Burglar deterrents are big business. Burglar alarms, CCTV, home spy cams even remote controlled doorbells that allow you to see people outside your house even when you’re not there.

But there is one burglar deterrent in particular that beats them all according to ex-burglars.


Man’s best friend has been guarding man’s most important stuff for many thousands of years.

Now the cat’s out of the bag in terms of knowing what burglars themselves consider to be the most daunting opponent when planning a crime.

When was the last time your heard a burglar alarm and immediately dropped what you were doing to call the police? More often than not, the shrill, incessant droning of a burglar alarm is the result of somebody forgetting to let the cat out, a large insect disturbing the sensor or simply a power cut. Very rarely are intruders apprehended on the presence of an alarm sounding and burglars themselves view alarms as a mere occupational hazard.

It was in 2001 when Spud, a five-year-old Rottweiler, pounced on 35-year-old career burglar Carl Lazenby as he was hiding in a garden.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that Lazenby later complained to the Independent Police Complaints Commission after nearly losing his arm.

He appeared in the dock with his right arm heavily bandaged more than two months after the incident.

Lazenby’s barrister Peter Hampton said he had lost three tendons in his fingers and would never have the use of his right hand again.

Lazenby’s sorry story is just one of the reasons why burglar deterrents don’t come much better than the four-legged kind.

Dogs, as we all know, don’t just use their mouths for biting, they bark too.

Are Burglars Deterred by Dogs?

According to the insurance comparison site Confused.com, a burglar’s checklist when evaluating the ‘ideal’ home to burgle would include:

– A property with no security, no dogs, no sign of anyone in the house and no sign of a high quality alarm system. One burglar said “You need to make sure no lights are on.”

The Guardian reports that former bank robber Noel “Razor” Smith, who has carried out more than 200 robberies and served a total of 32 years behind bars for commercial burglaries, said: “

“Most burglars want to be in and out of a house in less than five minutes.”

As anyone with dogs knows, over-stimulated canines tend to stop you doing most things in five-minutes, let alone making off with the family silverware!

Dogs alone are not going to 100% stop a burglary, but of all the burglar deterrents available it is they, along with CCTV that will be the most influential in deterring a burglar.

Do Dogs Prevent Burglaries?

Having a dog alone is no guarantee against home break-ins. But for a burglar planning a quick raid, if two homes are identical in every way, but one has the clear presence (and sound) of a dog, then it’s the dog-free house that becomes the more attractive target.

Burglars say dogs are on their list of top tips to homeowners who want to make their homes more secure.

The insurance firm Churchill asked some ex-cons what would put them off committing a burglary on a particular home:

Canines were a particular deterrent for burglars with statements such as “get a dog,” and “even a little dog making a noise will put you off.”

Of course, getting a dog purely as a burglary deterrent isn’t in and of itself a good enough reason to become a dog owner. Dogs are expensive, they require lots of care, companionship and responsibility. We don’t need to tell you that. But if you were thinking of becoming a new dog owner and were weighing up the many, many benefits – need we say any more? Oh, go on then, we will. Dog owners live longer too!

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