Pet Detective


Lost Pet Recovery Service

Dayton – Springboro – Oakwood – Beavercreek – Centerville – Kettering – West Carrollton – Miamisburg – Bellbrook


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Have you lost your dog? Have you posted on Craigslist with no avail? Contact Dayton Dog Trainer today to retain the services of a pet detective. Our pet detectives utilize bloodhounds and retrievers to assist in locating your lost dog. Once a scent is obtained, our pet detective will be able to track your dog’s scent, if one is available.

Do not wait to contact our pet detective. The longer you wait, the harder it is to find a stable scent of your dog. When searching or tracking a scent, we have several factors that come into play.


Reasons not to wait to hire a Pet Detective

  • Ground Disturbance
  • Rain
  • Cross Contamination
  • Human Factor
  • Pet Safety


Understanding the risk of waiting is crucial for the safe recovery of your lost dog.

  • Ground Disturbance is a huge factor in the recovery of your lost pet as this is a natural occurrence that happens with anything that can disrupt the scent that your dog leaves behind during its travels.
  • Rain as we all are aware of, will wash away any scent your dog leaves behind.
  • Cross Contamination is something that occurs with the crossing of scent paths. Other dogs or cats as well as humans will eventually cross your pet’s scent path intern, disrupting the solid scent. This doesn’t totally stop us in our path, as our highly trained scent detection dogs are trained in scent discrimination and are able to identify your dog’s scent from others that may cross the scent path, but it can make it a bit more difficult.
  • Human Factor … this is the biggest factor in the entire search. If your dog is out there and is looking scared and hungry, it is in the humans nature to help your lost dog. The human may find your pet and take them home or out of the area. Most people will do what they can to find the owner of the lost dog, but other, not so honest humans, will attempt to keep the dog for themselves.
  • Pet Safety is a huge concern. Because our dog is very domesticated and is not used to living in the “wild” or on its own, they may make poor decisions which could jeopardize your dog’s safety. This could be while hunting for food or water, crossing the road or highway, crossing the path of undomesticated animals or wildlife as well as many others.

All of these factors should be taken into consideration and you should not hesitate to contact our pet detective if your initial searches come up unsuccessful.


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Lost Dog Search Tips

Why Dogs Runaway and Where Your Dog May Go

Commonly, dogs run away due to …
  • Boredom or loneliness
  • A need to answer their sexual urges if they have not been neutered
  • Sudden or unexpected events that could have frightened them
  • Curiosity if doors, windows or gates are left open
  • A recent move or relocation as they may be looking for their former surroundings.

Figuring out how far your dog will run, is just a function of how far their legs will carry them. Larger, stronger dogs, especially younger dogs or puppy’s, can possibly run up to 5 or more miles. Smaller dogs may be able to go half a mile or so, at most. Most dogs are recovered well within a two-mile circle of their home. Dogs normally will never run for an extended length of time in a straight line, no matter how physically fit they are.

If you have a dog that is outgoing, it will be looking for other dogs or humans that are friendly and are likely to provide comfort, give them food as well as shelter. The neighbors’ yard as well as the local public parks, are a great spot your dog to be. On the other hand, if you have a dog that’s a bit shy or withdrawn, older and not trusting of people it doesn’t know … your dog will tend to find a spot to hide. Bushes, ditches, vacant buildings, even under cars, are all places that your dog can find comfort, as it uses those areas to hide.

Commonly … your dog will have already have tried to find its way back home … but has failed to do so. In very few cases, your dog has been in harm’s way. A car, human or even wildlife predators may have gotten to your dog. More often than not … your dog has been taken in by someone, attempting to assist your dog in finding its owner.

Nearly 40% of households across the country possess pets. Most people in that 40% will respond favorably to your lost dog. Even if a household doesn’t currently have a dog, chances are, someone in that household has at one time owned a dog, cat or some other type of pet and chances are those people will have a positive response to your lost dog. Also, more households don’t own pets than one’s that do, but many do have children which will be eager in being a part of your dog’s safety and well being. This is good news for someone with a lost dog, as this will provide a lot of eyes and ears. This provides a ton of people who are on your side in making sure your dog is returned home safely.

In many cases, someone will find your dog and either take them in or call the county dog warden. Many time they could be driving down the road and have your dog jump into their car. They could be working in the neighborhood. They could even live down the street from you. More often than not, those without dogs will not be equipped to house your dog. Their home is probably not set up to house your dog. Many times, their parents will not allow them to take your dog in or people just don’t want to bring a strange dog into their home or their yard with their dogs.

If you have a tag on your dog with a current phone number including area code, that has a working answering machine or voice mail on it, or a street address including city and state, and if your dog is found with its collar and tag still on it, then you have made the job of your pet coming back to you much easier. More current information, less work.

Maybe the collar has come loose. Maybe someone with good intentions has changed it. Sometimes they have placed the dog in their yard. Still confused and looking for home, the dog has run away again. Again, the pet has moved further away and lost more of its identity to you, to your house, to your street.

People take lost pets to local veterinarians, animal hospitals, kennels, groomers, even pet stores. They take them to animal shelters (which are sometimes distant and have restricted operating hours) and to rescue organizations. If found with a tag with current information, it makes the return to you straight forward. If found without the tag, unless the dog is taken to the local shelter at which you have registered it as missing, it is just a puzzle that will get solved when there is time and opportunity to try and solve it.

Sometimes, and only rarely, do people try to keep a pet that is not theirs. There are neighbors, friends, children, and all the people who come to a home to service its needs that have the opportunity to see that pet. That is a lot of eyes seeing a new pet arrive.

We live in a mobile society. Few places any more are distant from major roads. If a dog is found that has gotten away from a car, it can be in another car and in the next county within less than a hour in almost all instances.

How do you cover all these possibilities? How do you help put the odds back into your favor?


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The Logical Steps to Take in Assisting Recovery

You have already done tons of looking, but it hasn’t worked yet. Take a deep breath, rethink your strategies and start again.

Think about the reason your dog took off.

Think about the size as well as how active your dog is.

Using a map … draw a circle around the spot you last seen your dog. Considering how active and large your dog is … you may want to draw 3 circles … one at half a mile, a mile … up to five miles … you decide. You know your pet the best.

Looking at that map … think about the places in that circle, where your pet would likely go to find the things you know it will like, such as company, comfort or food, even a school yard. During your walks … does someone provide a treat for your dog or have a dog that your dog likes? Don’t hesitate to look into cars, as dogs can find themselves in the darnedest places.

While looking at your map … think of all the people who live in those circles, who goes to school there, who plays in the yards, recent visitors to that area, your mail delivery person, the meter readers and delivery persons. Think about the people who spend lots of time outside and are likely to see your lost dog.

Attempt to get all of those people looking for your lost dog. Adding as many people to the search for your lost dog, will raise the chances of having your dog returned to you sooner and safer.

Don’t hesitate to make up big, colorful, eye catching signs. Include the word “reward” in big letters, to make everyone understand that finding your dog, is really important to you. Be sure to include a picture of your dog when making your signs.

If you reside in a bilingual community, be sure to make your sign, using both languages. Using the internet, you can find the translation to your words on search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing.

If your wanting to have professionally made signs … simply take your information, along with the images of your lost dog to the local printing company, such as Kinko’s. They can quickly turn your information into a large colorful poster for a very small fee. Simply put … “Please help us find (name of lost dog)… She was last seen at the corner of (cross streets). She is a … (breed of your dog) and is … (age of your dog). She was wearing (color of collar or bandana, with or without tags). A REWARD of (amount of your reward), for information leading to her safe return.

Have the printing company print up 10 to 20 large signs, and 100 small versions that you can pass out or mail.

You want to put the signs where the most people who either live, work or regularly travel through the circles on the map, will have a chance to slow down and see them. Major intersections controlled by traffic lights, entry and exits to parks, where all the school children get off the bus or are dropped off in the morning, so both parents and children can see them … as well as entry and exits to grocery stores, even the local espresso bar.

Now you have added several more people to your search.

The person who took your dog to their vet in the next city … the child who saw a dog in the back of their yard … the new neighbor who didn’t know that was your animal, even the truck driver who stopped on a route to pick up a lost dog, but couldn’t do anything about it until he had finished his delivery, 2 hours down the highway. They are out there looking with you or for you, to return your dog.

Contact your local groomers, vets, kennels, animal hospitals, animal shelters and pet stores in the area at least double the size of your circle. All of these places will notify the local animal shelter when a pet is found, you need to understand that animal shelters are under different city and county jurisdictions. Unfortunately, they do not share information. A pet store taking in a stray without a tag would have no way of knowing if that dog is 2 miles or 20 miles away from home. If they contact the animal shelter near them but far from you, your pet may be going to the wrong shelter in the wrong direction. Some shelters only hold a pet for 4 days, then give it out for adoption or destroy it. Maybe the pet store will solve the mystery correctly. Make it easy for them to get it right and help bring your pet home.

Now, get on the internet or find someone who can get you on the internet. Many shelters are on line. They maintain lists of found pets. Some have photos of lost pets. Look over the ones in a huge circle from your home.

There are many rescue organizations which regularly publish current lists and digital photos of found pets at the shelters, as a way of helping them go home or be adopted.

Use a major search engine. Try pet rescue California and you will see them. These are wonderful dedicated people who are out there looking. Look over their lists and photos.

Use the internet to get the names and addresses of shelters in the 3 to 5 adjoining counties. Mail them your small mailer. Although officially they need you to come in and fill out their form, that is most often not practical without extended driving. But they will almost always post your photo mailer, which gives you one more chance to bring your pet home.

If you want to be more intensive with your mailer, contact a company such as, who for a fee will prepare a mailer and posters for you, and will send the mailer as a post card to 500 or as many as 1,000 homes in your circle. You can also look at the bulletin board of your local shelter to see what mailers look like and identify other companies offering the service. The mailer raises the awareness in the community. It adds more eyes to the search. It helps connect your dog who wants to come home with you, who are desperately trying to find it.

You can run an ad in the local paper’s classified section for lost pets. Please be careful of the people who call you. You are vulnerable. There are people who use these ads to con and scam reward money for pets they do not have. Check the found ads as well.

You have posted your signs. You have mailed your flyers. You have visited the local shelters. You are checking the internet postings once every day. You are watching the classified found ads.

It is time to start calming down.

It is okay to keep walking and driving in search of your pet, but set hours for yourself. The best ones are early morning before the traffic starts up.

Keep doing the normal things in your life. It isn’t for your pet. It is for you. The wear and tear of all of this is substantial. The more you can keep to normal patterns for yourself, the more you can stay focused and productive.

As part of checking with the local animal shelter, you should consider checking the list they maintain of dead animals they have picked up. It may sound like a grim exercise, but every time you do it and do not find your pet, your hope has reason to continue. The substantial majority of lost pets are not on that list. The odds are in your favor. If your pet has passed on, you and those who care for you need to know.

And now, it is time for you to wait patiently as you continue your normal life. Most people get the call that their pet has been found. I did. I pray you do too.


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Things You Can Tell Your Friends If You Are Among the Many Who Succeed in Recovering Your Lost Pets

We think we live in a high tech society. Perhaps we do. When it comes to keeping your pets at home and helping them come home if they are lost, it is a low tech business.

Good fences. Good gates. Good windows. Good doors. Lots of pets run away when they are left in cars and manage to escape. They are typically lost far from home and away from everything they recognize. Please think 3 times before leaving your pet in an unattended car. It is dangerous in many different ways. You leave the window open so they don’t get too hot. A car backfires. You aren’t there. The dog wiggles free. Please think it over.

Neuter pets. You have been to the shelters. You have seen what I mean.

Be on guard when you bring a new pet into your home. It changes the balance if you have any other pets.

Add distractions. Rotate toys. Put a chew bone into the diet on occasion.

Add hinges to yard gates so they are always closed.

Take pictures of your pets. Store them digitally if you can (just shoot a roll and have it developed for $6 extra in floppy disk or cd rom form). It will shave hours off getting posters and mailers done if you ever need them.

Update all your pet tags. Two telephone numbers with area code. At least one number that has an answering machine or voice mail. Your street address including city and state. Too many cars and too much mobility these days. Your lost dog can be 30 miles away within 60 minutes, in the hands of a kind stranger who wants to return it. Make it easy.

Try to read the information on the aluminum tag you bought at the engraving machine at the pet store. By now, most of it has worn away. It was not a good idea.

Order a new tag. The best ones are made of steel and slide onto the collar. You can also buy a collar with your phone number (including area code) on it. You may think your dog is friendly, but a stranger who is trying to help a frightened and confused stray and may not want to get under its chin to look at a tiny tag. Make it easy. Let them get your number without getting close to the dog’s mouth.

I want to repeat this because it is very important. If your dog is lost, it’s first line of protection in getting back to you is a collar with a tag that easily identifies where the dog belongs. A street address with city and state is nice, because it means a stranger can bring the dog back to you. When they are off from work. When they have a car. When they have a map. If language isn’t a barrier. If they can find your home. Two telephone numbers with area code mean that once you get the call, timing and transportation are in your hands too. Make it easy.

Will your dog let them get close enough to read the tag? Is the stranger afraid of all dogs? Has the information worn off the tag because you bought the aluminum tag from the machine since it was heart shaped and so cute? Forget cute when it comes to tags. Steel or heavy plastic tag. Slip on the collar or on a strong link. Information printed on the collar as well so it is easy to read. On the tag, full address with city and state. Two telephone numbers with area code (never hurts to have a back up).

Last, you can have a pet id implanted between the shoulder blades. Most shelters now have readers. The confusion among competing vendors seems to be quieting down so they are now becoming a practical tool. Shelters that have them read all pets, both living and deceased, that enter the shelter. For a pet that has lost its collar on the way, it is a straight line back to the owner. It’s not a bad back up to have, but it will only come into play when the dog arrives at a shelter. That can be many days after it is lost.

I am hopeful that at some point in time, government-run shelters will all put their information into a common database, so that registering a lost pet in one shelter will give you a registration throughout the country. It will make searching easier. It will return pets home more quickly. It may well cause the enormous number of pets who are destroyed each year to be rescued instead.

Imagine if someone found a lost dog, looked on the database and found its owner. The days of agonizing wait would be cut short. It is a low tech problem that would be resolved beautifully by a high tech solution. One day.

In the meantime, let’s remember that most pets never run away. For those that do, only a tiny percentage fall into harms way. Most are returned to their owners, normally in 24 hours, sometimes with a week.

If you have lost your pet, I hope the information I have provided speeds your beloved pet home to you. And when it is safely back in your arms, you spend a little time helping to educate other owners on how best to avoid the sadness that you have experienced, and the elation that I hope is your joy too.