Top Five Most Stolen dogs The Working Cocker Spaniel the most stolen dog in BriatinWhat are the top five most stolen dogs in Britain

This is by far the most common question that we are asked by dog owners, dog breeders and of course journalists. Understandably everyone wants to know which dog is most at risk and whether they should be taking more steps to prevent their beloved pet dog from being stolen.

As specialists in recovering stolen dogs we speak to dozens of pet owners every week and constantly monitor trends in dog theft throughout the British Isles. We also have an 8 ft pin-board in our office showing the pictures of many of the dogs that have been stolen over the last twelve months.

I’m looking at that board as I write this article and it is a worrying sight to see so many missing dogs. Dog theft has been on the increase for the last 18 months and shows no sign of decreasing. Dog thieves are becoming more organised, using increasingly devious methods to steal dogs and are well networked around the country. Often moving a stolen dog across several counties before it is sold to a breeder or over the internet.

So which breeds are most at risk of theft?


The top five most stolen dogs are;

1. The hectic but incredibly loyal working Cocker Spaniel, especially black coated bitches.

2. The always popular and energetic working Springer Spaniel especially entire males

3. The always hungry and dependable working Labrador especially black coated bitches.

4. The king of bling and street credibility the Staffordshire Terrier.

5. Split between two breeds both companion dogs. The brave and personable Chihuahua and the adorable French Bulldog.


The single biggest reason that makes one breed of dog more attractive to a thief than another is consumer demand. When a specific breed suddenly becomes popular – due to celebrity ownership or a recent movie, the registered breeders struggle to cope. In addition reputable breeders will often have waiting lists for their puppies with some people waiting almost a year. Therefore impatient buyers often turn to the internet where there are as many as 30 websites and hundreds of Facebook groups offering puppies and dogs for sale.

Dog thieves are tapping into the surge in demand for dogs over the internet and are quick to realise that there is easy money to be made through either selling stolen puppies or breeding from stolen parent dogs and selling the puppies.

We urge all dog owners to be wary when a stranger pays too much attention to their dog even more so if you own one of the above breeds. It is an extremely distressing experience to have your dog stolen so be careful, do not let your dog out of your sight when walking and never leave them in an insecure location. 


The Pet Detectives