The 10 Most Frequently Stolen Dog Breeds

Most Frequently Stolen Dog Breed

About the Author: Jean Colt, a valued writer at MyPetDoggie and a dedicated student of English Literature at Yale University. Jean’s love for dogs, coupled with her literary skills, allows her to create engaging content that resonates with our pet-loving community. Her work reflects her passion for dogs and commitment to enhancing pet care knowledge.

Today I am going to share valuable information about the most frequently stolen dog breeds. Dogs are such animals that can be stolen and it’s very important for every dog owner to take care of the dog from getting stolen and should know the details of why and how these are stolen.

And you will find the answer to all questions related to this in your mind. So come with me and read all the details about dog strolling.

Now you are going to find out; Why are dogs getting stolen? Which breeds are most frequently stolen? How to protect your dog? How to track your? And much more. So, let’s start with the breeds of dogs that are mostly stolen.

What Are The Most Frequently Stolen Dog Breeds?

According to the survey, the most frequently stolen dog breeds in the US and Europe are:

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. French Bulldog
  3. English Bulldog
  4. Chihuahua
  5. Pomeranian
  6. Yorkshire Terrier
  7. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  8. German Shepherd Dog
  9. Border Collie
  10. Shih Tzu

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed of dog. As it is the most popular breed of dog it is at the top of the list to be stolen. The popularity of dogs is directly related to the risk of being stolen. The Labrador is friendly, energetic, and playful. It was bred as a sporting and hunting dog but is kept as a pet dog. Labradors are loving and friendly-natured. 

Labrador Retrievers try to sit on grass
Labrador Retriever puppy laying on the ground in the grass

And easily make friends just with a little affection. They happily greet strangers with wagging tails and then bark. They are the best. friendly and loving family pets. The other plus point of their nature is that they are trained easily. Due to their loving and friendly nature, they are good prey for thieves. And strangers can easily steal them.

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is a well-known dog. These are a part of fashion and are in trend also. These are so in that there are greater chances of being stolen. And it’s one of the most frequently stolen dog breeds. They are so calm also. This part of their nature is to be praised but, when it comes to thieves it proves to be a negative point. Because of their calm nature, they are less likely to bite the person who is trying to steal it.  

French Bulldog sitting on a sofa
French Bulldog sitting on a sofa

So, in this way, this calm nature is not good and as they are in demand there are chances that these can be stolen. According to a report, the number of people who are looking for French bulldogs increased by 60 to 70 percent in the last few months. If you are an owner of a French Bulldog, be careful.

English Bulldog

The English bulldog is another dog breed that is most frequently stolen. Breeders worked on it for years and made their breed friendly, calm,  courageous, and kind dogs. In the past, it was an aggressive breed and was known for its aggression but now they are completely different. 

English Bulldog is most likely to be stolen from their owners
English Bulldog lying on a wooden floor

It is said that they are kind but courageous, friendly but dignified. This breed of dog is medium-sized and muscular. Today they are excellent family pets because of their friendliness and patience.  All these reasons are enough to make them a good breed for stealing. 


You may remember the famous Taco Bell commercials that aired in the late ’90s, in which an adorable Chihuahua says “I want Taco Bell!”. Yea, Chihuahuas are one of the most famous dogs. Because of their smaller size, it is said that Chihuahuas pack a ton of personality into a tiny package. 

Chihuahua is most likely to be stolen from their owners
Chihuahua sits on his bed

Chihuahuas are friendly-natured. They are loving dogs when it comes to the person they like and their family, but they can be mean and aggressive when confronted with strangers and strange situations. Despite their aggressive nature, they are easy prey for criminals because of their too-small size.


The first thing that comes to mind when talking about Pomeranians is their price. They are expensive dogs. The reason behind their expensiveness is that they are available in several colors and solid colors are rare.

 Pomeranian is most likely to be stolen from their owners
 Pomeranian shows his beautiful smile expression

 Those in solid colors usually cost more than those with more common color patterns. This is probably one of the most common reasons behind their stealing. 

Moreover, they are generally perky, friendly little dogs. Little but active dogs that don’t need much exercise. Because of these good qualities, Pomeranians are stolen.

Yorkshire Terrier

With beautiful long hair and small size, Yorkshire Terriers are good prey for thieves. They are active and friendly-natured. Besides these qualities, they are very common among urbanites and are so good-natured that they can live with many types of families from young couples with children to empty nesters and senior citizens.

Yorkshire Terrier hide into the garden
Yorkshire Terrier hide into the garden

They are cheeky, and playful but eternally popular among people in cities. Yorkies pack lots of big-town attitudes into a small package. 

Moreover, they are full of pride and want attention from their owner. This thing makes them even more attractive dogs. As they are popular because of their beauty and attitude, criminals want to steal these little Yorkies.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

When it comes to Staffordshire they are an excellent family. They are so friendly and loving nature towards children that they are sometimes called nannies.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier shows his playing stance
Staffordshire Bull Terrier shows his playing stance

Despite having a reputation for being aggressive, most well-socialized Staffies are loving and trustworthy dogs who get on well with people of all ages, including the children in the family. 

They are the most loved companion dogs in the UK. People like to have staff there.

Due to all these qualities they attract thieves to be stolen.

German Shepherd Dog

The dogs that are known for their protectiveness and courage are German Shepherds Dogs. But you will be absolutely surprised to know that they are also on the list of most stolen dogs.

German Shepherd Dog is watching in the camera while walking in a garden
German Shepherd Dog is watching in the camera while walking in a garden

But why and how? So, here is the answer to this. German Shepherd Dogs are one of the most popular dogs over the years. Due to their protectiveness and powerfulness. Forces and families like to have German Shepherds at the same time because of their obedience and loyalty.

GSD can not be stolen when they are older. So, they are stolen at a young age when their size is small and they are an easy target at that time. 

Border Collie

Border Collie makes brilliant pet dogs. They are very friendly and Border Collies are famous for using “the eye”. They were originally bred to herd sheep so that’s the reason behind they have a special eye on strangers.

Border Collie is most likely to be stolen from their owners
Four Border Collie dogs show smile in one frame

Collies are also considered the most intelligent dogs and are workaholics. Though they are intelligent and are very conscious dogs still they are stolen because of their smaller sizes.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu are the most friendly, calm, and intelligent dogs. They are affectionate even towards children and others. This habit of instant friendship sometimes causes trouble for themselves. When nappers come towards them they don’t even bark or bite. Tzus just don’t react and because of this, they are good targets.

red shih tzu is most likely to be stolen from their owners
Shih Tzu sitting on car seat

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Why are Dogs Getting stolen?

According to an estimate, 2,160 dogs were reported stolen in 2022, according to new research by Direct Line Pet Insurance – around six each day. This is such a horrible figure even to consider if you are a dog owner. The question remains: Why are dogs stolen?

So, dogs are stolen for different and many different purposes. But always keep in mind the main benefit to the thieves is always financial or related to it.

  • Sometimes pure breeds of dogs are stolen because their pedigree can be worth thousands of dollars. As a result of that, the thieves make a significant amount with very little effort. Most stolen dogs are puppies because they are easy targets and can be trained accordingly.
  • It’s very sad to know that some people stole dogs just to have some extra money in their pockets. They resell it to puppy mills where they can be used for breeding purposes. So, it is important to spray your dog.
  • Some people stole dogs just for the reward. Yeah, I know that’s the stupidest reason behind dogs stealing but it’s reality. Few do this just to gain a reward from the family of the puppy.
  • The worst thing that can happen to your dog is to be taken to be used as a bait dog or to be trained as a fighting dog. The most common breeds for this are Pit Bull Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, and German Shepherds. You probably didn’t think while buying, that the breed you chose could make you more likely to be a victim of dog theft, but it’s part of reality.

What are the Signs that a Thief is Targeting Your Dog?

I came to know that A “cross” is used to indicate a “good target,” with a pink cross for little dogs, a yellow cross for medium-sized dogs, and a red cross for larger breeds.

According to reports, numerous bizarre signs have been posted outside people’s homes around the nation. Many people fear they think it might be an indication of the thieves at the location of the puppies.

Unusual Interest from Strangers

Have you noticed that strangers show much interest in your dog? If you have noticed such a thing you should be vigilant because you might be a thief. Showing interest in your dog for no reason is strange. If a stranger is being friendly with your dog you should not allow your dog to be friends with such people.

Attempts to Unleash or Distract Your Dog

The thieves mostly do strange things before stealing your dog. These stranger habits can be trying to unleash your puppy or trying to distract it. Due to such things, they appear strange and different. And there are ninety percent chance that it will be a thief or someone who is part of the theft.

Surveillance of Your Home or Daily Routine

You might have caught someone spying on your home which is not normal. Try to notice the person if it’s the same person you have caught spying on your house. Surveillance can not only be of your house it can be of your routine. They notice when you are out and at which time your dog is alone. They are trying to find the part of your routine when you are not conscious of your dog. So, be vigilant when you are out with your dog.

Suspicious Vehicles or Vanishing from Posters

One can find the suspicious vehicles that are following them. This can also be part of their play.  And while at other times you might notice that the vehicles that were following you and when you saw them, they vanished from the posters. Most times when such things happen they are trying to spy on you and your dogs.  So, be careful, and if you catch something like that you should follow the steps that I will mention later.

Reports of the Recent Dog Theft in the Area

Reports of recent dog thefts are very useful in knowing about the going conditions of thefts in your area. By reading such reports you will be able to find the statistics of theft and then you will also get aware of how they stole pets. Previous records can also help you to protect your dog from being stolen.

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How can You Protect Your Dog from Theft?

I always used to say that “Prevention is better than cure”. So, knowing how to protect your dog is also important. So, here I will share some points that will help you to keep your dog protected from theft. It’s more important to take measures at the right time before it’s too late.

Supervised Outdoor Time and Walks

Entering your yard and then stealing your dog will not take much time, particularly if you’re in an external area that is highly visible from the street or surrounding area. Be sure to keep a close watch over your dog when they’re in the garden. If they need to be outside for an extended period, stay right by them. Moreover, privacy fences and cameras are the best options.

Avoid Sharing Personal Information

Many of the pet owners love to share the habits of their pets. But this might be dangerous. In case the person is highly interested in knowing these personal things about your dog. Sharing information with strangers who try to get information about your dog is strange. 

Dognappers also use social media sites like Facebook and Instagram to find out about pets. You may feel a camaraderie with members of a group dedicated to a specific dog breed, but be aware that dognappers may be visiting these public communities to find out about event locations. Make sure to check your privacy settings on all platforms.

So, be careful about sharing information about your pet on social media and the platforms on which you are posting things about your pet.

Secure Fencing and Gates

 As I have said before, stealing your dog from the yard would not take much time for the thief.

So, having a privacy fence is important for the security of your dog. As dognappers, are in search of such negligence. And through opened doors and broken fences, they can easily enter your garden or yard and kidnap your dog. Such events occur frequently so be careful. 

Be Mindful of Your Society

If you’re a dog owner you should be mindful of the neighborhood. Be mindful of your society and neighbors. Because in many cases neighbors are the main thieves or can be their helpers or friends them. As they live near you it’s easy for them to know about your dogs and their habits. Moreover, people who live near you can also know the time when you are in and out of the house and when the dog is alone at home. 

I am not saying to start doubting neighbors but, be watchful. I will advise you to don’t be so rude to them after reading this article.

Avoid Leaving Your Dog Alone in Vehicle

Never leave your dog alone in cars. Some people consider overheating as the main issue for the remaining dogs in cars but there are quite other issues also. Leaving your dog alone in cars can be dangerous. Because dognappers might find them and also can steal cars too.

Train Your Dog to Come When Called

Training your dog to come when called this habit is very useful for the dogs when it comes to stealing dogs. Sometimes when you call your dog and it comes in seconds then you know about its habit. But when you call and it does not come, you will be worried and will look for it.    

 Social Media Caution

Use social media with caution. Sometimes social media can be dangerous for you. When you put some information about your dog on social media, they might use your information in the wrong way.

What to Do if You Doubt That Your Lost Dog Might Have Stolen?

When you come to know that your dog was stolen, then you should immediately come into action. Gather identifying information about your dog and call your local police or sheriff. Then broaden your search  and also contact your neighbors.

Firstly, write down all the information about your dog and memories that make you think that your dog is stolen. Write color, height, breed, dressing every detail of your dog.

Secondly, report the police as soon as possible because it would be very helpful. The sooner you report, the sooner the police can find your missing dog. Some police might hesitate to file a police report for a missing animal. Remind the police that your dog is valuable property.

Thirdly,The thief might be close to home. Walk around your neighborhood in the evening when noise has died down. Call your dog’s name and listen carefully for any response.

How Can You Track The Location of Your Dog?

Following are the ways through which you can track your dogs.

GPS Dog Collars and Trackers

GPS trackers come built into the collar. The GPS tracker works  with an app on your smartphone or other handheld device, and lets you view your dog’s location in real-time. But at The same time it is costly because of its monthly subscription.

GPS trackers add an extra layer of protection, and they may help you locate your dog quickly in the case of theft. 

Radio Frequency Trackers

Radiofrequency tracking device uses radio waves for locating pets. This technology does not cause any harm to the pets and at the same time they are more efficient for locating the pets.

These come with a remote and a device that is attached to the collar of the dog. But it has one disadvantage, if your dog goes too far the radio frequency tracker can be useless.

Bluetooth Tracker

Bluetooth tracker tracks the pet by using bluetooth connection between your smartphone and the collar of the dog. Bluetooth pet collars typically have a much shorter range than GPS trackers, often limited to about 100 feet. But it’s sad to know that bluetooth trackers don’t work if the range is greater than this. Moreover, these trackers can’t provide real-time updates on your pet’s location. 

Smartphone Apps

Tacrative is a GPS tracker that helps you to track your dog through your smartphone app. It is installed in the collar of the dog. By using this you will locate the dog and its movements. This is quite a useful device

Collaborate with Local Communities

You should also collaborate with the local communities if your dog goes missing. This is also helpful for tracking dogs besides using tracking gadgets.

What Happens If You Buy A Stolen Dog Unknowingly

If you buy a stolen dog unknowingly then it would not be a thing to be worried about. There would be no legal case on you but still you have to return it to the legal owner. But if you buy a stolen dog knowingly then legal actions can be applied on you and you may be considered as part of the theft. So, be conscious before buying any dog.

What to Do If You Find A Lost Dog?

Following are the steps you should follow if you find a lost dog.

Assess the Situation 

Firstly when you find a lost dog try to assess the situation. Try to make a judgment that this is a lost dog and try to figure it out.

Approach Calmly and Safely

Try to approach the dog calmly and in a friendly way. Because it is possible that the dog might be frightened. So approach safely and calmly.

Contain and Secure the Dog

If you do not find the owners of the dog at the time, contain the dog at your place for some time safely.

Notify Local Authorities And Animal Shelters

Notify legal authorities and animal shelters about the dog you find. They will help you. Sometimes the dog owners report about the dogdog in these institutes. So, it is possible that this dog is already reported there and its owner is finding it. 

Post Found Dog Flyers

Print as many 8 ½” by 11” flyers as practical. If you cannot print them in color, then print your flyers on colored paper. Post your flyers on bulletin boards in vets’ offices, pet supply stores, etc.

Work With Animal Welfare Organization

Work with animal welfare organizations to find the parents of lost dogs.

Common Question:

Do dogs keep criminals away?

The warning signs of dogs are noticed when any intruder tries to enter the property and it might stop them from entering, But in case of bash criminals, they are not stopped by the dogs. They usually preoccupy the dog and then enter the house.

What is the most common security dog?

German Shepherds are one of the most common breeds of police dogs. German Shepherds are the most loyal and protective dogs. They are without a doubt the most common security dog.

Which is  #1 most expensive dog?

It is said that The Tibetan mastiff is the most expensive dog, as it has sold for millions. In 2014, a Tibetan mastiff puppy was sold for nearly $2 million in China, according to AFP, which cited a report in Chinese newspaper Qianjiang Evening News.

Which is the no 1 attacking dog in the world?

Pit Bull Terriers are the number one attacking dog. They are fighting dogs, and the breed is still known for strength, and persistence in attacking. Pit bulls are responsible for most fatal dog attacks on adults aged 21 to 54.

How do dogs smell criminals?

They discern scents masked by odors. They can smell all types of things like into things, around things and even underwater things. So, due to their sensitive nose they can smell criminals.

How do I protect myself from dog thieves?

Above I mentioned all the steps that are needed to protect your dog from stealing. These include supervising the outdoor time and walk, avoid sharing personal information, secure fencing and gates, avoid leaving your dog alone in a vehicle, and be mindful of your surroundings.

Are robbers scared of dogs?

Some easygoing robbers may be scared of dogs while others preoccupy dogs before entering into house.

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