Reports about how Lady Gaga’s two french bulldogs were stolen sent shockwaves to French Bulldog lovers across the country. Who could do such a horrible thing?
Pet theft is devastating, and no dog parent should ever go through it. But, Frenchie owners, in particular, should be extra cautious because french bulldog theft is on the rise. In the last couple of months, there have been several reports about stolen Frenchies from newsrooms all over the country.
But why are French Bulldogs being stolen?
And how can owners safeguard their furry little cuties? We looked back at our 13-year journey with Frenchies and consulted with several experts. We gained insights about how to prevent your Frenchie from being stolen and my hope these tips will keep you and your French Bulldog from being stolen.
Why French Bulldogs are being stolen
It is all about the money.
Frenchies are petite, cute, friendly, and low-maintenance. Their looks, temperament, and low maintenance make them a top breed in the popularity rankings and high demand, especially from city dwellers.
Due to the soaring demand, buying a French Bulldog is not cheap. A purebred Frenchie puppy can cost anything between $2,000 and $5,000 or more. Some Frenchies are valued at over $100,000. So it’s pretty safe to say that Frenchie thieves, like many others, do it for the money.
Many Frenchies get lost when the dog strays from home or wanders away in public places. It happens when their caregiver has their guard down. But, sometimes robbers violently snatch Frenchies from their owners.
Use Situational Awareness To Protect You and Your French Bulldog
There have been many news stories about snatch and grab criminals attacking French Bulldog owners to steal their beloved dog. Being very aware of your surroundings and keeping your guard up can help you keep you and your Frenchie protected. Having good situational awareness is a good idea no mater what and this article has some great tips to keep protected.
Here are some situational awareness concepts to keep in mind:
Be aware of your surroundings
If you keep your head about you the chances of you or your French Bulldog becoming a target can be minimized greatly. Be aware of what is happening around and who is around you. Pay attention to body language of people around you as it can tell you a lot.
Avoid electronic distractions
If your head is buried in your phone while you walk with your Frenchie you’ll be an easy target. Looking at Facebook or the directions App while you walk your dog reduces your ability to spot people who may be angling to steal your dog.
Trust your instincts
In Gavin Debecker’s excellent book “The Gift of Fear” he talks about how many victims of crimes recount how they had a bad feeling but they didn’t listen to their gut instinct and ended up in a bad situation. If you have a bad feeling about a situation, listen to your instincts and leave.
You can deter opportunistic dognappers and aid tracking and recovery just in case you lose your french bulldog. Read on and learn what you can do.
Avoid talking about How Much You Paid For Your French Bulldog
You can never really peg a dollar value to the dog. The mignon looks, companionship, and lovely personality are all that matter.
So, avoid talking about how much you spent to acquire your Frenchie. Frequent discussions about the monetary value or how his unique features could attract top-dollar are demeaning. Plus, your words could fall on the wrong ears and make your furry buddy a target for dognappers.
So, if you must say how much your Frenchie means to you, talk about the real stuff, not the dollar value.
Permanently lock the doggie door
You may want your Frenchie to have the freedom to move in and out of the house. So, a doggie door sounds like the perfect plan. But it is not always safe. Your Frenchie will be vulnerable to many dangers like pet thieves, especially if they’re often outside at night when it’s dark. If you think your yard is fenced, and it would be safe, think twice. There have been many reports of french bulldogs being stolen even from homes with gated yards. Direct supervision of your Frenchie is always advised.
This happens especially where the fence does not block the view from outside.
Don’t leave your Frenchie unattended
It is easy to carry your Frenchie wherever you go. Occasionally, you may want to shop at a “no pets allowed” store while with the dog. The thought of locking your dog in the car or tying him up will cross your mind. Don’t do it, even if it is for a few minutes. Instead, shop at a pet-friendly store. If you must access the store, ask if there’s someone who can watch over the dog as you quickly shop.
Frenchies are friendly – even to strangers. When left unattended, your Frenchie is perfect prey for opportunistic thieves. Besides, when inside a locked car, the dog can suffer a heat stroke unless he is wearing a cooling vest. Even with a cooling vest I am never a fan of leaving your dog in the car as internal temperatures inside the vehicle on a hot day and climb very, very quickly.
Keep your Frenchie on a leash
Frenchies are energetic and love a workout. A regular walk at the dog park or in the neighborhood will keep him healthy and happy. But when you go outdoors, make sure he wears a harness and a leash all the time.
Off-leash dogs are vulnerable to thieves. The dog could wander off. In a moment of inattention, he could fall into the hands of a thief. Of course, it is harder to grab and run when the dog is on a leash.
Check who’s in contact with your Frenchie
Sadly most crime is committed by people we know, or who know us. The same applies to your Frenchie. People who masquerade as pet-service professionals, such as dog groomers and dog sitters, dog day care, can plan targeted Frenchie theft.
But do not be paranoid about pet services providers. They are vital, and we need them. However, if you use such services, do your due diligence. Do a background check of the service provider and make an informed decision about who comes into contact with your pup.
Spay/neuter your dog
Unless you are a certified and experienced dog breeder, take the Frenchie to the vet and have the dog spayed or neutered.
How can this prevent your Frenchie from being stolen?
When dog thieves steal, they often re-sell to illegal breeders or dog fight dealers. Spaying or neutering makes the dog less attractive for such ends. Thus it is less vulnerable.
Besides, spaying or neutering the dog has many health benefits for your dog.
Ensure you can easily track and identify your dog
The above steps will help you to deter french bulldog thieves. But we acknowledge the worst could happen. Take the following measures before your french bulldog is stolen. They will help track and identify the dog quickly:
- Consider using a collar with a clear dog tag and a GPS tracker. The GPS tracker, if unnoticed by the dog thief, could buy you and the authorities valuable time and Intel towards the safe recovery of your beloved French Bulldog. A smart theif would quickly remove the tracker if they knew what it was, but not all theives are that smart so it may add a layer of added protection for your French Bulldog. This dog GPS tracker is a solid option.
- Don’t just rely on the dog tag or the collar, have your Frenchie microchipped. A good breeder will have your dog microchipped so ask about this.
- Use social media to find your dog. Post a recent photo and circulate it among Frenchie lovers Facebook groups and to your local community Facebook pages. You never know who may see it and be able to help. To find these groups go to Facebook and in the search bar at the top of the page type in “French Bulldog Groups Near me.” Sign up to those groups and make a post sharing photos of your missing French Bulldog and asking for help locating them.
- Immediately report the loss to the authorities. Call your local police department and file a report of what happened. Do your best to convey all the details of what happened and who stole your dog.
To conclude, stay updated concerning pet theft in your neighborhood. Let your fellow Frenchie lovers know if you have noticed any suspicious activities. By being proactive, you could prevent or solve many cases of lost french bulldogs. If you have unfortunately had your Frenchie stolen or he is missing, provide as many details as possible on lost pet websites and alert your neighbors and local animal shelters. My hope is that this never happens to you and my hope is that this article and some of the tips in it will help keep you and your French Bulldog safe.