Special Report: What Would Your Dog Do?

Special Report: What Would Your Dog Do?

Ever wonder what your family dog would do if someone broke into you home? Well, so did FOX16.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Ever wonder what your family dog would do if someone broke into you home? Well, so did FOX16.
And it occurred to us that it's not just a topic of curiosity but also a question of security for many families.
That's why we found some volunteers with dogs, and with their permission set up cameras and "broke in" wearing protective gear.
What he found out may give you pause before the next time you call the family pet a "guard dog."

We set up our experiment at four homes across central Arkansas.

We put a camera in the living room, attached another to our "intruder" and told the dog's owner to leave as they normally would.

First up was Macy, a 40-pound Border Collie-Golden Retriever mix.  We're concealing the dog owner's identities to protect their security.

"You always wonder what your dog's going to do," Macy's owner said.

When the "intruder" came in through the backdoor, Macy saw him as more of a playmate than a threat.
"I walked in, the dog basically walked up to me started wagging his tail started sniffing around, wagging his tail and just wanting to be friends," said trainer _ _.

So Macy was not much a guard dog, but luckily that's not why her owner bought her.

"I don't have her to protect me," her owner said.

Our next owner had a little more confidence.

"He's extremely protective especially of me," said the owner of Bandit, a 60-pound Border Collie-Blue Heeler mix.  "When I take him on walks, people don't want to come within a 15-foot radius of me."

But when we walked into the house, Bandit's owner found out her dog was all bark no bite.

"I figured he would try to do something to try to deter a random person from coming into his home," Bandit's discouraged owner said.

So far, neither of the tests produced examples of very good guard dogs, but our next home had a K-9 with a little more street cred.

Duke is a 90-pound American Pit Bull.

Surely Duke would show some teeth when a stranger walked through the door?

When we sent our intruder in, Duke thought he'd found a friend.

He even followed instructions to leave while our burglar had his way with the apartment.

"Just because it's a pit bull doesn't mean it's going to be an aggressive dog," said Tony Smith, owner of the Little Rock K-9 Academy.

Trainers at the Little Rock K-9 academy say it's all about genetics, temperament  and training.  A good guard dog needs all three.

"Most homeowners have exactly what they call them, they're pets and most pets are not genetically bred to protect their home," Smith said.

You may be thinking that our experiment will give comfort any potential burglars reading this story.

But there's one important thing we weren't able to duplicate that the trainers say may have contributed to the responses we got: Fear and the lack there of when the intruder isn't really breaking the law and is wearing a bite suit.

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