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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Preventing dog theft: No location tags on social media or names on collars

Experts at provide a list of the top tips to prevent dog theft and collate some helpful information about the crime.

In this two-part series, they explain how you can protect your dog on a walk and keep them safe while you are out and about.  

Keeping your dog safe while out and about:

  1. Be extra vigilant: report any suspicious activity you see;
  2. – Avoid location tags on social media: This prevents thieves from knowing your address or where you regularly attend with your dog.
  3. Be careful of strangers asking you a lot of questions: always be wary of an unknown person asking unusual or constant questions about your dog (both on and offline).
  4. GPS tracking collar: consider investing in a GPS tracking collar. This will allow you to know your dog’s location at all times.
  5. Dog walking/kennel/groomer services: Always carry out complete, extensive checks to see if they are trustworthy and reputable.
  6. Note emergency SOS shortcuts on your phone: These can help if you feel threatened or unsafe.
  7. Refuse help from strangers: Unless absolutely necessary, avoid strangers’ offers for help with your dog.
  8. Carry an alarm device: These can help scare attackers and attract attention.
  9. Tint your car windows: Dognappers have been known to steal canines from cars.
  10. An adult should always be in control: Ensure children always walk dogs in the presence of an adult as dognappers may be more likely to target those they see as less likely to resist.
  11. Find local dog-friendly stores: This will ensure your dog need not be left outside or in the car.
  12. Keep your dog building side: Walk them away from the curb.
How to protect your dog on a walk:

All dogs require regular exercise, but this is prime time for dog theft to occur. Below are the top tips to keep your dog safe on a walk:

  1. Practice recall and or use an extended lead: In case there is an emergency or threat to your dog, it is vital to ensure they’ll respond to your calls. Try using tasty treats for your dog as this will greatly assist in recall.
  2. Avoid routine: This makes it harder for dog kidnapping gangs to track you and work out when to intercept and steal your dog.
  3. Do not give out your dog’s name: Putting your dog’s name on their collar, harness, or ID may make it easier for strangers to lure them over.
  4. Stay aware of your surroundings: Keep your eyes on your dog and avoid distractions like mobile phones. Try to always have a charged phone and not wear earbuds when walking your dog.
  5. Walk with a friend: Where possible, opt for safety in numbers; a friend will provide an extra witness and backup should you encounter a dognapper.
  6. Be seen and be heard as the owner: So as to make everyone aware that the dog is yours and you have a constant eye on it, to deter any dognappers.
  7. Follow your instinct: If you suspect someone may be following you or raises your suspicions, leave the area quickly.
  8. Walk-in open spaces: If you feel uncomfortable, try to opt for open, populated spaces where you can be easily seen.

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