Dogs are man's best friends. But sadly, the rise of thefts has gone through the roof since Covid.
So, in this article, we'll be looking at Self Defense Tips for Dog Walkers and how to keep your dogs safe.
Why Do People Steal Dogs?
Since Covid the price of Dogs has gone through the roof.
That's right, you can't leave your dog unattended in a public area without some scumbag trying to steal it because they are worth so much money.
The worst news is, even if you have a tracker or have them chipped the chances of getting back your dog are slim.
This is because people are desperate for dogs right now and as such the demand has outstripped the supply.
In essence, for criminals, stealing dogs has become a big and financially rewarding business. Think about it: it only takes a few minutes to steal a dog and you can sell them for thousands of pounds.
This means that those who are desperate for a dog will stop at nothing to get one.
In fact, if you don't believe me just take a look at these CCTV images of dogs being stolen
Most Common Dog Breeds Stolen
The most common types of dog being stolen are:
Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Crossbreed, Chihuahua, Cocker Spaniel, Bulldog, Yorkshire Terrier French Bulldog, Lurcher, Border Collie and lastly Jack Russell.
Effective Self-Defense Tips for Dog Owners/ Walkers
OK, so you've learned why dog thefts are in demand. Let's give you some great tips so that both yourself and your dog can be safe.
Now, I don't know where you live and as such I have no idea of the laws surrounding weapons. You need to research that for yourself.
But the great thing about walking dogs is that you can carry a lot of items that are naturally part of your dog walk that you can use to defend yourself if someone tries to steal your animal.
Most nations have an 'instant arming' law that allows you to use normal objects as weapons in self-defense situations.
But here are some tips.
Carry a Stick
This one is obvious, but still worth mentioning.
Dogs love sticks, the bigger the better. So, either bring one along 'for the dog' or because carry a walking stick.
A lot of dog owners carry walking sticks in case another dog attacks their dog
If you are going to carry a stick it would be advisable to have some sort of self-defense training so you know how to use it effectively in case all hell breaks loose.
Self defense weapons like self defense sticks and self defense pens can be of great use in case of being in danger.
Sticks have the ability of hitting, and pens are small. They aren’t too noticeable, so they can be used as the surprise punch to take down that thief trying to take your puppy away.
Carry a Self-Defense Spray
In some countries (not England) you are allowed to carry a self-defense spray. These can be things such as 'pepper spray' or C.S. gas.
The aim is simple, to spray it into the eyes if an attacker.
Having personally tested C.S. spray it is very painful when sprayed.
But a word of warning, it doesn't affect everyone. People react in different ways and some people are immune to it's effects.
Carry a Hard Dog Toy
There are many toys that you can use to play with your little (or not so little) animal, and also use in case of being attacked by a thief. Just make sure the toy is made of tough material.
Ropes, pulls and even balls on rope make great tools for swinging at the attacker.
Carry a Torch
Torches can be a good tool for self-defense.
There are torches sold as 'tactical' torches. These are tougher torches that are built for use outdoors and don't break easily.
Now, for UK audiences, carrying a torch for self-defense purposes is unlawful.
Carrying a torch because you are walking your dog later at night and it helps you to see where you're treading on or while your picking up dog poo is fine.
And if someone tries to steal your dog, well it makes sense to use what's in your hands. (You get the idea).
Grab the Dog and Pull Them Close Like a Rugby Ball
Grab it and carry it in your arms, as you leave the place. If you are already facing a direct confrontation with the thief, keeping the dog in your arms is also the right thing to do. As it will feel protected, and the thief will notice that you are not willing to let go.
Now, depending on your dog, this might be easier said than done.
But picking them up and running with them can be an effective technique.
Scream and Shout
It's important to draw as much attention to the situation as possible. The more people who know about it, the better your chances of getting help. Make sure that you can be heard by other dog walkers and residents nearby.
Carry a Personal Attack Alarm
Alarms that generate a high pitch noise are great, the dog will probably hate it and start barking as well.
Might be obvious, but it is true. If you see that there’s not much that you can do. You need to become the athlete of your dreams and run as fast as you can.
Most dogs will outrun you easily, so sprint with the lead in your hand.
But as stated before, for smaller dogs pick them up.
Use Low Kicks To The Offenders Knee
Low kicks are popularly known for damaging the bones on the legs. If you low kick the knee correctly, you’ll have enough time to go away.
But remember it isn't always about winning or hurting the attacker.
By kicking them you are putting up a fight and making it difficult.
They will hate this as it will draw attention to them and also increase the time it takes to steal the dog.
What To Do If They Manage To Get Hold of the Dog?
There is a small moment of time when you might lose your dog.
For whatever reason they have them and you don't.
But this moment is critical. Get your phone out and video them leaving. Get their vehicle registration (possibly a false one) and try and get their faces on camera.
Run to the side of the car and not the front and get a picture of the drivers and passengers.
If you run to the front they could hit you with the car, so the side is the best place to stand.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Is Stolen?
Notify the police immediately, using all the details that you know about the theft.
Contact any database or organization related to stolen dogs around your area. Believe me, if there aren’t tons, there is at least one.
And something that can be very effective in social media. Spread the word around. Let everyone know that your dog was stolen and that in case somebody sees it, you want it back.
You can also distribute flyers around your area.
We are in a moment where we have to be prepared for everything.
Dogs are part of our families, and we wouldn’t want anything to happen to them. Every time you go out to walk your pet, be ready.
The risk of theft of your dog is still very small. But this article has offered some advice and steps that can make a difference.