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How do you loose a dog?

November 8th, 2005, 10:01 AM
As an owner of an 11 week old puppy, I become concerned when reading on this forum, and notices up on the vets board, how many dogs get lost.

I would like to hear some peoples stories of how they lost their dog, so that I may learn from your experience and prevent my pup from becoming lost. I have a fully fenced yard, and regulary check that all holes are boarded up properly. She is always on a leash (never goes off-leash in public). She is getting micro-chipped on thursday too.

So how does it happen that some pooches get lost?

Rick C
November 8th, 2005, 10:12 AM
I haven't lost a dog but periodic hand-made notices on our rural mailbox tell me its not hard to lose one . . . . . chasing coyotes eventually gets them killed for example. Or they chase a deer and get lost, ending up on someone else's property.

I don't think it would be hard to lose a dog in the country if you weren't attentive.

Abby and Keeper have a fence surrounding our entire four acres and always have a leash on when we go outside of it. I'll periodically let them run in lonelier spots when I can see no one or no animal is around.

Rick C

November 8th, 2005, 10:18 AM
Accidents happen. I assume you have a gate to your yard? What if your dog was out there and someone opened it? Would she run out? What about the front door to your house? If someone came knocking, could she sneak out between you and the door as you open it?

I have heard of a lot of times when dogs go loose while travelling. The family stops at the gas station/pit stop, want to take the dog out for a pee/poop, and the dog gets away before they can get a leash on them.

We live in an apartment, so if Odin gets out the door, he just goes in the hallway and there is no where for him to go. Otherwise, he is always on leash. We also have a seat belt for him so when we open the car, he can't run out.

Mrs Bungle
November 8th, 2005, 10:34 AM
My parents dog got loose several times outside in the city.. i dont know HOW he never got hurt... almost all of the time, i think it was becuase he was intact, for one, and probably was more prone to wandering (i also think he had beagle in him so that oculd be it too), but he would usually get loose when someone would leave the front door SLIGHTLY open like if your getting groceries from the car, etc, or if we were talking to someone at the front door, he would bolt from time to time...

November 8th, 2005, 10:41 AM
Raingirl= I have heard of a lot of times when dogs go loose while travelling. The family stops at the gas station/pit stop, want to take the dog out for a pee/poop, and the dog gets away before they can get a leash on them.

I was so scared this would happen when we were driving home with Joey. Of course he was on a leash, but stopping at all the rest stops and being right on a highway I kept a hold of him pretty tight. The scariest part was making sure we had a hold of him when we were getting him in and out of the car. I also had nightmares before when we first got him of him getting out of the kennel at the airport, escaping and running down the runway. :eek:

Joey got out of our front door once ran to the end of our driveway and back in when I called him. I had the door opened a bit to long. Now if I am going outside with out him I will put him on a downstay make sure I am looking at him then go out. If we are making several trips in and out, ie groceries, we will either put him on a leash, or in his kennel temporarily.

November 8th, 2005, 10:46 AM
Some of them just wander off on their own... And they just wander and wander and wander... My old yellow lab did that once when we were still up north and we only found her three days later all sore and cut, but that never stopped her from trying to do it again...

My old dobie was a runner. If you left a door open, he was GONE in a flash. He was chained all his life before we got him and I think that had something to do with it (sort of like "I'm FREE!!").

But IMO, if you are outside with your doggy all the time that she's outside, chances are your doggy won't run away (unless she sees a squirrel and chases it to a far away place).

November 8th, 2005, 10:55 AM
As Raingirl said, accidents happen but also carelessness can happen too. Collars may break, chains or cables may break or you lose your grip on the leash while your dog is pulling to run after a wild critter. OR the dog was left in the fenced yard, UNATTENDED, just long enough to dig a hole and escape (or depending on the height of fence and size of dog - jumped over the fence!). People coming and going from your house that stand there and hold the door open and the dog sneaks out and takes off.

I believe all of these can be prevented, but people don't think their dog would take off so they don't always take the necessary precautions. Example: travelling with your pet - stop for a pee break, attach leash BEFORE the car door is opened - simple things like this. Take the time to check over all of your dogs equipment to be sure it isn't fraying or wearing out and could break.

November 8th, 2005, 11:28 AM
s#*t happens

November 8th, 2005, 11:51 AM
I have heard of a lot of times when dogs go loose while travelling. The family stops at the gas station/pit stop, want to take the dog out for a pee/poop, and the dog gets away before they can get a leash on them.
This would be really awful. I asked my husband what he would do in this circumstance, and I really didn't like his answer :sad:

I've never had a pet just not come back, so I don't really know--I sure hope something like that doesn't happen

November 8th, 2005, 03:02 PM
This one happened to me: I had just adopted Honey, my neurotic 2 year old lab. Just adopted her, the day before, I think. We are in the backyard, she is loose but I am there with her and the yard is fenced with a 5 foot fence. I have the cordless phone in my hand and am calling an obedience school to enroll us in classes. Just as I was talking to them, she jumped the fence and ran away!!! I had to hang up in a hurry, yelling that the dog had just jumped the fence! Took a few hours to find her, too! Silly girl!!

So, accidents do happen!


November 8th, 2005, 03:02 PM
Capone got out at camping once when my SD opened the tent to say something to me (cause apparently you can't hear through Nylon or whatever it is) and capone gingerly walked out and onto the campsites road to a family walking by. When I told him to come he came and that was it. Second time was at the house and a friend was going outside when he left the door open. Capone got out and started sniffing a neighbour when my hubby told him to hold onto him and the neighbour did and that was it.

So it happens and I am really paranoid about it.

November 8th, 2005, 03:54 PM
It can happen in an instant. Misty managed to get out a couple of times. Once I had to go out somewhere and wasn't able to take her with me. I left the house and walked across the street to my car. My grandmother apparently forgot to tell me something and opened the front door of the house. Misty bolted, straight to my car! Luckily I had already made a u-turn and the other car had seen her. Needless to say, she came with me that day. There was no way I was going to let her stay since she was determined to come find me! Another time one of the kids, who isn't used to having a dog, left the gate open to the porch at the cottage. Misty took the opportunity to go for a run in search of bunnies! We've had people open the gate to our backyard just to let the dogs out. We now keep it bolted with a chain and padlock.

We had a dog when I was growing up that knew how to open the doors. She didn't jump fences, but she climbed them. She used to climb the chainlink fence in the backyard to my neighbours backyard and then crawl under their gate to freedom! Needless to say, she wasn't allowed in the backyard unsupervised!

November 8th, 2005, 04:05 PM
I have lived through several dogs (all of whom went on to the Bridge at an elderly age, sigh!) - a fox terrier, a poodle, a beagle and now my brother's chocolate lab - and only once my poodle managed to get "lost" for a night. He was a dog who used to play out in the back yard at my grandparents and while they watched him like a hawk, he managed to get off his chain - he had a long one in a large fenced in yard. Usually - someone was outside with him but for some reason (phone rang or whatever) - no-one was looking and he did a Houdini and voila, he ecaped down the road (it was a rural cmmunity).We searched all night - no Ryan (I named him from the movie Ryan's Daighter - I know - only an Irish kid would name her poodle Ryan, lol) - calling him. :sad: :sad: He was a very indoor dog who was much loved and cared for, very protected. He was almost never left alone and had never been on and adventure like this before - and he was maybe 10 when this happened. So we wondered how he would survive - it was summer but still in New Brunswick, summer nights can be cool esp for a poodle with a short coat. Around 5 AM, with us still calling him, searching- I was about 4 large city blocks (tho this was a rural area - no blocks) from the house when I heard this whine and it was my baby, all dirty, burdocks and all - looking worse for the ware but not injured. To be sure, we took him to the vet and he was fine but needed a shampoo and a good grooming. He NEVER even considered being Houdini again. And we always made certain we were with him when he was outside - not taking an eye away from him ever!! (Mind you the same is true for the chocolate lab who likes to run to the closest pond - you know labs, lol -). That would be my advice. They are like little kids - do not assume even well trained that they will stay where they are supposed to.

I cannot imagine losing a dog for even longer periods but I have a friend whose very friendly Golden was stolen from outside her home in her yard while it was being dogsit when she was away. The person was not watching him I guess and after much searching, the only conclusion was that he was stolen and that was four long yrs ago!!! They still look and have hope! (And there was a recent news story of a dog stolen in NS found in NB's Miramichi area 5 yrs post being stolen!)

November 8th, 2005, 05:13 PM
Growing up, my family had three bichon frises. Until they got old and lazy, they could squeeze between anyone's leg and an opening/closing door, no matter how fast the person was. Of course, in true Bichon fashion, they would run like crazy and never look back, so we would be out chasing them. Thankfully we lived in a very small town and nothing ever happened to them and eventually we all figured out we had to be smarter than the dogs to keep them in :) . It's because of this that i completely understand some rescues insisting on a fenced in yard. Not that accidents don't happen there, as well, but i see where they're coming from.

November 8th, 2005, 05:19 PM
I once lost a rescued puppy while she was in my care;in my fenced in yard. She was the calmest puupy that ever walked the earth. She never had any interest in leaving the yard until another of her litter mates got out of his yard and dug a hole under my fence, got in, got Tipper excited and ran out under the hole with Tipper in hot persuit. All this happened in the 10 minutes I went in to get a coffee. So things that you would never think could happen...actually DO.

November 8th, 2005, 07:45 PM
There was a notice in the Ottawa Citizen today of someone who lost their dog at the Petsmart in Nepean. It slipped out of its collar but that was pretty much all the details except that it happened on the 5th and was in todays paper.

To prevent this make sure that your dogs collar is in good condition and it fits properly.

November 8th, 2005, 11:25 PM
My fourteen year old dog, Ebony, got lost when my dad was taking plywood through the gate in the backyard and foolishly left it open. Fortunately, we found her two blocks over. (She couldn't go far because of her arthritis.)


November 9th, 2005, 02:21 PM
I think sometimes people get a bit too comfortable and feel they know there dog well enough to determine what he/she will/won't do. I am guilty of this and I got a scary wak-up call the other day.

I arrived home from work as I do 5 days a week. Normally Bailey waits on the mat in the hall while I put my things down and get his leash. On this day he caught sight of our neighbor across the street and before I could get in the house and close the door he had bolted out the front door and across the road.

It scared me half to death. He came right back but it showed me that even though he is realiable 99% of the time off leash, I'm not willing to take that risk anymore. We were VERY lucky a car wasn't coming at that moment.

November 9th, 2005, 04:40 PM
With the right dog it’s easy. Goggle will take off after deer, rabbit, birds and even butterflies. He will come for as many as thirty days straight but can't seem to get past that number of days without taking off. Being a hunting dog he's highly driven to chase anything that runs or flutters other than humans.

The last time (the deer) required me to take the four-wheeler SUV off road. He stunk, had torn pads (he went down a rock faced escarpment). He hasn't been off leash since and it's been about a year now

A friend owns twenty acres and the previous owner had llamas so a lot of it is fenced. He said if we want to take him off leash we can go out there – maybe we will. Other than that NEVER again – ever. He's used up his chances.

The big guy is an angel and once trained has refused a recall once when he thought he saw my Dad. It was a guy that looked like my Dad. He was on leash for a month after that and has been almost fail safe ever since. He gets leashed up when other dogs, cyclists or walkers approach. He doesn’t go out of sight ever and never will. He did it as a pup twice, the second time I hid behind a tree until he was extremely panicked – only then did I show my face. He won’t risk losing sight of us now.

November 9th, 2005, 04:57 PM
I just wanted to mention that I've seen more than one dog owner frantically looking for their lost dog at parks. The off-leash areas can be great fun, but if the dog isnt carefully supervised..( or doesnt obey when called) they can run off and become lost.
I always remember one young man, empty leash in hand, asking us if we'd come across a Jack Russell terrier on the trails. I felt sorry for him.. as this was a huge forested area, and it was late in the evening. He was looking pretty desperate, and we scouted around a bit ourselves, to try to help him...but as twilight turned to dark, we had to leave.
Poor little doggie.. poor guy. I visualized him going home with the bad news.. "Honey... I lost the dog.":sad:

November 9th, 2005, 05:13 PM
I think most of the time it has to do with doing something out of your normal routine... (kind of like losing your car keys.. giggle) Travelling is a great example. In the case of a dog a once lost it was quite simple... I had family over at the house visiting for the holidays and my german shepherd was inside with us. Apparently at some point during the evening a well meaning person noticed him begging to go out at the back door and let him out. Now - she didn't think anything of this because we had a fenced back yard... What she didn't know was that a section of fence was missing because we were in the process of repairing it. Even I was confused because of the company because I distinctly remember looking for him and seeing him laying out in the backyard and it just didn't register that the fence was open... Until that night when everybody went home and he wasn't out there. Eep.

I did find him later that night.. Much later.. but he was already several blocks away by the time I ran across him.. Luckily he recognized the sound of my car and came running from out of nowhere while I was driving down some street. Phew.

November 9th, 2005, 07:20 PM
Hi Rivers,

I am unfortunately in that boat right as we speak. My situation is a little different as she was at her breeders getting ready for a dog show. The breeder left a door open and she escaped. This was out of my control, unfortunately I trusted this person,and they didn't keep a watchful eye on her.I don't wish this on anyone Its one of the most heartwrenching things I have been through. I miss her like crazy. This is how easy it happens, sometimes you can't even control the situation,if I had of seen this of course I would have never sent her to stay there. Some lessons unfortunately learned the hard way. Make sure you are very comfortable when you leave your dog with people and that she will be VERY well cared for.