Who We Are · Press · Login · Contact

A Must-Read: How to help a lost dog (including your own)


This is must-read advice for every dog owner. You can lose your dog in a split second.

I’ve seen dogs get separated from their owners in the park – and I’ve had the awful experience of losing sight of Benny Bix Ochman Labradoodle – and I can tell you that the dogs get disoriented pretty quickly.

lost Dog posterIf you’ve ever had the heart-stopping experience of losing your dog, you know that they go into a fearful mode and may not even recognize you when they see you.

No Dog About It Blog points out:

Many lost dogs tend to go into “survival mode”. They are frightened, unsure, hungry, tired (exhausted) and on constant alert. In many cases, they are fending for their lives. The longer they live in this state the less likely they are to recognize their owner on sight – and in fact, they are less likely to stick around and wait to see if the person approaching them is their owner.”

What should you do when you encounter a lost dog or your own lost dog?
o Sit down.
o Turn your body so your back or side is to the dog.
o Keep your eyes averted and bow your head so as to look non-threatening.
o Toss tasty treats (hot dogs, chicken, smelly cheese, etc.) behind you or to the side of you.
o Don’t talk.
o Wait patiently for the dog to approach you. Don’t make any sudden movements, but continue to toss treats.
o Don’t grab the dog when they get close, but wait patiently and build trust.
o Speak softly, but if they back away, stop talking and just continue to toss treats until they trust you enough to come closer.

Add a Comment


karen quinn

Thank you for this excellent post. I’ll remember it if I ever encounter a lost dog. Our cat went missing for almost 2 weeks and was eventually found. I know how painful it can be too lose a pet. But if you put the word out near the area where the animal was lost, and never stop looking, they can be found. Our cat eventually returned to a patio of our high-rise and curled inside a pot for warmth. The owner saw the cat in the pot, called us, and we came down and retrieved her. It felt like a miracle after 2 weeks of searching.

BL Ochman

Funny about the cat ending up in the flower pot!
I remember that story about your cat – saw it on Facebook, and was so glad when it had a happy ending.
I lost a cat once and didn’t get him back. it’s truly heartbreaking.