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Do Dogs Prevent Break-Ins? Facts & FAQ

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on May 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

thief, burglary, break into

Do Dogs Prevent Break-Ins? Facts & FAQ

There have been many proven benefits to living with dogs. People typically get pet dogs for their companionship, but research has shown that dogs don’t just help with people’s social and emotional needs. Pet dogs are also proven to prevent break-ins, and homes with dogs have a lower risk of getting broken into by intruders. dogster face divider

How Pet Dogs Can Unintentionally Protect Homes

Homes with dogs are less likely to get broken into regardless of the dogs’ breed or size. There are numerous studies that have recorded data of homes with dogs having a lower risk of theft and vandalism than homes without dogs. One study completed by Ohio State University found that neighborhoods with many homes with dogs tend to be safer from criminal activity than neighborhoods with fewer dogs.1 You might think that homes with larger dogs are safer than homes with smaller dogs. However, size doesn’t really seem to matter as much. This is because larger dogs are perceived to be more physically dangerous, while smaller dogs are perceived to be louder and more likely to bark and create noise. It’s also worth noting that even just having a “Beware of Dog” sign can reduce the chances of a house getting broken into by burglars.

Curious dog staring through open door from bathroom
Image Credit: sophiecat, Shutterstock

Do Dogs Recognize Intruders?

A dog’s ability to recognize intruders will depend on the dog’s temperament. Dogs with friendly and social personalities may end up welcoming an intruder thinking that they are a friend. Meanwhile, dogs that are more reserved and have a stronger protective instinct will be more likely to be wary of an intruder and display aggression or anxiousness when facing an intruder. It’s also worth noting that dogs can sense people’s moods and identify negative people. Dogs have noses that are much more sensitive than human noses, and they can detect and differentiate chemosignals that humans unknowingly give off. So, even if they initially welcome an intruder, it’s very likely that they will grow to become wary as they pick up on and observe the intruder’s behaviors.

What Dog Breeds Are Best for Home Security?

Some dog breeds were specifically bred for guarding or watchdog work. Therefore, certain breeds will excel at protecting your home than other breeds that were primarily bred for companionship. Some popular dog breeds that are commonly trained for guard dog work include German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, Bull Mastiffs, Rottweilers, and Cane Corsos. All dogs should receive proper training, but these breeds, in particular, must be well-trained. This is because they have the potential to do a lot of damage or inflict serious injuries due to their large size and strength. An unruly and untrained dog can end up being a liability instead of a security if they end up biting or attacking someone. dogster face divider


While they’re not completely foolproof, having pet dogs in the home can reduce the risk of intruders from breaking and entering. Large dogs provide an intimidating presence, while small dogs can alert others with their barking. Overall, homes with dogs can be more difficult to break into and involve risks that burglars may want to avoid. So, it doesn’t hurt to have a “Beware of Dog” sign posted at your house as an extra security measure. Just make sure that you have other safety systems set in place so that your home security isn’t completely reliant on your pet dog.

Featured Image Credit: TheDigitalWay, Unsplash

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