Most stolen dog breeds in the UK revealed: From American Bulldog to Cocker Spaniel

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American Bulldogs have been found to be the most stolen breed in the UK in 2022, according to a study.

American Bulldogs have been found to be the most stolen dog breed in the UK in 2022, as the theft of dogs is becoming an increasing concern with more people reporting the loss of their furry companions.

According to the latest research by Direct Line Pet Insurance, based on Freedom of Information Act requests to 45 police forces across the UK, an estimated 2,160 dogs were reported stolen last year, the equivalent of six dogs each day.

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Out of the total figure, 90 American Bulldogs were stolen in the UK in 2022, up from 20 in 2021, making them the most commonly stolen breed. And of the total figures, just one in four were reunited with their owners.

The research also revealed Staffordshire Bull Terriers and French Bulldogs being popular targets for dognappers, with the former seeing a 610% year on year increase. French Bulldogs saw thefts rise by 31% compared to the prior year.

Meanwhile, London is found to be the dog theft capital, with the Metropolitan Police reporting 396 dogs stolen in 2022, followed by Kent Police (177) and West Yorkshire (130), with South Wales Police and Avon and Somerset Constabulary coming out on top when it comes to reuniting owners with their pups.

However, the research said the number of dogs stolen overall in 2022 has decreased by 22% compared to 2,760 dogs in 2021, suggesting that changes to post-pandemic working patterns and a tightening of average household incomes may have reduced overall demand for dogs.

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Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today magazine, patron of Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance, and founder of the Bark Angel said: “Although reported dog theft numbers may be going down to pre-pandemic levels, the reality is that a significant number of cases still go unreported.

“Coupled with the rise in people using dog walkers, multiple dogs could be stolen at one time. Only one crime reference number is assigned when this happens, so we believe the scale of the problem is likely to be much bigger.”

  1. American Bulldog - 90
  2. Staffordshire Bull Terrier - 71
  3. French Bulldog - 59
  4. Jack Russell - 45
  5. Chihuahua - 40
  6. English Bulldog - 25
  7. Cocker Spaniel - 24
  8. German Shepherd - 23
  9. Yorkshire Terrier - 14
  10. Husky - 13
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