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Do you remember walking past gated premises as a child and noticing stark, black-on-white signs reading ‘danger: guard dogs patrol these premises’? It seemed to me that I’d sooner throw myself in front of a train than trespass on a property protected by guard dogs, but then I wasn’t in the habit of trespassing on other peoples’ property anyway. The fact remains, however, that guard dogs represented an effective deterrent and a reliable means of securing valuables from thieves and vandals, so why is canine security in decline today?
Is canine security really that effective?
In order to understand why the use of guard dogs has become steadily less and less widespread over the past decade or so, we need to ask ourselves whether or not canine security was that effective in the first place. Let’s get one thing straight first off – a trained dog and its handler are certainly capable of apprehending a perpetrator, as the police continue to prove today. Even the most determined group of thugs is likely to wilt in the presence of a trained guard dog or two! As a deterrent, canine security is up there with the best, then.
What happens if the thieves aren’t deterred, however? What if they think the signs are bluffing, or decide that they’ll take their chances with the dogs in either case? Well, in most instances the trained dogs and their handler will apprehend the criminals before they can cause any damage, or otherwise chase them off the property as soon as they set foot on your premises. The effectiveness of canine security is hard to argue with.
Dogs are hard to insure
Perhaps the first stumbling block when it comes to canine security is the thorny issue of insurance. Here in the UK, protecting one’s property from criminals is a difficult procedure – for many it often seems as though the rights of the criminals are valued more highly than the rights of the property owner! As such, insurers tend to get a bit fidgety when the idea of security dogs is mentioned – what happens if a trespasser is injured by a dog and successfully sues your company? An insurer isn’t going to take that risk lightly, and this will be reflected in your insurance premium.
There’s also a fair amount of legislation pertaining to the use of canine security, and it’s up to those in possession of guard dogs to see that this is subscribed to. Any property in possession of a guard dog will need to have signage up over every entrance to the grounds or building, warning potential trespassers of their presence. The dogs need to either be overseen by a handler at all times or otherwise chained up so that they cannot injure any trespassers – for this reason, dogs are only ever really useful when combined with trained security guards.
Society has a problem with the guard dog
Despite the fact that crime rates continue to rise and that the riots of 2011 proved to people just how important adequate security can be, the guard dog has something of an image problem in the 21st century. Canine security is meant as a defensive measure – a preventative solution to stop thieves and vandals from damaging property – but all too often they’re seen as an aggressive act. At a time when companies rely on their reputations to bring in customers and increase trade, the guard dog is seen as guaranteed bad publicity.
Canine security is fallible
Last but not least, canine security has begun to fall out of favour purely because it’s fallible. Security dogs are trained to bark when they notice an intruder, although as any pet owner will know, dogs can be extremely sensitive to sounds and smells, so even the slightest disturbance can set them off. As such, security guards and homeowners are as likely to ignore a barking security dog as not, nullifying their impact in the first place! Thieves will often visit a property several times before attempting to burgle it, so if they notice property owners failing to respond to a barking security dog, they’ll know they can attempt a burglary with impunity.
Even if a barking dog does illicit a response, there are ways to silence them that a determined thief won’t think twice about attempting if the rewards are great enough. Sadly, dogs can be poisoned, shot or otherwise incapacitated by thieves, and there are numerous examples of this happening in the process of an attempted burglary.
There are numerous reasons why canine security has lost its popularity in recent years, but for the most part, guard dogs have been phased out because there are simply better security options available on the market. Manned guarding services or mobile patrols combined with CCTV monitoring systems are far more effective means of tackling crime than guard dogs, so if you want to secure your property this year, take a look at our flexible security services and save yourself an awful lot of trouble along the line.
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