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To Catch a Dog

This week I found a dog that had been lost for over a week from a local shelter. After getting a tip where she might be, I headed up there with treats in hand. She was spotted going into a heavily wooded area. So once I got there I called her name and threw treats into the woods. I threw some far enough back that she could feel safe getting them and then made a trail back out of the woods so she would hopefully follow it until she could be seen. I didn't know if she was in there but I relied on my gut which told me she could hear me calling her name. I did this for about 90 mins hoping she would surface. I then left hoping she would feel safe enough to come out of the woods. Ten minutes later I came back and immediately saw her from a distance. As soon as I saw her I dropped to the ground as not to intimidate her. I wanted to make myself small and also be on her level. I began throwing treats near her but not at her and calling her name with a soft sweet voice (baby-talk). She started to approach me hesitantly with her head lowered and I actually laid on the ground flat at this point and kept talking to her. I never made a gesture "towards" her but instead enabled her to feel safe to come to me. And to the delight of me and many others who had been worried about her for over a week, she did. I am happy to report she is now safe and sound and being spoiled at the shelter where she currently resides. So if your dog ever runs off or you see a dog that needs help and appears lost or confused, please be cautious not to chase the dog. Do whatever you can to allow the dog to feel safe enough to come to you. I have had to do this technique several times now and to great success. So again....don't chase and don't be intimidating. Do be calm and soft so the dog will feel safe to approach. If it is your dog and it does come to you willingly then for heaven's sake do not punish it or your dog will never come to you again.

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This is something a Disney princess would do (guess who is getting hooked on Disney movies?) Kidding aside, I really appreciate your effort to get that poor dog out of the woods. I also wanted to thank you for this article. This is actually very informative and I learned how to catch a dog, in a kinder way. I love reading your posts. Keep on posting and keep on educating your readers about dogs. More power to you!

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