Do Guard Dogs Protect Homes From Burglars? Well, These Pooches Didn't

You might think that pit bulls or Rottweilers are naturally protective guard dogs that will keep your home safe from burglars. But as it turns out, they might not even have any bark, let alone bite.

CBS Atlanta put five breeds known for being instinctive guard dogs to the test by staging break-ins at their homes and watching their reactions. Some yelped at the fake intruder, most whimpered, one did tricks, another let the intruder carry her out of the home in his arms -- and none of them fought him off.

Jeff Schettler of the Georgia K9 National Training Center played the part of the burglar, dressed up in a protective suit in case the dogs attacked. He hardly needed it: Only one of the dogs, Kevlar, a 100-pound German shepherd, nipped at him before scurrying away and cowering.

"Even when they are in their own home, they can be a bit nervous," Schettler told CBS Atlanta.

Ryan and Rihannon, the owners of Roxie, an 85-pound Rottweiler, have had their home burglarized before. They even have a mark on their front door where a burglar broke in. They told CBS Atlanta that they adopted Roxie to fend off future intruders.

But when Schettler entered their home, Roxie did little more than let out a few barks. She mostly eyed the intruder from a distance and whimpered -- but did nothing to stop him.

"I hoped that she would, you know, live up to her reputation as a protector and, you know, give him a chomp on the arm," Ryan said.

And the dog that did tricks for Schettler as he invaded her home? That was Bindi, the 29-pound pit bull. Yes, pit bulls may get a bad rap for being aggressive and ferocious, but Bindi just waved at the would-be burglar with her paw.

The other dogs involved in the tests were Calico, a 38-pound Brittany spaniel, and Star, a 10-pound papillon mix.

The results may be disappointing to some, since two of the test breeds -- German shepherds and Rottweilers -- have been listed among the 10 best breeds for guard dogs. But Schettler said that no matter what breed the dog is, if it hasn't been trained to protect, it likely won't fight back against an intruder. It's also worth noting that when Schettler entered each home, he didn't exactly cause the kind of ruckus that a real burglar likely would.

Watch the video below to see how each dog reacted to the burglary setup.

CBS Atlanta 46

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Is there anyone that I could call to have them test out my own dogs. I purchased. Shepherd mix to specifically protect my home and to be my protective running partner. I also have two other shepherds and heeler (we don't expect much out of her). It would be very interesting to see if our dogs are up to the task or of we are in need of some training.

July 09 2014 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That's the trouble with unscientific surveys OR experiments. meaningless results that can be posted as significant
I have an Azores Mountain dog and a Portuguese cattle dog, I would interested to see the dude in the suit get past my front door and walk out with my TV or even in the front door if the dogs were outside. As a matter fact I have $1000 that says he can't do it. It would be a bad idea for him to even try, because he would get hurt . He would not be able to stay on his feet and once on the ground it would be very ugly.
As long as he doesn't have a weapon and even then perhaps not.
My dogs are trained to be as social as we can make them, I have no need of attack or guard dogs, and didn't buy them for this purpose. However it is in their nature to be A.for the male dog extremely territorial and B. the female to be a guard dog.
I agree with the underlying premise that dogs should be trained for specific purposes .In particular if you want your dog to be a protection or guard dog training is for most a necessity as many dogs are not aggressive enough or too aggressive...Hey no one wants a lawsuit.
London Ont residential and commercial real estate

June 16 2014 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply