A few weeks ago we shared a shocking statistic that showed single parent families are those most likely to be targeted by burglars. Of course, we strongly recommend an impenetrable security steel door to keep the family safe, however a family pet can also help with deterring burglars.
If you have the time, a dog can not only protect you and your family but it can become a wonderful pet that adds value to your home. Despite popular belief, you don’t have to choose a pet such as a Rottweiler or a Bull Mastiff, there are plenty of breeds that are completely safe for children but will protect the family against strangers.
When choosing a dog for security you have many options. There are guard dogs to suit every family situation.
Here’s what to consider:
A guard dog doesn’t have to be huge and fierce to scare off a burglar. In fact a terrier is often the pet of choice for many as it will bark incessantly when there’s a threat of intrusion. This barking alone is enough to deter an opportunist thief as it alerts you and neighbours to their presence.
A huge dog can make you feel safer while being a deterrent to burglars on sight alone. There are many breeds that grow large yet are soft with their families and fierce with strangers. Examples of breeds include the Labradoodle, very playful, adores children yet will protect in an instant. The Saint Bernard will deter any intruder will a single growl while being a wonderful albeit large and drooling playmate for kids, while the Great Dane will take up a lot of space, remind children of Scooby Doo, but keep intruders away.
The size also depends on the amount of space you have, it’s not fair to have a very large dog if you live in a flat without a garden. Smaller breeds will not mind the absence of a garden as long as they are walked twice a day.
Some people will invest in a guard dog only to lock it away in the utility room or kitchen for the night, every night. Of course, this is where many dogs sleep however a burglar will not feel threatened by a dog that is safely stored away. Consider where the dog should sleep. Near the front or back door is optimum. Although some people think guard dogs should be kept outside, protective instincts are enhanced if the dog feels like a complete part of the family.
A dog does need time and training. Leaving it all day as you go out to work can be cruel unless you have neighbours or a support network to help. However, if you are a single parent, you may find that the dog keeps you company and becomes your best friend too. Think about the commitment first, as you may need someone else to take care of the dog if you’re away.
A large dog will need a lot of exercise, some need to walk or run miles every day.
A puppy can be an ideal choice as with training they soon grow into an adult that becomes a protector of the family, however if you have little training experience or you’d prefer a dog to guard the home right now you can find many retired gun dogs and unwanted animals at various shelters.