Thinking about getting a guard dog for your home? A well-trained guard dog can be both a beloved family pet and a tireless guardian, but there are some reasons why you might want to reconsider the idea of getting a pet solely for home security purposes.
Con: Guard Dogs May Increase Your Liability
Depending on where you live, simply having a guard dog could potentially open you up to a lawsuit if someone is injured in your home. In some areas, this will be true even if an intruder was trespassing on your property! (In other areas, intruders forfeit their rights entirely–the only way you can be sure is by checking with a local legal society.) If you’re concerned about your family’s safety, this may not matter to you. However, if you don’t want to be on the opposing end of an expensive medical lawsuit, you may need to think again.
Pro: Guard Dogs Can Be Used Away from Home
A guard dog is not just used to secure your home; guard dogs can also be brought with you on a regular basis, to ensure that you are not in danger on unfamiliar territory. If you often travel, having a guard dog with you can be just as effective (if not more so) than carrying a stun gun or mace. Guard dogs can also be used to protect your family. This is an advantage that not many security systems have.
Con: Guard Dogs May Be Aggressive to Strangers
Guard dogs don’t necessarily know the difference between a friendly stranger and a stranger who intents to burglarize you or hurt your family, and this can be dangerous. As an example, do you expect that you might ask a friend to stop by your house to pick something up? With a guard dog, your friend could be in danger. A gas technician coming to check your line or, of course, the mailman, may all be at risk if your dog isn’t properly secured.
Con: Guard Dogs Can Be Extremely Expensive
A well-trained guard dog will usually run a person into the thousands of dollars–you’re not only paying for the dog itself, which will be impeccably bred, but also the training, which is fairly rigorous. If you don’t have the budget for a purebred, pampered pooch, you probably don’t have the budget for a well-trained guard dog.
Pro: Guard Dogs Are Extremely Well Trained
However, that brings another positive point: most guard dogs make fantastic family pets because they are so well-trained. They will be conscientious and safe around children and they will be able to “turn off” and be regular dogs when you simply want to play. If you don’t want to have to mess around at obedience school, a guard dog generally comes with most obedience pre-installed.
If you do want to get a guard dog, you should always make sure that the dog is properly trained. A guard dog needs to be able to be aggressive towards intruders without being aggressive towards your family, and that takes care, love and time. Only companies specialized in developing guard dogs will be able to ensure that a guard dog has been well cared for and well trained; it is not advisable to ever train a guard dog on your own.