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Photography by Henry Z. De Kuyper

Can a Specially Trained Dog Provide More Reliable Security Than an Alarm System and Faster Defense Than a Firearm?

History has shown that there are three things that man loves most in life: a good woman, a loaded firearm, and a loyal dog. And not necessarily in that order. While all three can provide much comfort and joy, only one of those cherished necessities is guaranteed to be fighting by your side to the death … and we’re not talking about the one that can run out of ammo or run off with another guy.

A well-trained dog can not only be a devoted family member, but also a criminal deterrent, a reliable and keen alarm system, and a first line of home defense. In fact, most experts say that a canine can detect and engage a threat long before you’ve even woken from your nightly coma — let alone stumbled to your gun safe.

“Alarms systems can be circumvented and the police are not always there to protect you,” says CQB K-9 owner Alex Dunbar, who trains dogs for family security, executive protection, police units, and the military. “But a highly trained German Shepherd has been a proven security addition to personal protection for more than 100 years.”

RECOIL is taking an in-depth look at how to harden your home. As part of this, we consulted with numerous subject-matter experts (SMEs) who all agreed that a dog can play a significant role in your home-defense strategy. While a canine might not be practical or possible for everyone (who knows, you might prefer *shudder* cats), a dog can certainly be a deterrent, alarm system, bodyguard, and weapon all rolled up into one furry, muscular package.

Alert, Assess, Attack
Not convinced that a four-legged friend is a good supplement to your home-defense strategy? Think that an alarm system is sufficient or that your gun is the be-all-end-all of personal security? Then you’d be wrong, says Wade Morrell of Priority 1 Canine. Prior to starting his dog training and consulting business, he worked as a police officer in Ohio for more than a dozen years and investigated hundreds of burglaries committed at homes with computerized security systems. Yet, he had dealt with just one home burglary where the owner had a dog … and had been put in a kennel in a back room.

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