Recall training is key to stopping your dog from running away
Two thirds of owners give their dogs time off the lead on their daily walk, according to a survey of 1,400 people for the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) and Dogs Today magazine.
But to keep your four-legged friend safe, you need to be able to call them back.
At least a quarter of respondents had lost their dog while out walking with their dog off the lead. The main reasons varied from chasing wildlife (especially deer), to being scared of or being chased by other dogs, or because their pet had found an exciting scent.
When owners could not get their dogs back, nearly half worried about the consequences and a quarter experienced a variety of emotions such as vowing to manage the walk better in the future, so the situation doesn't arise again.
Others felt annoyed or frustrated at themselves, vowing to do more training. Meanwhile, 14% felt embarrassed by their dogs' behaviour and 13% felt a sense of panic.
When asked what they think when their dog runs off, more than half (54%) think they need to do more recall training.
The simple truth is that dogs enjoy following scent and chasing prey. The act of the chase releases a pleasure-seeking chemical called dopamine into the dog's brain, providing a real high from the experience.
It's this thrill that makes it so addictive and why dogs will often become repeat offenders, the NAWT explained.
Recall is arguably the most important command you can teach your dog. And owners need to find ways to maintain their recall on an ongoing basis throughout their dog's life.
Does your dog always come back when you call?