These days smallholders are quite likely to keep dogs for security purposes. Our surveys tell us that more than 85% of smallholders have at least one dog on their property and most have three or four.
But how useful are they when it comes to keeping you and everybody else safe? This will vary considerably according to the breed of dog and the amount of training it has had.
Watch Dog or Guard Dog
There is a difference between a watch dog and a guard dog.
A watch dog is part of your early warning alarm system and it will bark to warn you that someone has entered your property.
Guard dogs, on the other hand, are trained to protect their owners, and they’ll intervene in the case of a hostile intruder.
A guard dog is generally a large dog with intense loyalty to its owners and a highly-developed sense of territory, which includes you and your family, as well as your property and belongings. These dogs have the physical strength, size and temperament required to repel invaders, and won’t hesitate to do so.
However, guard dogs aren’t safe for inexperienced owners. A well-rounded, balanced temperament is required and these dogs need to be trained by professional trainers.
Rottweilers, Bull Mastiffs, Giant Schnauzers, German Shepherds, Ridgebacks, Boerbuls and Dobermans can be trained to be effective guard dogs.
Advantages of Dogs for Security Purposes
One of the advantages of having a dog is that it can operate over a wider range than a security system, as a dog will bark once it senses a stranger thanks to its acute sense of hearing.
A well trained dog can disable the culprit if a stranger ventures onto your property and keep them there until law enforcement arrives.
But keeping a dog is a commitment: we should only keep dogs if we are able to keep them clean, groomed and healthy.
This includes ensuring that they get adequate exercise. Many of us think that the dogs have lots of space and places of interest to explore on a plot. However, they are not going to do so on their own. We still need to take them with us when we move round our holdings and take them for regular walks.
We also need to ensure that the fencing is adequate to keep our dogs on our property.
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