Unlike Beyoncé’s song this is not going out to all the single ladies, but to all the dog owners.   If you like your dog you should put a ring or even better an ID tag on it.

My neighborhood has a list serve to keep everyone up to date with what’s going on. There are several notices each week about dogs that have been found or lost that may be wearing a collar, but don’t have any identification tag. I have around 20 new dog training clients every month and most don’t have ID tags on their dog.

The problem is not that people don’t love their dog. The issue is they just don’t see the importance of having a tag. When I ask people why they don’t have a tag with the pet’s name, owner’s address and telephone number most will say that either their dog has a microchip or never gets out. First, everyone should get their dog chipped. It is fairly inexpensive (less than $50) and pretty painless, but the microchip should be thought of as the back-up in case your dog gets lost and loses his name tag. Many people don’t know about microchips and someone has to take the dog to a veterinarian or pound to have the dog scanned for the chip and then look up the information before the owner can be notified about the missing pet. Several years ago I had an Atlanta dog training client whose dog had been missing for six months and was found in Tampa. Without the chip the dog never would have been found. With a name tag the dog may have been home the day it got lost.

No one thinks their dog is going to get out of their apartment, house or yard. All of the lost dog posters you see around town are dogs whose owners were sure their dog could not or would not escape or run off. No matter how careful an owner is or how much they love their dog, it’s possible for any dog to run away. The dog discovers a hole in the fence; the gardener leaves the gate open; you have guest over that don’t have dogs and don’t know that you don’t let your dog out or you are at the dog park and someone opens the gate before you can grab your dog. I’ve known people who live in high-rise apartments who have lost their dog. It can happen to anyone no matter how careful you are.

I’m a dog trainer but this is not really a dog training issue. Certainly you need to train your dog to come when called and to respect the door and gate boundaries, but still you need to have an identification tag on your pet. There are a lot of people who really want to help a lost pet to find their owner and some will go to any length to accomplish this, but others are going to look for a phone number and not finding one will stop there. We all need to make it easy for people to return our lost friend.

  1. Make sure you have your pet micro chipped and keep your information current
    • Your veterinarian or many rescue groups can do this
  2. Get a name tag or collar with all your contact information
    • Most pet stores have  a kiosk where you can easily make you tag in about 10 minutes
      • Pet’s name
      • Your address
      • Telephone number
  3. Train your dog- Atlanta Dream Dogs-Home Dog Training 404-805-2482