Finding a lost dog

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Emdiesse

Settler
Jan 9, 2005
624
1
Surrey, UK
Hi,

Looking for a lost dog, not my own, but a strangers...

I'm signed up to doglost.co.uk to be alerted when a dog goes missing around my local area, this was absolutely with the intention that I could give my evening wanderings a sense of purpose - and a good (forfilling) excuse to get out the house.

I received an alert on Monday evening about a lost dog and have been out after work on Tuesday and Wednesday on the off chance I might see her and help reunite her with her owners.

Anyway, this has got me thinking - how do you find a lost dog?

I mean, taking into account their 'personality', their familiarity with the territory, the direction they live, the season, the time they've been missing, the time they went missing:

"How do you find a lost dog?"

(Asides from the usual posters, social media, sightings, so on and so forth - I'm talking physical searches: 'Search and Rescue')

Thanks
 

daveO

Native
Jun 22, 2009
1,326
407
South Wales
Someone I know locally went to the nearby travellers site and let them know about the cash reward for their lost dog and it was found within hours. Handy people to know when it comes to finding dogs :rolleyes:
 
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didicoy

Full Member
Mar 7, 2013
538
7
fens
Someone I know locally went to the nearby travellers site and let them know about the cash reward for their lost dog and it was found within hours. Handy people to know when it comes to finding dogs :rolleyes:
I had a traveler from the site down the road stop and ask me if I had seen two lurcher pups roaming. It happened that I had the evening before. I did see a dog walker pass by. One dog on a lead and two similar looking lurcher types causing havoc as they walked on by withhim. Having told the traveller this. I suggested he contact the local vets, (in the next village) that afternoon I called into the vets to enquire just incase. Reluctantly the receptionist told be how they had received a phone call about the two roaming dogs and information as to their whereabouts. They refused to give me personally the details, but suggested I informed the true owner and for him to contact the vets in person. I later did this and after the dogs were Reunited, the gypsy owner came to say thanks. He told me he had bought the lurcher pups 5 days ago at a cost of £2,000 each. So checking with vets and local pet shops is a must when trying to locate lost/missing animals.
 

Dogoak

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 24, 2009
2,100
139
Cairngorms
I'd be checking local food sources first, dumps, back of food premises, local butchers, etc; After feeding a dog often wants to curl up somewhere sheltered and safe, sheds, especially under them, under hedges, etc;
Start near home and work outwards, dogs have a homing instinct, or from last known sighting towards home. Take into account directions normally followed on walks and areas the dog knows.
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
4,777
1,394
55
W.Sussex
I was losing a dog almost every day.

My 14yr old JR terrier is almost blind and profoundly deaf. She constantly stops to sniff stuff while my 3yr old runs on ahead. I turn around and she's gone. Off in another direction or following someone else thinking it's me.

Now, this won't help you find other people's dogs, but I've put a cat bell on her collar so I know she's keeping up and to help locate her when she loses her way. It also lets me know when she's in the kitchen and might need to go out as she's increasingly incontinent.

For you,the vets is certainly the first place to look. Even if they don't have the dog, they should be able to tell you where they sent it. Micro chipping is compulsory, so that makes things easier.
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
We used to lose one of our dods regularly, he was a wild soul, despite being sterilized.
after he disappeared, we took the same walk (where he went on adventures) several times a day. Shouting his name, speaking loud.
Also did more extensive walks in the area, again, shouting and talking loud.

I used to check the ditches to see if he was run over.

Most of the time he just showed up at the house within a couple of days.

It is horrible when you lose a family member and do not know what happened...

I commend you for your intentions. You have a big heart!
 

Emdiesse

Settler
Jan 9, 2005
624
1
Surrey, UK
Cheers, all good info.

So far it looks like the owner and an army of people online have contacted surrounding vets, shelters, dog warden, schools so on so forth - Sounds promising as far as spreading the word and so on and looks like they've had a sighting 5 miles away.

(I have also contacted the owner to let them know I am here to help rather than just being the creepy guy lurking around the woods...)

The word-of-mouth, notifying authorities, etc part of things looks to be going along well and I'm keen to get out there, be a part of the search and want to know a bit more about the 'tracking' side of things - the behaviour/psychology/instiucts of a lost dog

Although, arguably, I imagine in most cases dogs are found by people not actively looking for them (i.e. a dog runs happened upon them without an owner) I guess it doesn't hurt to be an extra pair of eyes and ears on the ground once all the relevant people/authorities have been notified.
 

Lou

Full Member
Feb 16, 2011
631
70
the French Alps
twitter.com
From a regular person's point of view, I would say it is almost impossible to follow and find a dog through their footprints or other markings they may have made, unless they were very experienced in tracking an animal in an urban area. Often dogs do not usually run in a straight line but go wherever their noses take them, sometimes even just round and round, so there is not necessarily any rhyme or reason to their wanderings, unlike a fox or badger.

I see dogs roaming around all the time here in France, as many are let out everyday to do their own 'rounds' by themselves and it can be quite illuminating to follow them. They often stick to the same trail everyday and trot between places usually involving food outlets, other dogs, female dogs on heat, carcasses/bones and rubbish. I've even heard of a dog in town which ran up 1000 metres of mountain to get to a certain restaurant. Another dog I used to look after was a repeat offender and got into a ski lift bubble to take him up to the very same restaurant. He was also found regularly sitting by the meat counter inside the local supermarket.

I have used a dog to search for another lost dog in the woods before. He was always extremely keen on sniffing out any other dogs to play with and seemed to know what he was looking for when we gave him the lost dog's lead to sniff. In the end, we found the dog cowering by a neighbour's back door, so it just goes to show that we as humans had assumed he had run off into the forest, when in fact he had turned back to the village, which says to me that if a dog has had a fright, it doesn't run aimlessly around, it gets to some kind of shelter/cover asap.

So I would say that unless you know what is on the dog's mind, whether he is doing something like his regular rounds or whether he has run off because he is scared, then tracking a particular dog is quite a random thing. Probably the best bet is to, as I am sure you are doing already, keep out and about and look for dogs wandering on their own (with intention) and as the others have said, looking regularly around sheds and garages, 'meaty' places and parks where other dogs are or have been ;-)
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,705
984
63
Florida
I rarely completely lost a dog. Most often one would get separated and take a while coming back. In those cases just put out the normal flyers and wait for them to come home. However, back when I was teenager it was also possible for my hunting dogs to get separated in a similar way (as can a pet when hiking or trail riding) In those cases they'd either try to find me or return to the place where we'd left the car/ Even today I see dogs in the parking areas near hunting or hiking trails patiently waiting for their owners.
 
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Fadcode

Full Member
Feb 13, 2016
2,341
557
Cornwall
It is quite hard to find a lost dog, as the minute you find it, it is no longer a lost dog.........................its just a dog..........lol
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,276
271
-------------
I was losing a dog almost every day.

My 14yr old JR terrier is almost blind and profoundly deaf. She constantly stops to sniff stuff while my 3yr old runs on ahead. I turn around and she's gone. Off in another direction or following someone else thinking it's me.

Now, this won't help you find other people's dogs, but I've put a cat bell on her collar so I know she's keeping up and to help locate her when she loses her way. It also lets me know when she's in the kitchen and might need to go out as she's increasingly incontinent.

For you,the vets is certainly the first place to look. Even if they don't have the dog, they should be able to tell you where they sent it. Micro chipping is compulsory, so that makes things easier.

Not so far off this.

My wife and I had a black sheepdog cross for years, he was no bother and never strayed far so I hardly ever had him on a lead.

But then as he got older and deafer, and blinder taking him for a walk through dark woodland was once a real problem.

Have you ever lost a partly blind and almost totally deaf black dog in a dark wood? I felt pretty stupid that night and after I found him I made sure I took him for a walk on one of those glorified tape measure dog lead things from then on in.
 

Woody girl

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 31, 2018
2,804
1,900
62
Exmoor
Here where I live spaniels and gundog types go missing regularly. They are often found miles away or more often not at all. Dog thieves the Bar stewards! Kneecaping is to good for those people.
 

Woody girl

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 31, 2018
2,804
1,900
62
Exmoor
You need one dowsing rod in the right hand and one dowsing rod in the left hand silly:biggrin::D
 

oldtimer

Full Member
I've found dogs occasionally and have sometimes had difficulty in knowing how to find their owners. I had no idea until reading this thread that there was an organisation to help with this and I doubt that I am the only one.

Given that many of us here are often out and about in the sort of places dogs get lost, you have probably helped many people and the dogs that own them to be reunited in the future thus causing many a tail to wag!
 
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Duggie Bravo

Nomad
Jul 27, 2013
425
75
Dewsbury
When we adopted an ex stray, we could never let him out of the house off the lead as he would be gone.
He was fine off the lead on a walk.
When he did get away, we spent several hours searching for him and eventually we saw him coming out of a house further up the street.
They had found him, taken him for a walk to see if he would go to his house - he didn’t!
It looks like we had kept missing each other as we went looking for him.


Sent using Tapatalk
 

Bootfox

Tenderfoot
Apr 1, 2019
57
31
Scotland
I have used thermal imaging and night vision before, to find a few strangers dogs.
Expensive bits of kit, a mate and I both do hunting so we had the kit to hand.

Good old binoculars come in handy too. Carry a whistle and some beef jerky/treats too.

There are certain trackers available some transmit with an SD card to a phone app, with various different price tags and subscriptions. Not sure how good they are but worth a punt if you keep losing them. Or are worried.

In the winter months I use a small IR strobe or light, or just a wee red light to keep track of her in the dark. The IR comes in handy with the night vision.
 
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