Is Your Dog Guarding Your Home

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Is Your Dog Guarding Your Home

by Sharon Jacobsen

Many of us buy a dog because we feel vulnerable in our homes; with a dog in the house we'll not only feel more secure, we'll also have many years of pleasant companionship. But is having a dog in the home really a deterrent against intruders?

To answer that question, we need to look at the two main types of intruder.

The Opportunist
A casual burglar who decides to break into your home but discovers there's a dog on the premises will probably be enough of a deterrent ? it's easier to try a house further along the street instead!

In the case of the opportunist, even a small dog can be a deterrent. Terriers are known to bite the ankles and their high pitched yap isn't something that's easily ignored! Unless the opportunity burglar is knowledgeable about dogs and is sure he can control it (and that's unlikely), he'll undoubtedly find it easier to go elsewhere.

The Planner
Anybody planning a break-in will probably watch your house for several weeks while he learns your routine and gets to know what to expect of you. He'll know when you leave, when you return, what time the post arrives, whether any other regular visitors can be expected, what kind of entry he'll need to make, whether there are any exterior/interior lights left on and whether or not you have a dog!

Because he's watching you, he'll know exactly what kind of dog you have and what to expect of it. If you can't even get it to walk well with you and it shies away from people it meets, he's hardly going to see it as a problem. A good kick in the right direction should take care of it!

If, however, your dog is exceptionally well trained then his first thoughts are going to be: "what else is that dog trained to do?" After all, he could have been trained to attack intruders! By showing good leadership skills you'll also be showing possible "home watchers" that you have full control of your dog and that one command from you is all it will take!

Can Your Dog Guard You?
A dog should see its owner as its leader and look to him for information. Most domestic dogs aren't capable of guarding a property without becoming distressed simply because they aren't genetically designed for the job ? they aren't born pack leaders! They only take on the role of protector when those better equipped for the job (their owner or another human) aren't pulling their weight.

It's irresponsible to believe that the average dog is capable of happily guarding your property ? he'll do it but he isn't likely to be happy!

So, unless you're using properly trained guard dogs (German Shepherds, Rottweilers, etc), it's important you don't leave your dog to prowl the fences every day ? keep him as a pet who will, should it be necessary, hopefully deter an intruder from breaking in! Just don't be mad at him if it doesn't work!


Sharon Jacobsen is a freelance writer living in South Cheshire, England. Having kept and trained dogs for more than four decades, they're now as much a part of her life as the air that she breathes.

If you'd like engaging articles at competitive prices written on any subject from agility to kenneling, please visit Sharon at for more information.

Sharon Jacobsen - EzineArticles Expert Author

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