Do dogs put off burglars? Tips and Tricks

The role of dogs in a burglary situation

Let’s dig a little deeper. Lassie may deter a burglary, but the chances are she won’t stop one. Here’s a little burglar deterrent analogy to keep in mind: Dogs are to burglaries as citations are to speeders. Most people don’t want to be slapped with a fine for breaking the speed limit, but anyone determined to drive above the posted speed won’t be stopped by the possibility of a citation.

They’ll just be smart about how, where, and when they accelerate. Similarly, dogs do not act as guaranteed prevention. Here are a couple of stories that highlight when dogs aren’t enough for burglary deterrence.

  • When burglars are truly determined, dogs may not be enough to stave off a burglary. One recent story out of Norfolk, Virginia details a break-in where the offenders attempted to spray her dogs with ammonia during the course of the break-in.
  • Another investigation from KGW3 highlighted a study where a fake intruder entered a home with dogs to test their reaction. In all cases, the dogs acknowledged the entrance of the intruder by barking or growling, but then retreated. Your furry friend may pack a mean bark, but is it enough?
  • A faithful canine friend can be a great companion as well as a frontline defense of you and your home. Does having a dog deter burglars? We examine how a dog can help keep you safe—but how it’s not a foolproof method.

    By Meghan Wentland | Updated Apr 8, 2022 11:23 AM

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    A burglar will likely be deterred by a barking dog.

    Clever burglars use concealed entries, speed, and silence to get their jobs done quickly. Burglars interviewed in a series of reports on increasing levels of crime indicate that a loud, barking dog is the deal breaker for them—the combination of attention-grabbing sound and the unpredictability of a dog’s actions will almost always cause the burglar to move on. This is why some of the best watch dogs (dogs who alert their owners to potential trouble) have a loud, full bark, even if the stature of the dog itself isn’t terribly imposing.

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    Would your dog stop a burglar?