Where Could Your Shy Dog Be? Part 4 of a series

Toby has now been missing for three days. The owners are still hopeful that he may return on his own and are very wise to keep the bed, food and familiar scented articles at the point he went missing from.

But they also realize that they can’t control what happens to him while he is lost and he may have been seen and pursued by strangers. But where to start? Where does a shy lost dog want to hang out?

In our experience, lost dogs do not want to live deep in the woods. They prefer to lurk on the edge of civilization, near food sources. In hot weather, they will need a reliable source of water. (In winter, they will eat snow). Toby needs a quiet place to hunker down during the day with an easy path to travel at dusk and dawn, when he is likely to be moving about for food and water.

Concentrate your flyering on places like this:

Houses that back onto wooded areas or parks

Tall grass or marshy areas


Golf courses

Campgrounds and Picnic areas

Sporting fields

Industrial parks and abandoned factories

Quiet cul de sacs

Decks, old cars, old machinery, boats – especially with overgrown grass


Untidy yards and farm yards

Abandoned barns and sheds

Wooded areas behind restaurants, bars, grocery stores and convenience stores – anywhere food is sold or served

Shy lost dogs will often have sore, raw feet from their initial bolt, or from travelling. They will usually avoid roadways and instead travel on railroad tracks, jogging and biking trails, power lines and along the edges of fields and streams.

Look at satellite imagery using either Google maps or Mapquest and examine a one to five mile radius of where he went missing from. Look for the sorts of places listed above as well as the possible routes of travel, and get flyers and signs in these areas. Again, you aren’t looking for Toby – you are looking for the place that Toby may be hiding or may choose to hide tomorrow. You are going to ALLOW him to have this hiding spot, but you are going to try to make sure he stays in one area. Once you determine where he is, you can implement a strategic plan to catch him.

Stay tuned! With all of your hard work of flyering and signs, you will soon have a sighting and you will need to know how to handle it.  Part 5

Our tips, ideas and articles are based on information gathered from over thousands of  successful lost dog recoveries. Any advice or suggestions made by Lost Dogs of Wisconsin/Lost Dogs Illinois is not paid-for professional advice and should be taken at owner’s discretion.