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How a Dog Improves Home Security


Improving home security is relatively easy. Increasing your security outside the home imposes different challenges.

Experts were asked about home security. Jack MacLean (Secrets of a Superthief) reports the results of a survey of over 300 prison inmates who’d been convicted of burglary or other residential crimes. Three of the questions were about dogs and home security:

Would dogs scare you away?

  • 65% said that dogs of good size and unfriendly persuasion would scare them away
  • 35% said no dog would scare them away.
  • Based on reassessment of responses, MacLean concludes that over 95% would indeed be scared away

What would scare you away from a residence more than anything?

  • 59% people in the house
  • 32% almost any dog
  • 9% replies from night-time only burglars, who’d be deterred by spot or flood lights lighting up a yard

In another study, the following question was asked of 589 convicted property offenders: How effective is each of the following likely to be in preventing burglary, breaking and entering and grand theft?

0 – not effective 1 – somewhat effective 2 – very effective

  • Monitored burglar alarms 1.51++
  • Electronic sensors in windows 1.35
  • Closed circuit TV cameras in stores 1.31
  • Private security patrols 1.14
  • Dog in House 1.11
  • Weapons in home 1.10
  • Guardhouses protecting homes 1.07
  • Random police foot patrols 1.05
  • Better exterior lighting 1.02
  • “Neighborhood Watch” programs 0.98
  • Safes/strong boxes 0.83
  • Local burglar alarms 0.83
  • Deadbolt lock 0.79
  • Timed interior lights 0.78[9]

And a police officer wrote:
…you are concerned for your family’s safety, and you want a nice pet, too. Fortunately…, you can have the best of both worlds. I speak as a dog enthusiast, and as a police officer who specializes in Crime Prevention. …Professional criminals dislike: 1. time 2. noise 3. light.

  • TIME: Most thieves like to be into a house in less than 15 seconds; if a criminal needs more than that he probably won’t break into your house. This tells us that good quality, re-enforced doors [and windows] with heavy duty locks are an answer.
  • LIGHT: if you keep the area around your house lighted (sensor lights are good and inexpensive, too) this will help greatly.
  • NOISE: … [a small, alert dog], while not intimidating to most people, is a problem to a burglar – he does not want to hear that barking! So, you can improve your home security without adding a… [larger] dog…. BUT, like a lot of things, sometimes more is better, and in this case, having more physical security, more light or more noise is going to be in your favor…. Also, having a big dog on the property lets the pros know when they are looking for an easy mark that perhaps your house is not an easy mark.

Another expert on personal security, author of In The Truth about Self-Defense, nationally-recognized expert on security makes these useful distinctions:

PROTECTION DOGS are animals with advanced obedience training. On your command, they will bark and lunge at an aggressor, snapping at him without actually biting him. Also upon your command, they will immediately sit or lie and fall silent. Their training is oriented strictly toward a deterrent show of force; if your attacker persists, the animal will have to fall back on its natural protective instinct and bite him. A properly trained protection dog will also perform all the functions of a watchdog. They have been trained to sink their teeth into people on their master’s command, or when they observe their master under assault. Once resistance from the suspect ceases, a true attack dog will let go of him. It will do the same on command, no matter how excitement-charged the atmosphere, if it has been properly trained and selected. Normally, the dog will only bite if given the proper command, or if the animal sees its owner or a family member under attack.

A consensus on dogs and personal security. Among the dozens of people consulted (breeders, owners, trainers and three police officers who specialize in crime prevention), the clear consensus was:

– having some dog is better than having none, and having one of the larger, louder, darker (preferably black dogs would be helpful with house, neighborhood and car security, but because of their easily recognized physical appearance and reputation among criminals as attack- and guard- dogs, Dobermans (and some other protection dogs; would be much more of a deterrent than, say, Labrador Retrievers, particularly outside the home. It was also agreed that one can find Dobermans (and other protection dogs) who’d make wonderful family pets.

Our Elite Family Protection Dog are easy to control. After the master has ordered it to attack, the dog can be called back, and even ordered to “make friends.” It feels no personal animosity toward the person it is ordered to attack.