Using Dogs for Home Defense | USCCA

For thousands of years, humans have used dogs for protection and to alert them to danger. The Ancient Egyptians employed dogs to carry messages, go on patrols and attack enemy soldiers. The Greeks and Romans made use of them to guard buildings and military outposts. Founding Father Thomas Jefferson imported chiens de plaine (shepherd dogs) from Europe to protect the sheep on his plantation from preying wolves. During World War I, Sgt. Stubby, the mascot of the 102nd Infantry Regiment, anticipated incoming German mustard gas and artillery attacks, saving the lives of countless American soldiers. Whether during war or peacetime, dogs have long been man’s premier guardian.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/blog/using-dogs-for-home-defense/
1 Like

Is your dog(s) part of your home-defense plan?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t have dogs

0 voters

Please share how your dog(s) help with your home defense.

My dogs bark when someone approaches the door. My wife wishes they would not bark when friends or family arrive, but the dogs don’t know the difference until the door is opened. I actually want the warning. I must pick up one of them to keep him inside when the door is opened.

2 Likes

I have 3 dobermans and a lab. They start barking when people walk by the house. No one will be able to approach the house without their presence being detected. I don’t expect them to do anything other than look menacing and bark a lot. They are just one layer of the security.

4 Likes

I have a Dutch Shepherd. He is REAL smart, REAL energetic and REAL focused & REAL fearless. He is an excellent dog and is for all of the above and much more (scent, tracking, protection etc etc). ONE BIG PROBLEM FOR UTAH: It does NOT matter ( I repeat: does NOT matter) how or why your dog bites someone. The intruder could brandish a weapon with obvious intent to kill/harm or any other seemingly legitimate reason. The dog owner is responsible legally and financially for ANY harm to the intruder, NO EXCUSES! PERIOD! You could get shot by the intruder and beat to a bloody pulp and any harm the dog does to the criminal YOU are responsible for ANY harm that comes to him. So, BEWARE IN UTAH! The ONLY exception is if the dog is an LEO animal.

1 Like

Stephen, what is a LEO :dog2: dog??
I like your letter. I have a GSD for protection & household defense. He is almost 11 but still acts like a puppy in my defense. My family ‘gave’ me a Pitt Bull nobody had time for. I didn’t think she’d be much good for defense as she sat in my lap wanting belly rubs as often as I’d allow. However she will bark & growl at a stranger in our yard. Recently I took both dogs to the vet. While the elderly veterinarian shook as he was trying in vain to get a needle in Gabriel’s front leg, Gabriel started crying because of the pain. Grace hesitated for a second then quickly snatched the needle out of the vet’s hand. Now I have 2 defense & protection dogs!
PS yes, I’m training her.

2 Likes

Law Enforcement Officer (includes Search animals)

Annie, make SURE that the ‘Recall’ is most important in training. It is THE most important aspect of all training. Just like an automobile, the ‘brakes’ are the most important part. Doesn’t do any good to have the fastest car if you cannot stop it. An analogy good for the ‘Recall’. (seek professional assistance)

2 Likes

so far he is worthless, too friendly, wags tail at intruders and all. How do I train him to bark? When we had a burglar casing the house last month, he did nothing to warn us, in fact the burglar let him out of the yard and locked him out while he went around looking in windows. So, we were home but didn’t know because the dog never barked. Then the next day we saw the criminal on the cameras, call the police, the took a report but did nothing, as not a good enough photo to identify him. They know to look down, wear a hat, and you don’t get a good facial ID. The dog did bark at the police!! one of the rare times he has barked. I need to get another dog that will bark

1 Like

Welcome to the Community, @Lisa5!

How old is your dog? What kind of dog is it? What kind of training have you done? My German Shepherd is just over a year old and is the biggest chicken in public. But he has recently started barking at strangers and his bark is HUGE! He still runs behind me when there’s a new person in the house, but he’ll growl and bark if if feels something is off.

1 Like

My big girl barks lightly & growls as she comes to get me out of bed. Once out of bed & armed, she goes back to sleep & lets me handle the situation which is fine with me as I don’t want her to get hurt by some fool thug.

2 Likes

I have the ‘luxury’ of having 4 dogs–a blockhead lab and 3 Dobermans.
The lab consistently hears things first in the neighborhood and starts the bark orchestra. While the dogs sound awful menacing, that’s all I need or want them for–early warning.
But if the door to door folks (Mormons, JW’s, etc.) come calling, I’ll definitely have them next to me looking hungry.
Yes, it’s nice having the dogs.
Yes, it’s hard sleeping when every single bump in the night or car driving by sets off 100db of barking. I’ll stick with dogs, though. The pros outweigh the cons.

2 Likes

Unfortunately I cannot have dogs due to the people I care give for one is highly allergic to dog dander, so I resign my self for the more traditional ways of protecting my loved ones and my self.

You could try one of those doodle dogs or a poodle–personally not my cup of tea but I hear the allergies aren’t a problem.

3 Likes

We have 3 dogs a 5 month old Sheltie, a 2 year old pit bull/Lab mix and a 10 year old German Shepard. Obviously the Sheltie is of little use other than yapping (all the time), the Pit/mix barks but is shy, the German Shepard is a FORCE TO BE RECOND WITH. I dare anyone to attempt to enter my house without me being there.

2 Likes

As we learned from USCCA, home defense has to be done in “layers”. Think of the layers as being stacked on each other. In our case, the first layer is the Alarm Protection sign. Certainly, the second layer is a barking dog - a big breed that is not necessarily a physical threat to an intruder, but since a potential home invader cannot see the dog easily, the deep bark is a deterrent at the very least. Maybe door locks are the third layer, followed by the centrally-monitored alarm system. Then there’s the dog itself. It may or may not attack, but it’s there, and most burglars or home invaders will not take the chance. The last layer and the one I don’t want to ever have to use is firearms. Hopefully the upper layers will act as a prevention, but the final layer is there if I need it.

3 Likes

My very large American Staffordshire Terrier, which is the real name for a pitbull, although there are several different types of them, I had to put down in August 3 days after he turned 11 years old. And it was an unfortunate situation that he contracted something and none of the vets around here were helpful no one wanted to check him and test him they all just kept saying it was cancer which I still to this day don’t believe that it was.
But at any rate when I adopted him he was four months old and I had lived in a particular area of a city in Pennsylvania that wasn’t very safe at night to walk. I was self-employed and getting this dog was the best thing that ever happened to me I was always safe after that.
He went with me everywhere. He would lay in the back of my car and I could leave my purse and my keys in my car and wouldn’t have to lock it and leave the windows down if I had to run into the store or something.
He rarely barked at people but he would sit up and show his big head out the window and people who would just be walking down the sidewalk or near the car would jump and go in another Direction. All he had to do was just stare at somebody.
When I moved to the South 7 years ago, I had him outside all of the time and had the back door open so he could come and go as he wanted to and a lot of times he would sit at the front gate coming up from the side of the house and just watch people. And it was amazing how of people would see him they’d quick cross over to the other side of the street, and people who were familiar with him being outside would never go past the gate they would always crossover to the other side.
So I would extremely advocate 4 a big protective dog being the first line of protection. As a single woman my house never got broken into even though I have lived in some shady places.

4 Likes

I’m so sorry to hear about your furbaby, @Darlene_M! He sounds like he was an amazing protector and friend.

I’ve got a 4 year old Pit and a 1 year old German Shepherd. Both are lovers and want to be on your lap all of the time, but people who don’t know them are terrified of them.

Our neighbors have gotten to know Harley and Chewie as they like to visit other dogs on the block and aren’t afraid of the dogs attacking anyone. But if anyone makes unexpected or threatening actions toward my 1 year old granddaughter, both dogs will protect her, I have NO doubt about that.

3 Likes

I have a German Shepherd. She looks the part. I run her next to my bike around my neighborhood and make her known to my neighborhood. People know where I live therefore they know I have a dog. She sits in my driveway and watches down the street. She has been trained not to leave the driveway unless told to do so. She is a very tentative dog and loves everyone especially kids.

1 Like

Stephen_Dale I am a professional. I mostly train Service Dogs of the GSD variety. Due to my dad’s training of me to train the animals he bred, I also train protection animals. That is difficult & so few qualify that I don’t like it. I trained my GSD for both distinctions after I trained & received his AKC GCG. My pitty will never be a personal protection animal. That would totally detract from her love of belly rubs. But if Gabriel goes on alert she barks & growls for all she’s worth. That is good enough to reinforce the image. Recall on both of them is split second and 100%.
It is great that you tell people to utilize a professional, but you might want to find out if they are one first.

You need a dog with a great sense of his property. German Shepherds are very good with protection of boundaries. Rottweiler, Labrador, & most similar dogs will also do. I will stress professional training of any protection animal so it does only what you want & is not just barky. That is NOT just a dog trainer but find a trainer recommended by your local AKC dog club. They can do the first training which is the CGC - Canine Good Citizen. That will protect the dog in most states if it needs to act in your defense.