Has your dog ever gotten away from you? It happens - leashed or not. A door was left open by accident, you call your dog from the yard but its empty, a dropped leash, That is what happened to me today. There's just enough snow to cover where the ice is on the ground. I had my two shepherds on leash like we walk or run every morning and simultaneously out a fox ran in front of us and my foot hit ice then the leashes flew from my hand. My younger shepherd has never left my sight before. We walk in the Nature Conservancy's 530 acre Muckshaw Preserve; I was shaken up but assumed they would follow as I started walking home. Well, they hadn't appeared when I got home, so I went into emergency mode. I woke up friends and neighbors... HELP!!! One neighbor goes on foot to trying to track them, two other neighbors are looking, one of my sons goes on an ATV to go deeper into the woods. One dog appears at the back yard gate.....now I am even more concerned about the other. Its hunting season ...she could've been shot or hit by a car or her leash is caught. An hour goes by with no sign of her. I feel sick. I have been driving to check the neighborhood roads. My son who stayed home to stay on the look out calls to say the second dog is home, banging on the front door. Relief... do i hug or howl at them? Hug of course!
So what the point here?
Make sure your dog has great recall. Practice it over and over in situations that aren't distracting so that hopefully when the distraction if there recall has become instinct.
Make sure your dog has ID tags with your contact information, is licensed and is chipped in case they lose their collar. this is one of my favorite places for shopping for pet collars/ID tags. www.dogids.com
Alert your neighbors. Have a picture ready. Know your local resources - facebook, local animal hospitals, radio stations. Here are some local resources in sussex county