New Forest Dog On The Forest Off The Lead

Launch of NFDOG App

A unique NFDOG phone app to help dog owners find their pets if they are lost has been launched at the New Forest Show. The free app, which also has other vital information for dog owners to carry with them, has been developed by the New Forest Dog Owners Group and Highcliffe-based Triple W Design.

The dog app is available for both Android and Apple (search for NFDOG in the apps stores). Owners can download it, and put in their dog’s details (which are kept just on the phone unless there’s a crisis). If a dog does get lost in the New Forest they simply touch one button. The app then identifies the location, and sends a message to all other users, as well a notifying the New Forest Dog Owners Group’s highly successful dog recovery service, including use of social media.

If someone spots the lost dog (they’ll see a picture and the last known location on their phone) they can send a sighting report to aid the search, or say the dog has been found and recovered. This again is shared to assist those who are looking.   

The app has been in development for three years, and tested for the last six months. It also includes other useful information such as a ‘go-to’ first aid section, advice specific to the New Forest such as round-up and stallion release times, and general dog news for the New Forest.

“It can be heart breaking if a walker loses their dog and we wanted to find a solution, using technology, to make the search easier and quicker to launch,” says Heather Gould, Chair of the New Forest Dog Owners Group. “Clearly the faster the search gets underway, using other dog walkers as well as the services of dog searchers, the better chance of finding the lost pet as it can’t have travelled far.”

Andy Clayton of Triple W Design did the technical work. “I approached NFDOG with this idea, as I was keen to help. No one has done anything like this before and after testing we’re keen to get it out and helping dog owners, of whom I am one.”

The app is available to anyone to download, they’ll get all the information, updates, and notifications about lost dogs. For data protection reasons (so reports can be verified) reporting a lost dog will only be available to NFDOG members (currently 1200, the largest user group in the New Forest). Membership costs £5.00 a year, for the app, newsletters and many other benefits.

The app was launched by the Chairman of the New Forest Show, Martin Stewart, on Tuesday, 26 July (pictured with David Bennett and Kate Anderson from NFDOG). There was a practical demonstration with a ‘lost’ dog Duke, a Border Collie who was safely recovered with the app., who was safely recovered with the app.