Dogs Lost Away From Home

Published: Sat Jan 25 2014
Last Updated: Fri Mar 18 2022

Thanks to lostdogsofamerica (opens new window) for this excellent article. This site also has excellent instructions on recovering lost dogs through humane trapping. (opens new window)

Tips For Dogs That Are Lost From Somewhere Other Than Home

Lost Akita

It is not uncommon for a dog to go missing from a location other than home. These situations can include but are not limited to dogs that go missing from a:

  • Vacation or camping trip
  • Pet sitter
  • Vet clinic
  • Groomer
  • Animal Shelter
  • Foster home
  • Rescue transport
  • Car Accident

This sounds horrifying, but with a good plan of action these dogs are usually quite predictable in their actions and can be successfully recovered.We’d like to share with you what we have learned. Although we never say never, please consider these tips:

  • These dogs do not generally travel very far – often staying VERY close to the spot where they went missing from. They generally do not head for home or set off on long journeys (unless they are chased).
  • The MOST important thing you can do is to spread the word to everyone that is helping you to NOT call, whistle, approach or pursue your dog. The dog needs to be lured back to the spot it went missing from, as if you were trying to lure a scared cat or tame a wild animal like a squirrel or chipmunk.
  • Using scent articles (the dog’s bed, toys, and dirty articles of clothing or bed sheets from the person most bonded with the dog) will help keep the dog in the area. Place them somewhere safe (well away from roadways) along with smelly, tasty food and water. When hunters lose a dog while hunting they leave their coat out on the ground at the place they last saw their dog. The dog is often lying on it when the hunter returns the next day.
  • If you see your dog, immediately sit down on the ground and toss a few tasty treats out around you. It may take a few minutes, or a few hours, but your dog might approach you. He may circle around and approach you from behind. Be patient and speak softly or not at all.
  • Flyer (opens new window)the area heavily and use intersection signs (opens new window)to alert passing motorists about your missing dog. Again, remember to stress “Do NOT Chase” on your flyers and signs. The greatest risk to a shy lost dog is that he will be chased into traffic and killed.
  • Be patient. Dogs lost from somewhere other than home may hunker down for a day or two and then creep back out to where they went missing from – lured by the tasty food and scent items you left.

Please read through the rest of our articles on Shy Lost Dog Strategies. (opens new window)Never give up! Your lost dog is counting on you to bring him safely home.

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