Person breaking into a house with a crowbar.

Should I Get a Dog Instead of a Security System?

Dogs Versus Security Systems

When we think of home security, many of us may picture a barking dog in addition to an alarm keypad or a masked burglar. “Beware of Dog” signs posted on backyard fences or front windows are familiar sights in even the most tranquil neighborhoods, and certain breeds of humankind’s best friend have long been popular as home guards.

However, if you’ve been considering bringing a Rottweiler or German Shepherd into your family with the purpose of making your home more secure, it would be best to temper your expectations. Dogs can be valuable companions and loyal helpers, but don’t assume they can serve as replacements for monitored home security systems. When it comes to dependable protection, it pays to examine the strengths and weaknesses of each solution to make an informed decision. To help take the mystery out of the guard dog discussion, here are some points to consider.

Are Dogs Good Security?

With their sensitive hearing, sharp senses of smell and protective instincts, it’s easy to see why dogs are thought of as built-in home security. Like an alarm system, a dog is capable of letting you know when there’s someone on your property. However, usually that someone is a family member, a mail carrier or even a squirrel. Being able to distinguish a visitor from a threat is never a guarantee, and the new friend you’ve invited for coffee may look like an intruder to your furry friend.

A security system, on the other hand, operates with much more precision. If someone attempts to open or break a window on the side of your house, an alarm system can alert you to exactly what is happening and where. Products such as motion detectors and wireless window and door sensorsdo more than deter intruders. They also put you in control of the situation.

Dogs Versus Burglars

Of course, hearing a dog barking from outside or seeing signs of a dog around the property may frighten away an opportunistic burglar. Given a choice between a dog-free home and one with chew toys strewn across the yard, the easier target is clear. Without a security system, however, a home with a dog is still vulnerable.

The fact remains that an intruder may have an easier time than expected getting past your dog. From a threatening yell to a tempting piece of steak brought along to distract, there are lots of ways to occupy and intimidate a canine guard. Another aspect that no homeowner likes to consider is that dogs are often hurt by burglars determined to steal at any cost. If a barking dog is all that stands between a criminal and your valuables, the dog’s safety may be in jeopardy. In fact, owning a dog often entails protecting a dog from burglars, much as you would any other piece of personal property.

Which Dogs Are Best for Home Security?

Even if your dog has been trained to attack intruders, this method is most safely employed by experts in law enforcement. Police dogs are conditioned to respond to commands from their handlers. They attack specific targets based on signals and verbal cues and have been trained since puppyhood. Breeds trained as attack dogs are often chosen for their size and strength, but may not be ideal for households with small children or other pets. If you’re not home when a perceived threat occurs, can you be sure that your guard dog will know the difference between an expected swimming pool technician, for example, and a burglar? An accidental attack is not a risk worth taking when much safer and more effective methods are available.

Dogs Versus Security Cameras

As noted, dogs are very perceptive and can detect disturbances that human beings cannot. However, so can technology. With automated home security solutions such as like security cameras and mobile monitoring, you’ll know when there’s someone on your property and can keep track of authorized access. When a door is forced open by a dangerous intruder, a piercing alarm cannot be silenced until it’s turned off by your home security provider or someone trusted with your key code.

Moreover, your home security provider can contact you instantly with mobile alerts and send law enforcement to the scene if needed. If you’re relying on keeping a dog at home as your single line of home defense, know that its barking may be able to alert your neighbors, but not the police, in your absence. Contacting a monitoring service or law enforcement agency is the safest, most effective way to stop a crime in progress and save your belongings.

Do You Need a Dog?

Most dog owners enjoy taking their dogs to the park or even on vacation in addition to regular walks. Being outside and traveling with your dog can be a fun experience that promotes a healthy, happy bond. If your dog is the only plan you have in place for security, however, your home is left wide open to break-ins when you’re out together.

Once a security system has been installed in your home, it’s prepared to defend your home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter where you go. With the touch of a button, you can arm your property and travel with confidence. What if you forget to set your alarm system before leaving the house? With smartphone control, that touch of a button can be on-the-go. You can arm and disarm your system from anywhere and even receive informative text and email notifications.

For these reasons and more, it’s clear that while dogs can help bolster your home security, an alarm system is always your best option. When it comes to making smart choices about securing your property, let the experts handle the technology and monitoring. Responsible homeowners, their canine companions and a trusted home security company like Smith Thompson can make for a great partnership.

If you’re looking for reliable options that are both pet-friendly and easy on your budget, contact ustoday to take full advantage of our 40-plus years of home security expertise. We look forward to making you and your family feel safer.

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