Some dogs deter would-be intruders. Others are so indiscriminately friendly they'd help home invaders carry your belongings out if they could.
How would your dog react to an intruder?
People get dogs for companionship, but they can also provide a sense of security around the house. Having a big, scary dog may make you feel safe, but that's not necessarily what keeps criminals away.
FOX5's sister station in Atlanta, WGCL, put man's best friend to the test, finding out how different breeds react to potential intruders.
Dog trainer Jeff Schettler put on a 40-lb. bite suit and headed inside a house.
First up was a Brittany spaniel and two border collies.
A full minute passed before any of the three dogs even barked at Schettler.
"I'm definitely surprised by their reactions. I would have expected more in the beginning from all of them," the owner of the dogs said.
The next dog contestants were a terrier and two retriever mixes. One dog just wagged its tail, but the other two made enough noise to alert neighbors.
Next tested was a papillon mix. The papillon let out a brief shriek followed by some dog kisses planted on Schettler.
How about an 82-pound rottweiler? That dog barked wildly when Schettler approached the house but quieted down considerably when he entered.
FOX5 spoke with an expert in Las Vegas who said there were some flaws with the test in Atlanta. Trainer Michelle Murrell said it's the bark heard from outside a home that keeps people away.
Murrell, who has trained dogs for 20 years, including police dogs, said it's not the size of a dog that determines if it will serve as a crime deterrent.
"Even if it's a little Chihuahua, we hear on the other side of the door. We go to the next house because they simply make noise," Murrell said.
FOX5 asked if it's possible to have a family dog that also serves as a guard dog.
"That's a whole other ballgame that we've entered into. Once they learn to bite, it's a very hard problem to keep that controlled, and they're going to bite when you tell them to or bite only when they deem the situation bad," Murrell said.
Murrell warned that if you have children, there's no telling what a dog could do.
If a professionally trained watchdog won't work for your family, nobody outside of your home has to know.
Homeowners might consider simply getting a Beware of Dog sign. Even having a few dog toys in your yard will steer most intruders away from your home.
Still, the bottom line is noise coming from inside your home will usually keep intruders out.
Murrell said it's crucial for the safety of your family and your dog that any training be done by a licensed professional.
Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Monday, July 28 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-07-28 05:54:28 GMT
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