferred (they cannot be pulled off via rough play or attachment of the leash to the improper rings. Martingale collars with identifying information embroidered on them are also suggested.

A martingale slip-proof collar should be properly fitted in order to be effective and should not be left on a dog while crated or during playtime (a properly fitted standard quick clip or buckle collar (with id) should be left on your dog at all times).

What type of a leash should I use with my newly adopted dog?

Use a sturdy, traditional leash. You should be able to fully insert your hand through the loop at the end of the leash so that you may then grasp the leash itself. This will prevent the dog from bolting and pulling the lead out of your hand. A dropped leash is one of the major contributing factors of a dog going missing.

Can I use a retractable leash to give my dog more freedom? 

Granite State Dog Recovery does not endorse the use of any type of retractable leash. If the worst were to happen and the leash is dropped by mistake and the dog runs, it may seem to the dog that he or she is being pursued by a loud predator hot on his/her heels.

What type of collar should I purchase for my newly adopted dog?

For all new arrivals, we recommend that you use two forms of restraint simultaneously (it may seem like overkill, but we assure you that it is not! It might save you a call to us later following this advice!)

Martingale nonslip collar and a secure harness work best.

What is a microchip?

A microchip is an essential part of your dog's ID "system." It is a small glass capsule, about the size of a grain of rice, which is injected under the skin. It is read by a special scanner that is used by many shelters and animal control facilities. If your dog becomes lost and loses their collar and tag, the chip can still help get him or her home.

Be sure to check that your dog's microchip has been registered with the chip manufacturer and keep your information up to date. Ask your veterinarian or local animal shelter/rescue group about microchip identification and have them scan your dog’s microchip at their yearly physical.

Remember, a microchip does not function as a GPS device. A lost dog must be found and scanned in order for identifying information to be read.

Why should I neuter or spay my pet?

Make sure that all animals are spayed and neutered. Unaltered animals are much more likely to become lost. If your dog is not neutered, it may be escaping to search for female dogs and may continue to roam far and wide. The simple solution might be to neuter your dog.

The same holds true for unfixed female dogs, who may be escaping to find male dogs. Altering your pets also helps to keep them healthier and control pet overpopulation.

Why is my dog escaping when I am not home? 

Make sure that your pet has adequate exercise and interaction with the family. If your dog is spending too many hours out in the yard alone, escaping may be its way of dealing with loneliness and boredom.

Can I let my newly adopted dog outside by himself?

Adopting a new dog is a time of transition. Never take a chance with a newly adopted dog. Understand that it will take time for them to realize where they live and that you will provide for them. Always accompany a new dog outside and never leave them alone.

Should I have a lock on my fence?

The answer to this is yes! Keep fence gates securely locked. This is for the safety of both your pet and any visitors (wanted or unwanted). Some dogs have learned to open gates and let themselves out. 

How can I stop my dog from digging under the fence?

If your dog is digging under the fence, you will need to either bury fencing in the ground (18 to 24 inches deep) to deter him/her from digging, or attach fencing to the bottom of your fence and lay it on the ground at least 12 inches into the yard. Both methods work, but you must fix the entire perimeter of the yard or the dog will probably find the unprotected spots.

How do I stop my dog from jumping over the fence?

Look for and move objects that the dog may be using as aids. For instance, if the doghouse is close to the fence, he may be launching off the roof. Add additional fencing to add height to your fence. You could try using a light gauge wire for this purpose; if the dog feels that the light wire is unstable, he or she might decide that they can no longer jump out.

Dogs that normally do not escape or jump fences have been known to become frantic on holidays like the Fourth of July or New Years where fireworks are set off. Never leave your dog alone during these loud potentially frightening times.

Loud noise makes my dog go frantic. what can I do?

Thunder, lightning, and firecrackers are all sounds that cause some dogs to become frantic. It is best to be home and supervise your dog during these times or keep them inside. If you see that your dog is becoming really frantic, it is best to crate them. Try placing something that has your scent in the crate like an old sweatshirt or pillowcase.

Also, consult your veterinarian if your pet has severe anxiety.

Should I yell at my dog for running away from me?

One of the biggest no-no's is to reprimand a dog who has run off and finally come back, or you have finally caught him. Doing this is teaching your dog quite the opposite. It's teaching him not to come back. 

Dogs are all about the moment and punishing them on what they relate to as being a crime may have an impact on them. In this case, they will think it's coming back! What dog in their right mind would come back knowing it's going to get in trouble?

As angry as you may feel towards your dog when you finally catch him, you cannot punish him. It's too late. A dog needs to be corrected at the moment the bad behavior is being performed. They do not have the mindset to reason with the logic of not running away preventing punishment. To a dog, it's all about the moment.

Also, keep in mind that your dog can feel your emotions. So, if you are angry he will feel it. He won't know why you are angry; he may even think it is because he came back to you. Take deep breaths and try to calm yourself. Instead, think how lucky you are to have your dog back!

I am adopting a new dog what is the best way to bring him home in the car?

When travelling by car with your new dog, he/she should be contained in a crate at all times. If you stop for a pee break along the way, do not open the crate door until a leash is attached through the wire of the crate. Nothing is worse/more dangerous than a loose frightened dog in an unfamiliar area.

Do not assume that your dog will behave or respond to you in the same way that they do at home if you are visiting a new location. They may be anxious and an abundance of caution should be used. When in doubt keep him/her leashed at all times.

What can I do to help my dog from escaping out the door?

Some dogs are known to escape by dashing out of the house the moment the door opens. For the door-dashers, the best strategy is to place a baby gate at the doorway. Training your dog to sit before the door opens every time is also a good behavior to establish.


What should I look for when bringing my dog to the groomers or kennel to prevent him from escaping?

Make sure your vet, groomer, and kennel understand your newly adopted dog and their desire to escape and run. Look for a business that has a securely fenced area for walking dogs. If this isn’t possible, be sure to share your set-up with your leash, collar and harness with the staff.

Make sure they use a slip lead on your dog if it is going outside. Most businesses take their own precautions but you can never be too safe. Always ask what safeguards they have in place. Don’t be shy—the safety of your pet depends on it!

I have a fearful dog that runs in the opposite direction from me in the yard. What can I do to help me get the dog back inside?

If you have a fenced-in yard, consider leaving a long leash on the dog when outside so you have something to grab onto when you need to bring the dog indoors. Remain outside with your dog to make sure the leash does not become tangled around vegetation, trees, or furniture. Spend time on obedience commands such as sit, stay, and come.

My dog knows how to sit can I benefit from a training class?

Yes, all dogs can benefit from dog training. Dogs can be trained to not go through open gates or cross borders. This type of training keeps your dog at home where it belongs. Dogs can also be trained to not rush to or through the front door when the doorbell rings. Hire a dog trainer or behaviorist to help train fence jumpers, door rushers, hole diggers, or dogs who won't come when they are called.

Should I have a recent photo 

of my pet?

It is always good to have photos of your pet. If your pet goes missing you will have a recent one you can use. Take close-up shots so that details show up well. Also take full body shots to use on posters. You want your photos to be unique and your pet to be unmistakable. 

What can I do to make sure I can be located if my pet is found?

Always keep a collar on your pet with a tag that has your current phone number and address on it.

Always have a current rabies tag and pet license tag attached to your pet's collar. You can be found by the number on the tags.

A collar and phone tag are the most important form of ID you can have for your pet. However, pets can lose their collars on the street. Get your pet a microchip implant. A chip provides positive and reliable identification for your pet and most shelters can scan animals for this ID device.

What can I do to be prepared in case by dog runs away?

Keep the number of your local police department and animal control officer in an easily accessible location. Be sure to have a clear, current photo of your dog on hand. Should your dog go missing, immediately call and report to police/animal control then review and follow GSDR's Quick Action Plan.

What are the essential items to have before our newly adopted dog arrives?

Granite State Dog recommends that you have the following items in your home and ready before your dog arrives:

  • Crate of Appropriate Size
  • Two Nylon Leashes 4-6 Feet in Length
  • Slip Leash
  • Harness
  • Martingale Collar
  • ID Tag Containing Your Contact Information
  • High-Value Food Treats
  • Exercise Pen (Tall, Collapsible Wire Enclosure)
  • Baby Gates

If you have any concerns, feel free to get in touch with Granite State Dog Recovery in Manchester, New Hampshire. We offer additional tips to help you keep your dog safe in your home. 

You may also download and read the Granite State Dog Recovery Brochure for more information.

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