Title: Townhouses have lost the Security Plot
Author: Melvyn Greenberg
Date: 2005/09/25

Townhouses in certain areas are under siege from the threats of break-ins.
Some of the robberies occur as a result of construction in the area affording an observation of activity platform for certain shady characters who then scale the walls to gain access to the townhouse property.
Other robberies occur from within due to unwary investors renting out their townhouses to people with ulterior motives, who simply steal from the trusting residents without a sign of a break-in.

These breaches of security and loss of personal property have instigated increased security considerations, including heightened electrified fencing and an extensive distribution of night lighting channeling enormous costs in this direction, by the body corporate.

Is it not surprising that all these afflicted high density dwellings has a NO PETS policy?
Dogs have been guarding human households for much longer than 12,000 years yet body corporates of cluster and townhouse complexes in this day and age deem that dogs are taboo.
Certainly, inappropriate breeds owned by irresponsible people can create a lengthy, emotive debate surrounding the advantages and disadvantages of dog ownership. Bad owners have given dogs a bad name. It goes without saying, also, that not all people are dog-lovers.
Humans, compared to a dog, are blind, deaf and nose-dead! Yet, people have decided to go-it-alone in their modern lifestyle of humming computers, revving engines, head-banging music and vuvuzelas with a contempt for the natural sounds of croaking frogs, creaking crickets, crowing roosters and barking dogs; sounds that have shared our lives for thousands of years.
The 21st century man and woman has become intolerant, ignorant and disassociated from canine companionship. People no longer know how to listen to dogs, people no longer understand dogs and the one animal that will give its life to a human is being ignored and rejected from human habitation, already with signs of deficiency.

Any person who selects a suitable dog breed for companionship, subscribes to puppy socialization and obedience training will enjoy the safety and security of 24-hour loyal protection due to the quality human-animal bond developed with quality time and interaction. People have to be taught how to behave with dogs. People have to be taught how to understand dogs.
The dog will hear intruders from a long way off, well before any activity can be detected by human ears, and will set off the alarm required of it.
If, every time, a puppy barks the cause is investigated, in the initial stage, by the person concerned, and responds by rewarding appropriate barking and ignoring unacceptable vocalisation any dog can be taught to be a discriminatory, reliable warning signal.
Dogs are alert when human beings are fast asleep!

Dogs can be effectively employed for townhouse and cluster complex security in two ways:

  • Resident canines patrolling the entire premises and becoming the mascots of the property. Dogs have the ability to become familiar with large numbers of residents (large extended family) and still discriminate against strangers, very similar to the concept in rural areas.
  • Individually-owned pet dogs that are, not only for the benefit of their owners, can be an indirect asset for immediate neighbours, if the adjoining residents can become attuned to their sounds and accustomed to their behaviour. People can learn to read dog signals for everyone’s interest.

There are numerous anecdotes regarding tolerance vs. intolerance. A classical one involves a townhouse resident phoning the only dog-owning tenant on the property to silence his barking dogs at 2 a.m. Had the complainant used his common sense by investigating the cause of the vocalization of the two Rottweilers then he would have been alerted to the fact that both his cars were being driven out of the premises.

Dogs can be turned into a success story for all concerned.
Certainly, many dogs are not suitable for living behind four walls and being left alone for lengthy periods but by intelligent and appropriate selection, with the advice of animal behaviourists and veterinarians, the PETS ALLOWED policy will have more advantages than disadvantages.


Behaviour Tip

When a dog is presented for behaviour problems to a veterinary ethologist or accredited animal behaviourist it will usually have multiple disorders...

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