Placing a “Beware of Dog” sign in your yard may deter a burglar, but actually installing a canine on your property to back it up will be more convincing. While there are several breeds to choose from, the needs of your family and the type of protection you want should guide your decision.
Dogs Have Incredibly Keen Senses and Abilities
You might be surprised to know that dogs make great security guards because of their enhanced capabilities. Their sense of smell is 10,000 times more powerful than that of people. Additionally, canines used by the police and military can search an area four times faster than their human counterparts. It’s no wonder dogs have been used for centuries to protect people and property.
Security Dogs Serve Many Purposes
Home security dogs provide different types of protection.
- Guard dogs will attack on command.
- Watch dogs will alert you when someone unfamiliar is on the property. They may growl and snarl, but won’t physically attack the intruder.
- The best protection dogs exhibit characteristics of both guard and watch dogs. Attacking a perceived threat doesn’t come naturally to them, but they can be trained to do it.
- Livestock guard dogs can perform the roles of the other three types. They thrive in rural areas with plenty of space to roam freely.
Some Breeds Are More Family-Friendly Than Others
There is no “one-size-fits-all” breed when it comes to security dogs. According to Canine Journal:
Some breeds do better at understanding one owner, and other breeds understand the entire family and will protect each member as though it were one of its own.
Here are the top ten home security dogs for families:
- German Shepherds are especially well-known for their eagerness to learn, listen, and obey. They’re more mild-mannered than other breeds. While threatening to intruders, they are gentle toward members of the family. Their thick fur makes them highly-adaptable to colder climes.
- The Rottweiler is one of the most intelligent breeds in the world. These dogs are highly-obedient and make good guard dogs. If not properly trained, however, they are not necessarily a good fit for homes with small children. If they are raised with a firm hand, they will be calm and submissive. Too much exertion can bring out their aggressive tendencies.
- The Bullmastiff, though loving toward its owners, can quickly attack an intruder. These dogs are especially loyal if raised by the same family from a young age. Owners need to constantly maintain authority over their bullmastiffs or the canines will dominate the home and not respond well to direction.
- Doberman Pinchers are wary of strangers and quick to obey their owners as long as they enforce consistent discipline and train the dogs from a young age. After they’ve passed the puppy stage, it’s recommended that these dogs not be brought into homes with small children.
- Great Danes, despite their intimidating size, are gentle toward children and other canines. These make better watch dogs than guard dogs. They benefit most from exercise consisting of daily walks and obedience training with positive reinforcement. These dogs require constant attention until they’re house-broken.
- With Boxers, their bark is worse than their bite, but they can look menacing enough to scare a burglar away. They are also energetic and intuitive. However, this breed requires a lot of attention and is prone to health problems.
- Fila Brasileiros make excellent guard dogs. This breed has a questionable temperament and is not well-suited to inexperienced dog owners or homes where people are constantly coming and going.
- Bernese Mountain Dogs are very smart and love children. Though leery of strangers, these dogs are not overly-aggressive.
- The Great Pyrenees, though intelligent and loyal, can be difficult to train. However, they do well in homes with consistent attention and love.
- Despite its massive size (up to 180 pounds), the St. Bernard is not an “attack” dog. They have a gentle temperament but are difficult to train and are unusually clumsy until fully-grown.