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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

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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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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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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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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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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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)....so I'm not really too worried about any harm coming to him.
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
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.
 

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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 her....it 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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In this area alarms don't do much. We don't have police response in this city, your alarm response is contracted by the alarm company to a private security company. Security in Canada is not armed. They do not have sirens or lights on their cars.
I did response for a while. Contracted to a couple of large alarm companies.
This is what I can tell you
When the alarm goes off, monitoring waits 1-3 minutes for a cancel. Then they call your number and leave a message. Then they call any alternate numbers you have provided. Then they call the security company. Total elapsed time-7-10 minutes.
Then a dispatcher takes their call. 1-3 minutes if they don't have to hold.
Security companies average 2-4 cars on the road during the day, 4-8 at night. This is a big city.
Depending on the time of day and the location, the quickest response you will get is 15 minutes, it could be much longer.
Police here advise not to advertise your alarm, because bad guys know they are looking at minimum 20 minutes before anyone gets there.

I will keep my dog thanks.
 

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In this area alarms don't do much. We don't have police response in this city, your alarm response is contracted by the alarm company to a private security company. Security in Canada is not armed. They do not have sirens or lights on their cars.
I did response for a while. Contracted to a couple of large alarm companies.
This is what I can tell you
When the alarm goes off, monitoring waits 1-3 minutes for a cancel. Then they call your number and leave a message. Then they call any alternate numbers you have provided. Then they call the security company. Total elapsed time-7-10 minutes.
Then a dispatcher takes their call. 1-3 minutes if they don't have to hold.
Security companies average 2-4 cars on the road during the day, 4-8 at night. This is a big city.
Depending on the time of day and the location, the quickest response you will get is 15 minutes, it could be much longer.
Police here advise not to advertise your alarm, because bad guys know they are looking at minimum 20 minutes before anyone gets there.

I will keep my dog thanks.
Lol...yeah I agree with this. I certainly appreciate the hard and selfless jobs that LE do, and I realize that despite the bad press that a few of them have gotten recently, most of them are good people trying to help others. But I think the the phrase is: "When the seconds count, the police are only minutes away." Lol...very much a cliche and overly-broad phrase, but still somewhat applicable.

A security system is simply sending out an alarm. In many scenarios, the alarm should be enough of a deterrent to any would-be intruders, but in the case of determined individuals, it does nothing to stop them. And the alarm company may be slow to react, like Sabis Mom pointed out. Or the police might be far away or preoccupied, so their response might not be immediate. A security system might be automatic, but the response to its triggering is very much a human endeavor, and thus susceptible to delay, inefficiencies, or even failure.

No one should put all their eggs in that basket. And nor should they for a PPD or a mechanical lock or motion lights. A combination of these tools and appropriate planning is the best approach.

And yeah, most dogs, including GSD's, haven't been truly tested for their performance in life-or-death combat. But the same applies for most humans as well. Most concealed carry permit holders and, heck, even most cops have never had to fire their weapons in self-defense, so they have no way of knowing how they would truly perform in a dangerous situation. However, this doesn't preclude people from training and testing themselves (as best they can) to be prepared for such situations. The same applies for a dog. You can still pick a dog with the appropriate attributes and train it in obedience and protection work...yeah, that training does not necessarily guarantee the dog will prevail in a real-life confrontation, but it's still a whole lot better than having a totally untrained dog. And as I said earlier, I view a dog as one of many methods to be used in a serious home-defense situation; it should not be relied upon as the only method.
 

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I see my dogs (more Luc than Neb, as Neb rarely barks) as a deterrent and nothing more. Luc does not have the personality or temperament to ever engage an intruder, even if he was trained.

That said, while there have been break ins in our building, Luc barks when people come to our door. I dislike it when it's us (I posted a thread on that) but do not discourage it when someone comes over for that reason. Perhaps that's inconsistent of me.

Now Teagan on the otherhand may have engaged. I started doing threat training with her after she tried to attack a police officer when I got pulled over for speeding (she was secured in the backseat and unable to reach him; I was horrified, and apologized, I distinctly heard him go 'Aww' under his breath, I didn't get the ticket, and I always thought it was because he liked my dog). She loved doing threat training. We never did any in-house stuff though, just walking around outside and car defense/agitation work. How she would've behaved under pressure I don't know, but outside twice at least not in a training scenario she displayed excellent instincts and got bad guys to move away.

But that's very different than a house, I expect.
 

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My 11 month old GSD has and will engage someone trying to harm me or my family. He's already basically saved my life once. Some guy was walking behind me and my GSD at around 10 pm with a knife. He lunged at me and my dog bit down on his arm like you wouldn't believe. I eventually got him to let go and we ran home. I live in the country and put my dog through intense training to be scared of nothing. He's already scared off some unsavory characters from my home in the country. For example, yesterday morning at around 5am I wake up and take my dog out. I put him on his long line and he goes mad trying to get to the front of the house. No barking just madly pulling. Seconds after my motion activated front porch light turns on and I then realize someone is at my front door at 5am. I give my dog the command and he starts letting out the deepest barks I've ever heard him let out. Mind without his training he would not have done what he can do now. Great genetics and intense training is required. Most dogs will wimp out during a real fight.
 

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When I first moved out on my own I got a German Shepherd. I was home alone, my roommate away when my GSD jumped from my bed and took off down the stairs barking and growling. I saw three guys running away when I looked out my window. Downstairs I found my back door forced open. Deja came back when I called her, she was only six months old. About a month later another incident. Sometimes the 'bad guy' is someone you know. My landlord came in to fix something and the next thing I know is he is forcing himself on me. Deja came flying in the room in full attack mode. Needless to say, I moved.


When I moved back down here I first lived in town. It was a very nice neighborhood with the exception of my neighbors who were drug dealers. They decided the fun thing to do at night was terrorize me, entering my yard and standing on my porch looking in the windows, making threats, parking in my drive so I couldn't. I was a single mom with four kids. The police could only increase patrols. They poisoned my GSD. I got my Doberman and trained her to not take any food except from me or my two oldest boys. As soon as I could afford it I bought a house and moved out into the country. Shiloh took care of the drunk poachers cutting my fence and my boys and they friends always made sure that anyone new visiting knew I had Shiloh. During the day she was as friendly as anyone could ask of a dog. But once the sun went down was another story. Anyone putting a hand over the fence found themselves trapped. She'd grip and hold and not let go until I or the boys told her to.


One night my daughter came running, scared to death, and told me the front yard was full of police. I looked out and it was like a scene from some movie, sheriff cars all over my front yard, one blocking the gate with officers behind the open front doors facing my house with pistols pulled and aiming. Shiloh was in the back yard. I answered the door and the officer told me he was responding to the shots fired report. I tried to tell him he was at the wrong house. Two officers started for the back yard from either side. I told them my Dobe was back there and if they shot her they'd deal with me. (like that would do anything) He asked if she'd bite and I said she'd grip and hold. Both came flying back saying there was something huge back there with gold eyes. For whatever reason, she didn't grip and hold, but stood in their path lowering her head and blocking first one and then the other. It took a while to convince them they were at the wrong place. (They showed up again the next morning for the same thing!) Had anyone fired a shot, Shiloh would have headed for the hills had there been any here. She was extremely gun shy. I just didn't tell anyone that.


An alarm system out here might deter someone, but the response time for the Sheriff Dept to get here would depend on where in the Parish (county) they were when it went off, and if they found the right house. I kept telling them someone was in serious trouble while they were at my house that night. But I know that people will lie and try to cover for others so I understand their reluctance to believe me. But my dogs are alarm enough for me to have time to call 911 the same as any alarm system and a deterrent until the sheriff could get here.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Dear Deb, its nearly shocking to hear about your experience. Yes, dogs are indeed great assets in our household. Also a CC TV camera that records is mighty useful n he circumstances that you mention, especially if you file a court case.
 

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Hi Tezpur, a CC TV camera would be nice, but way out of my budget. I still live in the same place, but my kids are grown now and two of them now have houses right here on my property with me, one next to me and one behind me. Generally the only time we have any problems are after a hurricane when we'll get small groups of guys that are going around looking for houses that are more isolated whose families have evacuated. There are only three houses on my dead end road and my neighbors closest to the 'main' road tend to keep an eye on me here. They're great. Their dogs are mostly all outside dogs so the last group that came down here were met with shotguns as well as their dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Dear Deb

Yes CC TVs are expensive. Great hear your kids are grown up. You are very lucky that two of your kids stay close by. I am waiting for my daughter to grow up and expecting another kid (God willing). Any ways loved to hear about your family. Now a days even in India (I am from Assam), grown up kids move out and go far away. Really very happy for you guys. Wish you all the very best
 

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I like the idea of a German Shepherd in my home and in my bedroom at night. With a thunderous bark, I believe that would deter some bad guys. I would like to train her to take treats only from me or my husband - people here have been known to poison dogs. How can I train that? I may post that question in the training section! With a shepherd visible in the yard during the day, anyone "casing" the place might think twice. At least with a dog barking, it would give me time to react.With all the doors needing to be unlocked with a key in my rental house, the quickest escape for me would be to cut the screen in my big bedroom window and climb out. My Gerber knife, flashlight, and Leki pole with nasty metal tip are at my bedside. Of course, the yard gate also needs a key to unlock! So...I would be climbing over the low point of the 3 foot tall fence in the back yard. I guess I would just lay back there in the dirt in the dark Haha! All these crazy "security" things here in Costa Rica also place the homeowner at risk - how to get out of your own house with all the Locks! Alarm systems galore that make alot of noise, but not connected with any kind of security company or police department. Car alarms go off constantly around here, but no one pays any attention. I think I'll depend on my dogs to alert me, them cut the screen with my Gerber knife and crawl out the window and over the low fence in the back. Yikes. :/
 

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Alarm system and my dog are both big deterrents if any one was to break in. One system makes just as much noise but moves around and has big teeth. One system is connected to central service who if all hopefully goes right-contacts the police. I have to say having a German shepherd in the house again I do feel much safer. He is a large dog with ridicuolously huge bark. Max does have strong protective instincts and territorial with his property. If a person is still trying to break in our home with a 85lb dog lunging and snarling at them through the window or door then I assume they are armed with a weapon. It's is good to have a few back ups in any case. My friend had a Labrador German shepherd mix -she looked like a smaller version of rin tin tin all tan with black saddle. They had a high ranch and a man was breaking in their house on the ground floor trying to crawl though the window that was not locked. The dog was attacking the man that was trying to break in. This woke up the family and they found a man half way in the house with their dog attacking him. The man did run as soon as the dog got off him.
We had our alarm system go off when we were out with the dogs in the middle of the day. We got a call from central service. It was coming from the back slider. Checking it out the door had a give to it but locked. Not sure if it was shut all the way or someone tried to open it -My daughter left her iPad on the kitchen table. We were greatful for our alarm service though.
 
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