Should I Get a Dog or a Home Alarm?

Picture of Boxer Dog by a metal fence

In this day and age, you can’t be too careful when it comes to protecting your home. Recent studies show that a home is burglarized every 18 seconds in the United States. Do the math, and you will soon discover that that equates to 200 home invasions per hour and 4800 on a daily basis. The University of North Carolina conducted a study at their Criminal Justice and Criminology department and concluded that up to 60 percent of inmates convicted for robbery were deterred from homes which had enabled security systems on the grounds. These facts certainly encourage homeowners to consider adding a sound security system to their home protection plan. However, perhaps even more effective than a security camera or alarm system is a dog. Whether the dog is a guard dog trained to alert bark and attack a burglar if necessary or simply a small breed that loves to make noise, both are highly effective at keeping robbers at bay. So, what’s the best solution? Should you buy a dog or get a home security system?

Which Home Protection Option is Best for You?

When it comes to protecting your home, there is no one right solution. Home security systems have their advantages and disadvantages, and the same can be said for making the decision to add a dog to your family.

Here are some considerations to assist you in making an informed choice for your home:


If you want to add a dog to your home whose primary or secondary role is home protection, it will be important to choose a breed best suited to the position. Though burglars are deterred by the presence of a dog, not all dogs pack a powerful enough bark to keep a potential home invader away.

Many breeds are well-suited to guard dog duties such as Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and even German Shepherds. However, if guard dog work is one of the primary functions your dog will do, it will be important to purchase a dog from working lines then to equip him with the proper training to do his job well. This is not an inexpensive prospect; however, it is largely a one-time, up front cost. Though a quality dog with the potential to be trained to protect your home can cost thousands and thousands of dollars, It is a sound investment, and once the right dog has been found and the training is completed, your only ongoing expenses are the cost of the dog’s food and medical care.

Comparatively, there are many different alarm systems which can be installed in a home. They are available in a variety of price points and with different features. A simple home security camera can be purchased for as little as $200 and installed in one central location in the home. Many of these cameras come complete with free apps which allow you to monitor your home via your phone or tablet. However, for the best security for your house, you will need to install several of them, and that can be a pricey expenditure up front.

Alternatively, many different companies such as United Alarms or Guardian offer an alarm service. The installation of the necessary equipment is typically free to the customer; however, there is a monthly fee required to maintain the alarm and access to the home security company base, meaning the fees are ongoing and must be continued ad infinitum.


Dogs have earned a reputation as man’s best friend. Since our favorite canine pals possess far more acute senses than our own, they are easily able to detect the slightest noise which could pose cause for concern. Alert barking is an excellent means of keeping a potential home invader at bay. However, though dogs can easily detect sounds, they lack the ability to discern between noises that are threatening and non-threatening, meaning that all sounds must be investigated to rule out danger.

Home security systems have much to offer in terms of reliability. However, security cameras often rely on Wifi and can malfunction if connectivity suffers due to inclement weather or power outages.

Alarm service companies offer consistent protection via their wired in alarm systems which are triggered by a break in or failure to enter the correct entry code. When this occurs, an alarm sounds and a signal is sent to the alarm monitoring service that a breach of security has taken place. This is a nearly foolproof system. However, much like a dog who is unable to determine whether a noise is menacing or not, alarms do have weak spots. A simple act such as a cat under a motion sensor can “trip” an alarm and cause it to sound.


When it comes to consistency, it’s hard to beat a dog. Dogs will alert bark at the presence of any unusual noise, ensuring that owners are aware of every potential household vulnerability.

Commercial alarm systems also offer consistent service. However, those whose basis is founded in technology can, at times, experience glitches which can take down a home security system until connectivity is restored.


Having a dog in your home is a great means to keep your property well-protected. However, care must also be taken to ensure that Fido remains safe as well. Burglars often try to enter through open doors and windows, and these same portals can pose problems for dogs left home alone. To ensure Fido is able to continue to do his job, it is important to ensure that all doors, windows, and avenues to the outdoors remain securely closed.

Home alarm systems are entirely safe for families to use. To ensure the utmost in proper safety precautions, security cameras could pose a slight risk if not properly mounted on walls or placed on a level area.


Dogs come equipped with two great features in addition to their crime prevention skills: love and fun! Your new canine pal will not only do his best to keep his family safe, he will also shower you with his love and devotion. If you were looking for a sidekick for your every adventure, a dog is the way to go!

Those who love technology may favor going with an alarm system. Many come equipped with sophisticated apps and tracking tools which enable families to monitor their homes via their phones. Some of the latest software includes options for basic household functions such as temperature controls and automatic door locks. Motion sensor detection is also a very popular security measure for many families.

So, what will it be? A dog or a home alarm system? While there are advantages and disadvantages to both, it cannot be denied that both add great value to every home protection plan. You can’t go wrong either way!



One Response

  1. Thank you for pointing out how a home alarm system will help to keep your dog safe. I’ve been wondering if we should get an alarm system even though we have a dog. It’s good to think that it could help with keeping him safe as well as everyone else in the home.

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