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February 12, 2009


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I have never seen one of these in action (we have it listed on our online store but have yet to sell one) but I imagine that it is an "ok" option for someone looking for a cheaper alternative to a monitored service through ADT.

My personal recommendation would be to spend an extra $20 on top of the cost of the robo-dog and get a basic D.I.Y. alarm system. The difference though is that the robo-dog works as a theft deterrent if someone walks by your house where a security system only works as a deterrent if someone actually breaks in.

You can always go for the real thing and adopt a big dog to keep at your house while you are away. FMF has shown us though that the expense of a dog would probably exceed any alarm system or monitoring service that you could purchase!

Aside from deterring would-be burglars, a dog also has the ability to warn its owners when something isn't right.

We've got a hound dog that might lick a burglar to death (although it has a mean bark), but she lets me know when the mail carrier is walking across the street.

It is absolutely amazing the things that dogs hear/notice that humans never could. When Dutch starts barking at night, it is time for Dad to grab the flashlight and shotgun and check out the commotion.

Dogs aren't for everyone, and actually can cost a lot of money via their health problems and subsequent vet bills, but I concur with AB above. The real benefit of my dog (a 100# golden retreiver) is as an exercise buddy. He's up for a couple miles a day no matter what the weather.

I have been following home security issues for a long time, and have long been interested in this concept of a virtual watchdog. I have never seen any evidence that they would be as effective as a REAL home security system.

In fact, as long as we are on the topic, it’s worthwhile to note that this virtual watchdog is no more effective than many of the packages offered by ADT and Brinks – “the ‘real’ barking sounds” and “deep wool ruff” of a dog is just as effective at protecting your home as one of the standard home monitoring packages that communicate via phone line. If a burglar disables your phone line, the security system is not communicating with the central monitoring service – it is only disturbing your neighbor’s dinner.

Fine if you want to get a virtual watchdog, but what you really need is a home security service that communicates via cellular link – FrontPoint ( is actually a great example of this. All of their home monitoring systems communicate with the central monitoring service via cellular link – meaning, as I mentioned, that your system is still communicating with the monitoring service, even if your phone line is clipped. More important, they aren’t going to stick you with upgrade fees – to the tune of at least $200 or so that you’d have to pay if you chose either ADT or Brinks.

My advice: get a cellular home monitoring system—not an expensive noisemaker.

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