Do Dogs And Fences Deter Burglars?

By Tim Chesonis •  Updated: 04/24/19 •  9 min read
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Given that home security systems are increasing in number year after year, I got to wondering if there were any other obvious security measures that could serve as an effective means of deterring burgers.

Both dogs and fences still serve as a major deterrent to anyone thinking of burglarizing your home. Fences take too much time to climb over or cut through, and dogs threaten exposure and bodily injury. Burglars will avoid both dogs and fences like the plague.

We are going to take a look at different types of fences that you may want to use to protect your home from an intruder. We are also going to address the need for a dog and what type of dog you might want to get to protect your family and property.

Do I Really Need a Fence?

The purpose of a fence is to either prevent the burglar from getting in, or at least to slow him down.

The question itself suggests that you already do not want a fence, and perhaps for good reason. Fences can be costly, depending on the the type of fence, and how big your property is. One also has asthetics to consider when implementing a fence. You want it to be very functional and yet at the same time, you don’t want to look like you live in a prison.

However, for the safety of your family, if possible, have a fence installed as it will definitely deter burglars from breaking in and entering.

A burglar has one objective. He wants to get in, take your stuff, and get it as quickly as possible.  When a burglar sees just how difficult would be to get in, let lone out again, the less likely he will even attempt to try to break in.

What Type of Fence Should I Get?

If you are going to put up a fence as a deterant, it should be something that will actually deter burglars from entering your property. For this reason, don’t even consider a fence that is not at least 6 feet high, otherwise, the intruder will simply hop the fence. As he leaves with your belongings, he will laugh all the way home.

The most important thing to a burglar is time.

A fence that is 6 feet tall will take longer to scale.  He wants to get in and out as quickly as possible. If you put a barrier in his way, cutting into his time, he will more likely than not, skip your house for the next house that does not have a fence.

The type of fence that you install makes a world of difference. Let’s take a look at the three of the most popular categories of fencing used today.

The Chain Link Fence

The chain link fence (even if it’s 10 feet high), is still very scalable. In fact, it’s easy to scale. Simply put your tow in any one of the fence hole’s and up you go. Chain link fences even make it easy to grab with your fingers as you climb. These don’t seem like much of a deterrent, but they will slow an intruder down.

Where does one predominantly find chain link fences? At schools, public parks, and surrounding the property of warehouses. When used at schools and public parks, the chain linked fence is used to keep people in, not to keep people out. They prevent stray basket-balls from bouncing out of court, or tennis balls from flying out. Chain link fences keep children inside the playground, away from traffic. In this environment, they really do not serve to keep people out, as much as they serve to keep children and sporting equipment from escaping.

Industrial warehouses, however, utilize chain link fences, and often-times with razor barbed-wire atop of the chain link fence. When utilized in this manner, the 12 foot fence will cause great harm or injury to anyone trying to cascade the fence. Aesthetically, it looks like a prison, but effective when used with razor sharp barbed-wire.

Though inexpensive, the downside to using a chain link fence is that they can easy be cut with bolt-cutters, offering an easy way in, and an easy way out.

The Wooden and Vinyl Fence

These fences are more difficult to scale, and if attempted, will definitely take more time, something the intruder is looking to avoid.

Vinyl fencing is by far the most popular type of fencing because it is relatively inexpensive, fairly easy to install, but most importantly, it requires zero maintenance.

Both wooden and vinyl fencing does the job. They serve as a big deterrent because they are not something that burglars will take the time to dig under, cut through, or scale, provided that they are at least 6 feet tall.

The Iron or Stone Fence

Admittedly, iron and stone fencing is the most expensive type of fencing that you can buy, but they tend to be the most effective as well, especially if they are at least 6 feet tall. They tend to be permanent, and will last for decades if properly maintained.

An iron or Stone fence is a rock-solid deterrent (no punn intended). You just are not going to break through them. One could climb them with a ladder, but how likely is it that a burglar will bring a ladder with him? Ladders take time, and time is one thing thief does not have.

Do I Really Need a Dog?

By instinct, a family dog will protect by nature. Protecting family members is s natural to dog as breathing is to you and I.

If a dog sences the slightest abnormality, be it the mailman or someone walking down the street, the dog will notify you with a low gutteral growl. At a minimum, it will investigate what it thinks is “off”.

Dogs will hear things before you do. Way before you do.

Dogs can hear 4 times the distance of what you or I can hear. Their primary means of interacting with their environment is by way of smell. Did you know that 40% of their brain is dedicated to “smell”? In fact, depending on the breed of dog, their sense of smell is anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000,000 times better than what you or I can smell!

This is precisely why dogs are a great asset when it comes to securing your property. Their senses “sense” things well before we would, and because they are light sleepers, they are quick to make you aware of any potential intruder.

A dog that barks will scare off a potential intruder. The deeper the bark, the more threatened the intruder feels.

Knowing these things, it almost makes sense to get a dog, even if you settle for a simple lapdog.

What Type of Dog Should I Get?

Do you need to spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on a rotweiller, German Shepherd, Doberman Pincher, or a bulldog? No.

Some dogs will literally defend your family and property by aggressively attacking the intruder. Other dogs, however, serve as an alarm system. Think of the German Shepherd as a personal body guard. The Chihuahua is clearly an alarm system.

You need to ask yourself a few questions when trying to determine which dog is right for you.

Is my home too small for the dog?

Just like you should not put a large fish in a 1 gallon fish tank meant for a gold fish, you should not get an enormous dog for a small apartment. Yes, you want to protect your home, but be fair to the dog at the same time. You need to take care of the dog, and it will need space to “use the facilities”.

Do I really need a big dog or will a small lapdog do the job?

Don’t get more dog than you can take care of. That may sound obvious, but you do not want to make an impulsive decision here. I encourage you not to make a decision out of fear. Instead, after taking all things into consideration, get a dog that will protect you and at the same time make a great contribution to you and your family.

Will the dog I am considering actually scare intruders away given where I live?

If you live in the city in an apartment building, a lapdog will probably suffice, because it will alert you to any intruder by barking up a storm, which will alert you and potentially, your neighbors.

If, however, you live out of the country, a laptop dog probably is not going to cut it because the intruder is not going to care how loud the dog barks, and it certainly isn’t going to intimidate the burglar like a Rottweiler or German Shepherd would.

Final Thoughts

For maximum protection, one would be wise to employ a home security system, along with a tall fence and a dog that is free to roam in the house and outside within the confines of your property line. Placing signs In strategic places throughout your property indicating that you have both a home security system and a dog, will almost certainly detour any potential burgers.

What Is The Most Popular Fencing And Why?

Vinyl fencing is the most popular type of fencing because it is relatively inexpensive and requires no maintenance whatsoever.

Do I Need To Take My Dog To Dog-School To Protect Me?

If you are looking for a guard dog, one that will attack on command, then you will need to enroll your dog in “dog-school”. For most people, however, simply having a dog in your home or place of business will generally be sufficient.

How Long Have Dogs Been Used For Protection?

Dog have been used to protect both family and property for over 15,000 years. Even though we now have home security systems available to us today, dogs still add value in protecting your home and your family.

Tim Chesonis

Tim loves writing to help people succeed. He loves tech, Linux, his iPhone and iPad. When he's not writing another article, he's probably binge-watching “The Middle” or “Breaking Bad”, (again). To learn more about Tim, click here.