Do Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Run Away?

As a new Chessie owner, you might be wondering if they will run away if you open the door or if you accidentally leave the gate open.

This is a common concern amongst dog owners as you don’t want to lose your precious pet. 

Do Chessies run away?

As with any dog, there is a risk of your Chessie running away if they are given the opportunity. Chessies that are probably trained though are less likely to run away. You can also easily call them back if they know commands as well. 

You might be wondering what to do if your dog runs away or if there is some way you can make them less prone to running. 

In this article, we will go over the reasons why dogs run away and you can try to prevent it. 

What makes dogs run away?

There are many reasons a dog might run away.

There are a few you can prevent, but sometimes they will run away because of natural instincts. 

Mating instincts 

If you own a female Chessie, they will be more likely to run away when they are in heat.

This is just their natural instinct to want to breed. 

Male Chessies will also run away if they can smell or detect a female dog in heat near them. 

If you are worried about them running away because of mating instincts, you can get them spayed or neutered at the local vet clinic. 

This makes them much less likely to go out of the house looking for a mate. 


Dogs are curious animals and Chessies especially need mental stimulation to keep them busy. 

If they get bored, they will be more likely to run away. 

Smart dogs are always more likely to run away due to boredom and Chessies are a very smart breed. If you leave the back gate open and they see a squirrel or something else that interests them, they will run away. 

A good way to combat this is to give them enough playtime and attention. 

If they always have something to do or someone around them, they will not be bored. 

Hunting instincts 

Chessies are natural hunting dogs and they were bred to hunt and swim for prey. 

Hunting is also a fun activity that gives them mental stimulation. 

If your dog smells prey nearby or spots an animal for hunting, they will run towards it. 

If you are going to be near places where they might see prey, such as camping or hiking in a forest, you might want to keep them on a leash. 

Unfamiliar surroundings 

Do Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Run Away 1 Do Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Run Away?

Your dog is less likely to run away when they are at home because they know their surroundings. If you are on vacation with them or in a new place, there are new smells that might interest and confuse them. 

This makes it more likely for them to leave you in chase of the new smells. 

If you are in a place that’s new to them, try to keep them on a leash and make sure you are with them all the time. 


Chessies are not naturally fearful dogs, they might be afraid of a few things that might cause them to run away. 

Many dogs are afraid of fireworks and will try to escape the home if there are fireworks nearby.

Thunderstorms or guns shots are also common triggers that cause dogs to become scared and run away. 

If you know a big storm is coming or there is a holiday with fireworks, try to stay home with your dog to comfort them. 

Also, make sure you don’t allow them to go outside without a leash. 

Separation anxiety 

Chessies can become anxious when they are alone for too long. 

If they have the opportunity to run away and seek someone to be with them, they will take it. 

If you have to leave your dog alone for long periods of time, consider burning a dog walker or asking a neighbor to come and check on your Chessie every few hours. 

What do I do if my Chessie runs away?

If your dog runs away and you see them, you can try to call them back and command them to come back into the house. 

If your dog is well trained, they should listen and come. 

However, if they have sensed a mate or prey nearby, these instincts can often overcome their training. 

If you cannot chase them down and get them, you might need to contact all the neighbors or make flyers with the dog’s photo. 

The most important thing to remember is to stay calm. 

This is easier said than done but it’s important to stay calm and relaxed. 

Things to consider for the future 

If you’re a new dog owner, you might want to consider getting them microchipped. 

This can be done at the vet. It will be a small GPS chip placed under their skin.

If they run away or get lost, you will be able to track them and see where they are. 

You might also want to secure your backyard before letting them roam freely. Make sure you have a strong fence with no holes.

If your Chessie likes to dig, ensure they are not digging holes by the fence that allows them to slide under the fence and escape. 

If you have people coming into the yard to do maintenance or something else, make sure the door is latched back before letting the dog go out alone.

Will my Chessie come back if they run away?

Some dogs will come back when they run away and others will not. 

If they know their way back home though, they are very likely to come back.

Your home provides them with food and protection that they can’t get in other places. 

They will want to come home to be near you and the care you give them. 

Chessies also have very good hunting instincts which means they have a strong sense of smell and they can backtrack their way back home through scent. 

Don’t be surprised if your Chessie leaves for a few hours and then comes back. 

Dogs are also more likely to come back within the first 12 hours. 

If your dog has not come back within 12 hours, they might be more at risk of being gone without knowing their way back home. 

If they run away when you are on vacation or in unknown territory, they will be less likely to come back because the surroundings are unfamiliar and they might not be sure how to get home. 

If your dog ran away in a panic, they are less likely to come back. 

This is because their fear will cause them to run fast and far. 

If they ran away because of mating or hunting, they are more likely to come back once they are done. 

If they ran away too far though, they might not remember how to get home. 

Where can I find my lost Chessie? 

The best place to start looking for your dog is in the neighborhood. 

Someone might have seen them and brought them into their own home to protect them. 

If your dog has a collar and tag with your phone number, the people might also call you to tell you they have the dog. 

You should also consider posting on your local Facebook pages or social media.

Include photos of your dog so people can see if they have seen him or her in the area. 

Some people also take lost dogs to the local vet office. 

Try calling the vets in your area and ask if they have your Chessie.

You can also check the local animal shelters to see if someone turned them in. 

Can I let my Chessies off their leash?

This depends on where you are and how you have trained your dog.

If you are in your own backyard or a park where you go often, you can let the dog off the leash. 

If you are in a new place, you might want to keep them on the leash to make sure they don’t run away or get lost. 

You also need to make sure you can trust your Chessie before letting them off the leash. Train them to come when you call them.

This way if they start to run too far, you can call them back. 

If your Chessies is still young and has not mastered this command, you should keep them on the leash until you feel confident they will listen to you. 

Final thoughts 

Chessies will run away if they are afraid of something or if they smell a potential mate. 

Since they are hunting dogs, they will also run away if they smell prey. 

The best way to keep them from running away is to make sure you are home during scary situations like thunderstorms or fireworks.

You can also get them neutered or spayed to cut their mating instincts. 

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