Conventional wisdom says that if you want an easy way to protect your property against burglars, you should get a dog. The reasoning goes that even the smallest dog will deter many burglars, and larger more fearsome dogs will be even more effective against more motivated burglars.
Well, yes, that’s right, as far as it goes. If a burglar has a choice between breaking into a house with nothing more fearsome can a pet hampster in a cage, or breaking into a house with any sort of dog inside, of course he’ll risk being attacked by the hampster rather than the dog!
A dog helps protect your property two ways. First, it will bark at burglars, possibly drawing someone’s attention to the burglar’s presence. Second, it may attack the burglar. You’ll be unsurprised to learn that burglars don’t like drawing attention to themselves, and they doubly don’t like being bitten by a dog.
So your ordinary burglar, just prowling up and down the street, looking for the easiest house on the block to break into, will not select any houses with dogs inside – there are plenty more without dogs to choose from.
Unfortunately, this same logic doesn’t apply to a burglar who has specifically targeted your property, due to something that attracts him to your property. Maybe he somehow knows that you have something valuable in the property, or maybe the property is very vulnerable in other respects and there is only the dog preventing the burglar from being able to go through your house from one end to the other at his leisure.
What will the burglar do then? How can the burglar protect himself against the dog and keep the dog quiet?
If you’re a dog lover, you may be genuinely puzzled by this question, or you might think ‘Oh, I’ll feed the dog treats and get him to like me and be friendly’. Well, for sure, that’s one possible approach, but if you’re a dog owner, you’ll know that even the finest 22 ounce steak will only keep your dog quiet for a minute or two before he’s finished eating it and then resumes normal duties.
On the other hand, if you’re a dog hater, you’ve probably already thought of a more effective solution to a guard dog. Poison it.
Yes, this seems heartless, cruel, even unthinkable. But that’s when approached from the perspective of an average ordinary and honest person (such as you) – someone who isn’t planning a burglary to start with.
Burglars can, will, and indeed do poison dogs if they have specifically targeted a particularly property they wish to break into. Now some dogs can be trained only to eat food from their master, but this is a difficult thing to train. Most dogs will respond to an offered slab of fresh raw meat the way you’d expect them to – they’ll eat it up with gusto.
Here’s a recent story of burglars who poisoned four Boxer dogs so as to get into the property’s back yard and steal some marijuana plants growing there.
We’re not saying you have marijuana plants. But we are saying that if for any reason you think your property might be at risk not just of semi-random burglaries but also of specific motivated burglary by villains who believe there may be something in particular of value in your property, then you need to realize that they won’t think twice before poisoning or in any other way putting your dogs out of action.
Dogs are good. But they’re only one part of a home defense/hardening solution.