Does a dog really help with home security?

Many dog owners say one of the reasons for getting a dog is for home security. But is that really an effective way to deter burglars? We investigate whether dogs really do help with home security.

How dogs help with home security

Naturally, dogs bark when strangers approach your property. Their keen sense of sight and smell can alert to you burglars when you are home, and potentially keep burglars away when you are out.

It seems safe to assume that burglars would prefer to strike a property without a dog.  But, it is difficult to find any actual studies into this. Naturally, no burglars are going to participate in an official study about their habits. However, the Australian Institute of Criminology did find in 1996 that dogs are a deterrent, but didn’t go into any further detail.

Hearing from burglars themselves                                                                             

About two years ago, Reddit ran an ‘ask me anything thread’ with burglars. (Though it is difficult to verify if actual burglars were participating.) One burglar on the thread said:

Get a dog. Houses with dogs don’t get robbed. Dogs are loud, hard to spot, and bite. Doesn’t have to be an attack dog – just a barking dog. Thieves would rather save the hassle and hit the next house.

 On the other hand, a burglar in the same thread said this:

I am amazingly good with dogs and have never had a problem with them making noise. Professional guard dogs are a problem, and I’ve never had to deal with them. If I had to, I suppose it would be to have a mild tranquilizer mixed into some steak to throw over the fence. It would depend on the situation I think.

 So it seems that if a thief really wanted to target your property, it could be done by offering your dog treats or tranquilising it with medication hidden inside a steak. And, some dogs like Dobermans make great guard dogs but other more tranquil breeds are less effective because they’re too friendly.  Some of the most effective guard dogs are also the more high maintenance breeds. So, owners have to consider it carefully before coming to a decision.

A feeling of safety

Many dog owners say they feel safer having a dog around. It helps them sleep well at night, knowing their dog is around to protect them. For peace of mind, a dog is a great option.

Of course, there are many other responsibilities that comes with dog ownership. You need to have the time, energy and inclination to own a dog.

Other deterrents

Some home owners like to include evidence of a dog, such as a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign or water bowl and lead by the front or back door. They can provide the illusion of dog ownership without the hassle of owning a dog.

Naturally, there are many benefits to home security systems that dog ownership can’t beat. We can’t help you with a dog, but we can help with a range of other security measures such as lighting, locks, alarm systems and much more.

If a dog isn’t the right security option for you, contact us to chat about how we can help you make your home more secure.