Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Monday Update on Ainsley

As I write this post late tonight, we have just had a likely sighting of Ainsley in the Fredericksburg area crossing a major road.  Please let her be safe.  We have had several sightings in the last 24 hours and our pet tracker has been out again following her trail. It seems like she is trying to remember her way back home and she gets so close but not all the way.  Our volunteers have plotted a trail this evening from where she was last tracked to her home using familiar scents and bacon bits.  We hope she comes home this evening.

With all that has happened with Lincoln and now Ainsley, we have learned so much about what to do (and not do) when a dog goes missing.  We have also come to understand the difficulty in capturing a missing dog, especially one as frightened and timid as Ashley.  A colleague sent us a great article, (linked here), entitled, Why your lost dog may not run back to you. Originally published on No Dog About it Blog.

I am including a few excerpts:

As many of us already know, not all dogs are created equal (if they were our lives would be pretty boring!). Some dogs are happy-go-lucky, love people and other dogs, while others are much more wary and unsure. Puppy mill dogs are especially wary of strangers. They’re also more skittish. They are less likely to stick around and see if the human approaching them is “their” human or someone intending to harm them. As a result, they are much harder to catch and usually have to be trapped.

But a dog does not have to be a puppy mill dog to react this way. Many lost dogs tend to go into “survival mode”. They are frightened, unsure, hungry, tired (exhausted) and on constant alert. In many cases, they are fending for their lives. The longer they live in this state the less likely they are to recognize their owner on sight – and in fact, they are less likely to stick around and wait to see if it if the person approaching them is their owner.

All lost dogs act differently. As owners, we need to know that before our pet goes missing.
 
Chasing a lost dog is one of the worst things we can do. It only reaffirms to the dog that people should be avoided.

So what should you do when you encounter a lost dog or your own lost dog?
  • Sit down.
  • Turn your body so your back or side is to the dog.
  • Keep your eyes averted and bow your head so as to look non-threatening.
  • Toss tasty treats (hot dogs, chicken, smelly cheese, etc.) behind you or to the side of you.
  • Don’t talk.
  • Wait patiently for the dog to approach you. Don’t make any sudden movements, but continue to toss treats.
  • Don’t grab the dog when they get close, but wait patiently and build trust.
  • Speak softly, but if they back away, stop talking and just continue to toss treats until they trust you enough to come closer. 
In the case of the author, it wasn't until her lost dog got close enough to smell her that she finally recognized her as her person.




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