They?re cute, they?re cuddly, they?re (sometimes) fluffy and often mischievous. They?re also one of the biggest preventative measures against your home being the target of a break and enter. We?re talking about your dog, of course.
According to a report published by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), based on interviews with 65 West Australian-based burglars, a dog (even of the cute and fluffy variety) is an effective deterrent for 61% of respondents. As mentioned, it?s not so much the fierceness of the dog that deters an opportunistic thief as the chance that the dog will bark and draw attention to what?s going on.
The next most common deterrent was a working alarm system (49% of respondents), followed by sensor lights (23% of respondents). Security grills, lit internal areas and high visibility of the property from the road were also deterrents – although not as effective as a canine.
Of course even the combined cost of an alarm system, security screens and sensor lights is likely to be less over the long-term than a pet. In fact, according to the Animal Health Alliance, the Australian pet industry is worth $8.0 billion annually. By contrast, IBISWorld estimates annual revenue of just $2 billion for the security system installation and monitoring market in Australia.
When you consider though that the security aspect of a dog is just a side-benefit of ownership – the aforementioned cute and cuddly are also winning features – it surely makes them great value for money. Something to keep in mind, perhaps, next time you catch Fido chewing burying one of your favourite shoes in the garden…