Toby, the Australian Shepherd, was a shy dog. Not only was he wary of strangers, but he had been lost from a strange location (a family member’s house) during the week of the 4th of July. The family was prepared to keep him in the house during the community fireworks display; but a neighborhood party erratically shooting off fireworks two days before the big day was unexpected. Toby bolted and was lost.
Toby had four strikes against him. He had four out of the five risk factors that will make him an elusive dog:
- a shy demeanor
- a breed that tends to get frightened easily and goes into “survival” mode
- lost from an unfamiliar location
- frightened by a stressful situation
Pair this with the usual response of owners who in a panic tend to do all the wrong things to catch their dog; and the story could have had a sad ending.
Fortunately it did not. The family followed good advice and were successfully able to recover Toby safely. This next series of articles is going to focus on techniques for recovering a shy dog, and/or those dogs lost from a stressful situation or an unfamiliar location. These techniques are different than those you would employ for a friendly dog lost from an opportunistic situation – and we’ll address those in a future series.
But, in preparation for the 4th of July, let’s get started on the shy dog series. We know it will be our busiest week of the year. Thank you for helping us by sharing this information with anyone you know who may have lost their dog.