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It’s hard to imagine that anyone would be capable of stealing someone’s beloved dog, but sadly, ‘dognappings’ are on the rise. 

Having your dog stolen might be one of the worst fears of any dog owner. Unfortunately, in this day and age, every time you leave your dog in a parked car, playing outside in your yard, or even alone at your house, you risk having your pooch stolen. 

It only takes a minute and some inattention for your dog to get stolen in plain sight. 

According to Canine Journal, an estimated 2 million dogs are victims of dog theft each year in the USA, which is devastating. And, only about 10% of owners actually recover their dogs. [1] 

Any pet can be stolen, but some dog breeds are still more commonly targeted, and this is the list of the top 10 breeds most at risk: 

#10 Chihuahua

a tiny chihuahua standing in the grassa tiny chihuahua standing in the grass

Chihuahuas are very small and cute dogs, which, despite their size, have the personality and feisty characteristics of a much bigger dog breed. 

People adore these pocket-sized animals because Chihuahuas absolutely love their hooman, and they are the happiest when being your sidekick and following you everywhere. 

Chihuahuas are generally wary of strangers and tend to bark a lot, yet they still get stolen a lot, making our top 10 list. The major culprit for this is their miniature size and popularity, which makes them a tempting target for thieves. 

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#9 Bulldog

english bulldog puppy running in the parkenglish bulldog puppy running in the park

Bulldogs are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world due to their sweet, loyal, and sociable nature that many people simply can’t resist. 

It’s impossible not to fall in love with these dogs, which is why they are adored by many families and even single people. 

However, their popularity, relatively small size, unlikeliness to bite, and friendly nature make them the perfect catch for dognappers. 

#8 Golden Retriever

golden retriever dog in the parkgolden retriever dog in the park

The Golden Retriever is a dog breed known for being friendly, sociable, and trusting of people, which means that they often do not bark or defend themselves when approached by someone unfamiliar. These characteristics make them a very easy target for dog thieves. 

It’s hard not to love a Golden pup, which is why they are very high in demand and popular, but this also means they are high in demand among the dognapping industry. 

A purebred Golden Retriever from a reputable breeder can be resold for a very high price, especially on the black market, which is yet another reason for being at risk of dognapping. 

#7 Shiba Inu 

shiba inu dog playing in the gardenshiba inu dog playing in the garden

Shiba Inus are beautiful dogs with a distinctive personality and unique appearance, which makes them a highly sought-after breed, but they are not as common as some of the other dog breeds mentioned on the list. 

The limited availability and beautiful features make these dogs an attractive target for thieves who are looking to make a quick profit. 

These dogs can be easily resold for a premium price, especially on the black market, as people are willing to pay a significant amount of money to acquire one. 

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#6 Shih Tzu

shih tzu dog walking in the gardenshih tzu dog walking in the garden

According to the American Shih Tzu Club, this breed adores people and attention so much that they will probably naively let a thief in your house and become a friend to him.

Shih Tzus are cheerful, affectionate, and one of the kindest small dogs around. They were originally bred to spend their life inside a royal palace, making them one of the best dogs to have as a pet. 

Also, their small size makes them easy to steal and transport, which is a win-win situation for dog thieves. 

#5 Siberian Husky 

siberian husky  jumping on the fencesiberian husky  jumping on the fence

Another breed that has great market value and can sell for more than $6000 is the magnificent Siberian Husky. 

With their gorgeous looks and stunning blue eyes, it’s no wonder why these dogs are among the most stolen ones. 

Despite their size and similar looks to wolves, these dogs are very friendly and non-threatening, which makes it easy for strangers to catch and steal them. 

#4 German Shepherd

german shepherd dog sitting on the ground tied to a metal fencegerman shepherd dog sitting on the ground tied to a metal fence

For years, German Shepherds have been one of the most popular dog breeds in the entire world; however, this popularity also comes with a dark side. Because of their amazing characteristics, this dog breed is also among the most likely to be stolen breeds. 

German Shepherds are large dogs that are very protective of their family and property, which makes it hard to believe that someone would be able to steal them so easily, but research has shown that they are usually stolen as puppies

They can be easily resold for a large amount of money, and since they are a highly sought-after breed, they’re also a great opportunity for thieves.  

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#3 Labrador Retriever

labrador retriever dog standing in the parklabrador retriever dog standing in the park

For three decades, Labrador Retrievers topped the AKC’s list of the most popular dog breeds in the USA. Labs are loving, friendly, affectionate, and for many people, the perfect companion dogs. 

Besides being the perfect companion, these dogs are also highly requested as therapy, rescue, and guide dogs, which is yet another reason why they are one of the dog breeds with the highest rate of thefts. 

Labs are also very food driven and unlikely to refuse a delicious treat, so it’s easy for strangers to seduce them into leaving willingly with them. 

Thieves can easily sell these dogs for a high price, especially since they’re popular among families and people looking for a friendly and outgoing pet. 

#2 Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier in the parkyorkshire terrier in the park

Yorkshire Terriers are dainty, adorable, cheerful, and hard to resist, both for people looking for the perfect pet and for thieves looking for an easy target. 

Wherever they go, these dogs make new friends, which is why they are our #2 most stolen dog breed. People adore this breed not only for their adorable looks, but also for their wonderful personality. 

They are very smart, they can easily learn new tricks, and they don’t shed so much, making them a catch among the dog community. Being as cute as a button only increases their popularity. 

Stealing them is not so difficult since they are very small and outgoing; thus, explaining why they rank so high on the list. 

#1 French Bulldog

gray french bulldog in the arms of a woman in the parkgray french bulldog in the arms of a woman in the park

These small and compact dogs have officially taken the throne of the most popular dog breed in 2022, dethroning Labradors after three decades. 

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Their popularity, adorable wrinkled face, and loving personality make them the most stolen dog breed, according to the latest AKC reports. [2]  

Because of the trendy status, these pricey pups are the prime target among dog thieves. According to Good Morning America, there are cases of Frenchies being stolen in broad daylight from their home, which is just crazy to think about. 

In 2021, two of Lady Gaga’s French Bulldogs were stolen, too. [3]  

French Bulldogs can cost more than $5,000, with rare colors selling for much more than that, which makes it easy for thieves to resell them for a very high price. 

Keep A Close Eye On Your Pet

The president and CEO of AKC Reunite, Tom Sharp, recommends microchipping your dog, being aware, and never leaving your dog alone. Desperate times require desperate measures, and if you want to keep your dog safe, this is just what you need to do. 

Be cautious of social media because disclosing too much information can make you and your dog a very easy target for dognapping. 

If your dog gets stolen, contact the police and report the case to your local pet recovery service. Distribute lost-pet posters and spread the word around your neighborhood and community. 

Hopefully, your dog will never get stolen, but it’s always better to be aware and safe than sorry. 

References: 

[1] Jones, S. (2023). 15 States That Have Stolen Dog Laws & 10 Most Common Stolen Dog Breeds. Canine Journal. Retrieved April, 24, from https://www.caninejournal.com/stolen-dog/ 

[2] Pohlman, M. (2022, November 2). Pet Theft | AKC Reunite. Retrieved April, 24, from https://www.akcreunite.org/theft/ 

[3] Sephton, C. (2021, February 28). Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs found after being stolen by men who shot dog walker in chest. Sky News. 

By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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