How Effective Are Dogs At Deterring Burglars?

September 29th, 2019



You’ll sometimes hear that the best and most reliable security system is a loud dog.  Dogs tend to be light sleepers and become eager and vocal when they hear someone approach, and so there’s good reason to believe that dogs can be just as loud and consistent as a burglar alarm.  But are they everything they’re cracked up to be when it comes to burglaries?

What Burglars Watch For

Convicted burglars, both in and out of prison, are sometimes asked what it is they check for before deciding to target a home and what will cause them to look elsewhere.  In 2017, Co-op Insurance asked 12 former burglars what would stop them, and the number two reason they’d turn around was a loud dog.  The number one reason mentioned in the survey was visible security cameras, and other top reasons included strong doors, TVs turning on, and bright street lighting.

Not All Dogs Are Loud

The thing about dogs is that not all of them are loud.  Some breeds are very likely to bark when they hear someone at the door, but others are quiet, and individual dogs can be loud or quiet depending on their personality and their training.  This means you can’t just get any dog and expect to be safer because they’re around.  The deterrence factor comes from the noise a dog makes when someone opens the front door, and if that doesn’t happen then a burglar won’t care.

Burglars Often Strike During Vacations

Many burglars are opportunists who look for an unlocked door and grab whatever looks valuable before running out a few minutes later.  Other burglars will watch a street or a neighborhood for a few days and target homes whose residents are all away on vacation.  If you take your pets with you on long vacations, then they won’t be able to bark and deter these burglars.  On the other hand, security systems will stay in place even after you leave, making them very effective even during a big family trip.

Dogs Aren’t Cheap

A security system can be an expensive investment, but then you can say the same thing about a dog.  Getting a dog can be expensive or free depending on where you go, but after that you need to pay for food, toys, blankets, trips to the vet, vaccinations, parasite treatments, and any sort of medical issues that could come up down the line.  You also have fewer housing options when you’re on the road or renting an apartment.  For many pet owners it’s a fair trade, but a dog isn’t necessarily cheaper or easier to own than a security system.

A loud dog is and has always been an effective deterrent against burglars and other home invaders.  However, not every homeowner wants to own a loud dog thanks to the responsibility and the noise.  That’s why many people prefer to get comprehensive security systems with surveillance cameras, sturdy locks, and burglar alarms.  For more information about the security options available, contact SilverHammer Surveillance today.