You've probably seen the image of the scary junkyard dog patrolling the premises of a business, barking at passersby and being just menacing enough to keep burglars away. While this image may be common in movies and on television, in real life, using a dog to protect your home or business is much riskier than it sounds. Before you get a dog 'for protection,' consider these reasons why dogs should be kept as pets, not as protectors.
According to the CDC, over 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the U.S. There are also certain breeds that are often popular choices for people who want to use a guard dog to protect their property.
The problem with using a dog to stop intruders is that you have to train a dog to attack someone it doesn't know. This means that anyone unfamiliar to your dog could be bitten, including your friends and family members. If your dog gets confused or frustrated, it could also bite you or your immediate family members. If you have children in your home, it could be risky keeping a dog that is prone to aggression on your property. It's not worth the risk of using your dog as a security system.
Visit a site like http://www.trammellandmills.com for more information on what you might have to deal with if a personal injury suit is brought against you in relation to a dog bite.
Many insurance companies refuse to provide coverage for properties that have a dog that is considered to be a risk for biting. While you can sometimes get special policies covering one of these dogs, the added expense and lower coverage may not be worth it. If you aren't sure why you need insurance coverage for your property when you have a dog, just ask yourself if you're prepared to pay out of pocket in the event that your dog bites someone who is visiting you.
While having a 'dangerous' dog breed patrolling your property may be considered an insurance risk, the opposite is true about using a traditional alarm system for protection. Many insurers offer premium discounts if you install an alarm system to protect your property, making this a wiser choice than relying on Fido to keep burglars away.
If the thought of a having to file a personal injury claim over your dog biting your friend or loved one isn't enough to deter you from using a dog as a security system, consider this. In some states and under certain circumstances, a criminal who is bitten by your dog while attempting to break into your home may have more rights than you do.
Care and maintenance
Dogs require constant care that includes adequate food, water and shelter. If you go away for a few days, you need to make sure that someone feeds and waters your dog, and if it stays in the house, you'll need someone to take it out to use the bathroom. The expenses associated with having a dog, and keeping one healthy enough to protect your property, are numerous. If you're getting a dog just for property protection, the expense may surprise you.
On the other hand, an alarm system usually has a single upfront cost and may have a monthly fee, if you use a company to monitor the alarms. This may seem like a lot of money, but when you figure in the fact that it doesn't increase your risk of liability with your insurance company, it becomes a much more attractive option, financially.
Without a doubt, dogs make great pets, but when it comes to keeping your property safe, a burglar alarm is best. You won't have to worry about accidental injuries from dog bites, added insurance expense associated with having a guard dog on the property and you can literally 'set and forget' an alarm system, but you can't do that with a dog. Keep Fido happy, and your property risk-free, and use a burglar alarm for security instead.