A new study has revealed the dogs most at risk of being stolen, as more than 2,000 thefts were recorded across the UK last year.

American Bulldogs, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and French Bulldogs top the list of the most stolen dog breeds last year.

More than four times as many American Bulldogs were stolen in 2022 than in 2021, while there was a 610 per cent increase in the number of Staffordshire Bull Terriers stolen.

The research, from Direct Line Pet Insurance, also revealed a 31 per cent rise in thefts of French Bulldogs.

However, overall there were fewer dog thefts in 2022 than in 2021, with a 22 per cent reduction.

These were the dog breeds most at risk of being stolen last year.

  1. American Bulldog
  2. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  3. French Bulldog
  4. Jack Russell
  5. Chihuahua
  6. English Bulldog
  7. Cocker Spaniel
  8. German Shepherd
  9. Yorkshire Terrier
  10. Husky

Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today magazine, 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.”

Madeline Pike, veterinary nurse for Direct Line Pet Insurance, added: “We remain a nation of dog lovers. As more than a third of UK households own a dog, the opportunity for thieves is high, with six dogs stolen each day in 2022.

“Whilst there has been a decrease in the number of dogs stolen, animal shelters have seen a sharp rise in the number of pets being rehomed.

“This is likely to be a sign that households are struggling with the cost of living or that they can no longer give their pet the attention they need due to a change in their working patterns.

“Taking precautions such as not leaving your dog tied up outside a shop, in an empty vehicle or keeping it on the lead when in busy areas, will help reduce the likelihood of being targeted by thieves.

“It’s also vital to make sure your dog is microchipped and that your contact details are up to date. This can help identify your dog if it does go missing and is found.”