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Neighborhoods With Lots Of Dogs May Actually Be Safer

The Dodo 7/7/2022 Ellen Schmidt

© Monkey Business Images/ Looking for a place to live that’s light on crime? Check out how many dogs live in the neighborhood.

A new study from The Ohio State University has found that neighborhoods with more dogs had lower rates of robbery, homicide and aggravated assault, especially in neighborhoods where the residents say they trust each other.

Pretty remarkable, right? Add one more benefit of having a dog to the list!

“People walking their dogs are essentially patrolling their neighborhoods,” Nicolo Pinchak, the lead author of the study, told Ohio State News. “They see when things are not right, and when there are suspect outsiders in the area. It can be a crime deterrent.”

In conducting their research, study experts looked at crime statistics from 595 neighborhood blocks in Columbus, Ohio, in addition to a survey that determined how many of those individuals had a dog in their house.

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A general feeling of trust was also factored into study results. According to The Hill, an Adolescent Health and Development in Context study asked participants if “people on the streets can be trusted” in their neighborhoods.

The study found that the amount of dogs in the neighborhood (which translates to more people out walking their dogs, having conversations and petting each other’s pets) and the residents’ level of trust with each other leads to less street crime like homicides and robberies.

“When people are out walking their dogs, sometimes they know the dog’s name and not even the owners,” Pinahak told Ohio State News. “They learn what’s going on and can spot potential problems.”

One other obvious reason factored into a lower rate of property crime in neighborhoods with dogs — their natural instinct to protect their home. Simply put, a burglar could be deterred from robbing a home if they see or hear a dog before entering.

So basically, more dog parents out walking their dogs and interacting with others creates more “eyes on the street” and a stronger feeling of engagement in their neighborhood. While we already know the benefits of having a dog can be life-changing (literally), now we can add one more reason to the list.

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