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  • Writer's pictureAureate

Lost Dog?!

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

What to do if you lose your whippet!


This is something that all owners of sighthounds fear and this isn't a comfortable topic to discuss, but it is an extremely important one.

Sighthounds aren't like gregarious labs or retrievers in many senses, but especially when it comes to behaviour around being lost. There are many ways this unfortunately can happen: your dog spooks on a walk or in the care of someone else, car accidents or while you're travelling away from home or even out the front door or gate if it's not been properly secured. The point being it can happen to any of us. So should it happen to you, it's imperative that you DO NOT PANIC!

-You need to keep your head. Inform your Breeder so they can help you network and think clearly when it comes to making a strategy.
-If your whippet has truly taken off, what you need to do is get the word out there. You are actually looking for people! People will report sightings and that's what you need to begin with. Post on lost dog groups with a the last known location, date and time along with a picture and your contact number, along with instructions not to call the dog by name or to chase it. There are many local lost/found groups you can share the post on. There's a website you can create a lost poster on called pawsboost.
-Inform all the veterinarian offices in the area and the Humane Society along with animal control.
-A spooked whippet will likely be in flight mode and is in an absolute panic. They may even run away from their owner. If you see your dog DO NOT CALL them or DO NOT CHASE them. Get down on the ground and assume a submissive position. You want them to feel safe and approach you. Don't make direct eye contact with your dog.
-If sightings of your dog seem to be concentrated all in one area go there and bring items from home with your scent on them and your other dog's scent. You can try and leave food out if the sightings seem legitimate.
-Those more experienced than us have studied canine behaviours associated with being lost and more often than not sighthounds become primitive very fast. They can become apprehensive of people and afraid to approach strangers and ask for help. Your dog likely will seek shelter and resources, but not wish to directly come in contact with people.
-Do NOT give up and assume someone must have taken your dog home and not reported them. There have been cases of whippets roaming lost for weeks before they are found! Do not quit!
-Most lost dogs are found within a 2 mile radius from where they went lost, but that can include an area of over 13 square miles so plaster the neighborhood with lost notices.
-If you're receiving sightings in an area consider reaching out to a dog tracker and trapper. It's not uncommon to require professional help to get your whippet safely home.
-Once you do get your whippet back, don't be alarmed at how quickly they will have lost weight. Consult with your veterinarian about how to safely re-feed your dog and evaluate them for any injuries they may have incurred while lost.


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