Dogs versus home security gadgets - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Dogs versus home security gadgets


I have seen several posts or several people saying "I just want a guard dog" or "I want my dog to protect me and my house". For that purpose, we need to purchase the right dog (breed+ genetics+ right breeder), train him or her. If a pup is purchased, then waiting period can be as much as 2 years before the dog is ready to do the job. A dog would require quality rearing, also some amount of destruction during puppyhood is to be tolerated. A dog may suffer from health complications, plus we have to arrange for the accommodation of our canine friend when we are travelling outside. And after all these, a dog can be neutralized by a number of ways even without using firearms. So considering all these, getting a dog for the only purpose to protect our home does not seem to be a preferable choice.

If we are looking only for home security, then an easier alternative seems to go for a burglar alarm or CC TV cameras or combination of both installed. Here are some interesting stats

1.73% of burglars said that they would still rob a house if it had an alarm.
2. A home without a security system is 2 to 3 times more likely to be burglarized.
3. 85% of police officials surveyed believe home monitored alarms help deter burglary attempts.
4. The average dollar loss per burglary offense in 2008 was $2,079.
5. 60% of attempted burglaries on homes that have a home security alarm system are unsuccessful.
6. The average amount of time it takes a burglar to gain entrance to a home: 57 seconds.
7. 67% of all burglars gain entrance somewhere other than the front door.
8. Worldwide, home burglaries have dropped by 53% over the last 10 years.
9. 54% of home security system owners are unsure of how to operate their system.
10. Daytime burglaries have jumped 47% in the United States.
11. Recent FBI studies have shown that security systems make your home 15 times less likely to be victimized.
12. 86% of burglaries occur when people are at home.
13. You can save up to 20% on your homeowner's insurance policy with the addition of an alarm system.

The above seem to be quite a good rationale for installing home security devices. Besides your alarm or security will need no food or training, except perhaps occasional repair.

But again there are cons of these devices also.

A false alarm can be a nuisance for the neighbors.

Alarms may malfunction when they are most needed.

If our house is really broken into, with people in the house, then an alarm can do little to reduce the anxiety of the people in the house.

Also if a few people are standing outside our gate (technically not on our property) and staring at our home then that can cause a lot of anxiety for the people inside the home. But the gadgets can do nothing in that situation. In contrasts, watch dogs would go close to the fence and bark at those people.

Canines are our friends and companions. Their presence should bring joy and peace of find along with a sense of extra security. For that,we have to bear the pain of raising, feeding and training them.

Personally, I am more comfortable with my canine friends, than a bunch of gadgets.

Will be happy to hear the feelings of others.
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 03:24 PM
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My main thing with the dogs is....extra eyes and ears and other senses that are generally better than my own.

I remember my old male one time...I was out in the woods fixing a fence. He stood up, winded, and headed down toward the house with a purpose in his "stalk walk". ! Under certain circumstances he didn't bark he would sneak up on people. One breath of a breeze and he knew a man was in our driveway, I had no clue. I followed him and saw the guy.

My new boy has ears like nothing. He misses nothing. Very observant.

So that is my biggest thing....yes they woukd put on a bru ha ha if someone tried to get in and it might buy me enough time to get a gun. I would hope to god they didn't get hurt or killed protecting me because heaven knows I would risk getting hurt or killed to protect them...but if either of us did then it would be okay because that's how we would want to go anyway.

But that stuff is not likely to ever happen. It makes me feel safer to know they are there. If I peek around the shower curtain and the boy is sprawled on his kuranda then I know nothing is going on even though I couldn't hear over the water.

Heaven forbid anything ever did happen they are the early warning system and my husband is quite competent with our many guns.

And I do believe they are a deterrant if I am out walking or driving. If someone is looking for a target I doubt they would choose the woman with the German Shepherds?
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Last edited by Thecowboysgirl; 09-13-2016 at 03:26 PM.
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 03:55 PM
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Yup, I'm with cowboysgirl.

My dog can hear and smell much more than I can. She's an early warning system. She's also a deterrent - that big bark is loud and scary. She was purchased in part as said early warning system and deterrent. I would never expect her to step up and defend me because I think it's my job to protect her, but she could sound scary from an early age, and I was good with that. And as cowboysgirl said, someone looking for a target is going to think twice about picking the person who has a German Shepherd. I've answered the door with my hand on the collar of a very large dog with big teeth, and the person - whom I suspect was up to no good - backed off real fast.

We also have a home security system. It has never been a nuisance to our neighbors that I know of, although we have had a false alarm. The police came (and the city billed us for it, as is fair). It was nice to know they would come.

The two together give me peace of mind. Neither is perfect on its own, and even together they are not perfect, but they are good.
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 04:31 PM
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Home security systems are a modern development. Where as there is literally thousands of years of genetic memory making human's wary of predators. There is nothing like that cold hard stare, those long pearly canines, and that aggressive bark of a good watch dog to make a bad guy think twice.

Besides a home security system doesn't do you any good when you are away from home. If I had to choose between dog and alarm - dog every time. They are more portable.

That said I have both. I also have weapons and have taken a self defence class.
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 05:31 PM
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We have thought about a home security system, but , in the end decided nah - don't need it. We have 4 dogs who are very alert. Our GSD is only 14 weeks and has alerted us several times to someone coming - he doesn't bark or anything, we were playing in the backyard and he ran to the fence, sat, and looked at me and then looked at the fence - with his hackles up. Let him know it was okay and then he was fine. It kind of shocked me at his young age!
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 10:26 AM
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Home security systems can work great at deterring burglars. They work even better when used in combination with other techniques/tools (dogs, strong locks, general awareness).

That said, a security alarms system only alerts to the presence of these problem individuals; they won't necessarily stop anyone from continuing their trespass or aggression. Dogs at least have the potential to serve as physical deterrents and even home defenders. I'm not saying every dog is like that, but if you pick the right dog and employ the right training, you can have a formidable tool at your disposal. I realize many, if not most, on here have a large degree of attachment to their dogs and so sending them into harm's way is not something they'd be willing to entertain. I love my dog too, but I picked him instead of some run-of-the-mill lab or mutt for a reason. If I am ever in serious trouble, I expect him to come to my aid (and I would obviously do the same for him).

In the realm of what's likely though, I fully expect that the mere sight of my dog, alert and barking, will be more than enough to deter any would-be home-invaders (this in fact has happened already) I'm not really too worried about any harm coming to him.
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 11:31 AM
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I think generally speaking statistically homes with dogs are less likely to be burglarized. It's just to much noise and draws unwanted attention.

When I first moved into my house I had half the dogs I have now and no one knew anything about what I had. I came home one day to the bottom of the door dented, like someone kicked it and Midnites nail marks in the wall next to the window. I believe someone thought they were going to break in and Midnite wasn't having it--he shredded that wall. I've never had a problem since.

Dogs can be great deterrents and when you have multiple dogs, it's even a bigger deterrent.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 11:32 AM
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IME, a good alarm system works as not only a deterrent but also a preventative. I've responded to many "Alarm calls" to find the front or back door kicked in and the alarm going off. The Sound of the alarm definitely stopped the burglar before making entry.

For my personal home security, I have motion detector flood lights around my house, evil likes the darkness. I have a good alarm system with every door and window contacted, in addition I have interior motion sensors. Another thing we do is actually turn the alarm on and use it. I live in a very nice development and their are few burglaries or break ins, but it does happen occasionally. The biggest thing I see are vehicle larcenies and that happens everywhere. I do not leave my cars unlocked in the driveway.

I also have three dogs, two will absolutely engage and fight a person. They have a whole bunch of real bites between them. My third dog, a female GSD from super working lines would not bite a person for real. I am very objective when it comes to evaluating dogs, especially my own. I understand their strengths and weaknesses. I train my two male dogs regularly to engage a person and fight with serious intensity. With that said, most dogs will not engage a person for real. It has been bred out of our dogs for thousands of years. I understand that we, as dog owners all love our dogs and think we have the greatest, toughest and bravest dogs in the world. The reality is that a kong and pocket knife will take care of 95% of the dogs out there. People need to be realistic and honestly evaluate their dogs, and realize the strengths and more importantly the weaknesses in each dog, they all have some.

Having been on the street and having met some unsavory characters that have been willing to fight and challenge my dog and myself. I know that the vast majority of dogs, GSDs included would not rise to the occasion and actually fight and win. If you have never seen your dog react to being punched and kicked in a real fight, well you just don't know how the dog will act. Barking at a person is a great thing and many folks think they have a man stopper because he scared a "bad guy" away by barking. That is not always the case.

I firmly believe that a dog that barks is a integral part to a home security plan, but it is only one part. The alarm, the lighting and the dog are all needed. Then a plan to call the police, a secure place to go is also needed and perhaps a means to defend yourself if all else fails. Please do not rely on an untrained dog that barks to defend you, you may wind up being very disappointed.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Slamdunc View Post
IME,"...Please do not rely on an untrained dog that barks to defend you, you may wind up being very disappointed."
I believe dog brings happiness and a sense of security in the home, with their advanced hearing, smelling and ability to see things at night. Good watch dogs are quick to react and alert their pack to any unusual change in the surroundings, and then quickly relax if the situation is not alarming. So they are great home security assets.

Having said that, I have reservations to the concept of having a dog for actually fighting with an in coming intruder.

What if your precious dog gets seriously injured. I have known a Great Dane owner, whose dog attacked a car thief who was trying to break the lock of the car in their garage. After being attacked the thief wildly swung the screw driver which caught the abdomen of the poor dog. The thief was caught but the dog died a painful death.

My view is that if we Only consider our canines as a home security asset, the dog can end up in quite painful situation.

I support all canine sports, by all means. But in an IPO, the person challenging the dog will never deliberately inflict pain on the dog.

But in a real burglar breaking in situation, either the burglar will run away or the dog may suffer serious injuries.

So i would prefer to have dogs that alert me, but will not want them to engage (at least when I am around) in a real fight.

Last edited by TEZPUR1976; 09-14-2016 at 12:47 PM. Reason: typo
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 01:09 PM
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I am sure what Slamdunc says is right on the money, he is in the position and has the experience to know.

The only thing else it made me think of though is that even though most pet dogs won't actually engage, or could be easily stopped if they tried...most people don't know that, I think including unsavory characters.

I'd even go so far as to say the general public isn't always clear that a police dog is trained to bite under certain circumstances, I think some people think they just do what they do because of what they are.

My female has backed down at least 2 bad guys in our life together. She does not have a hard time scaring people which to me is hilarious since she is only 65# and the sweetest and most gentle and ladylike dog. But holy cow if she thinks I am in danger her alter ego comes out and it is a sight to see. She is very bold, very meaningful, and she has on more than one occasion made grown men uncomfortable just by staring quietly at them. From listening to people like Slamdunc I know it is all very likely a bluff, but I am not sure she knows that. It is just her instinct to do what she does and she is a confident, powerful dog....she has never been hurt by a person so she has no fear, if that makes sense. Her bluff has successfully backed people down so all she knows is that it works. Now if someone clocked her in the head she might run for the hills, I am not sure. I can attest that if she is in ball mode and gets clocked it does not give her pause unless she is literally hit hard enough to see stars (that happened, it was an accident, you might have read the story), how does her defense of me compare to her ball drive, I have no idea because she has never been trained or tested in any way that would let me know.

But the bottom line is, even if it is a bluff (likely), and she could not follow through, she doesn't know that, neither do they, and no one has dared to test her. It is hard to explain, some people know what I am talking about, but she has this stare she can do, literally makes men fidget and unable to look at her and just want to get away.

She is an incredibly sweet and friendly dog who genuinely likes people and despite how her instincts tell her to act I can't imagine her actually biting someone, how would that even occur to probably could have been taught to her in her heydey but it wasn't, in fact tolerance of stupid people being all over her was....which might make her even LESS likely to bite for real. I think biting a person is probably outside her realm of something that exists or could happen...?

But anyway, I do think it is important for people to be realistic about their dogs and what can and should be expected of them.
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