New research has revealed the ten most stolen dogs of the year, so people can keep an extra eye out. Moreover, you will also find some info on how to look after your pets. So, keep reading for some expert advice.

The research analyzed Freedom of Information data. They focused on the number of dog thefts people have reported in the last five years. They also took into account which types of dogs were most commonly stolen.

Top 10 most stolen dogs in the UK - and how to keep your pet safe. (Canva)

Most Stolen Dogs in the Last Five Years

  1. Staffordshire Bull Terrier – 367 thefts 
  2. Chihuahua – 163 thefts 
  3. French Bulldog – 149 thefts 
  4. Jack Russell Terrier – 107 thefts
  5. Pug – 97 thefts
  6. Bulldog – 94 thefts 
  7. German Shepherd – 93 thefts 
  8. Yorkshire Terrier – 77 thefts 
  9. Cocker Spaniel – 66 thefts 
  10. American Bulldog – 63 thefts 

Staffordshire bull terriers are among the most popular dogs in the UK. So, perhaps it’s a little surprise that they’re one of the most commonly stolen dogs. However, when we also consider the various crossbreeds, Staffies actually account for 19.4% of dog thefts over the last five years.

Chihuahuas and Other Small Dog Breeds

Not only are Chihuahuas understandably desirable dog, but their tiny size, unfortunately, makes them an easy target for criminals. This desirability also gives them a high resale price, with 163 stolen in the last five years. Although, that’s still fewer than half as many Staffordshire Bull Terriers. 

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Another small breed of dog is the third most commonly stolen, the French Bulldog, with 149 thefts. Frenchies have grown in popularity over the last five years. But unfortunately, this means that thefts have as well. They grew by just over double from 20 in 2016 to 41 in 2020. Frenchies usually cost between £1,000-£2,000 but can be worth upwards of £3,000, up to £10,000. So, it’s easy to see why thieves target them.

When we look at the dog breeds with the biggest increase in thefts of the past five years, German Shepherds come out top, followed by French Bulldogs and American Bulldogs, respectively.

The research also revealed the UK’s dog theft hotspots: 

  1. Leeds – 346 thefts over last 4 years
  2. Bradford – 244 thefts over last 4 years
  3. Sheffield – 129 thefts over last 4 years
  4. Huddersfield – 128 thefts over last 4 years
  5. Blackpool – 108 thefts over last 4 years

How to Protect the Most Stolen Dogs

  1. Microchipping– If you haven’t already, it’s vital that you ensure that your dog is microchipped, not least because it is now required by law. This ensures that your dog can easily be identified and returned to you if they get lost.
  2. Be vigilant– While it’s always nice when friendly strangers come up to chat to you and say hello to your dog in the park, do remain vigilant of people you don’t know. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep a close eye on your dog. Don’t let them off the lead unless you’re sure that they will come back to you!
  3. Keep your garden secure– Try to keep your dog in view when it’s in the garden, especially in the front garden if it can be easily accessed from the street. Make sure that any gates are locked and consider fitting a bell so that you can hear if anyone opens it.
  4. Be careful on social media– As much as you might want to share pictures of your dog online, it’s important to be careful. Try not to give away information such as where you live and walk your dog, or take a look at your privacy settings.
  5. Take out pet insurance– Dog insurance doesn’t just protect your dog from expensive veterinary treatments, but some policies will also cover the cost if your pet is stolen or goes missing (sometimes known as ‘missing pet cover’). The very best policies will also cover any costs of advertising if your pet gets lost.

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