A distinctive dog may have been stolen by criminals running dog fights.

Tookie, who has a birthmark on his chest, was last seen in his owner's garden at 1am on Thursday February 1.

His owner’s home in Hadley Wood backs onto the golf course, and his wire fence was cut.

He said: “Tookie started barking at around half-past-twelve one o’clock in the garden on the night.

“Sometimes he barks because there are foxes, so I went out to call him back.

“Initially, we thought maybe he’s run off somewhere.

“Next morning, I contacted the police and explained that our dog was missing and the wire fencing had been cut.

“The police have informed us that criminal gangs are taking dogs in the area for dog fighting.

“Tookie is very friendly but quite a big dog and it seems that someone has taken him for that purpose.”

The three-year-old dog is a rare African Boerboel with distinctive golden-beige colouring.

Details of Tookie have been posted on the Dog Lost website.

Appeals have also been made on Facebook and other social media forums.

Tookie’s owner continued: “Please, if anyone sees Tookie call us.

“People who steal dogs take a particular type of dog for what I think they call baiting.

“They have a menacing looking dog that is actually quite domesticated and then they have their own fighting dog.

“The police haven’t come done to take a statement but they have spoken over the phone."

To view details of Tookie visit www.doglost.co.uk.