A story happened to us, certainly not pleasant, but instructive. Jay got lost, or rather ran away. And on this personal experience, I want to understand the reasons for the escape and loss of the dog. By doing so, share this valuable experience with other dog owners to warn and help.
Labrador Jay (2 years old) is a young chocolate hare, a very beautiful, cheerful, energetic dog. He lives with his loving owners, who do not have souls in him. They play, they indulge in tasty treats. Pamper, no more. And it would be necessary to teach a little, with a stick and a carrot.
We went out, as usual, to wander with Jay down the street, to walk in the morning. We decided to let him off the leash so that he could run with the neighbor's dog. Released for the first time in my life. And as soon as Jay smelled freedom, he fled. And now, in fact, let's talk about zoopsychology.
If he does not respond to the call, then he deliberately runs away.
If it is lost, it returns itself in search of the owner.
Why did the dog run away?
First of all, for the umpteenth time, I want to say that in all situations that happen to pets, only the owners are to blame:
- choked on a bone - the owner is to blame;
- allergy - the owner is to blame;
- ran away or got lost - the owner is to blame;
- bit off a neighbor's ear - the owner is to blame;
- hit by a car - the owner is to blame;
- fell ill and died - the owner is to blame!
And do not even try to shift the blame to an alcoholic neighbor, the driver of an ill-fated car, and even more so to veterinarians. It's all the dog's owner's fault. As Exupery wrote, “We are responsible for those whom we have tamed” - a rather hackneyed and popular catchphrase, but for some reason often forgotten in stressful situations.
So, what was on Jay's mind when he so shamelessly took advantage of the moment of freedom from the leash and ran away?
I want to draw attention to the fact that Jay was absolutely not accustomed to walking without a leash. In two years, he was released for the first time. Of course, it was necessary to take such an event more seriously and prepare in advance. After all, a young, mischievous dog has only curiosity in his head for freedom, for the world, for new adventures. Namely:
- Excitation, which he is not accustomed to control: “oh, cat, this is a cat, wow, cat, I ran after the cat, the owner is not waiting ...”. And you need it to be like this: “Hi, cat! Master, I rattled a log for you - play with me ”;
- What is "can" and what is "can't"? The dog will simply have nowhere to find out about this if the owner himself does not give the pet a couple of lectures on this matter.
- The pet does not understand whether the owner approves of his behavior or not. That is, the dog absolutely does not know how you feel about a particular situation. Therefore, it is necessary to clearly respond to the habits of the pet - scold when he really deserves, and always praise when the dog is doing well.
By the way, I often do not control my emotions. Even when my dog sits quietly and drills into my soul with his eyes, I allow myself to shout at her. For what? I understand that she is begging for the fifth cracker from me. But how does she understand it? Either I give a cracker, or I don’t, I yell instead. So what to do? Drill further or not? Yes, I'm doing it wrong! But, oh, how difficult it is sometimes to resist these cute, unfortunate hungry eyes of this small, beloved and cunning infection.
- The dog gets bored while walking. If the owner does not show any interest in playing with the dog during a walk, the dog will look for entertainment, so to speak, on the side. The dog needs to be interested in yourself so much that no cat, squirrel, or yard friend could shake your friendship. Moreover, this mode should be permanent. Attract your pet with toys, crackers, games, talk to him. Otherwise, the pet will simply be interested in you running after him, looking for him - and he will run away.
- Instincts are the language of nature. If the pet's instincts are not muted with games and training, this will be another reason to escape. After all, every dog has a wolf soul that yearns for freedom.
Of course, these are not all the reasons why a dog may run away. But I think this is enough to understand the main thing - you need to be one with your pet, the closest friends, one soul.
Lost dog. What to do?
If it so happened that your pet purposefully flashed his heels and let you know that you can already panic and not wait for him for dinner - try to stop him. Immediately go after him, while preparing something that could interest the dog. As mentioned above, your pet is simply not interested in you and therefore he ran away from you with ease in his soul. Roughly speaking, you are not his authority.
Do not scold him after him, do not shout. This will make the situation even worse. He may think, “Here, damn it, he swears - all the more you need to molt. How fun it is!” You should collect your thoughts, focus and offer to play: “Jay, look what I have, catch a stick, let's run together, I have a cat, Jayey!” Clap your hands, stomp your feet, try to get his attention to the maximum, interest in playing with you. Did not work out? Move on.
How to search for a lost dog?
Arriving home in frustrated feelings, you should not sob into the pillow all day long. Set a goal to find your favorite pet and most importantly - be sure that he will be found! After all, in your city there are many people who see and understand that the dog is lost, they will pick it up, and will also be looking for you.
When Jay ran away and got lost, a loss announcement was posted on a free private classifieds site the same day - Sando.ua in the heading "Animals" - "Lost and Found". This is perhaps the most public site in Ukraine and beyond. The next day, in the same column, we found an announcement that a brown Labrador had been found. And Jay showed off in the photos. Soon Jay was at home.
In addition to the fact that it is necessary to regularly monitor new announcements on Slando, we also recommend:
- Print and post ads with a photo of the missing dog throughout the area, within a radius of 20 km, in crowded places: shops, bus stops, pharmacies, parking lots, etc.;
- Distribute announcements to all veterinary clinics of the district, city;
- Distribute announcements and alert animal shelter staff;
- Place an advertisement in the local newspaper and on TV;
- If the pet is in a kennel club, the club management should be warned about the loss;
- Actively use the Internet, place ads on social networks, on forums;
- Give the photos to the patrol police, promising a reward for the found dog. Law enforcement officers tend to walk the streets a lot and there is every chance that your pet will catch their eye.
In one day, a dog can go a distance of one area. Jay just picked up in a nearby area. Therefore, you should not be limited only to the area where you live.
Seek, do not stop, do not give up and firmly believe in the return of your pet home!
Pity or scold after returning?
Finally, Jay was found. Frightened, unhappy. What is the right thing to do now, so that this vital lesson for the dog is given more colorful colors and always in the right direction?
Remember, the dog in this case is under stress. Because of his inability to behave properly (through your fault), he made not only you suffer, but he himself was seriously frightened. After all, soon interest in the world around us melted into fear, confusion and misunderstanding - where is the owner, where is my house, where is my plate?
In no case should you scold a pet after you have found it. He needs your support, comfort. After all, you are his friend, protection. Feeling your support and warmth, the dog will understand that it is much better with you than on the street and there is every chance that this lesson will be fixed in your favor.
- If you find a dog - do not scold!
- If you caught up with the dog - do not scold!
- If the dog itself returned - do not scold!
It should also be remembered that dogs have an excellent sense of smell. The dog can perfectly return on its own to the very place from which it recently fled. Therefore, as an option, you can just wait for him at the place where you parted. But, the dog must first be taught to use his sense of smell not only to study the bushes. To do this, you need to simulate your loss in a safe environment. But, we'll talk about this next time.
Jay, realizing the fact that his favorite bowl of warm dinner has remained in the same place as the owner - in another world, turns on his natural instincts and goes to get his own food. As a result, he fills his stomach with what God sent - bones. She can't go to the toilet - she cries. They took me to the veterinarian for a stomach cleanse (they crushed the bones in the stomach, enemas, diet, medicines). Jay's stomach does not know how to process such food. This is where the trouble comes in.
When your vagrant returns home, examine him urgently, grope him completely, and keep the toilet clean. And of course, take it to the vet.
Change in pet behavior after stress
In a state of stress, Jay does not move a single step away from the owner, clinging his teeth to the leash. But, stress will pass along with such behavior. When the dog returns to its former life, everything becomes as before. According to the subsequent behavior of the dog, it is necessary to analyze how the dog perceived the situation in order to understand whether he will run away in the future or not.
“If I got lost in a five-star hotel where everything is free, I would be glad to get lost and not rush home. It's the same with dogs. If he got lost and it was in a positive light: someone praised him, stroked him, gave him a tasty bone - then, of course, he liked it all, and he did not mind getting lost again.
If during the wandering the dog got kicked in the stomach a couple of times, was humiliated by yard dogs, could not find food, they shouted at him - that is, it was a negative experience for him, then the dog will most likely become attached to you. Especially if you support him well after returning home, let him know that you are good and safe with you.
How not to lose a dog?
Of course, prevention is better than cure. You need to prepare for everything in order to avoid unwanted consequences. And in order not to lose the dog, in order to understand whether it will walk near you without a leash or will be carried away from your eyes - find out its psychology.
To do this, you need to create a situation and look at the reaction of your pet. Surprisingly, reactions in dogs are different. Some, having lost sight of the owner, fall on the ground with their booty and wait in confusion. The second return to the place where you parted, but do not remember the distance and run further in the opposite direction. The third one doesn’t care at all - they live their own lives.
Choose a safe area unfamiliar to your pet, preferably with a perimeter fence (for example, a park). Let the dog off the leash. When the pet is interested in something, hide behind a tree or any structure. Freeze and observe the behavior of your pet.
From my personal experience, my dog (Shih Tzu breed) began to actively look for me, looking around and running from one point to another at short distances. I got scared. After that, he does not take me off his eyes during walks. A couple of such tricks and now I'm not worried that I'll lose her, but she's afraid of losing me.
We won't lose the dog if the dog doesn't lose us!
When purchasing a pet, you need to pay attention to, at least, the simplest training. Commands such as "Come to me", "Fu", "No", etc. - this is the basis of the basics, the alphabet, which will help you better interact with your pet. It will also prevent unpleasant situations, such as loss, poisoning, fights.
Do not forget also that even an elementary address tag on your dog's collar greatly increases the chances of finding a dog quickly.