HOW DO YOU FIND A LOST DOG IN THE WOODS?
It happens to the best of us; you let your pooch off the leash to sniff things to its heart’s content, and then suddenly you’ve lost track of the rascal! More often than not your furry friend is just around the next corner. But what if you completely lose track of your dog in the woods?
Can My Lost Dog Find Its Way Back to Me?
Your best bet is to stay put and let your dog find its way back to you. Dogs are incredibly smart and resilient animals with a naturally heightened sense of smell. Hunting and retriever dog breeds especially are renowned for their olfactory prowess. And this plays a crucial role in helping your lost dog find its way back to you. So, try not to panic or create any more confusion. Stay standing in the same spot where you last saw your dog, and wait patiently for it to sniff its way back to you.
In addition to their amazing scent tracking capabilities, lost dogs have another method of finding their way: dogs can navigate using magnetic fields! A recent study in Prague equipped dogs with GPS trackers and cameras and set them loose in a forest to track how they returned to their masters. In a surprising 30% of the 600 trial cases, the dogs did something completely unexpected. Instead of tracking their own scent back to their master (as did the two-thirds majority), they began their return route with a short “compass run” along the north-south axis, even if they did not come from that direction. Then, these dogs took a completely new route to get back to where their masters stood. Researchers believe that these compass runs indicate that dogs are capable of detecting magnetic fields and using this ability to navigate their environment. Hopefully, this means you won’t have to wait long for your clever clogs dog to find you!
What Do I Do if My Dog Goes Missing?
If you’ve waited a while and there’s still no sign of your lost dog, retrace your steps and walk back along the same route you took through the woods. Call out your dog’s name loudly and clearly as you go. If you’re with friends or family, spread out and canvas the woods. Ask passersby if they’ve seen your dog and consider exchanging numbers and asking them to keep an eye out. Don’t forget to keep your phone on loud!
Finally, if you finish your walk and you still haven’t found your furry friend, it’s important to alert your local rescue center, vet, and police station as soon as possible. Also, be sure to post about your lost dog on social media. Create a virtual “lost dog” poster using a recent photo of your pooch to get the word out quickly. And remember to maximize the visibility of your lost dog post on Facebook with the handy Boost by Pet Alert tool.