Sheffield gym owner launches free class to help people protect pets from 'low life' dog thieves

A self-defence expert has launched a free class for worried pet owners in Sheffield following a spate of dog thefts.

By Robert Cumber
Monday, 8th March 2021, 12:12 pm
Updated Monday, 8th March 2021, 12:18 pm
Craig Welsh, owner of Strassegym in Sheffield, is running a free seminar to help people protect their pets from dog thieves

Craig Welsh, who runs Strassegym on Valley Road in Meersbrook, says he wants to arm people with all the knowledge they need to protect their pets from the ‘low-life’ thieves operating in the city.

The 56-year-old, who has a black belt in jiu jitsu and other martial arts, and has previously trained members of the Yorkshire Regiment, has invited people to attend a seminar at the gym once it reopens next month.

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They can sign up now to take part in the two-hour session, which he says will focus on awareness about how to keep your dog safe but will include some self-defence moves for use as a last resort.

“I’ve got a dog myself and I’ve been sickened to hear about so many dogs getting nicked, because to some people that’s like losing a member of your family,” he said,

"People are really scared to take their dogs out because of these low-life thieves, so I wanted to do something to help.”

Police in Sheffield last week appealed for information after three puppies were stolen at gunpoint in the city, while in February a woman was dragged from her car by a man who tried to steal her dog.

No date has yet been set for the class, which will be open to people of all ages, but you can register your interest by calling Mr Welsh on 07732 744188, emailing [email protected] or visiting