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Dog safety tips to keep your dog from being stolen.

We were at a Home Show with our Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing booth in West Palm Beach last month when one of the attendees approached us and said “Dog out of sight containment fences may be great for many things, but it wouldn’t do a thing if someone wanted to steal your pet.  Three dogs have been stolen in my community over the last year”.  We agreed with him that an invisible, underground pet containment fence would not stop someone from walking up and taking their dog.  Being dog trainers, we wanted to offer our experience regarding keeping your dog safe from those “dog crooks”.

 

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In recent years there has been an increased level of dogs being stolen from their home and yard.  Studies have indicated that dog theft has recently increased by as much as 32%

People steal pets for many reasons:

  • People can be driving around, see a dog they like in the front yard of a house and simply take it.  They just don’t want to pay for a breeder or pet store and don’t want to go through the hassle of looking at the humane society.
  • Some people are looking to make a quick profit.  If they see a dog that could easily be sold for $3,000 or $4,000, they would take it to make a quick buck.
  • People understand that we will always pay a Good Samaritan to find our dog and return him.  They take the dog and wait for the “Reward for Lost Dog” posters to appear around the neighborhood.  They will then return the dog for the reward.
  • If there is a large amount of illegal fighting dog groups in your area, bait dogs are always needed.  These are dogs that are put in the pit for the fighting dogs to kill.  This helps build the fighting dogs’ aggression and prey drive while not putting the fighting dogs at risk.  The family dog that has been stolen is always killed.  Family Pit Bulls are always at high risk of being stolen because of this.

Having a dog stolen is horrible for both the dog and the owner.  Your once calm and happy dog can become aggressive around people and other animals.  They also might become fearful and spend the day cowering in the corner of the room.  We have seen that some great dogs will never return to their “happy state” after being stolen or lost.

Enough with the doom and gloom, let’s see what we can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to our dog and family.

  • (This is a biggie for me!)  Use technology to protect your dog.  Microchip him so that if he is lost and taken to a shelter or vet, they can swipe him and get him back to you as soon as possible.  Also, get a GPS locator for his collar.  As soon as he leaves your home, you will be notified on your computer, tablet, or cell phone that he isn’t where you think he should be.  You can track him and immediately find him.
  • Do not leave your dog in a public place by himself.  I hate it when I go to the Supermarket and people have tied their dogs outside.
  • Do not leave your dog unattended in the front of back yard.
  • Watch out for strangers in your neighborhood or on your walks who take too much interest in your dog.  If they begin to ask questions about his breed, temperament, health, age, etc., that should be a red flag.  Try to take a covert picture of that person on your cell phone and report him to your neighborhood watch or the local police.
  • Check the background of your dog walker.  Are they bonded?  What are their references?  Does your Veterinarian know anything about them?
  • Make sure you have recent pictures of your dog.  There are not ones of him at the dog park running with the kids.  They are “mug shots” you can use if he is missing.

In the horrible situation if your dog is stolen or missing:

  • Contact the police or the appropriate local animal control authorities immediately.  If they pick him up, you want to make sure they don’t think he is just another stray.
  • Place flyers of your dog with a description and contact information all over your neighborhood.  Put them in markets, pet stores, grooming shops, vet hospitals, rescue groups, etc.  Do this up to five miles from your home.  It is amazing how far a dog might wander.  Do this for as many vets as possible.  Many times the “crook” will bring your dog in to a vet for a quick check-up before they sell him.
  • Contact the local radio and TV stations to see if they have places on their web sites to post your dog’s information.
  • Call the local shelters and rescue groups on a regular basis to see if someone has brought your dog into their facility.
  • There are databases such as www.FidoFinder.com to register your dog and to see if anyone has listed him as found.  Be sure to do this as soon as possible.

Having anything stolen from us, especially our family dog, is a terrible experience. Getting them back is very difficult and many times, impossible.  The best thing you can do is to follow the suggestions we have given above.  Keeping your dog safe and secure provides for their well being and is just the smart thing to do.  If you have further questions regarding this, dog training, or out of sight dog fence training, please contact us at The Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers in West Palm Beach Florida.