Choosing a good guard dog -

Choosing a good guard dog

A trained dog is far more hazardous to crooks than any alarm system. Our pet pro, Luciano Aguilar, shares some tips about using dogs for defense.

"Beware of Dog, you see the signs everywhere," says Aguilar. Almost anyone who owns a dog posts them to scare off burglars. Of course, a lot of people get the real thing! After all, dogs can offer excellent protection. But when it comes to getting a dog to guard you and your family, there's one big question:  Which one is right for your experience and needs?

There are three levels of canine protection:

Level 1 - Dogs with no specialized training. They are family pets which can be any breed or any size. These pets react to any sudden changes around your home. Your pooch will alert you when someone is walking up to your house or he'll react to noises you may not even hear.

Level 2 - Dogs with the ability to bark, growl or bare his teeth on command.  If you feel threatened by someone home or on the street you can fire a canine 'warning shot' by getting your dog to act aggressively.  Most people quickly back down.

Level 3 - Dogs which will not only alert you, bare their teeth or bark on command, they're also trained to bite and hold an intruder until commanded to release him.  Training never stops when you own this type of protection dog. If you don't have the time or the inclination to train and maintain your dog's skills, then this level of dog is probably not for you.

Aguilar says a German Shepard usually makes for a good guard dog because of his natural tendency to want to protect his family. German Shepards are easy to mold into the right dog for your purposes when it comes to protection. Keep in mind, however, that you are liable if your dog causes harm to anyone. You definitely want to weigh the advantages of having a protection dog against the liability of owning one.

The bottom line, Aguilar says, is this: "If having a protection dog is important to you, make sure to do your research."

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