What NOT To Do When Your Dog Is Lost

Photo by Kevin Lowery | www.kevinlowery.com

Photo by Kevin Lowery | www.kevinlowery.com

In a previous article on this site, I listed things to do when your dog is lost. Implementing each of the steps on the list will increase your chances in being reunited with your lost dog. However, there are also things that you shouldn’t do when searching for your lost dog.

  1. No Trespassing – You should always seek permission from the owner or resident of the property you wish to search when looking for your lost dog. Searching the yards, fields, pastures and outer buildings (garages, sheds, barns, etc.) is always a good idea, especially when the resident or neighbor believes they have seen your dog. However, not everyone is comfortable with strangers trespassing on their property even if you are innocently searching for your lost dog.
  2. Do Not Enter – A person’s residence is considered private property and should not be entered without the authorities being involved. Even if you hear your dog barking or see them inside the house, do not enter. This can be considered trespassing and could lead to your arrest or harm.
  3. Seeing is Believing – Don’t assume that someone has stolen your dog or that your dog has transitioned just because someone tells you that they believe this is true. Unless you actually see your dog in someone’s home or have located your dog’s body, you can’t really be sure. As you know, dogs from the same breed can look very much alike.
  4. Bad Information – It’s hard to believe but, not everyone loves dogs. Unfortunately, people may contact you with a prank call once they have seen your posters and fliers. It is important to follow up on tips you receive if they seem credible. Ask plenty of questions before turning your focus in the direction they have provided. This is especially true if the location given is nowhere near where you last saw your dog.
  5. Money for Nothing – Never mention or negotiate a dollar amount associated with a reward with someone unless they provide you with proof that they have located your dog. There have been cases that I have worked on where someone has stolen or has kept a dog until the reward dollars are more substantial. I’ve also had clients hand over the reward dollars before acquiring their dog. The desperation to have your dog returned can sometimes lead to poor judgment.
  6. Calling All Dogs - Do not call out loud for your dog verbally while you’re still driving from place to place during your search. Unless you see your dog while searching an area by car, do not verbally call them. By the time they hear your voice, you may be long gone from the location and you will miss them. This may cause them to not pursue your vocal calls the next time, feeling that you will not be at the location when they arrive.
  7. Don’t Give Up – There are many reasons that you may not immediately be reunited with your dog. Always maintain your hope and focus on being reunited with them. Dogs have been located, or have returned home, days, weeks, months and years later. Always stay positive and visualize their return to you.

Check out my list for things TO do when your dog is lost. 


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Positively Expert: Tim Link

Tim Link is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Animal Writes" on Pet Life Radio. He is an internationally recognized animal expert, communicator, and consultant. As part of his passion for helping animals , Tim has also mastered Reiki - an ancient art of energy healing - which he uses on animals.


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8 thoughts on “What NOT To Do When Your Dog Is Lost

  1. Dave

    Trespassing - entering another persons property with criminal intent. Therefore unless you are actually intending to carry out some criminal actions whilst looking for your dog, you cannot be in any way trespassing. It may be considered polite to ask for permission, but that is not always possible.

  2. EB

    An unlawful intrusion that interferes with one's person or property - does not have to be to do something illegal! In Wyoming, the definition is:
    A person is guilty of criminal trespass if he enters or
    remains on or in the land or premises of another person, knowing that they are not authorized to do so or after being notified (verbally, through a posted sign, etc).

  3. Vivian Perez

    HOW ABOUT STEALING YOUR DOG BACK FROM A YARD OF SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT WANT TO GIVE IT BACK? IVE DONE IT...I HAD MY DOG'S PAPERS...

  4. notnotjeff

    When my dog got out of my back yard, I went around the neighborhood & was him across a 6 lane highway. My first thought was to call his name. But thank God I realized if he heard or saw me, he'd run towards me & try to get across the same way across that highway & probably wouldn't make it. So I ran home, got in my car, went crossing the highway & got as close as I could. He came right to me & I leashed him & put him in the car. So be careful when searching for your pet.

  5. burglarsdog

    ...or that your dog has transitioned. What?? Do you mean died? Please rather use plain English!

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