The man and his child were walking along Florence Avenue in Rotherham with the animal on a lead at around 4pm on Monday, June 29.
An unknown man approached them and tried to snatch the lead out of the victim's hand. He managed to hold onto the lead and the offender fled the scene in the direction of Mansfield Road.
The man is described as around 35 -years-old, around 6ft tall and of large build. He was wearing a black tracksuit and a black baseball cap.
Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Henderson, South Yorkshire Police's lead in serious acquisitive crime, said: “We know there is a great deal of concern about dog theft, nationally and locally, and we want to reassure you that investigations are ongoing.
"We want to reassure you that we are actively carrying out enquiries linked to this attempted dog theft. We would encourage people to remain vigilant and report any incidents to us, as well as anyone you see acting in a suspicious manner.
"We will continue to act on this information."
Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101 quoting incident number 592 of June 28.
Dog owners are urged to take the following precautions:
- Never leave your pet tied up unattended, for example, outside shops.
- Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and ID tag when in a public place, as you are now required to do by law. Include your surname, telephone number, address and full post code and if there’s room, put ‘microchipped’ on the tag if your dog has a chip.
- Keep all documentation relating to your dog(s) in a safe place. Include clear photos of front and side profiles of your dog, and any unusual markings.
- Use a registered boarding kennel or professional dog carer with clear documentation, unless you know someone who is trustworthy that will care for your dog in your absence.
- Train your dog not to go out of your sight on walks, use an extending lead if the dog does not comply. Vary your walk times and routes and be alert – it’s tempting to be on your phone during a walk but try and keep an eye on your dog and what they’re up to!
- Beware of strangers who show interest in your dog: don’t give details about your dog, don’t allow strangers to have their photograph taken with your dog.
- Ensure your garden or yard is secure. Check it regularly for wear and tear or gaps. It should keep your dog in and trespassers out. Keep your dog in view when it goes out into the garden.