For most dog owners, their dog is more than just a pet – it is family, a real ( furry) friend and a dependable, loyal and affectionate companion to all their (human) family members. In the canine world, there are some dogs that, in addition to their protective instincts and suspicion of strangers, also have a set of special abilities that can be used for home and family security purposes and they are specifically bred for guard duties.
So can a dog protect your home? You have to be realistic when looking for an accurate answer to this question i.e. you cannot really expect a lap dog like a Shih-tzu, Maltese Bichon or Chihuahua to act like a Rottweiler or a German Shepard when it comes to family and home protection. Dogs with the right genetic baggage are truly an asset to any homeowner in terms of crime prevention. Certain breeds are genetically capable of protecting your home and family, perfrming the role of guardians autonomously and instinctively, but proper training can significantly hone their natural skills and improve their guarding abilities. Specialized training, preferably provided by a professional dog trainer can make them more effective guard dogs, whose duties go beyond alerting you when an ill-intentioned person comes near the premises of your home.
Choosing the right dog breed is paramount in order to benefit from effective protection of your property and family – Watchdogs, guard dogs and attack dogs are all instinctively able to alert their owners of intruders’ presence by barking loudly and incessantly to ward them off the property, but both guard dogs and attack dogs can further engage ( attack/bite) a target if the situation calls for it. Watchdogs, also known as alarm dogs are typically used to warn their owners of danger – a trespasser or intruder. Impressive strength and a large size are not usually requirements for an alarm dog. Breeds which make excellent watchdogs include the Scottish Terrier, the Miniature Schnauzer, the Airedale Terrier, the English Springer Spaniel, the Chow Chow, the Jack Russell Terrier and German Pinscher.
Unlike watchdogs whose duty stops at alerting the owner, guard dogs generally use a forceful display to drive the intruder away while holding their ground and if this is not a sufficient deterrent, they can further attack and restrain the intruder. The main characteristics of guard dogs include remarkable courage, confidence and tenacity as well as impressive size, resilience and strength. Appearance wise, these dogs are typically either large, short-coated mastiff type dogs and large, thick-coated guardians. The most popular guard dog breeds for protection against intruders include the Rottweiler, the Doberman Pinscher, the Bullmastiff, the Giant Schnauzer, the Tibetan Mastiff, the Tosa Inu, the Cane Corso, the Brazilian Mastiff and the German Shepard. These dogs act on instinct to engage and eliminate any threat to the property they are protecting.
Attack dogs require hundreds of hours of special and costly training and are typically deployed in public situations ( they are mostly used by the military forces and the police). However, these dogs with military-level training can also be used by homeowners for family and home protection.