The ten most commonly stolen dog breeds

The ten most commonly stolen dog breeds

Pet Psychology

Most dog owners will agree that people who steal dogs deserve a special place in hell, and the worry, stress and fear that accompanies having your dog stolen can make it possibly one of the worst times of your life.

Dog thieves are as active within the UK as they are in any other country, and are roughly divided between opportunist thieves who see a dog that they like the look of and a chance to take it, and organised thieves and in some cases, criminal gangs that steal dogs to order, or deliberately target certain popular breeds that they know they will be able to sell on easily.

While any dog can be a potential target for theft if they catch someone’s eye, organised thieves reliably target certain breeds and types of dogs at a greater rate of frequency than they do other breeds, meaning that the owners of such breeds should be extra vigilant about who has access to their dog, and leaving their dog unsupervised.

You can find some tips on staying one step ahead of dog thieves in this article, meanwhile, here we will look at the ten most commonly stolen breeds of dog. The statistics change a little year on year, and so this list is in no particular order, but contains ten breeds of dog that reliably wind up in the top ten most commonly stolen breeds list each year. Read on to learn more.


The Pomeranian is one of four small breeds to make the list, which makes sense as small dogs are easier to pick up and whisk away, as well as being popular among buyers. Pedigree Pomeranian dogs with Kennel Club papers reliably change hands for over £1,000, and so there is a significant market for dogs with unknown or unproven provenance for a small saving on the price.


The Malteseis a small, white fluffy dog that doesn’t take up much space and so is well suited to apartment living, as well as being one of the most popular lap dog breeds in the UK. Like the Pomeranian, they are small, portable and easy to take, as well as being generally amenable to handling by strangers.

French bulldog

The French bulldog is one small breed of dog that is growing in popularity in the UK at such a rate that the supply cannot keep up with the demand. Pedigree French bulldogs with papers often command prices of £2,000 or more, and demand for the breed, plus the potentially high purchase price, makes them very desirable to thieves.


The tiny Chihuahua always ranks highly in the listings of the most commonly stolen breeds, as these little lap dogs are desirable and very portable! However, Chihuahuas are often much more feisty than their small size would indicate, meaning that Chihuahua thieves often realise that they have bitten off more than they can chew!


The mixed-breed Labradoodle is one of the most popular dog types in the UK, to the extent that this non-pedigree dog is actually recognised as a target for theft at the same rate as some popular pedigrees. Labradoodles tend to be very personable and friendly, and will often be happy to walk off with a stranger that offers them a treat.

Staffordshire bull terrier

Pure bred Staffordshire bull terriers and non-pedigree dogs of the Staffy type are one of the most popular breeds in the UK, so it is understandable that they are also one of the most commonly stolen. While Staffordshire bull terriers are very easily available to buy, and rehoming centres always have a significant number of dogs of the breed in their care awaiting rehoming, this does not mean that thieves pass by this highly desirable breed.

German shepherd

The large, noble German shepherd is a very versatile dog that is popular both as a pet and within working roles. Adult German shepherds are often speculative about strangers and won’t be willing to go with someone they don’t know, but puppies and younger dogs of the breed are often targeted.

Labrador retriever

The Labrador retriever is a highly popular pet, and reliably makes the top five list of the most commonly owned dogs in the UK. Good quality Labradors are always in demand, and the breed’s open, friendly personalities make them a target for theft. Puppies and younger dogs are again usually the most common targets.

Springer spaniel

Working Springer spaniels in particular, but also good quality pet Springers in general are commonly targeted for theft, as demand for trained working dogs is high, as well as there being a significant demand for pet dogs of the breed too.

Siberian husky

The Siberian husky is a striking, large dog breed that tends to be friendly with everyone that they meet, and that often display a marked propensity to wander off or walk off with strangers who pay them some attention! The desirability of the breed and their appealing, wolf-like looks may make them a target for theft.



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