Your furry best friend is there for you at all times. They provide you with comfort, entertainment and can even help ensure your safety. Your dog also plays an important role, even when you aren’t around, as a burglar deterrent. You may wonder, how effective your pup is at serving as a guard dog for our home.
Here are some watchdog studies, dog training tips and other home security techniques that will help reduce your risk of a break-in:
According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Burglary of Single-Family Houses report, a dog is the closest substitute for human occupancy, causing the majority of burglars to avoid dog-protected houses. The report mentions that small dogs, who are more prone to bark at potential threats, will attract attention of neighbors and scare the burglar. Larger dogs are useful, as they may pose a more physical threat. Most burglars are novice and can be easily spooked, so a guard dog is a useful tool for theft deterrence.
A burglar survey study by the University of North Carolina’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology explored why burglars make certain decisions when they target or break into a home. The study found that the presence of a guard dog is more of a deterrent than high-volume foot traffic, visible security signs, proximity to neighbors, office nearby or a car in the driveway. A dog inside of the house is almost equally as effective as people inside of the house, and only falls behind security alarms and surveillance cameras.
Your guard dog doesn’t have to be a breed that displays threatening behavior, as a burglar most likely won’t know what kind of dog is on the other side of the door. Choose a dog that is friendly, though will excite whenever someone arrives at your house. It is best that you don’t try and stifle your dog’s barking habits. The more they bark at any potential visitor or intruder, the better. Make sure your dog is aware of all activity outside of the house, not just by the front door.
You can test your pup in this area. Leave your house and after a few minutes and start making noise around the exterior of the house. See if your dog can pick up on the discrete noises you make. If they don’t react as much as they should during your test of their guard dog skills, consult a professional trainer on how you can enhance their attentiveness and reaction.
Burglars will usually watch their target houses for days, or even weeks, before their intended hit. Make sure they can see that you have a dog in your home, so they are immediately deterred and won’t pursue you as a target. Have a dog house in the yard or dog feeding bowls near the backdoor. These are clear indicators that a guard dog lives in your house. Leashes, dog toys and any other kind of doggie-gear are additional items that the burglar will notice. You can also purchase and post a “Beware of Dog” sign.
A guard dog dramatically reduces the likelihood of a break-in, however there are some additional security measures you should take. The presence of security cameras on the exterior of your house will be a clear sign that burglars won’t go unnoticed. Choose security cameras that you can access and monitor from your computer or smartphone, so you can have a constant eye on your house. A solid alarm system will also help protect your home from burglars. Choose a system that will notify you whenever anyone breaches your outdoor property line and will sound off whenever the entrance points of your house are breached.