Wow, what a privilege it was to attend a talk this afternoon given by the Loki Wolfdog K9 Tracker team! I was chosen to attend as I was by far the most likely Barking Bugle repawter to need Loki’s services – my Mum knows only too well that heart wrenching feeling when a beloved family member (me) goes missing.
The Loki Wolfdog K9 Tracker team consists of three dogs and one human (Sam). Loki is currently the main tracking dog, he is a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, which were originally bred from crossing European wolves with German Shepherd dogs. The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is now a recognised breed, the wolf breeding occurred many generations back. They are highly intelligent and active with a strong work ethic and a fantastic nose. Loki is amazing, he can scent individual dogs and has proven his talent by tracking a dog on a two week old scent! Loki started his training by doing Talking Dogs Rally and Talking Dogs Scentwork courses, he then went on to train with an ex-military scent dog trainer.
Loki gave us a demonstration of his abilities, scenting rags under boxes. He works for treats and when the hotdogs came out, I thought I might like to take up scentwork too!
Sam and Loki travel around East Anglia helping people find their lost dogs, they do not charge a fee, just ask for a donation towards travelling costs. They have many success stories and love reuniting dogs with their owners. Sam gave us some great advice on what should be done when a dog goes missing:
The owner should leave some clothing at the spot the dog was last seen – this is important for a number of reasons (i.e. the dog may go back to it, it gives Loki an accurate start point etc)
As soon as possible report it to everyone – call Sam; the Police; the dog warden; local radio; contact PetLog (with the dogs microchip number); put it on social media; register with DogLost (www.doglost.co.uk); put posters up everywhere and accept any offers of help.
Ask for sightings – get time, exact location, direction of travel and plot these sightings on a map or through google and look for a trend.
Don’t give up! Sam has not found Loki’s limit on time of scent line yet and is willing to try many weeks after the dog has gone missing.
Sam also requests that people contact her straight away so she can give advice and spread the word to maximise your chances. Due to work commitments she may not be able to attend immediately but she will be able to put the wheels in motion to give you all the help you need. Sam is in contact with many other dog trackers all around the country and will be able to put you in contact with someone that can help if she is unable to.
I hope you never need Sam and Loki’s services but if you do, or are interested in becoming a dog tracker yourself, please contact them on 07810 641818 or check out their website www.lostdogtracker.com. Today’s talk was entirely for charity and £40 was raised to go towards Wolfdog Rescue Uk.