Dogs are inquisitive and exploratory animals.
If somehow your “best friend” goes missing start by trying to determine where the dog was last seen.
Talk to anyone in the area. Talk to other dog owners. Knock on your neighbours doors. Remember dogs are pack animals and it is very common for loose dogs (please note shy or feral dogs may not follow these standard behaviors) to approach people or other dogs. Dogs attract dogs. They are pack animals and most likely they will approach people walking dogs or dogs that are fenced or tied up in yrs.

My border collie would regularly decide to go on an adventure and take off through the neighbourhood. One of my standard procedures was to get in my car and drive around calling her name. We always found her. Sometimes she saw us and would still run in another direction – then it became a challenge of wits.

Listen to dogs barking – a dead giveaway something is happening near there.
Look in areas where the dog could have gotten trapped. Look under, over, and at eye level.
Dogs that appear to be friendly or valuable are picked up by people more often than aggressive or sickly dogs.

If your dog was lost anywhere near a highway call the local trucking companies and give them your lost dog information.  Ask them to broadcast if they use CBS.  Taxi companies should be altered to.

Call your local SPCA, dog pound, shelter to see if a dog matching your description has been turned in. As investigators we know how often people misinterpret descriptions so are strong believers in sending your poster by fax or email to these organizations.


Make sure you check along the side of roads to eliminate the possibility that the dog is injured.  Injured dogs may run a great distance, in an attempt to get away from the the pain, or they can hunker down close to the point of the accident/injury.

If your dog is skittish have all people helping you remove their sunglasses or hats before approaching the dog.  Don’t look directly at the dog.  If possible have them sit down with really strong smelling food and let the dog approach them.  Once the dog is eating you only have one chance to grab the collar so be sure the person is ready. Some dogs are so skittish a humane trap will be needed.

If however your dog is missing longer than normal put those posters up right away. There is nothing special about a poster – it is informative, has a picture, and a phone number you can be reached at. Put them around your neighbourhood immediately. You do not need to spend a lot of money on your poster – just get it out and about. There is a sample form attached  – Pet Detective Flyer .

When calling your dog DO NOT YELL.  Speak calmly and gently and in a playful tone.  Yelling can echo and cause the dog to go in the wrong direction.

Please note for animals missing longer than two days different search methods are used.