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Prevent Your Dog from Being Stolen

Another dog was stolen in our area recently. While thieves target some breeds more than others, the truth is that any dog might be stolen. This previous dog was an Austalian Shepherd. And French Bulldogs, often sold for many thousands of dollars, are often targets. But even mixed breeds might be nabbed. Our dogs are family members and as such, rely on us to protect them. Read on for tips to prevent your dog from being stolen.

A lot of households consider their dogs as part of the family. However, another issue has become very disturbing due to the recent pandemic. This issue pertains to the staggering rise of cases of dog theft. In this article, I hope I will be able to give you the much-needed information regarding the recent increase in dog thefts. Lastly, I hope I’ll be able to give decent tips on avoiding dog theft. It is possible to take steps to prevent your dog from being stolen.



Dog Theft is Real

Numerous posts online on social media have been popping up out of nowhere recently regarding missing dogs. Sadly, most of these cries for help go unanswered or, worse, receive grave news regarding their beloved dogs or puppies. The most surprising part is that it is not only occurring here in America but also all over the world.

We can all agree that prevention will always be better than a cure. Becoming aware and trying to get as much information on recent events or criminal occurrences will drastically increase your chances of being able to protect your well-loved dogs. The more information you get, the better prepared you will be and the least likely that you will have problems with any of your dogs getting taken.


protect your dog from being stolen

French Bulldogs are often a target of thieves.


Popular Dogs for Money

The pandemic has brought out both the best and the worst in people. Along with the heroes that stepped up to help and save the many are the ones that took or continue to take advantage of a number of people as well. Dog theft became prevalent because of the fact that the demand for dogs has risen.

Dogs, particularly puppies, are very expensive, depending on their breed. Besides their breed, there are some dogs that sell at unbelievable prices. They are the ones that trend on social media or other social platforms. The amount of possible profit drives a lot of people to dog theft. Usually, because it’s less effort than breeding the dogs themselves. See our list in the FAQ section below to see which breeds are known to be most vulnerable.

And the fact is, some people will pay huge amounts for the current trendy breeds. French Bulldogs are among those at the moment, but others fit in, as well. Thieves steal what they perceive will bring them money. But you don’t have to pick a less trendy breed to help prevent your dog from being stolen. Just take the right steps.


walking pomeranians

Pomeranians are popular with dog thieves


Places to be Wary of

Dog theft reports usually come from places like parks, trails, or even front yards. There have even been instances where dogs or puppies left by their owners in their backyard were stolen. Thieves actually climbing over people’s fences have been a common occurrence. Though most of the reports have been from parks where thieves will either lure or just nab their dogs from their inattentive owners. Just as you want to be aware of your own surroundings, keep a watchful eye for possible dog nappers. This helps prevent your dog from being stolen in many cases.



Two Main Things to Note

Theft can generally be avoided if you are mindful of your surroundings. However, this applies mainly when applied to things like your wallet, watch, and other items. When it comes to dogs, you just need to take note of two things: training and the environment. If you can guarantee these two things, then you have a better chance of preventing thieves from taking your beloved dogs.


Train Your Dogs

We want our dogs to be people-friendly. They should not be barking or biting at everyone they meet while out on a walk or at the park. 

But friendliness can go too far. Just as you teach your child to be wary of strangers, so too do you need to teach your dog. Dogs should not just jump all over everyone they meet and greet. Teach them to wait for permission to approach someone. And then only politely. 

We also prefer that our dogs mostly ignore strangers they meet. Not to be rude, of course, but not to show that they will run off with anyone who offers them a piece of hot dog. In fact, we teach them to avoid taking food from people they don’t know. Why? We once had one of our livestock guardian dogs poisoned by a neighbor while still on our own property. Since then, we have been careful about who can feed our pets.

Training about strangers and greeting courtesies is essential. But so is basic obedience. Teaching a good “come” command and “off” will help you through many areas of life with your furkid. Tricks can be fun, too, and often become useful in everyday life. A side benefit to all this training is that your dog will actually become better at learning new skills with each that you teach him. And neither of you will ever be bored!



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Genius Dog 300 x 600 - Animated




Supervision and the Environment

Training your dog to bark and be cautious of strangers is only a part of how you can better secure them from theft. However, you also need to be conscious of your surroundings. Oftentimes, thieves actually follow or observe their targets. You would be surprised on how patient they can be when they really want to be.

Thieves rely heavily on the opportunity and surprisingly careful planning, at least the ones that you really need to worry about. These types of thieves are the ones that have high success rates in their thefts. Though there are instances as well where people can get successful in their theft when circumstances allow them to.

Size, type, and training are some of the things that thieves consider when they target dogs. Most of the time, thieves target small dogs or especially puppies. Puppies are more likely not to bark or even bite strangers since they haven’t developed much of a bond with the owners or if they have, are easy to appease with thieves giving them treats.

If you’re one of those owners who let their dogs run free without their leash, then you should be all the more mindful of your environment. There have been instances where people just nab dogs after wandering too far from their owners. Oftentimes, they will also use treats to lure unsuspecting dogs from their owners.





Keeping Your Dog Safe 

It seems obvious but keeping your dog safe in general also helps prevent your dog from being stolen.

There are other ways you can also do to further secure your beloved dogs from any thieves. These tips are the ones that I found to be very effective and inexpensive. Most are free and only require your effort.


  • Posting and Social Media

You need to avoid or at least minimize posting about your puppies or dogs online, especially if those posts are available for the public. Thieves have been using social media to scoop or find out if they can easily target someone’s dog. You would be surprised how resourceful thieves can get with the number of details a single picture can provide.

Does that mean you can’t post that adorable picture of your Basset Clyde cuddled up with his new kitten friend? Of course not. Just be reasonable about your posts of dogs, as you should be of your kids, too. (And please wipe the drool off Clyde before he licks the kitten.)


  • You are the Owner

Another inexpensive way of keeping thieves away is to make it known to people that you own your dogs. Thieves often take unattended or lured dogs and walk them as if they are the owners. If people know that you own your dogs, chances are that these people will stop anyone or at least report any other person they see walking your dog.

Join other dog owners when they take their dogs out for walks or to play. You can also introduce your beloved dogs to other dog owners who frequent the places you take them to. At least try to have the security guards, park rangers or the people who frequent the places you go with your dog be familiar with your dog and that you are the actual owner.


  • Collars or Tags

Collars or tags helps secure your dogs against both thieves and when they wander off too far and get lost. You just need to make sure that you don’t put too much personal and unnecessary information. You also need to make sure that the information you put on the collars or tags is embedded or won’t be erased or taken off easily.

If your dog has a tag, consider marking it to show he is microchipped. But, don’t put the name of your dog on the tag. Knowing his name makes it easier for thieves to lure and have the dogs obey them. You just need to put your contact number and your first name or nickname. Doing that will make it so that people can easily contact and address you. Never put your address or other significant information on the dog tag.


  • Focus and Attention

As mentioned earlier, you just need to be mindful of your dog when you go out. When having them play on the yard or front lawn, make sure that you check up on them every now and then. A little bit of focus or attention can go a long way in securing them against thieves.

Want an extra level of protection? Consider a security camera, or actually, a series of them to show your entire yard. Prices on these very useful devices have come down and the peace of mind they buy is worth every penny, in our opinion. Check out the TP-Link Tapo 2K Camera, for instance. We really like this model.



  • Parking and Tinted Windowsprevent your dog from being stolen

Many dog theft cases revolve around people taking dogs alone in cars. Some of these thieves would even go so far as to break car windows, despite the alarm going off. For this reason, it is important to have tinted windows that avoid the prying or watchful eyes of thieves.

No, I’m not suggesting you leave your dog alone in the car, no matter what the outdoor temperature is like. But even in a car with a human, dogs are at risk for being taken. The A/C is running, the radio is playing, and you close your eyes for a minute. Thieves will look for these signs and jump at the chance given.



  • Lock Dog Doors

Another easy but highly effective method is to put locks on any and all dog doors in your house. The locks serve to protect your dogs and your home in general.  Remember to install your dog doors on walls rather than your doors so they won’t be easy to break into.



  • Clear Line of sight

Have your dog stay in a place on your lawn where you have a direct line of sight. The front lawn would usually be the best place. You’ll be able to watch over your dogs through your front windows. Just remember to look out for your dog while it plays outside every now and then.



  • Secure garden or yard

This method can get a bit pricey, but not too much. Having walls or a simple fence will do wonders in protecting your dogs from theft. It can even deter most burglars from your home. Just make sure that they are built high enough that your dogs won’t be able to jump over easily.



Technology and Tracking Help prevent your dog from being stolen

Developments in technology and tracking have made stealing dogs extremely difficult for thieves. Although these tips can get a bit pricey and will require you to actually take the time to install them. After doing so though, you’ll be rewarded with a stronger sense of security regarding the safety of your dogs.



  • GPS Tracker

These things can easily be purchased nowadays and are very easy to use. Most people put GPS pet trackers on their collars. The downside is that collars are usually the first thing thieves remove from stolen dogs to avoid it being identified. Another is you’ll have to really look for any cheap ones since these things can get a bit expensive.


  • Microchipped Dogs

Pet identification microchips have been a staple requirement for a lot of pet owners. In fact, countries have passed laws that require dog owners to avail of them for their beloved dogs. The downside of this tip is that it won’t be able to give you the location of your pet.

This method should be a priority for dog owners since it will still greatly help your dog get identified. Once your dog can easily be identified, it makes it all the more difficult for thieves to sell them. Microchipped dogs will either be let go or returned to the owner. Do not get fooled, though, when they ask for a reward for returning your dog.


  • CCTV at Home

This tip is the last one. I find it to be one of the most effective ways to protect both your home and your beloved pets. Installing and having cameras around your household will drive away most thieves and burglars. It can also help you keep an eye on both your pets and property. Just make sure you avail of any dependable home security systems. Alternatively, have someone you know and trust install the cameras.



Do Not Panic!

We can make plans and prepare for everything we can, but in the end, what can happen, may happen. That is why in the event that your dog does get stolen, don’t panic. Remember to stop and think of your next step. What I can definitely recommend is to call your local authorities immediately. It will be a race against time to get a higher chance in getting your dog back.

Try to get some traction going as well by posting on your social media regarding your missing pet. It will make it harder for the thieves to sell it in your immediate area and make searching easier.

Who should you contact when your pet is stolen? EVERYONE! Alert the authorities, the shelters, and your area veterinarians. Tell pet stores, kennels, groomers. And yes, as we mentioned, social media. The more people who are aware, the better your chance of recovering your pet. And do so as quickly as possible.



Dogs and Your Family

I hope that I was able to give enough information and raise more awareness on this subject. Dog theft started years ago but has recently increased due to the rise in demand for household pets. The purpose of this article is to shed some light on this topic. Having more people talking about it will make dog theft more difficult. Remember, thieves, thrive in opportunities arising from lack of information and misinformation.





FAQ regarding how to prevent your dog from being stolen

Which breeds are most often stolen?

The top 5 breeds, according to a recent report, are: 

  • French Bulldog
  • German Shepherd
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Siberian Husky
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Shih Tzu

However, any dog might be nabbed and smaller dogs are especially vulnerable to theft.

Why do thieves steal dogs? Plenty of dogs are homeless and in need of adoption.

Most dogs are stolen for profit. They may be resold for breeding purposes or for pets. Many are returned to redeem the reward money offered. Your pet is part of your family, but to the thief, he is money. Simply put, thieves don’t usually want your pet; they want the money your pet will bring them.

Can I train my dog not to go with strangers?

Absolutely and the “stranger-danger” training we give our children is just as important with your pet. However, you want to balance it with training to accept strangers when you are there giving permission. Also, remember that most dogs will go where the leash goes. If the thief has a hold of your dog or his leash, the dog is in danger of being lost.

If my pet is stolen and resold, is there any chance I will ever get him back?

Of course, there is always a chance. To increase the odds, I highly recommend having your pet microchipped and that microchip listed with a registry. Keep that information updated, too.

Even if your pet is sold to someone in another state, vets and other professionals have chip scanners to read the chip and can locate you through the registry.


Take Steps to Prevent Your Dog from Being Stolen

Have you ever had your dog stolen? It’s a terrifying experience that more and more pet owners are experiencing as dog theft becomes increasingly common. In this post, we’ve offered some tips on how to protect your furry friend from being stolen, but we want to know what you think. What have been the most successful methods for keeping your dog safe? Please share your comments below, and let us know if there are any other tips you think should be added to our list.




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