How to find a lost dog.
There are 3 things that determine your chances of finding your lost or stolen dog:
1. Your dog – their personality, breed, age and lost dog behaviour are all things that influence where your dog will go, who will find your dog and what they will do with a lost dog, we can guide you on lost dog behaviour which is different to your normal dogs behaviour.
2. Your search behaviour –including how, when, when and how long you search – the most crucial- using the wrong techniques, searching in the wrong places, saying the wrong things on your posters and signs, using the wrong colours or no colours at all on your posters, spending time on low probability searching dramatically reduces the chance of finding your dog. Ringing pounds and vets instead of visiting them, relying on other people to search for your dog over the phone can all reduce your chances of finding your dog.
3. Other people particularly rescuers of stray dogs – understanding the thought processes and psychology of people who steal dogs, feed stray dogs, take in stray dogs or just see them enables you to design your posters and signs to reach them. If your dog is a staffy, Labrador, cavalier, retriever, pug or is a cross breed of these dogs or even looks like any of these dogs or if your dog has grey fur or is a submissive dog you need to be very careful with what you say on posters and signs & to people, and what pictures you use as it can greatly reduce the chances of finding your dog.
Most people jump straight into conducting a hasty search for a lost dog. They jump in the car, drive around, calling their dog, looking for their dog on the street, start putting up quickly designed posters sometimes with missing information or too much information. The problem with this, is that you are going faster and covering more ground however you are sacrificing witness development, you are missing out on gathering information from neighbours, people walking around the area or identifying if your dog is already in someone’s yard. This is good for some species that travel long distances fast e.g. horses, some stock and a small number of dogs but in most cases it doesn’t work.
Instead, search probability theory is a theory that you have a higher likelihood of locating a lost pet by identifying and searching the areas that have the highest probabilities and by using appropriate resources, tactics and strategies. This is true in most lost and stolen dog cases.
All of our senior detectives are experienced professionals. They have the knowledge – and scars – that come from being on the frontline, working on tough cases and getting lost dogs home. They are trained in search theories and techniques, deductive reasoning, witness analysis & behaviour, lost dog behaviour, equipment used to find lost dogs and evidence of missing dogs.
We have over 23 years of searching for lost pets and have reunited over 20,000 lost and stolen pets! We know what works, what doesn’t work, how long you should search and how hard you need to search. We are here so you don’t waste time, money, resources or risk not getting your lost dog home by doing the wrong thing, searching in the wrong place, saying the wrong thing to people or writing the wrong thing on your signs.
Enlisting Pet Search to help search for your dog has shown to at least double to triple the chances of finding your lost or stolen dog. Searching for a confident dog is different to searching for a shy dog. Searching for a German Shepherd is different to searching for a maltese terrier and searching for an dog in a rural area is different to searching for a dog in a built up area. Using the wrong techniques can mean you won’t find your dog. Most owners tell us this is a risk they don’t want to take. We will guide you on the right techniques. If your dog is a staffy,pug, cavalier or labrador/golden retriever or looks like any of these dogs, you have a very small chance of finding your dog on your own, (less than 10%) these are high risk breeds in terms of theft and in people keeping or reselling a dog if it is found lost. The Pet Search success rate doesn’t decrease for these breeds, as we can guide you on how to reduce your dogs value to someone else and increase the urgency they are returned to you.