3LD is an online resource for dog owners.

It’s a guide to choosing a dog, solving behavior problems, and doing cool stuff with your very own Man’s Best Friend.

Dogs are awesome. Raising a dog can be one of the most worthwhile things you ever do.

But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. It’s not always fun. 

Sometimes taking care of a dog is really, really difficult.

Dog ownership often comes with a lot of challenges that make you want to tear your hair out: The puppy who won’t stop biting. The rescue dog who freaks out when you leave her alone for five minutes. The teenage dog who keeps himself entertained by destroying the house.

3 Lost Dogs wants to help you deal with that kind of stuff. We’re here to guide you through the rough patches and help you build a solid relationship with your dog. We’ve got tutorials, articles, and an online academy full of practical advice that you can start using right away.

Who are we?

3 Lost Dogs is owned and operated by Erin Buvala and Jake Buvala, a husband and wife team. Adorable, I know.

I (Jake) started 3LD in 2009. I’d been volunteering in animal shelters since I was 13, and wanted to help all the dogs surrendered for behavior challenges that could have been managed, if only their owners had better guidance.⁣⁣

As a trainer, I’ve sort of accidentally ended up with the specialty of helping people through the new-dog blues

In 2015, I wrote an ebook called I Got a Dog – What Was I Thinking? which has sold over 8,000 copies. That led to to the creation of our flagship program, Puppy Survival School, which is based on the ebook but with updated info and much more detail.


Erin’s had a long shelter career, too, from volunteering to working as full-time staff. Dogs, cats, cows, horses, sheep, ducks, ferrets… if you can name it, she’s probably done a shelter shift with it. She started out training horses, and really got into dog training when she adopted her reactive dog, Bear.⁣⁣ She’s written about her experience with Bear, and you can check that out here:

Fun fact: We met because of 3LD. Erin messaged me on Instagram with Bear-related questions, then emailed, and 70 emails later, we decided to get married. (Totally normal, right?)⁣⁣


In 2021, Erin officially joined 3 Lost Dogs as my business partner. With degrees in science and journalism, as well as experience working in social media, she’s been a boon to this project. She makes sure the advice we give is up-to-date by digging through the latest canine scientific research. Sifting through the endless sea of information so you don’t have to.


We’re big believers in continuing education, and our idea of the perfect date is attending dog behavior/training conferences together.⁣⁣

I’m from the US, and Erin’s from Australia. After a couple years of long-distance marriage, she moved here in March 2021. Soon after, we flew the Australian half of our pets out here, too. Click here to watch our vlog about it.

We live in Arizona with our dogs Merlin, River, Hazel, Bear, and Flower, and our cat, Josie.


The original three lost dogs

Not all the furry teammates who started this journey are still with us. 3 Lost Dogs is named after:

Friday the German shepherd mix, 2001-2012 – my first dog. Friday’s story inspired one of our most popular blog posts, Thinking of Returning Your Puppy to the Shelter/Breeder?

My favorite Friday post: Whatever Tomorrow Brings: Important Things to Know Before (and After) You Adopt a Dog

Jonas the super mutt, 2003-2016 – my “foster failure” and agility partner.

My favorite Jonas post: Running to You: Updates From a Year of Darkness, Light, and Raising Puppies (Yeah, That’s PuppIES, Plural)

Merlin the border collie – Merlin is fourteen years old, and keeps the energetic young pups in line.