Hunting season is right around the corner.  It is the time hunters wait for all year long.  They can get out and enjoy some quality time with their dogs.  Most hunters arrive home with wonderful memories and stories to tell.  However, each year some loose their hunting dogs when the dogs are separated from their hunting parties.   In honor of Lost Pet Prevention Month, here are 4 easy tips so there are no lost hunting dogs this season.

The 2 Brown Dawgs Blog is partnering with PetHub to help spread the word about Lost Pet Prevention Month.   While we are being compensated for this post, the 2 Brown Dawgs Blog is responsible for the content.

Hunting Dogs
Heading Off Into The Woods For A Day Of Hunting

1. Train A Reliable Recall And Bring A Whistle

If your hunting dog has a less than reliable recall, start training right now to make it solid.  You just never know when the dog may be hot on the trail of a crippled bird and stray out of view.  If you are hunting in heavy cover, your dog may spend most of the day working out of sight.  It is important that your dog comes back when called each and every time.  At our house, recall is not negotiable.  It must be obeyed and it is something we practice all of the time.

Voice recall is great; however, there are times a dog may not be able to hear you calling them.  That is where a whistle comes in handy.  The sound of a whistle can carry farther than a human voice in the field.  From the time our dogs are young, they are taught to come to a series of short whistle blasts.  When you head out to the field or the marsh, do not forget to take your whistle.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Freighter Hears A Whistle Which Means “Come”

2. Put A Light On Your Dog’s Collar For Predawn Set-Up

Duck hunters are usually setting up in the pitch dark, or breaking down in the pitch dark.  As the light fades, it may be difficult to keep track of your dog.  Put a light on your dog’s collar so they are easy to see.  Look for a waterproof light that slides onto a flat collar.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Duck Hunting
Freighter Always Has A Light On His Collar When He Heads Out To Duck Hunt

3. Make Sure Your Dog Has ID

When you head out for a day of hunting, make sure your dog is wearing a collar or identification tag with up to date contact information.  Cell phones make it possible for people to call you even when you are away from home.  Your cell phone number on a collar or a tag can help your lost dog be found that much quicker.

You may also want to consider a collar with a QR code.  PetHub offers a collar which can be personalized with your pet’s name and your phone number.  A personalized collar or tag is great but PetHub also allows you to create an online profile for your dog with their picture, physical description, medical or behavioral information, microchip number, and most importantly detailed contact information including multiple phone numbers and multiple email addresses.

Collar With QR Code From Pet Hub
Collar With QR Code From Pet Hub

The QR code makes it easy for anyone finding your dog to simply scan the code on your dog’s collar to get to their profile.  Once the person has accessed your dog’s profile, they have all your contact information and can even send you GPS coordinates of their location.  Don’t have a phone that scans QR codes?  Never fear.  The collar also has the web address to your pet’s online profile.  PetHub also offers tags with QR codes.

Freighter With His New Collar From PetHub
Freighter With His New Collar From PetHub

In addition to ID collars and tags, we also have our dogs micro-chipped.  A collar or a tag can be lost, but a microchip is permanent.  If your dog is chipped, make sure their profile is up to date, including contact information.

4. Consider Investing In A GPS Tracking Collar

No need to ever loose your hunting dog again if they are wearing a GPS tracking collar.  These collars allow you to always know your dog’s location even if the dog is out of your sight.  There are several brands of GPS collars available.  The collar you choose should depend on the kind of hunting you do.

Want more specifics about GPS tracking collars?  Dog Product Reviews did a comprehensive review of the Garmin® Astro 320 GPS Collar last year.  This review is written by a hunter who was concerned about losing his dogs while out upland hunting in heavy cover.  The review gives a great overview of what to expect in a GPS Tracking Collar.

No Lost Hunting Dogs This Season

No one wants the heartache of a lost hunting dog.  So what are you waiting for?  Start planning now so there are no lost hunting dogs this season!

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Waterfowl Hunting
Freighter Is Ready For Hunting Season

16 thoughts on “No Lost Hunting Dogs-4 Easy Tips

  1. Those are great tips not just for hunting dogs, but dogs who like to hike and adventure with their humans as well. I never considered a whistle – that is a great tip that I may have too try with Oz (especially now that his sight is dimming and he cannot see the hand signals well any more).

    1. That’s a really great point about these tips for dogs who are losing their vision. When our Sweet Pea lost her vision, we taught her a whole new system of audible cues. Never thought of using a whistle though, I bet that would have worked well!

      Great piece, thanks!

    2. If you use a whistle, get one that can carry a distance (like the ones we use hunt testing, not one for a dime store). You want one that so the sound carries even if there is a lot of wind. Good luck!

  2. Great post and perfectly timed! Last year, I had 3 little lost beagles show up in my back yard. They were training to hunt and had lost their way. Thankfully, they did have ID on and I was able to locate their owner very quickly. It could have had a bad outcome if they hadn’t had the ID on!!

    1. Thank goodness they had id. I just love the QR coded collar! So easy to notify the owner.

      We have occasionally had hunting dogs (hounds running as a pack) show up at our place up north, but they were wearing GPS collars so their handler was right behind them.

  3. 4 great tips. We lost Nellie once a couple years ago for about 45 minutes and it was heart breaking. We were lucky enough to find her but know of dogs that never make it home. 🙁 thanks for this information.

  4. Great tips, and of course responsible hunters like you never want to lose their dogs. (Sadly though it is a fact that in our part of the country (the South) there are hunters who view their dogs as easily replaced. The shelters are packed with hound dogs whose owners either didn’t think they were adequate at their job so dumped them, or just went home without them when they didn’t return. It’s truly heartbreaking. )
    I’m not a hunter, but –
    I’m so glad when I see these posts on your blog that show how ethical, responsible hunters love and train their beautiful dogs.

  5. Great tips for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors with their dogs off leash! Since we live in an area where there is a lot of hiking and hunting, the dogs I most often hear are missing are hunting dogs or hiking dogs. It’s great to create awareness around this – we hiked with our first three dogs, and never had anything beyond ID on their collars. I’d do so much more now.

  6. These are great tips! I know that a lot of dogs in the south are thought to be “abandoned” hunting dogs, but I suspect many of them are simply lost. Losing a dog is so scary and I’m sure the potential is much higher with hunting dogs.

  7. These are some great tips! You’re very right about the whistle, I had it before that my dog couldn’t hear my voice because there was way too many wind!! A whistle would have been perfect!

  8. Great tips! My dogs are chipped, but in order for that to be read, someone needs to get to a scanner. Having a phone number or the QR code, saves a lot of time.

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