If your dog went missing over the July 4th week, and still hasn’t been found, you may be feeling desperate. Here are a few tips. Dogs that are lost from stressful situations like fireworks will quickly go into “survival” mode – avoiding all humans, even their owners. This is normal. Don’t panic, don’t allow people to search for your dog and please don’t offer a reward.
Rewards encourage people to chase an already scared lost dog which may make them bolt into traffic or cause them to leave the flyered area. Don’t hire a tracking dog service. They also increase the pressure on a scared dog and may drive him further away.
Instead, pretend that you are trying to catch a chipmunk. Would you chase a chipmunk through the woods? No, or course not. You would sit on the ground and patiently hold out a peanut. Change your strategy from “searching” to “luring”. Once the pressure is off and the dog is allowed to relax, he/she will come out of hiding in search of food. Ask your family and friends to help you flyer until you get a sighting. Then you can begin to implement a plan to catch him safely.
Check out our Shy Lost Dog Series for in-depth articles on how to find a shy lost dog.