Dogs Trust

Staffies top the list of pinched pooches

As a nation of dog lovers, we do everything we can to keep our dogs happy and healthy. From microchipping and ensuring they wear a collar and tag, to exercise and training them - looking from the outside in, it appears the UK's dogs are well taken care of. But, as we reveal new dog theft stats*, it seems that dog owners could be making one big faux pas when it comes to Fido's safety - failing to secure their home to guard against dog theft.

We reveal homes and gardens as the UK's top hotspot for pinching pooches

As we reveal that nearly 2,000 dogs were reported stolen in 2018**, more than 1,000 of which were pinched from homes and gardens - making them the UK's hotspot for dog theft - we team up with security specialists Yale to unlock a wealth of advice on home security.

The stats, obtained through a Freedom of Information request to the Police also reveal the top five breeds most commonly stolen are:

  1. Staffordshire Bull Terriers
  2. Chihuahuas
  3. French Bulldogs
  4. Jack Russells
  5. Pugs

Our advice

Alex Jackson, Head of Campaigns says:

"Unsecured gardens or homes can be an easy target for thieves. As the days get warmer and people start to socialize in their gardens, we couldn't think of a better time to remind dog owners to check the access points to their home and garden - this includes looking for gaps in your fence and other property boundaries to keep your dog in and intruders out.

"We have a wealth of advice to help you keep your dog 'safe, spottable and searchable.' Dogs can be an easy target for thieves looking to make money from breeding, so as well as keeping their microchip details up to date, spaying or neutering your dog could decrease their desire to wander and will also make them less desirable to thieves looking to breed from them."

As well as providing advice on securing your home and garden to keep your four-legged friend safe, Yale are also sponsoring our dog theft campaign, Family Pawtraits.

Stephen Roberts, Marketing Manager at Yale UK says:

“Back gardens are commonly targeted by burglars so it’s essential to ensure gates and any access areas are locked and ideally monitored remotely. This helps to keep your garden secure, along with your beloved pets. Dogs are a member of the family, so it’s just as important to look after them, as it is to protect the house.

“There are a number of actions which can be taken to help ensure your dog is kept safe; keep all garden gates locked securely using a padlock and hasp, this along with smart alarms and cameras can work as an excellent deterrent. It’s important to ensure all fences surrounding your garden are secure and tall, making access for intruders more difficult.

"Additionally, indoor smart security cameras make it simple for dog owners to keep an eye on pets whilst away from home via the smartphone app.”

Speak to our experts

We will be joined by Yale at some of our annual Fun Days, which are taking place all across the UK this Summer! Our Fun Days will give dog lovers a chance to meet our experts about dog safety, and ask the Yale team about the extra security measures you could add to your home and garden.

If you are due some hot weather, be sure to take a look at our advice on how to keep your dog happy and healthy in the heat.

Find your local Fun Day

*Image: Super Staffordshire Bull Terrier Suzie is looking for her forever home. She is currently at Dogs Trust Canterbury. Meet her, here.

*Stats obtained by Dogs Trust via an FOI request to the Police

**In 2018, 661 dogs were reported stolen from the home; 314 from the garden; 34 from a yard / compound; 22 from a shed / outbuilding; 22 from a farm; 15 from a kennel

***192 Staffordshire Bull Terriers were reported stolen, closely followed by Chihuahua (104), French Bulldogs (88), Jack Russell (82) and Pug (58)