Keeping your dogs safe
Dog theft has always been a thing, but since the demand for new puppies increased considerably during Lockdown and the dreadful hike of their cost, dog theft has risen tenfold. I have to admit, I been avoiding posting about dog thefts as I didn't want to cause alarm but I thought it was best to make you aware and vigilant. You will have noticed though we've been a bit quiet on Facebook and here on the Dog Blog, whilst we decided what to do for the best. We are very lucky and have access to a private and safe enclosed field, and along with this we are staying in local areas we know well that are safe public spaces. The dogs are always within a safe distance to us and are often staying on lead right beside us.
So what has been happening?
Across the country dogs are being taken from kennels, homes, gardens and whilst out on walks. Dogs are a commodity and even gangs have swapped dealing in drugs to dealing in dogs. Dog breeding is now a multi million pound industry across the globe. Where as a dog once cost £500, it is now £3000! They are taking puppies from their new homes, older dogs to breed from and even taking them from their mothers before they are old enough.
Now, I don't want to scare you too much, as what I want to do is keep you and your dog safe, so here are a few pointers to help.
What to do
When buying your puppy, do your research. Start by researching the breed you want, and when you find a breeder ask lots of questions for example how many litters has mum had, how has mum been with pups, how is mum with people and other dogs. And always, ALWAYS, see mum. If possible see dad too, but its imperative you see mum. Don't ever take no for an answer.
From 6th April 2016, it became law that all dogs and puppies must be microchipped and registered by the age of eight weeks old. Now I know this doesn't necessarily stop a dog being stolen but it does mean a dog can be identified if found. Also if you are buying a puppy or young dog and they are not microchipped, alarm bells must ring.
This a tough one. As soon as you get your new dog or puppy the first thing you want to do is tell the world! I'm not telling you not to do this, I am just telling you be careful who you share the information with (you can make your photos accessible to friends and family only) and never ever share your home location.
When out on walks, make sure your dog is close and always in sight. Keeping them on lead by your side is obviously the best option, but we dont want to deprive our four legged friends some off lead fun. Teaching them from the start a solid recall is essential. You can start this in the home by teaching your new dog the word you will use to ask them to come back with a high value treat, then graduate to a long lead (not a retractable lead) whilst out reinforcing the word before allowing them off lead. Never let them off if you don't feel confident in your surroundings or your dogs recall.
I know it sounds like I am talking nonsense, but people still leave their dogs tied up outside shops. I see it all the time. You would be surprised who does it too, it isn't just the older more trusting generation. I think it may be those who have dogs they consider anxious being left alone so take them everywhere. But we cant take them in every shop whilst out so end up tying them up outside. Just don't take the chance, JUST DONT DO IT.
Finally, if the worse happens, report it to the police asap. Don't waste any time. You must act fast and report as much information as possible.
This is all about keeping our dogs safe and being vigilant so we can enjoy our time with them.