Mischievous dogs `steal 33 million pounds from owners a year`

Updated: Apr 03, 2011, 15:38 PM IST

London: It seems that some dogs do have a taste for the finer things in life, for a new study has found that they steal a staggering 33 million pounds worth of their owners` possessions, including cash and jewellery, each year.

Almost three-quarters of items taken by the man`s best friend are underwear while one in 10 dogs prefer stealing cash and jewellery; slippers, TV remote controls and toys are also on the list, the study in Britain has found.

And as pupils up and down the country can confirm, even homework is included in the canine crimewave. The study by dog food company Bakers Complete showed
that pugs are the most likely to steal, followed by cocker spaniels, labradors and shih tzus, the `Daily Mail` reported.

Animal behaviourist Peter Neville said: "More often than not, dogs do this to encourage family members to play with them."

Neville said that thefts do not come naturally to dogs and stealing their owners` possessions might simply be a means of convenient entertainment.

"If an unusual or high value object does vanish and you suspect your dog is the culprit, check the obvious hiding places first, as highlighted in our research -- the basket, the garden and under the sofa," he added.

The Bakers Complete study also revealed that dogs in Scotland and Wales are the most likely to be light-pawed with their owners` belongings, while Northern Irish canines are the least likely to steal.

The research also found that 19 per cent of owners are embarrassed by their mischievous mutt`s behaviour.