How do so many dogs get lost?

Someone visiting Lost Dogs of Wisconsin’s Facebook page recently posted the question, “Why do so many dogs get lost?”  This question made all of us pause to consider the answer.  Since we are  involved with lost dogs all of the time, we don’t always give a lot of thought to basic questions like why dogs go missing in the first place.

While we didn’t identify a definitive answer or develop a concrete list of reasons about why dogs become separated from their owners, we did give a lot of serious thought to the issue.  First, we thought about our kids.  We don’t lose our kids…so why do other living beings that share our homes, beings such as our dogs, get lost?  Well, the number one reason dogs tend to go missing is probably language.

Because dogs are not human, they don’t speak the same language that we do.  We can train our pets to understand certain words and recognize certain signals, but we still cannot communicate with them as effectively as we can with other people.  For instance, your dog might sit when he hears your verbal command, but he won’t understand your commentary about how your pants revealed your unmatched socks every time you took a seat at work the way your best human friend would.

Due to the insurmountable communication barrier that exists between the canine and human species, dogs will invariably continue to get lost.  That’s simply an unfortunate fact.  Now that we know why dogs may become lost, let’s examine the closely related question of how they get lost.

The manner in which dogs become displaced from their homes are many and varied.  A dog may escape from an unsecured or even a secured fenced area, he may slip out of his collar during a walk, he may run out of a door opened to let a visitor into your home, or, despite his extensive training, a dog may fail to resist temptation and sprint from his owner’s side in pursuit of another animal or maybe even a leaf blowing in the wind.

Dogs manage to get lost in any number of ways, some of which are impossible to anticipate let alone protect against.  But, it’s still important to do whatever you can to prevent your dog from becoming separated from you and your family.  And, Lost Dogs of Wisconsin provides advice about how you can do this on its website and Facebook page

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