6 Facts You Might Not Know About Guard Dogs

02 12 2016

Guard dog with 'man's best friend' text overlay

Guest writer: Frankie Rendon, digital marketer/PR guy for Colorado Lockmaster, collaborates with publications to ensure that the content he plays a part in creating is given its time to shine. He received his B.A. in Public Relations from the University of South Florida.

Some homeowners might be surprised to learn that top security products and gadgets, coupled with a guard dog’s protective nature can prove to be one of the most effective deterrents for would-be burglars.

Why do dogs make such excellent guardians?

These animals innately recognize the social hierarchy of their environment, and will respond with devotion to whoever they perceive as “master.” The ancient Greeks, Babylonians and Assyrians were the first cultures to rely on dogs as protection. Since then, numerous canines have been specifically bred for this purpose.

Crooks and Dogs

Often, your household’s greatest defense is a highly trained and keenly alert canine. In fact, 65% of convicted crooks affirm that a large, intimidating dog would have scared them away.

The Original Watch Dogs

In 1899, German Shepherds became the original “watch dogs,” and they remain among the most sought-after breeds in the U.S. today. As this concept of protective pooches entered mainstream consciousness, around the early twentieth century, police departments and military branches trained German Shepherds to perform tracking functions.

10,000 Times Better Smellers

The NYPD discovered that a dog’s sense of smell is at least 10,000 times more accurate than a human's, so in 1907, the nation’s first K9 law enforcement unit was launched on the streets of New York City. These furry police officers work 6-8 years on the force and typically specialize in narcotics, explosives or cadaver detection. Each canine is assigned a human handler, whom the dog will communicate with by pawing (i.e. used for drugs) or sitting (i.e. used for bombs) beside the spot where it pinpointed a suspicious scent.

Military Pooches

Due to their finely tuned noses, steadfast loyalty and safeguarding instincts, dogs also assist military troops on the front-lines. American armed forces currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan can locate an estimated 50% of improvised explosive devices (IED), whereas dogs can find up to 80%. In addition, they can search an area four times faster than a human, while covering more ground. For these reasons, canines are considered superior bomb detectors - outperforming even the latest technological advancements.

Which type of dog is ideal for your family?


When choosing a protective pooch, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. In fact, these animals are grouped into several different classifications, so it’s important to know which dog will complement your household needs most effectively.

  • Watch dogs are trained to alert their owners anytime an unfamiliar figure is spotted on the premises. These breeds do not physically attack intruders, but will give verbal warnings such as intimidating snarls. Since they won’t inflict harm, watch dogs make excellent additions to families with young children.
  • Guard dogs are trained to charge and pin down any perceived threat upon command. These breeds are favored by police and military units because they can apply 750 pounds of pressure into a single bite, tearing through both muscles and tendons. This aggressive ability has earned them the reputation of “Kill Dogs,” but that label can be misleading. Despite behaving viciously whenever necessary, guard dogs are gentle toward their own families and people they trust. Owners should not try to train a dog to exhibit guard behaviors without professional help.
  • Protection dogs are trained to exhibit a combination of characteristics found in both watch and guard dogs. If properly taught, these breeds can attack intruders, but this behavior does not come naturally to them. Owners should not try to train a dog to exhibit guard behaviors without professional help. Protection dogs are often territorial and independent, which gives them a formidable presence.
  • Livestock guard dogs are trained to perform all the roles of its three other counterparts. These breeds are highly alert, attentive and intelligent, but they require ample space for free roaming. Therefore, livestock guard dogs thrive in rural environments and might not adapt well to an urban lifestyle.

Aptly called “man’s best friend,” these faithful guardians will leap into action at the slightest whiff of danger. Plus, besides keeping their owners safe from harm, dogs provide unrivaled affection for the whole family.

Does your furry companion double as home security? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

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