Dog's experiencing this scenario have gone missing and are living at large.
Many of the pets in this category are dogs who are displaced
or have become lost in an area outside of their known territory. They may have recently moved to the area and are unfamiliar
with it, may have been on vacation with their owners or being taken care of by a caregiver away from home and escaped. It
is also possible that the dog is predisposed towards shy behaviour. We are now experiencing a large number of STARS,
(Shy, Timid, Aloof, Reserved or Skittish), dogs going missing due to the large population of puppy mill survivors
in rescue and starting their new lives in a new world. In addition dogs that have been adopted from a shelter or
rescue who may have been picked up as a stray, can be more likely to return to roaming behaviour having experienced
it before. There are also pets that are escape artists and try to get out all the time to go on walkabout because it
is fun and exciting. These Houdini's may wander not realizing they have traveled well beyond their known home territory and
find themselves very lost without the navigational skills to retrace their steps or find their way home.
In my experience, most dogs have the potential to follow or back track a scent trail but if they have never or rarely used
the skill it may lie dormant. Like everything else it takes practice to follow a trail and end up home. Pet owners should
not be surprised when their dog goes missing and does not appear to be able to find his way home. For dogs it is like riding
a bicycle but like us, first one must have learned to ride the bike to be able to remember the skill when it is necessary
to use it. It then makes sense that a dog that lives indoors or in a yard does not have the skill necessary to find home from
even one block away.