To find out if some dog breeds may be more prone to getting lost than others, Business Insider asked Whistle — a company that makes a GPS and activity-tracking dog collar — for help, and it looked at data gathered from the roughly 150,000 Americans who've used its products (like all data, this set has limitations — see our notes at the end).
Their lost-dog data comes from the Whistle app's option to start a "tracking event" — a feature that's purpose-built to help locate lost dogs with real-time GPS signal.
Here are the 10 dog breeds most likely to run away from their owners in the US, ranked by median tracking events per month. When the median was identical, we used the mean as a secondary ranking method.
Note: Dogs under 10 pounds are not well represented on Whistle (the GPS collar is usually too big for them) — and little dogs fit through holes in fences much more easily. Users can also ignore an in-app warning to track their dogs and use the feature recreationally, e.g. to log the distance of a hike through the woods. (However, Whistle told Business Insider that it filtered out most of these events out by finding those where an owner and dog are in roughly the same location.) Self-selection may inflate results, too, since many people who buy Whistle collars do so to keep tabs of problematic dogs. And correlation isn't necessarily causation: Owners who are more likely to create situations in which their dogs run away may gravitate toward these breeds.
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