Looking for a low-crime neighborhood to call home? Check to see how many dogs live in the area.
According to a new study from The Ohio State University, neighborhoods with more dogs have lower rates of robbery, homicide, and aggravated assault, particularly in neighborhoods where residents say they trust one another.
Isn’t that incredible? Add another advantage to having a dog to the list!
“People walking their dogs are essentially patrolling their neighborhoods,” study lead author Nicolo Pinchak told Ohio State News. “They can tell when something is wrong and when there are suspicious outsiders in the area.” It has the potential to be a crime deterrent.”
In conducting their research, study experts examined crime statistics from 595 neighborhood blocks in Columbus, Ohio, as well as a survey that determined how many of those people owned a dog.
The study’s findings also took into account a general sense of trust. An Adolescent Health and Development in Context study, according to The Hill, asked participants if “people on the streets can be trusted” in their neighborhoods.
The study discovered that the number of dogs in the neighborhood (which translates to more people out walking their dogs, conversing, and petting each other’s pets) and the residents’ level of trust with one another lead to fewer street crimes such as homicides and robberies.
“When people are out walking their dogs, sometimes they don’t even know the dog’s name,” Pinahak told Ohio State News. “They understand what’s going on and can identify potential problems.”
Another obvious reason for a lower rate of property crime in dog-friendly neighborhoods is their natural instinct to protect their home. Simply put, if a burglar sees or hears a dog before entering a home, they may be deterred from robbing it.
So, more dog owners out walking their dogs and interacting with others means more “eyes on the street” and a stronger sense of engagement in their neighborhood. While we already know that having a dog can be life-changing (literally), we can now add another reason to the list.