Dogs Are Not the Only Animals Used for Security
Guard Dogs Are Typically Used for Protection
Generally, when you think of security for your home or your own personal safety, it's easy to think that dogs are the only animals to be considered. There are many types of dogs that are suitable to deter attackers and to protect you, your family, and your property. The German Shepherd (pictured), Rottweiler, Doberman, Mastiff, and the Pit Bull are all a threatening presence for would-be intruders or attackers. These are just some of the breeds that people have as security or for patrolling around their grounds.
Other dogs, including small dogs, may not be able to bring down an attacker, but will alert you to danger and bark until they feel the danger has passed. This is also an important deterrent because thieves prefer their activities to go unnoticed.
Geese Offer Additional Security
If you've gone to a park to feed the ducks, you will know how threatening geese can be. Many a child has been chased, pecked, or attacked by geese. Geese are very territorial. If you have a body of water, they are a good addition to secure your property. We have had geese here on our farm, and if anyone were to go near the water during the day or night, they would alert us by honking. The sound of honking alerting the gaggle make geese a popular low-cost alternative for home security.
When people arrived at our home whom the geese didn't know, many were chased by one—the geese would charge them with wings outstretched. I have seen adults run from them (some due to memories of being chased as a child).
Swans Are Naturally Protective and Territorial
Swans are often thought of as the beautiful and graceful bird made famous in children's stories. If you have never seen a swan up close, I can tell you, they are big! When they come out of the water, they can look enormous. Swans have been known to break a person's bones with their wings. They are a beautiful bird that can also be aggressive.
Some swans can reach sizes up to 60 inches tall (1.5m) and have a wingspan of almost 10 feet. This size coupled with a weight of 33 pounds (that's the equivalent of 2 bowling balls) makes this a formidable bird.
If you have a property with lakes, swans are not only a beautiful addition to your surroundings, and they make a fabulous "watch bird." Like geese, the loud noise and the aggressive nature of this species will make people think twice before entering your grounds.
Using Guinea Fowl for Security
Besides providing you with eggs and meat, the guinea fowl treat strangers as an unwelcome visitor. They are fearless and will take on dogs, cats, people, and even snakes. They surround their prey as a flock and attack.
They are also wonderful for pest control around the garden and eat insects (especially ticks). Be warned, though—they are noisy! This noise can be continual, and unless you can tune it out, it may drive you crazy.
We had guinea fowl for several years, and although they are alert to anything unfamiliar, they get alarmed by inconsequential things too, such as a plastic bag blowing across the yard or a garden hoe left in a different place than normal.
Llamas as Livestock Guardian Animals
Llamas can protect your livestock from animals such as foxes, coyotes, or stray dogs. Llamas may look comical, but they are an excellent choice to watch over other animals. In certain places such as Britain and The Americas, people are using llamas as protection for their sheep and goat herds. The owners will place the llama in the same field as the sheep or goats. The llama will stand guard, protecting the herd as if it were its own offspring. Gelded males work out the best as a protector of the herd. The height of a fully grown llama can be 5'5"- 6' (1.7-1.8m) tall and they can weigh between 280-450 lbs (130-200 kilos). They will chase a suspected threat and rear up onto their hind legs to scare off the intruder or stomp.
Parrots Are Both Verbal and Territorial
Here in Brazil, I had a small free-flying cactus parakeet. Every time we had someone arrive, it would fly to my shoulder. Some people it had no problem with, and it would attack others. Although he was small, a bird flying in someone's face is frightening and is enough of a deterrent to create a distraction and help you to either get away or fight back. These birds, like many others, are easily tamed and very protective.
Other Species Are Used for Protection
I imagine you have seen other animals that have been used as protection or for security. I would love to hear your stories.
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Mary Wickison