What would your dog do when faced with an intruder?

From whining, to barking to even biting, what would your dog do when faced with an intruder? We go undercover to find out.

At the Southwest Florida Schutzhund club, trainer Veit Bachmann has 30 years under his belt, helping owners get their dogs ready for competition. Schutzhund is German for “protection dog” and started in Germany at the turn of the 20th century focusing on tracking, obedience and protection.

“Schutzhund is a family sport,” explained Bachmann.

But it takes a lot training for dogs to do well in the protection category. If they can’t obey, they or someone else, could get hurt.

“There’s a reason why police like to use dogs of the Schutzhund world, because they have already [the] foundation,” Bachmann said.

But what about normal family pets, with little to no training beyond, “sit,” “stay,” and “rollover”? We placed cameras inside three homes to capture three different reactions to an “intruder.” Playing the part of the “intruder” was Bachmann, dressed in his full protective gear.

Scooby

From his own second-floor perch, Scooby watches everyone’s comings and goings. He was able to watch as Bachmann approached his house, entered, but didn’t make a sound.

He jumped off the couch to peak at Bachmann and not liking what he saw, jumped back up on his couch and stayed until his owners came back home. When Bachmann approached Scooby while on his couch, Scooby did let out a low growl, but that was it.

“I didn’t expect him to be aggressive,” said Scooby’s owners Stacey. “Maybe a little bit of growling, a little bit of barking– more hiding, being a little bit shy.”

And his lack of reaction to Bachmann, did not worry Stacey one bit.

“I just wanted more of a family dog that would get along with everybody that we could take places and enjoy and could have a good time with everyone and the kids and the grandkids.”

Buddy

The smallest dog of our group just happened to be the loudest. As soon as Bachmann opened the door, Buddy started yapping loudly.

“It gives you enough time if you are sleeping or whatever, get enough time to call someone or do something else,” Bachmann said of Buddy’s barking.

Buddy’s owner Steve agreed.

“As long as [Buddy] can keep the riffraff across the street, you’re OK. Yeah, he’s a good one,” he said.

River

Finally, the most potentially intimidating dog, weighing in at 110 pounds, River. When Bachmann entered, like Scooby, River didn’t make a sound. But unlike Scooby, River went right up to Bachmann.

“He said, ‘hi,’ at the door right away, he was coming to me,” Bachman told River’s owner, Lura. “He wanted to get pet.”

While River’s very friendly response didn’t totally surprise Lura, she says she thinks things would have been different had she or her kids, been in danger.

“I think that if you came in and I was home and you came at me? That’d be different,” she told Bachmann. “But you know, the girls have friends come over all the time, so I think he gets used to people coming and going.”

Results

Bachmann said while it would be nice for all dogs to learn to bark at a potential intruder, the results, didn’t surprise him in the least.

“I cannot take you and tell you to go and tomorrow you be a police officer,” he explained. “…it’s the same thing with dogs.”

Bachmann says training can help your dog learn to alert you whenever someone approaches.

Reporter:Sara Girard
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