This article was written by Peter Hobson:

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR DOG RUNS OFF ON SCENT (this list is not exhaustive....)

This is what you should do to help get the dog back or at least prepare for a more controlled search.

Firstly keep calm or more likely calm yourself down.

Initially stay where you are, continue to call the dog back to you (in `happy' voice not `angry' voice ). Make a note of where you are, mark the spot if neccesary, make a note of the direction the dog left you on and the last spot that you saw the dog before it vanished.

Follow the dog whilst you can see it, and continue to call, remember most dogs will self track back once the stimulus of what has drawn them away has worn off. I have heard of a wirehaired pointer owner waiting over ten hours and the dog came back to the car.

Talk to everyone that you see in the area and explain what has happened and give contact details and the dogs name. ( it is easier to catch a strange dog if you know its name)

If the dog has not returned within two to three hours of your initial search, contact the authorities, police local dog warden and get help from friends dogs that the missing animal knows and recover the initial area.

Slowly expand the search area informing any residence of the area of the description of the dog. Pay special attention to areas and features that the dog could get into but may be unable to get out. And also hazards which might have injured the dog, roads, railways, quarries etc.

Especially important for gundogs contact local farmers and gamekeepers who may come into contact with your dog.

If the dog still has not returned after 48hrs I would treat it as missing / stolen (well intentioned or not).

Spread the word locally using posters talking to relative businesses, vets, local post offices, confirm with authorities that they have the relevant information and are still looking out for the dog or dog related incidences. Local kennels rescue and otherwise, use the internet to spread the net wider.

Continue to walk the area where the dog disappeared, remember from the dogs point of view it expects you to be where it last saw you, regardless of time or interim events.

Another suggestion:
An old pointer trick is to leave a coat or anything that smells of the owner at the area where the dog was lost. Leave a note so nobody steals it.
With Longhairs, they will always return to where they ran off and then stay by this scent until found.

Thank you Peter Hobson for allowing to put this article on our site.