Author Topic: Mustachian Home Security  (Read 8203 times)

jezter6

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Mustachian Home Security
« on: May 13, 2014, 09:29:26 AM »
I'm in the Mustachian camp of living cheaply in a cheaper-cost remote rural area instead of the walkable/bikable Mustachianism that many here are into. To that end, I have a 3+ acre property that is at the end of a dead end street (the actual "end" of the street is a power company read: water dam). There's an empty home right next door that is more of a summer cabin that is vacant 90% of the year, and the nearest actual neighbor is about 1/4 mile above me. We're the only houses on this road.

Behind me is a campground, 200 acres, so for the most part, I see no other people around. Though this weekend was a small festival at the campground, there was an abundance of traffic and people from outside the area.

My driveway is rather long and up off the road. It was a small campground in the 70s and thus we have some "shacks" that were previously cabins, along with a bath house and other sheds. They're empty, abandoned, and falling down.

The past 2 mornings, we have woken up to a car (presumably different cars, though we couldn't see well enough to be sure) in the driveway.

Monday, 6:30am, a lady came out of the car (not sure how long she had been there) and walked towards the house and asked if we had a "changing room" -- at which point we told her it was private property and she left, though not necessarily promptly. We're unsure if she ducked behind one of our cabins to change or maybe even got in one that was unlocked. My MIL was the one who encountered the lady and didn't wake me to shoo her off properly.

Today, 5am, my kid woke up very early and my wife was bringing him down the stairs and turning on the living room lights. When she started turning lights on, a car started up and pulled out, the only thing she could see in the darkness was tail lights. No idea how long they'd been there, what they might have been doing, or why they were even here.

We're concerned that this may happen more frequently if the baby sleeps through the night and we don't see. Or maybe people driving up are what is waking him up so early. We just don't know.

I need some mustachian security ideas. My first thoughts were to put up a trail camera and try to capture plates, but that only helps after they've come and gone.

We have lots of wildlife, so setting up some motion lighting will just have lights coming on and off all night. I'm reluctant to put a massive electricity eating flood light out there as it's close enough that it could be a pain to sleep. It's also passive security that won't necessarily keep out people.

Thoughts appreciated...

Basenji

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2014, 09:36:52 AM »
Pit bull rescue.

aj_yooper

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2014, 09:36:58 AM »
Your outbuildings appear to be attractive nuisances.  That seems to be why people are on your property.  Where we live, it is important to post No Trespassing signs so that people can be prosecuted if they trespass.  Could your local fire department help you out with the cabins-assuming you don't want them any longer?

jezter6

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2014, 09:38:59 AM »
Your outbuildings appear to be attractive nuisances.  That seems to be why people are on your property.  Where we live, it is important to post No Trespassing signs so that people can be prosecuted if they trespass.  Could your local fire department help you out with the cabins-assuming you don't want them any longer?

I will call and check on that. My concern is that they are very old (30's/40's) that were moved here later and I have been told there is asbestos in the siding. I don't know that they would burn them down or otherwise use as a training exercise, but I guess it doesn't hurt to ask.


plantingourpennies

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2014, 09:39:13 AM »
How long is your driveway?  Could you install a gate at the end of the driveway (doesn't have to be expensive and automatic), that you make sure is closed every night before bed? 

CarDude

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2014, 09:51:08 AM »
Medium-to-large-sized dogs (breed doesn't matter as long as they don't eat your baby) will do.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2014, 09:53:51 AM »
I would do the gate, like someone else suggested.

Or at the very least, a visible sign at the end of your driveway (and probably another halfway up, in case they miss the first one) that says: PRIVATE PROPERTY - NO TRESPASSING.

I would actually be inclined to do both - that way, there is no excuse for anyone to come up that driveway.

bogart

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2014, 10:04:12 AM »
I would post no trespassing signs, as you don't want people trespassing.  Absent those, it's hardly surprising folks are coming down and hanging out.  You could also get a "beware of dog" sign, even absent the dog, if you wanted to discourage visitors (I personally am a fan of dogs, but if you don't want the commitment).

A gate could be good.  Even if you don't want to deal with opening/closing it all the time, you have the option.  They also make electric keypad gates but around where I live I've noticed those have the annoying habit of getting zapped by lightning and stuck either open or (worse) closed.


Cpa Cat

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2014, 10:12:08 AM »
I would post no trespassing signs, as you don't want people trespassing.  Absent those, it's hardly surprising folks are coming down and hanging out. 

+1

The truth is, without any indication that there's no public access, people are likely mistaking it for being part of the campground, or they assume it's uninhabited property, ripe for exploration.

People drive around, see the driveway and think, "Oh, I wonder what's down here."

The car that drove away as soon as the lights came on probably had no idea someone was in the house and was either having sex or doing drugs in what they assumed was a dark, uninhabited area.

Eric

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2014, 10:27:12 AM »
It doesn't sound like you have a security problem as much as an information problem.  Post a sign at the end of the driveway.  If it's still happening after that, then you can decide if it's worth taking more drastic measures.

jezter6

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2014, 10:37:23 AM »
I'll start with the signs and see where it goes. I do have a call into the sheriff's office to see if they'd be willing to just do a driveby tomorrow morning if (and only if) they're already in the area.

As for being an information problem...I agree, and disagree.

This property does appear to have a rich history with the locals, particularly the lodge down at the bottom of the driveway that was once (20 years ago?) a small store. The sign is still up, even though the building is about fallen down, and it will be removed asap.

That said, I'm not sure I see where it's an information problem at 5am. Maybe I'm just naive and all, but I've never figured it's ok to just roll up on ANY property in the middle of the night and hang out, regardless if I think it might be a campground. On a Monday night to boot.

Private property signage and the like will go up today. Though if this is over-curious idiots or just plain random drunks or druggies I doubt those signs make any real difference in information.

For a little background:

The (real) campground isn't on my road. It's entrance is somewhere down another road at least a mile away.  And really, it's not a "campground" at least like a KOA campground. It's more of a corporate retreat, event based kinda place. It's not like you can pull up an RV or with your tent and rent spot 17A for the night. Also, who would think it's ok to just roll up to a place (even a campground) in the middle of the night, and then get chased off with lights.

At first I thought the drug/drunk angle might be a possibility (and it still could be), but man I am off the path. I'm a good 2 miles from the "main road" and the nearest bar is something like 5 miles. My street dead ends at a hydroelectric plant, so if you're not down here for a reason, you must be very lost.

Signage coming up, dog coming in the next few months if not for security just to have a pet.

Still perplexed at 2 instances in a row of this. I'm wondering how many days people like this have come and gone without me noticing in the ~2 months I've lived here.


Cromacster

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2014, 10:56:41 AM »
If I were looking for a place to do drugs or something, it sounds like your place would be a great place with no around (besides you and your family).  And if the area is a known vacation spot or location where people own vacation homes, there is a good chance they think no one is home.

Posting signage would be a good start.  Then I would move to a gate if that fails.  Careful with the beware of dog signs.  Some states/locals require signage for dogs, other areas they can work against you.  The argument being that if you dog does bite someone, by having the sign you are acknowledging that the dog biting was a known issue yada yada...but if they are there unlawfully (see no trespassing signs) the sign for the dog isn't needed, element of surprise is always better.

A motion sensor light near your house might not be a bad idea.  At least it would alert you if someone was moving around out there, rather than just being surprised when they leave.

dragoncar

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2014, 11:53:30 AM »
Yeah, I too think it's an information problem.  Make it clear that the land is private and is actually occupied.  The seedy 5am characters probably wouldn't have parked there if they knew someone was in the house (as they wanted privacy too). 

Get a dog?  I've never had one, but a loud / nonagressive breed may be the best for your situation.

I also think a gate would help -- even if you can drive around it, it makes it really obvious that your driveway isn't a public road.  People might not notice a "no outlet / dead end" or other sign (how many idiot drivers out there seem to be illiterate?)

Cpa Cat

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2014, 12:32:29 PM »
That said, I'm not sure I see where it's an information problem at 5am. Maybe I'm just naive and all, but I've never figured it's ok to just roll up on ANY property in the middle of the night and hang out, regardless if I think it might be a campground. On a Monday night to boot.

You only think like this because you aren't the type to go trolling the countryside looking for private places to do naughty things and you've clearly never desperately needed a changing room before going to work at the power plant, after staying out all night long at the local Furry bar.

Cromacster

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2014, 12:45:46 PM »
you've clearly never desperately needed a changing room before going to work at the power plant, after staying out all night long at the local Furry bar.

LOL!

Argyle

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2014, 12:52:54 PM »
You could also put up posts at the end of the driveway and hang a chain or rope across them, perhaps with a sign hung from it that says PRIVATE PROPERTY.  However you do it, I agree that they need something to indicate that they should not even venture down that driveway.  It looks as if they assume the whole area is uninhabited.  Was someone living in your house before you, or had it been empty for a while?

brewer12345

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2014, 01:45:44 PM »
You could also put up posts at the end of the driveway and hang a chain or rope across them, perhaps with a sign hung from it that says PRIVATE PROPERTY. 

A big, 'ol +1.  A chain with a reflective and blaze orange marker across the road plus "no trespassing" signs posted around the property perimeter would be the first thing I would do.  Then removal of the old cabins.  Pretty much any dog would be a help in terms of being a noisemaker.  50 pounds or better in dog weight gets you a bit of deterrent value as well.

A game cam would work if you have a repeat offender, but for random one-timers it is probably a waste of time.  A drive-by by the police is a good idea, but making it clear the property is both private and occupied will help the most.

I would get familiar with the laws on trespassing in your state/locality.  If you have to pursue trespass charges you want to make sure you are in the right.

I personally would also have a loaded firearm handy, but opinions and local laws differ.

alibean

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2014, 02:59:50 PM »
Just an an FYI: We have a coonhound mix.  We did not realize coonhounds are very well known for their extremely loud, deep bark.  Great for security.  Not so great for our neighbors.  We often forget to lock our doors, but we have no worries- he's harmless, but he doesn't let many people know it.

S0VERE1GN

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2014, 03:02:40 PM »
Security Cameras and motion detectors connected via Wi-Fi are cheap and easy to install. that would be my first go-to. You can set them up to "alert" you for certain different things.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2014, 03:38:34 PM »
That said, I'm not sure I see where it's an information problem at 5am. Maybe I'm just naive and all, but I've never figured it's ok to just roll up on ANY property in the middle of the night and hang out, regardless if I think it might be a campground. On a Monday night to boot.

You only think like this because you aren't the type to go trolling the countryside looking for private places to do naughty things and you've clearly never desperately needed a changing room before going to work at the power plant, after staying out all night long at the local Furry bar.

Yea, my girlfriend and I have driven 2 miles off the main road more than once looking for somewhere private to do.... naughty.... things, though not in what could be someones driveway, but some people aren't too bright when there's something more significant on their mind at the time.

Also, I agree the chain with a sign on it would be easy and effective, though depending on how often you go out and how lazy you are (like me) it can end up being enough of a pain that you don't use it as much as you'd expect.  I don't think just signs would stop everyone, as they might still think no one lives there, so a chain/gate is probably still in order.  Though maybe several signs one after another:

'Private Property'
'No Trespassing'
'Beware of Dog'
'Proud NRA Member'
'Live Mine Field'

One of them is bound to make them stop

brewer12345

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2014, 03:45:55 PM »
Just an an FYI: We have a coonhound mix.  We did not realize coonhounds are very well known for their extremely loud, deep bark.  Great for security.  Not so great for our neighbors.  We often forget to lock our doors, but we have no worries- he's harmless, but he doesn't let many people know it.

+1

We have a 50 pound Plott hound and when he is sounding the alarm you would not be able to tell that there is not a 100+ pound German shepherd on the other side of the door. Even a small noisemaker would do, though.  Our beagle is "less discriminating" in choosing to alert us to threats, but everyone can here her for a block or more...

Greg

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2014, 03:52:46 PM »
Another thought; does the entrance to your property look maintained?  It's a hassle but sometimes that's all that's needed, mowing and trimming down by the road.

A simple gate or chain with a "PRIVATE" sign will work wonders.  The sign should be reflective for easy nighttime visibility.  A second smaller sign near where the chain is attached could help if it said "STOP this is private property and is occupied" or similar.

Rural

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2014, 06:51:51 PM »
If your place was unoccupied for a while, you've got locals, probably mostly teenagers. A couple of signs and a cable across the road will take care of most of it. Hang a sign from the cable. If you still have trouble after that, shoot some holes in the sign (believe it or not, this helped tremendously at our place -- my husband placed the shots in a smiley face, three different calibers, and suddenly the hunters noticed there was someone living here...) we have a similar long drive and isolated place.


If that doesn't work, time for a gate, a dog, and a gun in case they don't want to leave when confronted. I don't think it's likely to come to that, though. The woman looking for a changing facility makes it sound like there's some widespread confusion.



While you're talking to the cops, be sure to ask if some of it happens to be them. I once had cops sitting on my hill, staking out a place next door and down the hill because they didn't realize my place was occupied. As 'next door' at the time was a crack den, I told them to make themselves at home and took them coffee on cold nights.

Chuck

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2014, 07:11:30 PM »
Are you talking deterrents or countermeasures?

For the former, signage and dogs. For the latter, firearms and dogs.

bogart

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2014, 07:32:23 PM »
We have a coonhound mix.  We did not realize coonhounds are very well known for their extremely loud, deep bark.  Great for security.  Not so great for our neighbors. 

I had a coonhound once also.  Loved that dog.  But even in a rural area, not a low-maintenance breed, if you prefer to keep track of them.  They are (go figure) hunting dogs.  For the OP, I'd recommend something easier, unless you want a lot of work either (a) exercising or (b) tracking down your hound (or possibly (c) both of the above).

johnintaiwan

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2014, 08:05:11 PM »
Was going to make my own thread related to this but looks like I will just add to it now.

The neighbors house got broken into last week while they were home. In Taiwan we live in houses that have a zero lot line, so it is really next door. All the balconies and windows have burglar bars/cages over them, but I guess this guy climbed over from the house behind us and cut the bars and climbed onto the balcony. We both have dogs, but they live at the front of the house so didnt alert. The nieghbors saw the guy and he ran away, nothing stolen, but also didn't get caught. They didn't call the police for some reason (wife says cultural difference).

I went to the local everything store and was able to find some window/door alarms that go off when they open. They were less than a dollar each with batteries included. We have put them around all the doors and windows. This wont help with the OP's problem, but for others the cheap window alarms might be a good idea. No idea what they cost at home depot though.

Rube

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2014, 08:08:44 PM »
F the no trespassing sign. You need one that says I'd turn around if I were you and another that says if you can read this you're in range.

brewer12345

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2014, 09:06:03 PM »
F the no trespassing sign. You need one that says I'd turn around if I were you and another that says if you can read this you're in range.

Possibly.  In a lot of places, posting a no trespassing sign is a legally oriented action, officially giving notice that this is private property and you are breaking the law by coming on the property.

alibean

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2014, 09:38:10 PM »
We have a coonhound mix.  We did not realize coonhounds are very well known for their extremely loud, deep bark.  Great for security.  Not so great for our neighbors. 

I had a coonhound once also.  Loved that dog.  But even in a rural area, not a low-maintenance breed, if you prefer to keep track of them.  They are (go figure) hunting dogs.  For the OP, I'd recommend something easier, unless you want a lot of work either (a) exercising or (b) tracking down your hound (or possibly (c) both of the above).

Oh yes... when he gets out without a leash, we call them his "joy runs" through the neighborhood.  They most definitely need a fence.  And in his younger years, he could jump a 5 foot fence.  Definitely something to take into consideration. 

Argyle

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2014, 10:05:22 PM »
It doesn't sound to me as if the OP is generally in danger.  The people don't even know anyone lives there, and yet they're not trying to break in.  Instead they're going to what they think is a deserted corner of the woods to have illicit liaisons or take drugs or whatnot.  So I wouldn't think protecting the house is the issue much.  These people don't want to be where anyone is.  So alerting them that they're actually on property where someone lives should scare them off to do their thing elsewhere.  I know that when you live in an isolated place, there's always the danger of break-ins and so on.  But I don't think the people the OP describes are looking to break in anywhere.

dcheesi

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2014, 01:09:58 AM »
F the no trespassing sign. You need one that says I'd turn around if I were you and another that says if you can read this you're in range.

Possibly.  In a lot of places, posting a no trespassing sign is a legally oriented action, officially giving notice that this is private property and you are breaking the law by coming on the property.
Yep, in Virginia it changes it from having to verbally forbid them (essentially giving them a warning first, and even then it's hard to enforce) to being automatic trespassing. And for some reason the word POSTED seems to be important (or at least the sign makers seem to think so).

Rural

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2014, 05:48:48 AM »
We have a coonhound mix.  We did not realize coonhounds are very well known for their extremely loud, deep bark.  Great for security.  Not so great for our neighbors. 

I had a coonhound once also.  Loved that dog.  But even in a rural area, not a low-maintenance breed, if you prefer to keep track of them.  They are (go figure) hunting dogs.  For the OP, I'd recommend something easier, unless you want a lot of work either (a) exercising or (b) tracking down your hound (or possibly (c) both of the above).

Oh yes... when he gets out without a leash, we call them his "joy runs" through the neighborhood.  They most definitely need a fence.  And in his younger years, he could jump a 5 foot fence.  Definitely something to take into consideration.


Coonhounds can climb fences. Six-foot ones. Also they can go under them if there's a 2 inch space. If you put them on a lead, they will climb the fence anyway, dangle from the lead, and nearly hang themselves before you can reach them.

Coonhounds are best kept in packs, in dedicated runs with a roof over them. They need to be hunted, and they need something to do Every day. If they don't have anything to do, they will create something to do. You will not like the something.


The real rub is that coonhounds are incredibly sweet, and really, really want to please. They will try to do what you tell them to do, and are smart enough to know what that is. But. They just. Can't. Help. Themselves. They ate ruled by their noses. And their noses tell them that things are interesting. They will investigate.  It's all downhill from there.


Coon hounds are working dogs. They need other coonhounds, and they need a job. If you can't provide those two things, you have no business trying to live with a coonhound. Learn from my mistake, and your life will be better.

jezter6

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2014, 07:01:33 AM »
Nothing we know of this morning. The police said they'd do a driveby sometime between 3 and 6 am and took note of what cars should be here.

The house was never vacant, and we're not really in a vacation home place. I think the guy that owns the place is a bit of a snow bird who comes back and forth from Florida. Most around here are just starting to come home.

While the lower property does seem abandoned and certainly could use some information regarding the fact that it's neither public nor acceptable for anyone to enter, both of the cars that were here were close enough to the main house (which is some 60 years newer and not in shambles) and passed at least 1 of our cars that it should be fairly obvious that it is occupied. We keep some small lights on at night for going downstairs to make bottles for the little one, so it's not like it was super dark and completely abandoned-looking.

I'm guessing a lot of it was coincidence of 2 nights in a row. I'd have expected it more during the weekend when there was a small festival in town or people typically drink more. Monday and Tuesday morning seem a little odd for the drunk angle. Though as said, with drugs you never can tell what people would do.

Signs are going up for now, and signs regarding the old business (herb shop down at the bottom of the driveway) are being removed. We put some logs up to the small parking area of the shop so that people don't think it's a free parking spot to poke around the woods, though we never really saw a problem with it previously.

Someone on another forum mentioned one of those air-hose warning systems like the old gas stations used to have. That's at least something less likely to be accidentally set off by wildlife. I may see if I can rig something like that up to a light and/or small chime to alert us to incoming traffic. It would be good to know the pizza guy is here anyway, so that might be a great solution.


brewer12345

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2014, 08:36:53 AM »
We have a coonhound mix.  We did not realize coonhounds are very well known for their extremely loud, deep bark.  Great for security.  Not so great for our neighbors. 

I had a coonhound once also.  Loved that dog.  But even in a rural area, not a low-maintenance breed, if you prefer to keep track of them.  They are (go figure) hunting dogs.  For the OP, I'd recommend something easier, unless you want a lot of work either (a) exercising or (b) tracking down your hound (or possibly (c) both of the above).

Oh yes... when he gets out without a leash, we call them his "joy runs" through the neighborhood.  They most definitely need a fence.  And in his younger years, he could jump a 5 foot fence.  Definitely something to take into consideration.


Coonhounds can climb fences. Six-foot ones. Also they can go under them if there's a 2 inch space. If you put them on a lead, they will climb the fence anyway, dangle from the lead, and nearly hang themselves before you can reach them.

Coonhounds are best kept in packs, in dedicated runs with a roof over them. They need to be hunted, and they need something to do Every day. If they don't have anything to do, they will create something to do. You will not like the something.


The real rub is that coonhounds are incredibly sweet, and really, really want to please. They will try to do what you tell them to do, and are smart enough to know what that is. But. They just. Can't. Help. Themselves. They ate ruled by their noses. And their noses tell them that things are interesting. They will investigate.  It's all downhill from there.


Coon hounds are working dogs. They need other coonhounds, and they need a job. If you can't provide those two things, you have no business trying to live with a coonhound. Learn from my mistake, and your life will be better.

As is the case with all hounds, you can also add in a tendency to be extremely bad food thieves.  I have a first hand appreciation of where the phrase "chow hound" came from.

All that said, hounds are great.  If you can figure out how to meet their needs, they are a ball.  We have had beagles and a Plott hound and I don't think I will keep anything but hounds.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Mustachian Home Security
« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2014, 11:32:39 AM »
Yard lights. We had them growing up as did most of our neighbours. 

I'd also put up a signs at the driveway for no trespassing with LED solar lights illuminating them.  It'll keep the innocently curious folks away.