If you find a lost dog, they are most likely scared or panicked. They may be friendly, but they are away from their familiar surroundings and might act skittish. Here are a few tips for helping a lost dog should you find one.
1. Remember – most dogs you see out on their own are LOST, not stray – and someone is desperately looking for them and wants them back home safe and sound.
2. DO NOT CALL a panicked or timid stray dog! Chances are, the pooch has already had several people trying to “capture” him and he is likely to bolt out of fear of being snagged.
3. Make a noise – a cough, sneezing sound or throat clearing to get his attention so he knows you are there.
4. Do NOT make eye contact or stare at him. Instead, take a submissive stance, looking away – ALWAYS keep a sideways profile to the dog – it’s less confrontational.
5. Food is a great motivator -- even if you don’t have food, use a crinkly bag or the like -- pretend to eat the food (“Yummy-Yummy-Yummy”) and “drop” some on the ground and kneel pretend to be looking for it.
6. If that isn’t an option, rather than approaching the dog, sit down, or even better, lay on the ground and pat your chest.
7. If you have food, place it on the ground near you, smell it, taste it…and let him know you have food (although, often, a panicked dog won’t be able to smell well because his olfactory senses are shut down).
8. Another option – play with a ball or frisbee – but IGNORE THE DOG.
9. Let the dog approach you – and don’t reach out to him. Let it be 100% on HIS terms.