Restless retrievers are the breed of dog most likely to go walkabout, according to new research.


They emerged at the top of a list of runaway pups compiled from a survey of 2,000 dog owners in Britain.

The breed to land in the ‘runner-up’ spot was the Cocker Spaniel which was followed by the Jack Russell.

While it was the German Shepherd that was found to be the fourth most common breed to have owners worrying.

The study, commissioned by Blue Cross pet charity, reminds pet owners that they have just a year to make sure the pet is microchipped before it becomes compulsory by law on 6 April 2016.

The charity also advises microchipping can help reunite missing pets with their owners after they admitted 1,673 dogs and cats last year because owners could not be traced.

Sarah Bussell, Rehoming Supervisor at Blue Cross said: “Many dogs just want to play and explore but it was interesting to see Labradors came on top for being the most likely breed to run away.

“While they don’t mean to become lost, if they catch a smell or see something exciting in the distance it can be hard to get their attention and call them back to you.

“And if you panic, sometimes they will get scared, so the best thing to do is try and remain calm and encourage them to come back to you with a toy or tasty treat.

“It is important to teach your dog good recall from a young age and also make sure your dog has a tag and is microchipped, to help the chances of you being reunited if they become lost.

“It also means you will be fully compliant with the law with new regulations about microchipping now just a year away”.

Finishing off the top five list of dogs most likely to run away from home or while on a walk was the English Springer Spaniel.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are also culprits for sneaking off and leaving their owners searching for them.

The average dog owner has had the panic of losing man’s best friend three times already, and six in ten know other owners who have lost their pet as well.

Still surprisingly, one in five don’t have their pet dog microchipped, and half of these owners admit they probably won’t ever have it done.

While having a microchip isn’t currently compulsory, it will be in a year, so those expecting to leave their dog unchipped could be facing a hefty fine.

When asked how much they believed the fine would be, one third believed it wouldn’t be any more than £100 when they’re looking at forking out anything up to £500 in reality.

Dogs wearing a tag when in public, is already the law but only 23 per cent of owners knew this was the case and only half knew the tag must include your name.

While one in six owners are certain that vet details should be included on the tag.

A further third still felt the fine for a dog being without a tag was a small £100 when really they risk facing a fine of up to £5,000 if their dog is not wearing a correct ID tag in public.

Sarah added: “So many animals arrive at our centres as strays but they have clearly been cared for and could be much-loved and much missed pets.

“Dogs like Taters who is just over a year old and came to us from the pound. She is a lovely dog who understands basic commands so someone must have taken the time to train her.

“Her owner could be missing her if she is lost but without a microchip there is no way we can trace them. She’s currently being cared for by Blue Cross until will find her a loving new home.”


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1. Labrador Retriever

2. Cocker Spaniel

3. Jack Russell

4. German Shepherd

5. English Springer Spaniel

6. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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7. Border Collie

8. West Highland Terrier

9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

10. Yorkshire Terrier

11. Boxer

12. Border Terrier

13. Pug

14. Poodle

15. Chihuahua

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