How to Find Your Dog
If your dog runs away, time is not on your side. You will need to act quickly and cover as much ground as possible in as little time as possible. Looking for a run away dog is much more efficient if you can find someone to help you. One person can drive around and look for the dog, and the other person can start calling animal shelters and veterinarian clinics in the area.
Run away dogs can cover a large amount of territory in a short amount of time, and you never know which direction they are headed in. To cover all possible routes, start searching for your dog by beginning in the area around your home then spreading outwards. As you look for your dog, call your dog’s name as loud as you can and check under cars, hedges, or in other places your dog could be hiding in.
If you have not found your dog within 24 hours, begin distributing lost fliers immediately. Always keep an up to date photo of your dog handy to ensure that you have an accurate picture of your dog in the event of a run away emergency. Leave the fliers on cars, in mailboxes, and in front of stores and gas stations. Continue calling shelters and veterinarian offices to see if your dog has been brought into their facilities. If you have not found your dog within one day of placing the fliers up, place an add in the local newspaper immediately.
A microchip identification is an invaluable tool which can help to reunite lost dogs with their owners. If you haven’t microchipped your dog yet, do it today.
Keeping Your Dog from Getting Lost
Neutering your pet will greatly reduce the incidence of roaming. This is especially true of male dogs, who tend to wander and roam more than female dogs. Obedience training is also absolutely critical to ensuring that your dog will remain on your property. An obedient dog will listen to you when you order it to come back. An untrained dog will only listen when it wants to and you may end up chasing it all over the neighborhood.
To get your dog to listen, first try commands like "come" while your dog is on a long retractable-type leash, then eventually try it with the dog off the leash. If it does not listen, you can try the following: go to a corner of a building and command your dog to "sit" and "stay" while you are on one side of the corner. With your dog still on the leash, go around the corner so that your dog does not see you, then yell "come" and gently pull the dog towards you. Your dog will think that you have control over it even when it cannot see you. Do this repeatedly until you feel your dog has the idea, then try it without a leash. Remember to reward good behavior.
In some situations, even neutering and rigorous training will not prevent a dog from leaving the property. In these cases, you can build a fenced-in run for them or keep them tied for short periods of time with adequate supervision. If all else fails, consider using invisible fencing. This method uses an electronic collar which gives off an unpleasant buzz whenever a dog wanders beyond a buried cable. Your veterinarian can tell you more about this system. Be sure to have your pet microchipped with an identification microchip just in case he or she does get away on you.