Should I Get a Guard Dog For My Home?

Should I Get a Guard Dog For My Home?

Dogs have long been called man’s best friend. These pups spark joy within our lives through their loyalty, playfulness, and love. Canines have also served as a protector dating back to Ancient Greece, protecting houses and humans from harm. We’re all familiar with a “Beware of Dog” sign appearing in our neighborhoods, as a vicious dog is widely considered a deterrent to home burglars and other criminals. Is this assumption accurate? Let’s explore the concept of guard dogs and find if they truly do prevent crime from occuring in your home.

A Dog has Physical Advantages Over a Burglar

There are many reasons police forces around the country train dogs to catch criminals. First, dogs are faster on their feet than humans and can easily outrun a criminal who is escaping on foot. Another advantage dogs have is a highly attuned sense of smell, which allows them to quickly detect intruders and even track a criminal after they have left the scene of the crime. Of course, large dogs are more physically intimidating and capable than smaller dogs, but even small dogs have the advantage of a loud bark.

Guard Dogs Need to Be Trained

Like other animals used by humans for protection, dogs are easily trained through positive reinforcement. If you’re looking to use your furry friend as a guard dog, there is a training regimen that should be followed. The first lesson your dog should learn is to bark on command. With this skill, your dog will appear threatening. Many assailants will be deterred by a barking dog. If you want to take it a step further, you can train your dog to defend you. Police dogs are often trained in this way, as exhibited by a case where the criminal almost lost his arm to a defensive dog! It is crucial, however, that you also train your dog to stop aggression when ordered to do so. There are numerous examples of lawsuits brought against owners of uncontrolled dogs, so it is imperative to curb the dog’s behavior if it is misdirected or no longer needed.

A Dog’s Presence May Be Enough

According to a survey of 373 burglars, over 50% said they would be deterred by the presence of a dog inside the home. Keep in mind that’s not a guard dog, but any dog inside the home was enough to deter more than half of burglars. A dog in the home signifies to burglars that humans may be inside as well. Any dog is likely to bark when a stranger enters, which will attract unwanted attention and even the police. On average, burglarized houses are less likely to have dogs than are non-burglarized houses, suggesting that dog ownership is a substantial deterrent.

Which Breed is Best?

If you’ve read this far, you may be interested in a guard dog of your own. The obvious question then becomes, which breed should I choose? The most popular guard dog breeds include Rottweilers, Pitbulls, and German Shepherds. These so-called “Guardian” breeds all have an intimidating size and stature, and have been bred through generations to be protective and aggressive. If you’re rescuing a dog from a shelter, you’ll want to pick a larger dog, as tiny dogs will not be as effective during a break-in.

Decide If a Guard Dog is Right For You

Considering all the training and time that goes into creating an effective guard dog, you’ll have to weigh the costs and benefits. Those who live in a dangerous area or whose infrastructure won’t support a home alarm system may opt for a guard dog. Otherwise, any dog seems to be a deterrent to thieves whether it is trained or not. You may want to consider having a dog and a home security system for maximum protection and the feeling of safety that we all strive to create in our homes. 

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