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Would you get a guard dog to protect your home and family?

German Shepherd in a fieldFor homeowners, keeping your property secure when you’re both in and out of the house is paramount, with many splashing out on hi-tech alarm systems. But would you ever consider getting a dog to protect your home?

The idea of a guard dog seems a bit outdated these days, and the laws around keeping certain breeds of dog have tightened over the years due to their temperaments or the carelessness of their owners.

In addition, it would be difficult to convince many parents to have a dog capable of deterring an intruder around children.

Highly trained member of the family

Nevertheless many still do, and there is a keen market for these highly trained, seemingly rebranded “family protection dogs”.

These are dogs that are raised to be obedient and family-friendly, but above all to protect you from intruders and potential threats.

Common breeds for this type of dog are Dobermans, German Shepherds and Cane Corsos, each of which are renowned for their guardian instincts and alert disposition.

One protection dog website boasts glowing testimonials from families such as the Gilbertsons, who say: “Having two little girls under the age of two, we were concerned about how a protection dog would fit into our family but we needn't have worried! Ozzie and our girls are the very best of friends!”

But even with the best training, would you ever feel completely comfortable leaving your kids with a dog capable of deterring a hostile threat?

The Gilbertsons seem to think so, saying: “He is VERY protective of the house and his new family. We have had a few problems with people trying to break in and so far he's seen off two attempts.”

The choice is yours

The choice is of course down to the individual owner, and it’s up to you to weigh up whether or not you think getting a protection dog is a good idea.

Caroline Kisko, spokeswoman for the Kennel Club, had this warning: “A dog owner should make sure that they have the dog’s welfare at the heart of all of their actions.

“Giving a dog love and ensuring that they are happy is right for the dog. Treating a dog as a commodity may change the view of the owner and will not be in the dog’s best interests.”

Set on buying a protection dog? Remember…

Be careful and make sure the breeder and trainer are both up to scratch, and never simply buy a breed known for being aggressive. This can be a danger to you, your family and anyone the dog comes into contact with.

Kisko says: “Trying to train a dog to act aggressively without understanding what you are doing could cause a number of problems.

“You could be breaking the law by allowing your dog to be aggressive, if anything happens you could find that your dog is put down and you may be charged with owning a dangerous dog.”

Certain breeds of dog are banned in the UK because of their vicious disposition. You can find out which ones on the DirectGov website.

Do you have a guard dog or protection dog? Would you get one? Do you think it’s ever 100 per cent safe to have them around children? Let us know in the comments section below.