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Top 10 escape artist dog breeds

Some dogs stick to their owners and their home like glue. Others love to escape, take themselves on adventures and raise a bit of hell in the process.

And there are some breeds who are particularly diligent escape artists. Here are the most committed Houdini hounds out there.

Jack Russell Terriers

Wet Jack Russell Terrier in a forest

Intelligent, independent and spunky – these energetic terriers have got all the skills for becoming pro escape artists. They won’t let their small stature stop them – they’ll happily dig away under a fence until they can squeeze under and commence their adventure.

Siberian Huskies

Siberian Husky running

Siberian Huskies are well known for their incredible ability to run… and run… and run… and run some more. And if they haven’t had enough exercise on a given day, they’ll exploit any opportunity to take themselves out. They’ll gladly climb, dig and even unlatch gates to make their escape – so make sure your garden is fully secure and they’re getting plenty of exercise!


Beagle wearing a harness

Beagles have some of the most sensitive noses in the canine community, and it’s this powerful sense of smell that sends them on adventures away from home. Hopefully, their sense of smell will also bring them back, but it’s important to train a strong recall if you’re planning on letting them off-lead.


Black Greyhound Dogs Trust wearing a PitPat Dog Activity Monitor

A combination of strong prey drive and being the fastest dogs in the world means Greyhounds are a flight risk out on walks. Whilst it’s perfectly possible to train them to stay close, many Greyhound owners opt to keep their beloved companions on a lead. After all, you certainly won’t be able to outrun them!

Belgian Malinois

It’s hard not to be impressed by the incredible agility of the Belgian Malinois. These dogs can scale a six-foot wall as if it’s a minor obstacle, so a fence alone isn’t enough to keep them in. Luckily, they bond strongly with their handlers, so as long as you put in the work to train them, they’ll stay near you instead.

Labrador Retrievers

Two labradors sitting in flowers wearing PitPat Dog Activity Monitors

Labradors are renowned for being social creatures, so it’s not unheard of for them to take themselves off on adventures to find new friends. Their high intelligence means they’ll find plenty of ways to escape, so you’ll need to keep your garden secure and keep them busy with plenty of mental enrichment.

Cairn Terriers

Cairn Terriers have retained their strong hunting instinct, and it’s that instinct that leads them on adventures away from their humans and from home. They’re hardy little dogs who will happily dig under a fence or crawl through dense scrub to get to their prey, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on them at home and on walks.


Boxer dog sat down wearing a PitPat Dog Activity Monitor

These playful and joyful pups are famous for their bounce. With their muscular physique, they can easily leap over a fence and out into the world, and if there’s fun to be had out there, they’ll do just that. The solution? Create more fun inside your own garden or in the house! Schedule plenty of playtime and training, and they’ll gladly stick close to you instead.


The oh-so-popular Dachshund may be little, but they’ve got plenty of spunk. Originally bred to flush prey from their dens, Dachshunds are more than happy to tunnel under a fence and squeeze through tight spaces to escape. They can be prone to separation anxiety and may try to make an escape to find you if you’re not at home.

Mixed breeds

When you get a mixed breed dog there’s no telling what traits and instincts have been passed down to them by their parents. Some rescue dogs, especially those who used to be stray, may be more inclined to escape the confines of their home. With careful training and supervision, most learn to enjoy their home comforts and decide that life here is better than life out there. 

With good training and supervision, all dog breeds can thrive at home, without feeling the need to escape – even the ones on this list. But, if your dog is a Houdini hound, it’s always good to have a PitPat Dog GPS Tracker on their collar, so you can track them down in no time. It’s only £149 with no subscription to find your dog, and your peace of mind – priceless.

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