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Owners put their guard dogs to the test

by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 1:05 PM

HOUSTON -- We would all like to think that our family dog would protect us from a bad guy, right?

With the help of dog trainer, Al Longoria, we put three dogs to the test.

"They're all going to react a little bit differently," Longoria said.

All three were taught obedience by Longoria Haus Professional Dog Training, but only one has had any protection training.

SoCo is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois who doesn't know a stranger.

Moose is an oversized German Shepherd who has delivery drivers scared to go to the door.

And then there's Titus. He's a 135-pound Cane Corso who east 4 pounds of raw meat for dinner.

Jessica Henry owns Titus. "I didn't want to have a gun in the house," Henry said.

Titus has the job of protecting her Eagle Springs home. The fake "bad guy" is Mike Mendoza, he helps train dogs in real life and got decked out in protective gear for the experiment.

From the moment Mike hits the door, Titus is barking and growling. If a burglar is brazen enough to go in after hearing that, they might be a little surprised.

Instead of attacking, the 19-month-old puppy keeps his distance from Mike.

Our bad guy manages to sit down, look around and steal what he wanted before leaving.

"He was still barking and being attentive towards me," Mendoza said. "I walked over and grabbed your iPad by the way and then I made it to the DVD case."

As you can imagine, it was an eye opener for Jessica.

"I was a little surprised that he let him sit down on the couch," Henry said.

Jessica believes Titus will grow into a confident guard dog as he gets older and receives more training.

The second scenario is in Midtown at Dan Barragan's house. He owns SoCo which is short for Southern Comfort.

We change up the test a little and let our bad guy go in on dog and owner while they're both at home.

"SoCo, who is it," Barragan said. "Hey, who's that?"

In the video, SoCo looks confused and turns to Dan for guidance.

"He continually looked at me for like ok what's going on, what do you want me to do," Dan said.

SoCo is just beginning protection training and it kicked in when Dan needed it most.

The dog that is normally really friendly grabs Mike arm and doesn't let go.

"Good boy buddy," Barragan said.

The last test takes us back to Eagle Springs and our bad guy walks in on Moose.

His bark alone packs a punch.

Mendoza almost makes it to the living room before Moose realizes it's time to show the bad guy's who's boss.

He bites Mike's sleeve until he backs up to the door.

Joal and Peggy Mullican didn't really know what to expect, but hoped their rescue shepherd would have acted sooner.

"I would have preferred Moose a little more aggressive instead of letting someone come in and wander around," Peggy said.

Longoria wasn't really surprised by how to dogs acted in our test.

"Some dogs have a lot more confidence and really enjoy being around a lot of people and think everybody's their friend and some dogs are a little apprehensive and say who are you and why are you in here," Longoria said.

Longoria said certain types end to be better watch dogs. He said with good breeding, a German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Belgian Malinois and Pit Bull are your best bet.

Click here for more information about Longoria Haus Professional Dog Training.

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