I was at a new Home Dog Training client in Flowery Branch last week working with him and his six month old Portuguese Water Dog named Magellan. Magellan was a great puppy and full of life. He was also very big. Although a recipe for a lot of fun, a big, crazy puppy can also be a “handful”. From the moment I walked in the front door, it was obvious that Magellan was out of control and needed guidance. I spent a good bit of time teaching my client what he needed to know and do in order to get Magellan under control and understanding that he needed to obey my client’s rules.
The great news is that my client was able to quickly get Magellan under control. By the end of the session we had transformed Magellan from a crazy dog into a happy, well-mannered member of the family. My client was quite thankful and excited to put what he had learned that day into daily practice with Magellan.
As I was finishing up, my client mentioned that he was concerned about a news story he had seen on the six-o’clock news the prior evening. It seems that there has been a rash of dogs being stolen in and around Atlanta over the last several months. Magellan is a beautiful dog and he said that he had paid over $5,000 from the breeder for him. He said that he loved Magellan and, even though he had paid a lot of money for him, he was more concerned for his safety.
I told my client that over the years I have heard of many horrific stories of dogs being stolen and never found again. They weren’t stories on the news, they were from conversations with my prior clients or veterinarians. It really is a horrible thing and something that I worry about every day with our dogs.
In the last few years there has been a big increase of people stealing dogs. Some statistics show that dog theft has recently risen by as much as 32%.
First of all, lets think why people would steal dogs. Some reasons could be:
- They simply don’t want to pay for a dog.
- They want to make some money so they are looking for dogs they can sell. Many dogs often sell for anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 on the open market.
- They steal the dog so that they can wait to pretend they actually found it and will get the reward the owner may have posted.
- Really bad people steal dogs to use with their dog fighting companies. The dogs are often used as “bait dogs”. This is probably the most disturbing and distressing of all the reasons your dog is stolen.
Having a dog stolen is a terrible thing to go through for the owner and the dog. A once well behaved dog, if found, can become a fearful/aggressive animal. They often become belligerent around people or other animals. We frequently hear stories of them simply attacking with no warning or sit, shaking with fear, in the corner of the room. Your once, happy companion, has returned to you with a level of anxiety and fear that might never be reversed.
What can you do to try and make sure this will not happen?
- Have your dog micro chipped and always have him wear his collar with up to date dog tags. You also might think about a GPS locator on their collar.
- Do not leave your dog alone in public.
- Try to always watch your dog when he is outside in the yard.
- Watch out for strangers who seem to “like your dog just a little too much”. If they are asking too many questions regarding your dog’s breed, age, lineage, health, temperament; they might “be shopping”.
- Get references and thoroughly check out the background of anyone you may leave your dog with.
If your dog has been stolen/missing:
- Immediately contact the police or the appropriate local animal control authorities.
- Create flyers with your dog’s picture and get them all over the neighborhood. Put them in vet hospitals, grooming stores, pet stores, supermarkets, etc.
- Get in touch with the local radio and TV stations to see if they have places on their web sites for “lost and found pets”.
- Contact and regularly visit the local dog shelters to see if your dog has been surrendered.
- Go to the Internet Databases such as www.FidoFinder.com to register your dog and to see if anyone has listed him as found. If you have a local neighborhood Facebook Group, post your dog’s information so that your neighbors can “be on the lookout” for your dog.
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 if you need any dog training help. We are blessed to have been your local dog training professionals for over sixteen years. We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.