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A commonly overlooked option for self-defense is one that may already
be sitting at your feet. Dogs have been used for thousands of years to
offer protection from intruders and as early warning systems for
visitors due to their heightened senses of hearing and smell. Depending
on the breed of dog that you own or are planning to purchase, its
presence may serve as a show of force, deterring would-be intruders
before they even enter your home.

One law enforcement officer recently wrote to me. He said that in the
hundreds of burglaries that he had personally investigated, only three
had occurred when a dog was present. His conclusion was that criminals
avoid dogs like the plague. Even if you don’t own a dog you may want to
put a “beware-of-dog” sign, large dog dish, or other dog paraphernalia
by your front door and hope that it has the same effect.

Depending on the type of family that you have, different breeds of
dog may fit better than others into your home. My philosophy is “the
bigger the dog, the better.” In order to pick out the right breed, visit
your local pet store and spend a few minutes explaining your situation
to a pet specialist and ask him what breed of dog would do best with
your family.

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