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How to prevent dog theft. Steps that you can take.

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It is sad to say that dog theft has become increasingly common in many countries, particularly the UK where opportunists and organised groups of criminals are seeking to ‘cash in’ on the popularity of dog ownership.

Regardless of the type of dog that you own, whether pedigree or mongrel you should take every precaution to protect your pet and make theft as difficult as possible.

Thieves are often lazy cowards and, in general, the more difficult you make things the less likely you are to become a victim of dog theft.  With some basic precautions, common sense and some cheap equipment you can reduce the risks of having your dog stolen by these despicable people. We’ll look at some simple steps that you can take and some cheap equipment that will help you.

Why is dog theft increasing?

Simple. Dogs are popular and cost money. If you look at advertisements for dogs you’ll often see prices in four figures as individuals seek to profiteer from the popularity of dogs.

Typically a stolen dog is difficult to track and, with ever increasing indifference to crime from law enforcement bodies, the chances of being detected are, for many thieves, unlikely. 

Thus, high prices and the unlikelihood of being caught, makes dog theft an easy option for criminals.

Protect your home

Your dogs spend a lot of time at home, whether in the house or in a kennel and you’ll need to make sure that security is up to scratch to deter criminals.

Take a walk around during the day and the night and look at your property, try to think like a thief, looking for any areas that may be susceptible to attack. Think about shadows and dark areas and consider installing infra red lights to illuminate areas.

Alarms and padlocks should be of the best quality that you can afford and should be well maintained.

If your dogs live in a kennel then this will need to be fortified to make it as thief proof as possible. Try to disguise it so that it does not look like a dog house.

Consider a double entry system where you have an outer and inner door before you can get to the dogs. Simply having two secure and hard to damage doors will make any effort to enter more time consuming and tricky.

Alarm both doors and make sure that the alarms are hard to attack.

Make sure that any fencing around the kennel, for the run etc, is made from tough, galvanised steel, that is difficult to cut and move, ensure that it is high enough to make it difficult to climb.

How to prevent dog theft. Steps that you can take.
How to prevent dog theft. Steps that you can take.

Your dog

Make sure that your dog is microchipped, this is law in the UK and can help your dog to be returned to you if he goes missing.

Ensure that any registrations are up to date and are in your name with the correct address and contact details.

If you are buying a dog then make sure that any paperwork is genuine and bona fide, if in doubt walk away and consider informing the police.


Leave your dog tied up outside shops

Leave him alone in the car


Keep him with you when you can

Supervise him when he is outside

how to prevent dog theft

When out walking

There have been increasing cases of dog owners being approached when out walking with their pets by people who have attempted to steal the dog.

When you are out and about with your dog:

Be aware of your surroundings

Be aware of who else is around

Vary your dog walking routes and times

Take someone with you so you are not alone

Keep your hands free

Don’t wear headphones

Keep your mobile phone in your pocket to avoid distractions

Always watch your dog

Try to avoid walking when it is dark 

Consider what you wear, light, bright clothing is more visible and safer than dark, dull coats.

Don’t dawdle along, walk with purpose and with meaning, your simple gait and movement can make you less likely to be a victim.

Be careful when you walk around a corner – stay away from the wall and go wide, this opens up the space and gives you a chance to see around the corner earlier and a chance to take evasive action if needed.

Personal Protection

This is frowned upon by some people, but, if someone approaches you in an attempt to take your dog then frankly. it is a case of gloves off.

Criminals are frequent cowards and do not expect to be confronted.

Your priority is always your safety and the safety of your dog.

If you are able:

Turn and run

Make as much noise as possible, shout for ‘Help’ and cause a real nuisance

Do not let go opf your dog’s lead, create as much space as you can between you and the thief

If you can make your dog bark, then do so

Should things turn to physical contact then the contents of your pocket can help – keys, mobile phones, pens, in fact anything solid, used against the face and eyes, are effective weapons that can create valuable seconds to enable you and your dog to escape

This legal to own spray on Amazon is something that we recommend.

Small and convenient, it creates a foam spray which, when directed into the face of a thief, disables them and is difficult to remove.

It is also a useful item as it can be used from distance, creating space between you and the attacker.

Remember, although violence cannot be condoned and you have to be reasonable with any force that you use, if a criminal attempts to take your dog, it is up to you to decide on your reaction.

Recommended Personal Safety Products for Dog Walkers

Safehaus Personal Protection Spray and Anti Dog Theft Spray
  • Manufactured right here in the UK this fully compliant attack spray will give you instant peace of mind as it can be used for personal protection for women and men of all ages and also their animals as both a criminal spray and anti dog theft device
  • The can emits a red foaming dye in a straight line over a distance of 4 meters which can disorientate offenders and give you time to escape plus it takes days to wash off so if the perpetrator is apprehended by authorities they are quickly identified
  • Each small 40ml can is pocket sized and cleverly designed to not go off accidentally but its still very easy to activate when needed when going say from A to B safely as an attack spray for women or if out dog walking as a dog theft prevention device
  • Why risk buying an untested criminal identifier spray made overseas when you dont know if its permitted for possession here or if it even works when Safehaus has done the job right here for many years by all sorts of people in every kind of scenario
  • Many anti dog theft devices such as microchips and tags sadly can be removed easily by thieves so in order to maximise dog theft protection you are advised to remain vigilant and to not be afraid to use this to prevent dog theft as and when required
Farb Gel Mini “Criminal Identifier” Self Defence Multi Function Spray (1 Unit)
  • DEFEND YOURSELF – STAY SAFE – With crime on the rise, we are constantly having to look for alternative protection for ourselves and the family.
  • HOW DOES IT WORK – Press to release and spray a red gel onto the attackers face, body , clothes, giving you vital seconds to escape and call the police. Farbgel will dye the assailants face and clothes for SEVERAL days making it easier to spot the attacker running away with all the red spray over him/her.
  • SMALL AND COMPACT – The smallest and most discrete defence spray you will find, it is perfect to carry in your pocket, handbag or car.
  • LEGAL IN THE UK – Does not contain any harmful chemicals and completely legal for possession UK
  • MORE INFOR – Contents: 40ml – Farb gel is the UK’s best selling self defence spray – Dimensions: 85 x 34mm
TIW FARB gel self defence spray with genuine Protec belt pouch.
  • Due to Royal Mail restrictions can be ordered to MAINLAND UK ONLY all other orders will be cancelled.
  • The UK legal equivalent of Mace/Pepper Spray. 100% UK Legal!
  • Small and discreet at only 85 x 34mm
  • Disorientates and stains skin and clothing for several days
  • Genuine high quality Protec belt pouch, suitable for up to 50mm wide.
Minder Self Defence Criminal Identifier Spray – UK Legal Alternative to Pepper Spray – Personal Security Safety Deterrent (1 Red Alert Spray + 1 Alarm)
  • Minder Red Alert deterrent sprays sticky red dye, foul odour and UV marker for Police detection.
  • Our latest Personal Attack Deterrent. The RED ALERT, upon activation, releases a 3 metre+ jet of a thick, sticky red dye which also includes a foul odour and an ultraviolet marker for Police detection.
  • Containing:- A red dye, which marks the attacker – A foul odour, to distract the attacker and leave an odour on their person – An ultraviolet dye, so the attacker can be identified under a UV lamp such as those used by the Police
  • The RED ALERT has a ‘twist and lock’ cap meaning it cannot be accidentally activated whilst being carried in a pocket or bag. To operate, just ensure that it is in the ‘ON’ position and simply press down on the top of the cap.
  • Specification:- Dimensions: 85mm x 35mm – Total weight: 60gm – Propellant: Non toxic, non flammable and ozone friendly, (conforming to EU Directive 3093/94)
Aboat 5 PACK 130db Personal Security Alarm Keychain with LED light, Emergency Self-Defense Security Alarm Providing Powerful Safety and Property Assurance for Women/Kids/Elderly/Girls/Explorer
  • 130 db loud safe alarm: our security alarm keychain is designed to produce a 130decibel loud sound can effectively protect you from the emergency and seek help to prevent the damage from the attacker; The emergency alarm will last 40-60 minutes; The alarm sound is very loud, please do not put by your ears
  • Easy to use: pull out the bolt, the alarm will ring great loudly; Plug in the bolt, the alarm will stop sound immediately; Good companion for people who may walks alone or live alone for protection
  • Emergency LED flashlight: when you walking in darkness, press the switch button to turn on this bright mini LED flashlight with great assistance for a quick illumination
  • Small and portable: the personal alarm is tiny and hardly be drawn attention by attackers or intruders; It can be attached to women’s bags, backpacks, school bags, belt loops, suitcases, keys, dog belts and so on; And you can take it even you are on the plane
  • Good gift choice: total 5 pieces self-defense alarms in 5 colors; each one is individually wrapped; The delicate combination can be regarded as exquisite gifts for your friends, loved ones, seniors or even children; we offer a 100% money back guarantee if you are not satisfied, without any questions asked

Final Words

Remember that your dog is your property and companion and that you should look after him carefully.

Just as you would with your car and other items, take as many precautions to make it difficult for anyone to take him.

Consider speaking to your local Crime Prevention Officer or employ the services of a specialist security firm to advise you about home and personal protection.

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    Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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