The UK’s most stolen dog breeds

An average of 8 dogs are stolen every day leaving families heartbroken. We review the breeds most at risk and outline new measures proposed by the Government.

UKs Most Stolen Dogs - A-Plan Insurance

Direct Line has reported that the number of dognapping’s last year reached a seven year high, with 2,760 of our furry family members stolen by thieves. The increase in statistics is likely a fallout of the pandemic, when many adopted or purchased a dog for company, and more opportunities opened up to thieves. Additionally, the prices of the dogs have increased, making their theft more profitable now, than prior to the pandemic.

Last September, as part of the new Action Plan for Animal Welfare, the Government announced that pet abduction is to be made a new criminal offence, with harsher penalties for perpetrators.  Currently, the law views pet theft as a ‘loss of property’. The new law will “recognise the welfare of animals and that pets are valued as more than property.”

A-Plan are a team of pet lovers, and you may have noticed our K9 Hydration Stations outside our branches over the summer! Our pets are part of our family.

Because we are concerned about our fluffy friends this winter, we wanted to remind you of the risks, highlight which breeds and regions are the most at risk for theft, and offer some reminders on how to keep your dog safe.

Which are the most stolen dog breeds?

Pet owners know that the winter months can be a bit more challenging when it comes to watching your dog, particularly during darker evening walkies, if they bolt off!

If you own one (or more!) dogs of these breeds, you will need to be extra cautious this winter:

Which regions see the most dog theft?

  1. London – 422 thefts
  2. West Yorkshire – 199 – thefts
  3. Kent – 182 thefts
  4. Lancashire – 116 thefts
  5. South Yorkshire – 100 thefts
  6. Essex – 93 thefts
  7. Dyfed-Powys – 82 thefts
  8. Northumbria – 81 thefts
  9. Northampton – 53 thefts
  10. Derbyshire – 48 thefts

If you live in Lincolnshire or Surrey, the statistics are far lowest, at ten thefts per area. However, we still think that’s ten beloved family members too many.

Prevent your dog being stolen from home

  • Make sure your garden is secure and try to keep your dog in sight when in your garden. National Animal Welfare Trust estimates that 50% of dog thefts are from gardens!
  • Consider additional security measures such as motion-sensor security lights and CCTV cameras. There’s a range of external CCTV cameras from Ring, Nest, Hive and Amazon.
  • Consider an alarm system, it might be worth the investment.

Protect your pet when you’re out and about

  • Vary the times and routes of your walk.
  • Dogs love a good run around the park or in open fields, so it’s important to train your dog to have good recall. Alternatively, you could put them on a long-line so that you’re still in control but allowing them some (restricted) freedom
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Thieves will look for easy targets – such as people distracted by their phone.
  • Be sure to carry your phone with you and have it easily to hand.
  • Carry a personal alarm with you to draw attention to yourself if you’re targeted by a dognaper.
  • If you’re able to, walk with someone else.
  • Although responsible dog-walking children need to be encouraged, it can be more dangerous for them to walk alone, particularly during the darker winter months.
  • Naturally, dog walkers talk to other dog walkers but beware of strangers asking questions about your dog.
  • Never leave your dog unattended, for example, tie them up and leave them outside a shop. Take them home first, or walk with someone who will watch them for you.
  • Don’t leave them alone in a car.
Walkies! Top 10 winter dog walks in the UK - A-Plan Insurance

New to dog ownership?

There are some important steps you must take when you first get your puppy or dog.

  • If your dog isn’t already microchipped, get an appointment booked in with the vets – all puppies must be microchipped by 8 weeks, by law.
  • They should always wear a dog collar and ID tag – adding a telephone number is a good idea!
  • Take lots of photos of your dog(s) including any unusual markings.
  • Keep their vaccination and microchip ID details in a safe, but memorable, place.
  • Choose your dog walker, sitter, or boarding kennels carefully.

If your dog or puppy is stolen:

  • Call 999 immediately!
  • Report the theft to the microchip database company.
  • Contact your insurer to advise them of the theft.
  • Make the dog ‘too hot to handle’! Share photos and a clear description of your dog across Facebook, including community groups and put up posters in your local area.
  • Advertise your dog as stolen on pet selling websites – particularly where prospective owners are looking for dogs to buy or adopt.
  • List your dog as stolen on missing animal websites.
  • Contact animal shelters and local vets to advise them of the theft, in case the dog is taken in by them.

Did you know that A-Plan can help with pet insurance? We are currently offering a 20% discount off petGuard pet insurance for A-Plan clients. Find out more and obtain a quote here.

Sources: Direct Line, National Animal Welfare Trust,