Tagg, The Pet Tracker [] is an essential for any newly adopted dog, skittish dogs, runners, foster homes, dog walkers, dog caretakers, etc.  It is very affordable to buy.  The first 3 months of service are free.   I use these and cannot speak more highly of them as well as their support department.

Using a Tagg, The Pet Tracker can be the difference between life or death if your dog goes missing.

Microchip all of your dogs. Send in registration papers via mail or email.  Keep your information updated with the microchip company.

Keep your new dog on your property for the first week or two so the dog can get to know its new family and home.  When you first let your dog off-leash or until the dog has a reliable recall, have it drag a 20′ or longer line. It is much easier to catch up to the end of a long line than to the dog.

Take photographs of your dog at their eye-level: head, tail, and sides.  Retake pictures as your dog ages.  Keep the photos where they are easy to find – including prints.

Things to do if your dog has gone missing:

Retrieve the photos of your dog.
Walk the neighborhood.
Show people the pictures of your dog and ask if they’ve seen her.

Make flyers which include the words “LOST DOG,” a photo, the date she went missing, the area or cross streets where she went missing and 2 phone numbers. Begin posting flyers.  Color flyers help draw attention.

Notify local Animal Control, veterinarians, animal shelters.

Post lost dog notifications online including but not limited to local newspapers, Facebook, Craigslist.  People who have found an at-large dog often check and post on online sites.

Contact organizations that specialize in capturing at-large dogs. They often know best how to evaluate the situation and may offer suggestions about how to proceed. A tracking dog, for instance, may be suitable in some situations but not in others. A live trap may work for some dogs but not for others.

Keep a log of reported sightings.  Include the date, location, reporters name and contact info.

Some dogs are captured quickly while others remain at-large for weeks or months. Continue to post new flyers and update websites to keep your lost dog in the public eye.   Contact shelters at least every week.

All dogs have the will to survive and many quickly adapt to life in the wild.   When they become separated from their family, they often lose the ability to trust humans.    Do not be discouraged if you see your dog and she doesn’t come to you when called.

Chasing a dog will only scare her and possibly put her in danger of making a rash decision, such as running into traffic.

Setting up a feeding station [as directed by ODR] with tasty treats may entice an at-large dog to remain in one area and may greatly increase the chance of safely and quickly capturing your dog.

Once captured, your dog may initially be a flight risk so great care must be taken to keeping her safe. Typically the dog will quickly revert back to domestic life.   She may, for a time, be content with staying home and sleeping.

Never give up hope that your dog will be captured and returned home, even after weeks or months.  Be wary of people who say they have your dog but demand money for her return.