Had a scare this morning. DH was walking our dog and came home without him! He had been calling him for about 50 minutes and gave up. He knew roughly where dog was (could occasionally hear him yelping in distance as he chased rabbits). I gave my DH an earful for coming home, and rushed out in my pjammas and welly boots, went to the clearing where we usually start our walk (about 250 metres up the road from our house), started calling and within about 1 minute exhausted dog ran up to me. I was so relieved.
Made me wonder whether dog would have eventually come home (obviously he knows the way) if I hadn't found him, or would he have continued running til he got properly lost/someone found him?
The collie we had when growing up had no recall and we lost him every year or so. There were more dogs wandering the streets in the 80's, we never let ours out on purpose He'd usually show up after 2 or 3 days with a big grin on his face (he really did bare his teeth to smile). Can remember not being too worried as it was expected he would show up sooner or later. He was an unneutered male and often wondered what he got up too, where he slept and if he fathered any pups when he was AWOL.
We have a lab now and I would be worried sick if we lost him.
I had a collie/lurched cross who was a complete decelerating. One day she jumped the back wall and shot off and we couldn't find her anywhere. We drove around in the car, me crying! For a good hour, no sign. We pulled up outside the house and she was sitting in the storm porch!
Her lead snapped on the common by work once too, off she went chasing something. I saw her disappear in the distance. I got back to work only to have her turn up 5 minutes later
It nit something I would suggest trying though (and this was nearly two decades ago)
I lost my old dog most walks. She's shoot off after rabbits and was a little blob three fields away and disappearing fast. I'd carry on the walk with friends (we did a loop) and then she'd either turn up at the end of the walk or if I waited at the end for her she'd soon turn up. But could be gone for 30 mins easily.
Scary, isn't it! My dog ran away all the time, and one time she was brought home sitting on the farmers tractor! Most of the time she just came home.
You need to figure out why your dog is escaping and then prevent it again. My dog had digestions issues, she didn't get nutrition out of her food as she didn't produce enough enzymes. So she was always hungry and looking for something to eat. When she was diagnosed and started getting artificial digestive ensymes, she got much better. The habit stayed with her, though, and she would still run away sometimes. In the end she was run over because she crossed a road to get to a pile of dog food that someone had fly littered right at a busy round about.
So if your dog is chasing rabbits, make sure the chase is safe or provide an alternative.