Would your dog defend your home? WREG puts some to the test

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Home break-ins happen all the time.

Many homeowners invest in high-tech security systems to scare away burglars.

Others hope their family pet will act as a low-tech security and scare away bad guys.

In Memphis, the burglary rate decreased more than 10 percent in the first three months of 2018 compared to the same period last year.

But that doesn't mean people are letting their guard down and getting rid of their security cameras, alarm systems or even their dogs.

"We train dogs for clients who want them to accompany them for that purpose. They don't want a gun. They want a dog that can protect in that manner,"

Meet Cedric Chalmers dogs.

There's Mazarati, a maltese who is the barker of the family and not much of a fan of our cameras.

Her sister Porsha is a little quieter, but still protective of her dad, and then there's the Rottweiler Tyson.

They're all friendly dogs, but how would they react to an intruder?

We put them to the test.

Jacque Boney is the owner and head dog trainer of allegiance K-9.

He will play the part of our intruder.

His dog is not one to mess with.

"When you look at dogs, they have the idea of fight or flight when it comes to danger, so what we do is work through the idea of how to fight as a means of protections versus running as a means of reservation," Boney said.

Chalmers has his own thoughts on how his dogs will react to an intruder.

"I think my little dogs would make the most ruckus starting off, especially my white Maltese. I'm hoping my Rottweiler will actually do something. He's really social," he said.

The dog owners left his home as he normally would, and a little while later the dogs bark after hearing a knock and a ring at the door bell.

But they soon ran away.

The intruder then walked into the home, and gave the dogs a little sweet talk before taking a laptop.

The Rottweiler stayed on the intruder sniffing him, while Porsha took off somewhere else.

"She is going to bed," Chalmers said.

The Maltese decided to watch from a distance.

"I'm a little surprised. I' expected more out of the Yorkie," Chalmers said.

The intruder took everything he needed and walked out without a scratch.

"I realize that if somebody actually comes in, it's all on me."

But to make sure they weren't all bark we tried the test a second time, this time with Chalmers inside of his home.

However, there wasn't much of a change.

The dogs only barked and ran away.

"It's all on me, so hopefully it never happens," Chalmers said.

"A lot of small dogs literally had job, and that's why they still have that genetic makeup of 'I'm this big' when they're really that big," Boney, the dog trainer, said.

But what about dogs like Delilah, a 4-year-old Shepherd belonging to Susan McCopplin.

"They have a higher drive and a higher intensity. They're more likely to enjoy working in that manner," Boney said.

With a name like Delilah, you would think she would be much nicer right?

She spends most of her time around other animals.

But we'll see how see handles an encounter with a stranger.

"I have a feeling she's going to cut up and show her bad side when he goes in," McCopplin said.

While enjoying one-on-one time with her mom, she hears the door open and sprints to it.

Her tail was wagging until she realized this was someone she didn't know.

Delilah keeps a mean bark going and even slips and falls trying to protect her home.

When the intruder tries to get close to her owner, she stayed by her side and continued to bark until the intruder eventually runs away.

"She would be a good protection dog," McCopplin said.

The last stop is Cathy Suggs' home.

Her home has caution and beware signs surrounded it in regards to her 5-year-old Akita named Nelson.

"I definitely think he'll bark. I think he may charge a little bit. As far as  bite, I don't think he's going to bite," she said.

Nelson has been a show dog since he was 6-months-old.

But just because he can't act in front of crowds doesn't mean it'll be all sweet inside of his own space.

Suggs think Nelson may react more without her in the house, so our intruder headed inside.

When the intruder entered the home, he opened the door slowly.

Nelson sniffed, stayed on him and didn't make a sound.

He even walked to the door as if he wanted to go outside.

Still quiet, he let the intruder out without a peep,  but barked as soon as he closed the door.

Just for fun, the intruder went back into the home and put the package back so he could grab a purse instead.

"I thought he was at least going to nip at him, but he didn't. So he got away will all my packages, my purse and packages," Suggs said.

Trainers suggest dog owners shouldn't assume that a bark will always scare an intruder off, and just because your dog is normally silent doesn't mean he or she will not defend the home.

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