Throughout history, there have been heart-warming tales of animals coming to the rescue of human beings in distress. This is also true for animals used to protect our homes and families – whether in the rural countryside or inner city. Heroic dog tales certainly abound – from fictional tales like Lassie to the real life tales of Rin Tin Tin and locally, Red Dog and a host of other famous Australian creatures. Along with the obvious choice of watch dogs or guard dogs, there are also the more unorthodox animal security guards for your home. Here we examine the pros and cons of a few popular ‘guard animals’ when it comes to securing your home.
When it comes to dogs to protect your home, it’s important to note the difference between a watchdog and a guard dog. A watch dog is essentially an alarm and a deterrent and will bark to alert you to any intrusion – popular breeds include small terriers, collies, spaniels and foxhounds. A guard dog is trained to actively physically protect your home, family and possessions and to attack an intruder – usually until the death, unless given a command to stop. Guard dog breeds include the German Shepherd, boxers, mastiffs and pit bulls. In Staten Island, USA, earlier this year, a pit bull, Kilo, made the news after the plucky pooch for his owner and scared away a pushy burglar. Miraculously, Kilo survived after the bullet ricocheted off his skull and exited his neck! While a watch dog is the option for many, a guard dog should be carefully considered, as there is always a possibility that their aggressive nature could make them turn on innocent adults and small children, especially if they are not professionally trained.
Recently, in West Sussex, UK, a Bengal cat named Leo decided to take action when a burglar attempted to clean out his owners’ house. The criminal gained access by chiselling around a window at the back of the house (note: this house obviously didn’t have Crimsafe!). As he climbed the stairs to where the homeowners lay sleeping, Leo shot through his cat flap, confronted the thief and started wailing wildly. He scared the wits out of the alarmed burglar, who promptly fled for safety out the same window from which he’d entered. Not only did Leo save his owners’ possessions and protect his humans from potential harm, he was nominated a finalist in the Hero Cat category in the Cats Protection UK 2012 National Cat Awards. There are even cases of over protective cats catching the wrong ‘criminal’ – watch this video of a fearsome cat protecting his little owner from what he thinks is the cruelty of his mother!
Geese are very popular as guard animals to protect cattle and homes, as they are also naturally aggressive and territorial. They are most effective if kept in flocks of mixed smaller birds, or if only one male goose is kept with a number of ganders. In this way, there will be no territorial in-fighting and their focus will be on external intruders. Geese are pretty scary when they’re angry – with wings stretched wide they will run, honk, hiss and bite at intruders animal or human. Definitely a deterrent scary enough to give potential cons ‘goose’ bumps!
The llama is an intensely territorial animal with a naturally aggressive instinct. While llama guards are most often used to protect livestock in rural areas against natural predators, such as dogs, foxes and coyotes, they are also now being used to protect property on farms and rural homesteads from intruders. Country folk are opting for a combination of a llama guard with alarms, cameras and other security products. If a prowler or intruder lands up crossing a llama’s path, there is a very real – and very frightening – chance that the llama will attack, chasing the intruder while hissing, spitting, screaming and sometimes even biting. So a llama in the garden would be a good deterrent – although this may prove a bit impractical for most suburban homes!
The concept of using guard donkeys to protect sheep and cattle in rural areas is gaining popularity. Donkeys can deliver deadly kicks to roving wild dogs, foxes or other predators who may try to rustle cattle. Should they hear or see an animal – or person – entering their territory, their boisterous braying and the threat of their hefty hooves may well make a potential interloper change his mind. Again though, a donkey may not be such a good choice for your average front yard – especially if you already have a dog.
Of course, if you don’t fancy the idea of a potentially dodgy dog, crazy cat, agro goose, livid llama or dangerous donkey to protect your home – you could always opt for Crimsafe security doors and windows! The sight of super-strong Crimsafe screens is bound to make would-be intruders sigh and walk away despondently!
Davon Security Screens provides a full range of high quality, durable Crimsafe security products throughout Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales. Contact Davcon today to discuss sensible security options for your home.