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Guard dog

Published: 15 July 2001

Jon F of Northampton reckons his two Mastiff bitches are the ultimate in bike security. He said: " They’re completely loyal and very protective. As soon as the dogs hear something they go absolutely apes**t. "

Jon, who also covers his drive in gravel so visitors can always be heard long before they arrive at his garage, has found his dogs to be 100 per cent effective. He said: " I haven’t been broken into yet – but both my neighbours have. Someone attempted to break in recently, but the dogs went berserk. "

You probably wouldn’t rely on a Dachshund to protect your bike, but which version of man’s best friend is best? Phil Buckley, of four-legged experts The Kennel Club, said: " Most dogs are very good at guarding property. The bigger the dog, the more formidable they look. Mastiffs are slow, but they’re huge. They can grow up to 15 or 16 stone. Once one of them is on top of you, you have no chance.

" German Shepherds, Rotweilers and Dobermans are also ideal guard dogs. They’re obedient, highly intelligent, very trainable and look the part. "

But he warns: " They should be used as a deterrent rather than for all-out attack. "

Cost: Jon’s Mastiffs cost him £400 each and approximately another £1000 a year to run.

How legal is this?

Det Insp Gibbs says: " If your dog attacks an intruder, you could be sued in the civil court for any injuries he sustains. Failing to maintain your dog and keep it under control is also a criminal offence, but only if it is proved that you intended your dog to inflict bodily harm. " Better call them off before they rip the thief’s leg off, then.

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