Discovering your dog has been stolen is every dog owner's worst nightmare. While owners will desperately hope that they will eventually be reunited with their missing pup, the chances are they won't see their dog again.
Any dog can be a possible target for thieves if they happen to catch a criminal's eye. But organised criminals are increasingly targeting particular types and breeds of dogs they can sell on easily or use to breed from.
Commonly stolen dog breeds
Dog Lost, a volunteer-run organisation that reunites dogs with their owners, has revealed the dog breeds most commonly stolen in the UK. Is your canine companion on this list?
- Cocker Spaniels
- English Springer Spaniels
- Jack Russell Terriers
- French Bulldogs
- Staffordshire Bull Terriers
Tips to keep your pup safe
Whether or not your dog is a popular breed for thieves, you should always make sure your dog is not left unsupervised and be extra vigilant about who has access to your dog. Thieves will steal dogs from anywhere. If they have the opportunity, they will snatch a dog from its home, garden, or even from their owners during walks.
Ways you can keep your four-legged friend safe, include:
- Get your dog microchipped
- Never leave your dog tied up outside a shop (even if you think you'll just be a few minutes)
- Don't leave your dog alone in a car
- Put an ID tag on your dog's collar
- Regularly check your garden is secure
- Never leave your dog outside unsupervised
- Vary when you go on dog walks and the routes you take
- Be wary if a stranger asks you questions when you're walking your dog