Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?
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Thread: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

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    Senior Member Bones's Avatar
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    Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    Not to be confused with are dogs good guard dogs. I am specifically looking for thoughts on whether or not people feel dogs are a general deterrent towards robbery. Over the course of the year several houses on my street have been robbed- including three of my neighbors (one next door, one behind, and one next door to the one behind). Me and my other next door neighbor have not been directly burglarized and we both own dogs. The police told my next door neighbor who was robbed (had his plasma tv, playstation, and 9mm pistol stolen) to get a dog as it would discourage being robbed in the future.

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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    Definitely a deterrent. I mean... if you are choosing a house to burglarize, why would you not choose the one with the least amount of obstacles and worries?

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    Senior Member dagwall's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    I believe a dog is a deterrent to random robbery, basically they are doing a little scouting and looking for easy targets. But for a determined robber knowing/believing they'd get away with high enough value items and are willing to simply kill the dog(s) it probably wouldn't stop them.

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    Senior Member Abbylynn's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    Agree with dagwall completely! If someone knows you have a dog and have been staking you out ... like they did our neighbors down the road last year ... they will just arm themselves and still get away with what they came after.


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    Senior Member MusherChic's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    I believe a dog is a deterrent to random robbery, basically they are doing a little scouting and looking for easy targets. But for a determined robber knowing/believing they'd get away with high enough value items and are willing to simply kill the dog(s) it probably wouldn't stop them.
    Ditto

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    Senior Member HollowHeaven's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    I live in a neighborhood that is prone to petty theft and just general mischief.
    I also own a big black dog, with big "orange" eyes that has a big scary bark whenever he sees someone he doesn't know come near his yard. Big black dog also doesn't take kindly to random men.
    People do not walk through my yard. :]

    I think as far as just random petty robbers go, those who have no intent on getting at something big and are just really looking to take, dogs will be a deterrent. Especially ones who 'look scary' and have a frightening bark. If they notice the dog while they're scouting out places, then they're not likely to choose it and will move on to an easier target. But if they don't notice the dog and just poking around, when the dog starts to round the corner or starts barking, they're likely to think twice.
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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    Doggie doors are prime entry points for burglars. So I suppose it would depend on how big the doggie door is. The whole risk/reward thing.

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    Senior Member hamandeggs's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    Quote Originally Posted by dagwall View Post
    I believe a dog is a deterrent to random robbery, basically they are doing a little scouting and looking for easy targets. But for a determined robber knowing/believing they'd get away with high enough value items and are willing to simply kill the dog(s) it probably wouldn't stop them.
    Agree!

    I've told this story here before, but last fall, not too long after we adopted Biscuit, she woke us up late one night with warning barks and growls. Our bedroom overlooks a courtyard, and the window was open, and we heard people talking in the courtyard. They said "That's a dog." We didn't think anything of it and fell back to sleep, but in the morning we saw that our door and doorframe were all gouged, as if someone had tried to jimmy the lock with a screwdriver. Pretty sure the barking dog deterred them. So I would say yes, a dog, even a friendly or small one, can deter unwanted late night guests!

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    Senior Member HollowHeaven's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curbside Prophet View Post
    Doggie doors are prime entry points for burglars. So I suppose it would depend on how big the doggie door is. The whole risk/reward thing.
    Not everyone has a doggy door, though.
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    Junior Member Brieana's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    I would say if you're being burglarized while you sleep, a barking dog is a deterrent because it wakes you, which is what scares away most burglars.
    There used to be this show called "It Takes a Thief" where they would have an ex-robber break into people's houses so they could watch and see how unsecured their house really is. One house had two dogs, both friendly and the robber took their young golden retriever! He said afterward that it was a nice dog and he would have sold it. Haha.

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    Quote Originally Posted by HollowHeaven View Post
    Not everyone has a doggy door, though.
    I'm being specific to the question, and I would assume if a dog were a deterrent, criminals would stay away from homes with doggie doors. They don't, really.

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    Senior Member Tofu_pup's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    I like to think that living in a home with four dogs, three of which are between 45-95lbs, that we're relatively safe from being robbed. Though while I think my dog is a total BAMF, I have no illusions about her chances against a gun.

    It's also a big ordeal when we head to the park with all four dogs. If somebody were staking out the place, they'd be able to see when the house is empty.

    I am also anti-dog door. Burglars were never really a factor in that but if we put in a door big enough for Ozzie, just about any person could squeeze in(and raccoons, opossums, squirrels, etc).

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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curbside Prophet View Post
    I'm being specific to the question, and I would assume if a dog were a deterrent, criminals would stay away from homes with doggie doors. They don't, really.
    Eh, my uncle has a big dog door because they had a big dog back in the 70s. Now they only have cats, and they use the door so he's never replaced it. So not everybody with a dog door has a dog.

    If someone is determined to break in to your house, a dog isn't going to stop them. But someone who's just looking for an easy target is probably going to move on if they see/hear a dog. I live near the city park, and a lot of the houses near the park see petty vandalism. Not my house, LOL. Also the part of the park my dogs can see has never been hit either.

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    Senior Member Kayota's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    Yes and no... My mom's big black dogs lived outside, so the only thing they deterred was people breaking in the back door, and she has been robbed at least twice... Once through the back door, because the dogs were also on chains. So if they wouldn't have access to the robbers anyway, then no. I never did get bothered walking Padfoot at night though... Needless to say I was much more on guard when I walked Roxie. Why is it that people assume big black dogs are all aggressive, anyway? Except for labs...

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    Senior Member HollowHeaven's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayota View Post
    Why is it that people assume big black dogs are all aggressive, anyway? Except for labs...
    I brought that question up some time ago, but really the only reason I can think of is a stereotype black = evil, white = good. I get comments and looks while walking my YinYang pair.
    That, and at night it's sort of scary when all you can see coming at you is a pair of eyes.
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    Senior Member lisak_87's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayota View Post
    Why is it that people assume big black dogs are all aggressive, anyway? Except for labs...
    I always thought people seemed more wary of black dogs because it's harder to see their expressions from a distance. And pictures of them are harder to take (harder to see all their features), so a lot of times they are overlooked. Stuff like that.

    As for the original question, I'm fairly certain that my dad's maltese isn't much of a deterrent ...but my mom's golden retriever is! He barks barks barks and a lot of people will back away from the doorway when they hear him. He's also been a great deterrent for door-to-door sales
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    Senior Member Avie's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    Dogs - small or big - are a deterrent for common thieves. Especially noisy dogs.

    They're not a deterrent for people who mean bad business. If they're intend on targeting your house, they'll simply kill the dog as they go. That's reality, unfortunately.

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    Senior Member MusherChic's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    Why is it that people assume big black dogs are all aggressive, anyway? Except for labs...
    lol I don't know but my black lab has a bark that sounds like it could summon the grim reaper himself when she sees someone she's suspicious of.
    Needless to say, we've never been robbed.

    I think black dogs just look sort of foreboding to some people. **shrugs**
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    I think some people are scared of black Labs, too. Or at least some people were scared of Boomer (my grandpa's Lab). But then he was named for his big booming bark .

    I don't think I would be robbed even if I didn't have big scary dogs--the crime rate here is really low. Petty vandalism is common enough, and they might lift something you leave in the yard, but not a lot of actual break-ins or anything that harms people. But if anyone ever did break in to my house, they'd be mighty disappointed. I don't have anything good.

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    Senior Member RCloud's Avatar
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    Re: Are dogs a deterrent to criminals?

    It depends on the criminal. If it's just someone looking to break into a house and steal some stuff and get the hell out, but not actually hurt anyone, then I imagine they'd be likely to avoid a house with a dog inside. If it's someone who's really sick and demented and is out with the intent to hurt someone, a dog wouldn't stop them...


    "Ma'ii is always out there, waiting. And Ma'ii is always hungry" - Navajo proverb

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