Warnings have been raised about a rise in dognapping after lockdown caused a surge in puppy prices.
Dog owners are being urged to keep a close eye on their pets after thefts soared by 65% this year, according to the charity DogLost.
The lockdown earlier this year led to a huge demand for dogs from Brits spending more time at home.
Figures show the cost of a dachshund nearly doubled in price to £1,800 from March to June, while English Bulldogs rose 30% to more than £2,000.
French Bulldogs and Pugs have also shot up in price.
Experts say puppies are at particular risk of being stolen as many are unlikely to have been neutered, the i newspaper reported.
It means they could be used to breed litters in time for Christmas when demand is high, creating a "lucrative market" for smugglers, the charity Dogs Trust warned.
Dozens of dogs have reportedly gone missing from homes and kennels in the past fortnight alone, with a Rottweiler snatched from a house in Gloucestershire.
In Gwent, Wales four eight-week-old puppies were stolen from a farm last week.
Police are urging dog owners to be vigilant and say thieves may be using cable ties or chalk markings to mark out homes with pets at risk.
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Alice Carroll told the newspaper a dog snatcher tried to grab her miniature five-month poodle Rudie with a plastic sack in east London last Saturday.
But her pet was pulled away in time by her boyfriend Ross.
She said: "I think he had intent – he was trying to get a dog that day.
“He actually said he was looking for dogs like mine.
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"My dog is a toy poodle, and it's quite a popular dog at the moment – during lockdown the prices have shot up.
"Now I'm a bit concerned about going out by myself with him."
Paula Boyden of the Dogs Trust said: "It's shocking to see how prices for some of the most popular smuggled breeds have increased during the coronavirus lockdown.
"With puppies selling for such high prices, it's creating a lucrative market for cruel smugglers.”
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