Join Date: Apr 2008
Submit Photo: 73
Photo Submissions 11 Times in 11 Posts
lost dog behavior
LOST DOGS TIPS & BEHAVIOR
Searchers must have a leash and "bait" such as: hotdogs, string cheese, meatballs &
“stinky” cheese like Provolone/Swiss, salmon-flavor kitty treats, luncheon meats, “Little
Caesar” dog food & “Sheeba” cat food - both easy tubs, no can opener needed.
*** Bring a squeaky toy, ball or Frisbee if dog likes them.***
Lost dogs are scared, confused and generally respond better to rescue attempts made by
women. They might prefer children they know & love rather than the adult owners.
Children must be old enough to understand the situation & remain calm. Well-intentioned
people, including owners, initially chase these dogs. Chasing just reinforces the dog's
perception that people are "predators" and may make some of them run even further.
Dogs are extremely adaptable and will revert to instinctive survival behavior. They
constantly search for food, water & shelter. Water is relatively easy to find. Food is a
challenge. A dog may hunt for rodents, birds and snakes and will also eat birdseed,
manure, grass, insects and carrion. They rummage through garbage bags on trash night.
They find food left out in bowls for other animals. Dogs lose weight during their ordeal
but can survive for a long time. They are attracted to dumpsters with food, most farms,
kennels and multiple-animal homes.
Quiet yards, especially on dead end streets are favorite places to find shelter. They rest on
lawns, in fields, cemeteries, open barns & sheds, under shrubs & porch decks. They try to
sleep as close to a house as possible, especially at night. It affords them protection from
harsh weather and predators. Dogs don't usually go into deep woods unless chased. They
can use shallow woods to hide on a temporary basis. Their search for food, water, shelter
and familiar scents keeps them primarily in residential areas.
Follow the same routes used previously when walking the dog. Go for a walk with
another dog (on leash) from the home, a dog "friend" or same-breed dog. Act "happy" but
calm and get the other dog to bark occasionally. A lost dog, if close by, might hear the
barking & come out to greet the other dog. Dogs use golf courses, gravel pits, railroad
tracks, fields, cemeteries, power line access roads and parks as shortcuts to get to other
streets or the next town.
Explain to pet owners that their dog or cat may be agitated for hours when they know a
strange dog has settled into their yard or neighbor's yard. Dogs may bark excessively for
quite a while. The general public and many lost dog owners are quick to assume that a
dog has been a victim of coyotes. Coyotes are a real threat but not an excessive one.
Many dogs smell them, sense trouble and go in the opposite direction.
Situations vary, but dogs can survive snowstorms and harsh weather. During the winter
you can follow tracks through the snow. Walk beside the tracks, not on them. Bring extra
clothes if you plan to be out for any length of time. When “tracking,” be discreet. Walk
quietly and talk in soft, reassuring tones except in woods with bear and moose. Be aware
of hunting seasons and never trespass. Do not have noisy groups of searchers walking or
running around a “sighting” area. Dogs can sense when they are being “hunted” and can
easily outmaneuver the best of you. Organize everyone and have a plan – “who to call
and what to do” if the dog is spotted. Time is always critical and a quick response is best.
© 2005 Debbie Hall - Used With Permission
I didn't just get havanese, I got a lifestyle!
Loving Havanese since 2003