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Big dogs can deter crimes

June 20, 2004

I read with great interest ["Man's Best Friend but Insurers' Foe" by Jeff Bertolucci, June 6], on the insurance companies' stand against certain types of dogs, based upon cases from single bites to major attacks that are attributed to these large breeds. To balance out the picture, though, I suggest that someone investigate the deterrent factor provided by these large dogs when it comes to preventing burglaries, home invasions and bodily harm.

I have always owned large dogs -- mainly German shepherds or shepherd mixes -- and always more than one at a time. In 20 years of living in my current house, I have had only one break-in, which occurred in broad daylight when my dogs were locked out of the house in the backyard. That was the last time I locked them outside. They now have a doggie door and free run of the house 24/7.

They know the difference between friend and foe. If we're not home to explain the difference to them, you are definitely a foe if you enter our property.

Prior to living in this house, I lived in a large apartment building for 17 years, in which about 65% of the tenants had dogs. There was never a break-in at that building, while the neighboring apartment houses were constantly having problems.

Kristene Wallis Burr

Valley Village

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