|Updated: 11/23/2011 8:15 am
||Published: 11/21/2011 10:54 am
If you don't have a home alarm, and aren't a fan of using a gun, here's a home protection option you might want to consider: guard dogs.
In training class, homeowners can learn how to control very expensive guard dogs for their personal protection.
"I'm a farmer,” Joe Galvan said. “My wife's by herself all the time. So I thought with a trained dog, I'd feel safer."
He's not alone.
The Martinez family recently bought Roscoe, and he's not your typical household pet.
In one demonstration, Roscoe reacted to an abrupt sound in the other room.
He took off and discovered an intruder in the back yard. When another one showed up inside the house, his owner gave the command to attack.
The fake intruders are actually trainers at the kennel where the Martinez family purchased Roscoe. They bought the guard dog because Jarrod travels a lot and wants his family to feel safe.
"I feel like he's this watchman by my side protecting us while Jarrod's away." Emily Martinez said. "We tell him good job. He always comes and rubs on us and he's happy that we love him."
Only dogs with the proper drive, temperament and the right pedigree make the cut.
They also come with a hefty price tag – starting at $5,000 and going up to as high as $75,000.
There’s no question - a highly trained guard dog has its benefits. But let's face it - if it escapes, or if the wrong command is given or ignored, the consequences for both the owner and the victim could be serious.
"Antrax is a Beligian Malonios that's trained for narcotics, patrol, apprehension and tracking."
Tony Smith owns and operates the Little Rock K-9 academy. Over the past 28 years, he has trained more than 1,000 police service dogs, including Antrax.
At one point, he even sold highly trained protection dogs to everyday people, but ten years ago he stopped. The reason? The liability of owning a guard dog far outweighed the benefit.
"It's a highly trained tool,” Smith said. “Most people don't understand animal behavior. Most people don't understand the dogs capability and once again, if training is not maintained, that is just a bad recipe for disaster - or a good recipe for disaster."
In other words - accidents happen. And if and when it does, the homeowner is liable.
The Martinez family knows that and they take precautions when friends visit. For this family it's all about a sense of security - and Roscoe's on duty 24-7.