Chihuahuas are being dog-napped: Protect yourself against dog theft

Cases in dog theft are on the rise and chihuahuas are on thieves shopping list.

Is your chihuahua on someone else’s shopping list? Recently I cut our morning walk short when a bloke on a bike rode past me and slowed down to look at the dogs. I was probably being stupid, he could have been a fan of chihuahua dogs, but the street was deserted and I felt vulnerable so we turned around and went home.

That put the thought in my head what would I do if someone tackled me for the dogs. The idea makes me go cold. I can’t imagine how anyone feels if this happens to them.

Dog theft (and ransom) or dog-napping has seen a significant rise over the last few years, dogs are stolen from gardens & cars and dog walkers are having to be extra vigilant when they take their valuable charges out for a walk.

According to the BBC dog theft has seen 22% rise in the last two years.

The most stolen dogs in Britain are Staffordshire bull terriers, labradors, spaniels, German shepherds and chihuahuas. But as dog fashions change so will the thieves targets. Cockapoos are now very popular and one of my dog training clients had her little pug stolen last year.

Dog theft is one of Britain’s growing crimes. In some cases, thieves are hanging around regular dog walking sites, wait until the owner is distracted, tempt the dog with a piece of meat, bundle it into a van and before you notice they are gone. In other cases, dogs are snatched from houses and gardens. Sometimes thieves may follow a dog walker home then ‘tag’ the house and steal the pet later. This is just one of the reasons why home security in general is so important.

There are precautions you can take to make you less of a target

The days of being able to leave your pooch tied up while you nip into a shop have long gone.
  • Micro-chipping. It is now a legal requirement to have your dog micro-chipped. If you are buying a chihuahua puppy the breeder should have already done this. Getting one of those service animal vests, for your chihuahua, can also be considered if you wish to keep them in control while taking them for a walk.
  • Make sure your house is secure and gates are locked. CCTV may act as a deterrent, and you can check out some options from Night Owl over at, if this is something you are considering getting for your home.
  • Never leave your dog tied up outside a shop or leave them unattended in your car.
  • Be careful what you say about your dogs on social media, especially if you have a new litter of valuable chihuahua puppies.
  • Be mindful of where you are walking, keep a look out for parked vans with the driver sitting behind the wheel. Maybe walk with a friend or neighbour and vary your route.
  • Join a local dog owners group on Facebook. Other owners will share good places to walk and often post any suspicious activity they see. It is also super useful if your dog goes missing for any reason. People are happy to help.
  • If your dog gets stolen report it to and report it to the police. Make sure you get a crime number.

Chihuahua breeders also need to be careful

Recently I met Janet Bradshaw who has been a breeder and trainer of Chihuahua dogs for many years. I rang her after I saw a poster in the window of our local ‘Natural Instinct’ shop. She told me;

“At the end of January 2016 I had a litter of smooth coat chihuahua puppies for sale, we had one left, a female, red fawn called SOX. She was micro-chipped and insured and ready to go to her ‘forever home.’ Normally I would check out the owner’s home prior to them taking the puppy home, but on this one occasion, I didn’t.

When they turned up they seemed perfectly nice people, they answered all my questions and told me they wanted the dog for their 8-year-old daughter who was chihuahua mad. They paid cash for the dog and gave me their address so I could register Sox to her new family. I thought nothing was amiss until both the insurance company and the Pet Log came back to me and said the address did not exist. Assuming a genuine error, I phoned the number that they called me on. The line rang out a few times and then it was dead.

It all seemed so strange they had paid cash for the puppy after all. Or had they? We checked the cash and yes, the notes were forgeries. We called the police and they took the money away to test it for fingerprints, but at the time of writing, there has been no progress. I have to hang onto the hope that Sox is still in a loving home and being looked after.”

Dog walkers beware

All dog owners and professional dog walkers need to be extra careful as they go about their daily business and trust your instincts if you don’t like the look of someone take evasive action. If you feel trapped and vulnerable phone the police or a friend.

This happened to me while out walking a friend’s spaniel. I noticed a chap with no dog seemed to be everywhere we were. I deliberately walked to a more populated area of the meadow, and waited for an another walker to arrive so we could walk out together. Be on your guard and look out for one-another.

The price of a pedigree pup can run into hundreds even thousands of pounds and thieves know there is little chance of them getting caught.

If your pup gets lots while you are out on a walk it is vital you know what to do so you don’t make things worse. Read ‘What to do if your dog gets lost.’


Recently in the UK there is talk about dog nappers now getting 7 years in jail. I hope this was me bringing this about as I wrote to Borris and suggested that it would be a huge vote winner. LOL But, even though I doubt he read my email, I’m glad to see them taking it seriously.

3 thoughts on “Chihuahuas are being dog-napped: Protect yourself against dog theft

  1. Cathy

    The problem is the microchip isn’t working because vets are not checking. We found a Chi running around the streets took him to the vets who did microchip check. The dog had been stolen 5 years previously from Belgium pet shop. Vet called the police who did nothing. The supposed owner went to my vets to claim the dog and it was released back to them even though the dog had been stolen. Until all the vets routinely check microchips when you visit unless of course they know you from the very start. Dog napping wont stop as people can just go to the vet and claim dog is theirs. Police are just not interested. So sad for all those whose dogs have been lost and stolen just a simple check could have them reunited

  2. Jill Dickson

    I am terrified of the possibility that someone could steal my dogs. I read recently that we shouldn’t walk on the pavements as it gives thieves a quick get away opportunity. I have a terrier who prefers pavement outings as she dislikes meeting off lead, out of control dogs. It’s become a living hell for me as I suffer with anxiety and yes I am constantly on guard on our outings. I am thrilled when we all get home safely. I will never have another dog.

  3. Louise Kirby Post author

    Hi Jill, thank you for leaving a comment. I am sorry you are suffering with anxiety in this way. Dog theft is certainly on the rise, but you can’t let these people ruin your life. Why don’t you take a walking buddy with you when you go out, or join a group who like to walk regularly. Both you and your dog need exercise, stimulation and company. If we stay indoors then the idiots have won.

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