Is your home safe from burglars just because your dog is manning it?

It was intriguing to come across a query on Quora recently that went along these lines: do burglars really avoid houses with dogs? You must also be wondering as a pet owner whether having a dog at home would deter burglars or dacoits from breaking into your house.

One answer to the open-ended question stood apart. “When I was a teen, I had a Dachshund,” started Adriana Heguy, Director of the Genome Technology Center at New York University School of Medicine NYUMC.

“We lived in a townhouse with rows of similar houses in the same block. One summer weekend we went to the beach, and a few other neighbors too. A burglar tried to break into some of the houses, as all the locks were tampered with. All the locks of neighboring houses, except ours. Because of my Doxie’s incessant barking, and the way he was barking, one of the neighbors turned her lights on and looked out her window. The burglars left. He saved the whole block.” (sic)

Now, this one was not without any disclaimer: “I don’t know if there are scientific studies showing that dogs are a deterrent to burglars”. Let’s try and glean the answer from the proverbial horse’s mouth. Loud barking dogs are certainly a deterrent (no. 2 on the list, only after CCTV camera!) to burglary attempts, swore some real burglars surveyed by Co-op Insurance in the United Kingdom.

Every dog, however, is not meant to protect your house in your absence. At most, dogs can be the first line of defence by making your home not easily vulnerable to burglary attempts. The bigger or the more ferocious the dog, the safer you can feel.

Guard dogs or alarm dogs that would never stop barking when prompted are your best bet when it comes to safeguarding your home and property. After all, a dog’s vigilance is the closest substitute for your presence, something that burglars would do better without.

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