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Do I Need a Guard Dog or a Security System?

Just about everyone is happy to see a dog—except for burglars, that is. When a burglar has a choice between a home with a dog and a home without a dog, the dog-free house will typically end up as the target. Does that mean that you should forgo a security system because you own a dog? Not exactly. Let's compare the two and see. 1: How reliably do they alert you to trouble? Dogs have amazing senses, with their sharp ears and superior scents-ability. Much like a security system, a dog can alert you right away to an intruder on your property. The downside of this is, to your dog, many everyday visitors count as intruders. "Squirrel!" "Mail carrier!" "Neighbor!" They're all excuses for Fido to start barking. A smart home security system does it better. Like a dog, it's proactive when an intruder is detected—but it's far better at discerning a genuine intruder from a harmless everyday event, thanks to its use of intelligence from all around the home. Equally important, if there's a break-in, an security system can alert a 24-7 monitoring station for professional help. The verdict: Until dogs get their own dedicated cellular connections, smart home security wins this round.

2: How well do they keep burglars out? Burglars avoid homes with security systems. 60 percent will go elsewhere if they see one. Add a smart security camera and you have a formidable deterrent. Of course, most burglars don't want to meet your dog, either. Should they spot dog toys in the yard or hear muffled barking, many will move along. Deterrence aside, though, there are some things a dog can't help with. For example, one-third of all burglaries are cases of unlawful entry—a burglar entering through an unlocked door or window. With proactive reminders and remote locking, an security system can save the day when you're in a rush and forget to secure the house. Winner: Dogs and security systems are both great deterrents, but a dog can't send you a smartphone alert if you forget to lock up. Smart home security wins this round. 3: How tamper-resistant are they? How does canine security hold up if an experienced burglar targets your home? It's not unknown for a burglar to arrive with food to distract a dog, for example. While a specially trained dog may hold his ground, most dogs will scamper off down the basement stairs after their prize. Meanwhile, a lawbreaker will need more than a steak to defeat a smart home security system. Even if they take a hammer to your security panel,'s Crash and Smash technology can still alert your home's 24-7 monitoring station. Winner: Engineered to meet rigorous life safety standards and immune to temptation, the smart security system wins this one hands-down.

4: Which one is more fun? You can have fun with a smart home security system. Checking in on your kids from work is fun; so is showing off your smart lights and your video doorbell to your neighbors. Let's be real though: it'll never take the place of that furry, wiggling, licking goofball that always loves you, no matter what. Winner: Sorry, security system: this one goes to the dog :) (Woof-Woof)

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