Dogs – Great as Companions… Not so Great
as Alarm System Alternatives
If you’ve been thinking about getting a large dog such as a Great Dane or a German Shepherd to protect your residence, or if you already own a dog, and you believe that the dog will protect life and property in the same way as a professionally installed security alarm system, you need to reconsider. While dogs are certainly beneficial, both for companionship and protection, they are not a viable replacement for a monitored home security system installed in your home.
Some believe that simply having a dog is enough to deter a burglar, and while it may help as deterrence, it is not nearly as effective. Here are some reasons why owning a dog alone is not a smart alternative to installing a home security system.
A Burglar can Kill or Incapacitate the Dog
For dog owners, it’s a harsh reality that a burglar considers your pet to be a susceptible possession along with the other things in your house. On October 20, the New York Post ran a story about a robber that broke into a Queens home and shot the family dog before making off with $4,000 in cash (Link: Robbers Shoot Family Dog, Steal $4k in Queens). The family’s dog was easily killed by the burglars and was unfortunately the second dog killed in a robbery that week. A home security system would likely have protected the victims much more effectively.
Dogs Get Boarded or Get Taken With Homeowners on Vacation
While a dog may help a homeowner feel safe while he or she sleeps, it won’t serve its purpose as a form of home security when a family leaves for vacation. A home is never more vulnerable to burglary than when left uninhabited for stretches of days. And with home security systems like those offered by Supreme Security Systems, a homeowner can check in on their property virtually while he or she is away.
Dogs Not Trained to be Guard Dogs Will Often Cower From or Will Be Friendly to Intruders
If the dog a homeowner is relying on to protect his or her family is not formally trained as a guard dog, it may be useless as a form of home security. Many house dogs that are used to visitors will not be alarmed by a burglar and some have been known to either hide from a burglar or even attempt to cozy up to one. Relying on the dog you trust not to harm your children and friends to protect you from unwanted visitors is not a good strategy.
Dogs Who are Trained to be Guard Dogs Will Often Attack Non-Intruders, Leaving Homeowner Open to Lawsuits
According to DogsBite.org and animal behaviorist Alexandra Semyonova, bringing an attack bred and trained dog into a home and hoping it will be a reliable family pet is a mistake. “The idea that the dogs will limit their attack behavior to the training field isn’t realistic,” Semyonova says. Also, according to Lawyers.com, “while a judge will typically side with a homeowner, it is still theoretically possible for a burglar to successfully sue (over a dog attack).”
Also, FoxBusiness.com reported that dog-bite liability cost U.S. insurers about $413 million in 2010, with the average dog-bite exceeding $26,000.
Dogs Don’t Provide Discounts on Home Insurance Premiums
Insurance companies do not offer discounts on home insurance for having a guard dog. In fact, according to Insure.com, owning certain breeds of dogs may even raise your home insurance rates. At the very least, a homeowner is introducing a liability risk and forfeiting an insurance discount by choosing to own a dog instead of a home security system.
Dogs Don’t Provide a Video Monitoring Capability
While this is very obvious, it is essential to note because a homeowner misses out on a substantial security advantage without video monitoring. And back to FoxBusiness.com, they report that while an elaborate security system may cost around $1,000 to install, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates the average cost of basic care for a dog is between $700-875 per year. And that’s not even taking the initial price of the dog into account.
Burglars Can Actually Steal the Dog Itself
As indicated in the point above, a dog, regardless of whether it is trained to guard or not, is a considerable investment on its own. A dog is also one of a homeowner’s most sentimental possessions and is vulnerable to theft just like anything else in a house. Contrarily, a home security system can’t be stolen and can protect the dog as well.