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Are Dogs Improving Your Home Security? Locksmiths Weigh In

In the modern world of computerization and high technology, it can seem like the only way to protect your home against burglary is with the latest electronic gadgets. Alarms, security systems, home automation systems, “smart locks”… it goes on and on! However, you might be surprised to learn that one of the most reliable security measures is also one of the oldest: dogs. Humans have counted on their canine companions to guard their homes for thousands of years, and even the gentlest, most playful pup has that heritage within him. Guard dogs are excellent at preventing burglaries in Dayton.

Do dogs really prevent burglaries?

Many people wonder how effective dogs really are in stopping would-be criminals. After all, everyone who owns a dog has seen them sometimes go crazy barking at a squirrel across the street, and an hour later ignore the pizza guy at the door. Keep in mind though that this is just how your dog acts when you’re around and everything is ok. If he really senses something’s wrong, even the smallest dog will show his fierce side.

Studies and interviews with burglars confirm this. In a study conducted by the Sun Sentinel, convicted burglars in Florida reported that dogs were one of the few things that would deter most of them. A recent study at the University of North Carolina reported the same thing, ranking the presence of a dog as fourth highest on a list of factors that would put them off an attack.

Best dog breeds for protecting your home

A dog is a major commitment, and we don’t recommend getting one just as a replacement for an alarm system. However, if you’re already considering buying a new dog, you might keep in mind how effective a security guard it might be. There are two basic categories of dogs that are bred for security: guard dogs and watchdogs.

Guard dogs are large, powerful dogs that are bred to actively defend their home against intruders. Some of the best breeds of guard dog are:

  • Bullmastiff: A sturdy, handsome dog developed in England by crossing mastiffs and bulldogs, the American Kennel Club describes the bullmastiff as “brave, affectionate and loyal.”
  • Doberman pinscher: These guard dogs are incredibly fast and can reach intruders quickly, making them an excellent choice if you have a large property.
  • Rottweiler: Descended from Roman cattle dogs, these dogs are aloof with strangers but deeply loyal to their owners.
  • German shepherd: These classic police dogs are extremely intelligent and quick to learn new commands. They are the second most popular dog breed in the world.

Watchdogs, or alarm dogs, are less intimidating, but they are very alert to anything amiss. Their barking will alert their owners to trouble and scare burglars away. Good watchdog breeds are:

  • Terriers: The AKC recognizes thirty different breeds of terrier. They are feisty, high-energy animals, originally bred to hunt vermin. The Airedale, Jack Russell, miniature schnauzer and pit bull are prominent examples.
  • Shih Tzu: These “Lion Dogs” were bred by Tibetan monks as gifts for Chinese royalty. They have been loyal companions and watchdogs for a thousand years!
  • Dachschund: “Sausage dogs” come in two sizes, standard and miniature. They are all curious, friendly animals who will keep an active watch over your home.

Living with a guard dog

There’s little difference between having a guard dog and an ordinary pet dog, since any dog will naturally defend its family if it feels threatened. Good guard dogs are actually very calm and laidback in normal circumstances, and don’t attack impulsively. They should be patient, flexible and able to focus well. They should be socialized well, in a positive environment without fear. A guard dog should not be trained to be afraid and bark at everyone, but to sense when a threat is actually present, react to protect you and then return to normal behavior when the threat is gone.

A good guard dog in Dayton can make you feel much safer, and significantly cut your risk of suffering a break-in.

However, it is not a substitute for modern locks installed by a professional locksmith.

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