While clearly not for everyone, having a dog is a favorite feature of my own home security. In my case, our dogs are treated as family members, but due to shedding and slobbering, aren’t allowed on the furniture.
Arguments For Using Dogs for Home Security
Dogs are at their core, very protective and extremely loyal. You can treat them as members of your family or as employees. Some live outside all the time, but I would not recommend that without shelter or in extreme weather. Not to mention, dogs can protect your house much better if they are in your house.
In general, thieves are scared of them. Even small dogs make a ton of noise when they hear something or spot a stranger. They have a very keen sense of hearing and the last thing that a burglar wants is detection and a bunch of racket when they are trying to sneak around.
Dogs bite. Fear of being attacked by a dog, especially more than one at a time, is a very realistic fear for a thief and a very strong deterrent.
Arguments Against Using Dogs for Home Security
Dogs are high maintenance. They are needy. They need water and food and to be walked and let outside and let back in. Dogs need training and love and playtime. They chew things like shoes if they find them. If you leave a cat for a couple of days, all you need is a bowl of food, a bowl of water, a clean cat box, and a window and the cat will be fine. If you left a dog in the same situation, it would have eaten all the food, drank and spilled the water, and be looking for a good place to pee and poop within a few hours.
Dogs bite. There may be legal consequences if your dog bites someone. Especially, if it is not a burglar, but possibly, even if it is.
If you are trying to hide, unless you have taught your dog to stop barking on command, you probably don’t want your dog next to you, as they will almost certainly give away your position.
Dogs may not protect you against someone they already know and consider friendly. Also, dogs can be susceptible to bribes (bones and meat) and/or poisoning.
Training Dogs to Protect your Home
Most dogs don’t even need trained for the basics. They hear a noise or spot someone unexpected, they bark. It is that simple. There are techniques to make them more aggressive toward unwelcome guests. A friend had me pop up and tap on the windows of his house while he pretended not to see me while his German Shepard puppy went bananas, then he rewarded him.
Best Dogs for protection
There are many breeds of dogs that are commonly used as guard dogs. German Shepard, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, Great Danes, Burmese Mountain Dogs, Bull Mastiffs, Saint Bernards, Great Pyrenees, Akitas, and many more. But to be honest, even if you have very detailed expectations, it is probably not going to matter if you have a full-blooded breed of guard dog with AKC papers or a rescue mutt. Almost any dog will come with a sense of loyalty and instinct for protection and will bark if they hear a noise or see a stranger. And I have read that mixes generally have better temperaments.
If you are going to get a dog, you should pick the one that fits your life the best. For example, if you live in an apartment, you are going to want a smaller dog. If you have small kids, you should get one that is good with kids. Personally, I have a Great Pyrenees and a medium small rescue mutt that I think is a mix of boxer and dachshund. They are both very protective and bark often. Great Pyrenees are known to be gentle giants that are good with kids and very protective, but are barkers not biters. And man, do they love to bark. They seem closely related to Saint Bernards and Bermese Mountain Dogs and are mostly used to protect herds. We bought him from a local farmer. They are a bit slobbery, but I highly recommend them as a large family dog.
Dogs are a Great Way to Protect your Family
But there are strings attached. They are needy. And as far as home security goes, they should be used in conjunction with other options.
The best guard dog I ever had was a Whte German Shepard. He was very protective and I had trained him very well. If he didn’t know you, you were going to have a very tough time entering my house. I lived in a small town and never locked my doors. I was a little worried about him biting someone, as he wasn’t used to kids, and every time a kid saw him, they would try to hug him, but he never did. If he had been raised around kids, that wouldn’t have been a problem. My roommate had a German Shepard also, and I could not recommend the breed more. They are really great dogs.