As big hearted dog owners, the emotional bond we have with our dog is so precious. It’s hard to
understand why someone would want to break that. The sad fact is they do. Sadly dog theft is a
low risk and high reward business.
The most recent statistics are from 2018 reported by Direct Line
- 5 dogs per day are stolen in the uk
- Only 1 in 5 are returned to their owner
Heartbreaking isn’t it? To think of your own loyal companion being taken away from you.
We don’t want you to be frightened by this and become overly protective owners. We don’t want
you to feel too afraid to leave the house with your doggo, let’s face it, that won’t make for a happy
dog or owner
We do want you to be aware.
We want to equip you with the facts so you feel empowered to do your very best for your dog’s
So for the next 5 mins let us be your guide to keeping your furry friend safe and becoming one
less victim for the dog thieves.
Know The Statistics and Understand The Risk
These figures come from Direct Line Pet Insurance in 2018.
In total 1959 dog thefts were reported that year. The top 10 breeds stolen were:
- 1 – Staffordshire Bull Terrier – 88
- 2 – Crossbreed – 53
- 3 – Chihuahua – 52
- 4 – French Bulldog – 51
- 5 – Jack Russell – 39
- 6 – Pug – 24
- 7 – English Bulldog – 22
- 8 – Cocker Spaniel – 14
- 9 – Labrador – 12
- 10 – Terrier – 11
- All breeds – 1,959
It’s true that some dogs are more appealing to dog thieves than others. The likelihood of your
Staffordshire Bull Terrier being taken is more of a risk than a Border Collie. Being aware that your
dog is more of a magnet to thieves is good sense, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security
by the statistics. ANY dog could be a target so all standard safety precautions still apply.
Do You Leave Your Dog Alone?
Being aware of the dangers of your dogs day to day environment is crucial. For a moment think
about where your dog spends time, and focus on it not from your perspective as a loving owner,
but through the eyes of a dog thief.
Garden – Don’t assume that a garden is safe because it’s your private property. Criminals who are
out to take a dog are brazen and won’t think twice about jumping over a low fence, or wall to take
their prize. If your dog spends time in the garden take some time to look at it with fresh eyes. Is it
dog thief proof?
Car – We’re not going to beat about the bush on this one. Just don’t do it. Leaving your dog in the
car creates not only a risk of being taken, it’s also a risk to our canine friends health.
Tied up in a public place – This is a risky business, even if it’s just 5 mins whilst you pop into a
shop. It takes 30 seconds to steal a dog left alone. Better to leave doggo home if you’ve got stuff
to do and places to go. Keep walkie time to just that, walking not shopping or visiting.
Exercising in public space – If a dog thief has their sights set on your dog seeing him/her
running loose and you distracted on the phone or talking to people is their dream opportunity. All
it takes is the offer of a treat and your dog is gone. If your canine friend isn’t by your side on a
leash, make sure you have eyes on him/her at all times.
ID Tags – It’s a legal requirement of an owner to make sure a dog has an ID tag with their family
name and address on if the dog is in public spaces. It’s not a requirement for the tag to include
the dog’s name and so it’s smart not to include it. A dog thief will have a much better chance of
befriending your loyal companion if they know his/her name.
Dog Sitters – Many dogs aren’t as responsive to return on command to someone who isn’t their
owner. If you have kind humans in your life who take care of your dog and unless you are certain
they are responsive to the dog sitters commands, ask that they always keep him/her on a lead in
Follow your intuition – As a proud dog owner it’s always nice to get a compliment from a
stranger, but is that stranger asking too many questions? Do you get a feeling in your gut about
them? Listen to that feeling and be cautious, keep doggo close to you and head home.
Mix it up – Variety is the spice of life, and it’s also a dog theft prevention tip. Walking your
dog on different routes, and if possible at different times, will make it tricky for potential
thieves to track you.
Microchip your dog – Not only is it now the law, it will also help identify your dog if the worse
case scenario happens and doggo goes missing. A microchip will help to identify him/her
quickly and easily.
Consider The Technology
As you’d imagine in this age of technology there are some technological prevention
devices which can ramp up dog safety.
GPS Pet Trackers – Are a system which tells you exactly where your dog is at any time.
Be aware though these devices can be easily removed. So look at them as a deterrent
rather than a guaranteed protection device.
HD Outdoor Cameras – Perfect for keeping an eye on the activity in your garden or
outdoor space. Devices are linked to your phone so you can see and hear live what is
happening. Some models also feature audio detection, if your dogs bark you’ll be alerted
Home Security Systems – A vast array of systems are on the market offering features
such as: night vision, audio, motion detection, automatic record, siren triggers and more.
All designed to deter thieves and give you added piece of mind. Tailored systems can also
be installed which are pet friendly, preventing false alarms caused by normal dog activity.
We hope we’ve served as a guide through the key elements to keeping your dog safe.
Our wish is you never experience the trauma of losing your dog to theft.
Join in the conversation, sharing your experiences may give someone a tip which prevents them
ever losing their dog to theft. For more blog articles all doggo well-being related direct to your inbox
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