Specific dog breeds are targeted directly by thieves because of a variety of factors. Being aware will help keep our pets safe.
#10 Labrador Retriever
Holding the title for most popular dog for 26 years, the trusty Labrador Retriever is one of the most versatile breeds. However, despite its name, the Labrador Retriever did not come from a Labrador at all! They were bred from a Newfoundland!
In the 19th century this breed was refined and used widely as a popular hunting breed, but today their jobs range anywhere from companion to search-and-rescue. Not only do their sleek coats make Labrador Retrievers capable swimmers, their lovable demeanor make them the perfect partners for cuddling!
As the most common breed of dog in the U.S., Labs are stolen mostly due to their ease of resale to an unsuspecting public. Thieves benefit from this breed’s easygoing nature and willingness to follow commands.
Like other dogs of larger size, they are commonly taken from yards or kennels. By microchipping a dog, police will have the a tool to prove a pet is stolen and not simply missing. Labs can bring upwards of $1000, making an attractive payday for unscrupulous criminals.
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#9 German Shepherd
Equipped with a bite of an estimated 238 pounds of force, keen intelligence, and fast training abilities. It is no wonder these magnificent breeds are used almost exclusively by police and military forces. In fact, their retentive memory made them the first breed to be trained as guides for the blind in 1929. While being extremely loyal and patient, this breed’s love and devotion for their owners remains unmatched.
Valued for their role as attack dogs, the German Shepherd can find its way into the wrong hands due to their trusting and loyal nature. However, their exploitation does not stop there; many have been known to end up being used as bait dogs in fighting rings, along with Rottweilers and Dobermans. Once caught, the dog can be resold quickly since they are the second most popular in the U.S.
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#8 Pit Bull
Used on farms for hunting and protection, these loyal creatures were considered to be so trustworthy that they frequently enlisted as nursemaids for children. As for their “locking jaws”, they do not have any. A 2009 study even showed their bite force to be less than that of a German Shepherd or Rottweiler. Viewed as a dangerous breed, these lovable creatures are more likely to roll over and demand some good ole rubs than cause harm.
Like German Shepherds, Pit Bulls are not immune to being stolen and traded in dog fighting circles in a repulsive cycle of malicious crime. Younger pits are more susceptible to the unwanted separation, though some adults are taken from time to time. In some cases, the dog is used solely to breed and discarded when they can no longer produce.
As one of the most misunderstood breeds, Pit Bulls are unfairly burdened with the stereotypes of aggression and anger. In fact, one of the most misunderstood ideas is that the Pit Bull is not a dog breed at all but is a general term that encapsulates many different breeds of canines.
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Originally bred to be guide dogs for the blind, the Labradoodle and all its cuteness was introduced in 1988. Their loving and respectful personality not only make them ideal therapy dogs for those with autism, physical disabilities, and depression, but their unique, hypoallergenic coat was designed to reduce shedding and dander for those with allergies. They come in a range of colors and sizes, but never cease to be the most perfect teddy bear for cuddling.
While purebreds are the most frequently stolen, some desirable mixes such as the Labradoodle, become highly specific targets.
Considered a designer breed, this one is highly valuable, often fetching upwards of $1000, and are easily sold to either unsuspecting individuals or those willing to turn a blind eye. Little can be done to return these animals if not microchipped and registered early on.
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Deemed as the world’s smallest breed, Chihuahuas have an average weight of just 2 to 6 pounds and a height of 6 to 10 inches. However, don’t let this fool you. This breed can be just as feisty as they can be sweet and can easily scare away predators larger than themselves when it comes to protecting their family.
Named after the city Chihuahua in Mexico, it is said that these creatures, when in the wild, were known to climb trees with the grace of a squirrel. Oddly enough, they are also natural retrievers and are happy to return any stick, ball, or toy that is thrown!
The highly portable Chihuahua is, not surprisingly, often snatched from large purses or bags while accompanying their owners on public outings. While averaging under $400, the dog is a reasonable take for the opportunistic criminal. Recovery is nearly impossible, though steps can be taken to sniff out these missing pets by following online sales or local signage since most thieves of lower cost boutique dogs turn to public, rather than underground dealing.
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#5 French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are not French at all! Ironically enough, these lovable pets originated in England! Used as pocket-sized companions, this breed is known to thrive on human contact and is always up for snuggle sesh!
While the French Bulldog looks tough on the outside, these creatures are, by far, one of the most affectionate and playful breeds out there and make for wonderful family dogs. Due to the fact that they rarely bark without reason, they also make excellent watchdogs!
As one of the most common breeds in the U.S., this small dog is especially susceptible to theft due to its size, popularity, and resale value. They are also extremely playful and friendly, traits that increase the odds of their falling into the hands of a seemingly innocuous stranger.
Since many owners of this breed tend to be social with their pet, it is imperative to pay close attention to their whereabouts and keep them leased, when possible. It only takes seconds for these smaller pups to be whisked away unnoticed.
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#4 Boston Terrier
As the first official breed created in the United States, the Boston Terrier is the pride and joy of Americans! They’re even nicknamed the “American Gentleman” due to their unique tuxedo markings. Having originated from Massachusetts, the term ‘Boston’ comes as no coincidence either! In fact, the Boston Terrier has held its title as the state’s official breed since 1979! With a great capability to retain information and an eager-to-please attitude, this breed has become one of the most popular breeds nationwide!
Like its French Bulldog relative, the Boston Terrier has a playful nature and high resale value that makes it attractive to thieves. While their abduction is considered grand theft in most states and prosecuted as a felony, the deterrent effect is lessened due to the difficulty of apprehending thieves. As with most pets, the best loss avoidance is achieved through strong supervision, microchipping, and registration.
As one of the oldest-known breeds, the Maltese is said to be 2800 years old. Over the course of time, these adorable pups have happily sat on the laps of significant historical figures of the Classical Era. Kings and Queens would cherish this breed, feeding them out of gold dishes and glorifying them in paintings and tombs. Fearless, trusting, and devoted, this breed has proven itself a wonderful life companion for every type household.
As the least common breeds on our list of most stolen, the Maltese shares many of the same qualities in its small size, desirability, and high value, often selling for around $2500. They are treasured as clean and gentle companion dogs with long lifespans of up to 16 years. Stories of these pups being abducted from yards and pet stores litter the internet, so owners must rely on common sense awareness to help ensure they do not fall into the wrong hands.
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The Pomeranian has been a prevalent and resilient breed around the world for centuries. Their small, adorable faces and beautiful coats have inspired classical artists and have even witnessed the Sistine Chapel being painted (Michelangelo had his sit in)! However, before being bred into the smaller breed they are today, these mighty canines weighed as much as 20 to 30 pounds and were used to pull sleds and herd reindeer.
Today, these lap dogs have an incredible sense of hearing, which make them perfect auditory aids, as well as a love for human interaction, which make them the perfect family pets.
One of the smallest breeds on our list, the Pomeranian is highly treasured for its small size, portability, and desire to please. Unfortunately, their compact stature makes it easy for thieves to abduct this pricey breed, which often sells for over $1000. It was reported that Paris Hilton shelled out $13,000 for just one of these! Careful oversight of breeding limits the number of these pups available, and results in their higher price; however, we recommend only visiting reputable, certified breeders to ensure the pet’s origins.
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#1 Yorkshire Terrier
With being so small and innocent-looking, it may come as a surprise that the Yorkshire Terrier was originally bred to be an exterminator in the 17th century. Used to hunt rats and badgers, this breed is equipped with a superb sense of hearing and smell.
Recognized for its unique colors and big personality, this breed become nothing less of royalty in the Victorian era and often had lavished hairstyles and robes. Known for its surprising boldness and owner allegiance, the Yorkie has proven to remain a top choice of breed today.
As the sixth most popular breed in the U.S., Yorkies are prized for their small size, energetic personality, and portability. While cost varies by size and gender, these pups will run you anywhere from $1000-3000 from a reputable breeder.
Owners of Yorkies are extremely dedicated and attached, and their abduction can be difficult to recover from. However, with careful supervision, microchipping, and registration, chances of loss can be markedly reduced.
While your pet may be safe at home, there are many still searching for their perfect fit.
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