Dabl at Home
Studies Show That The More Dogs Means Safer Neighborhoods
A recent study revealed that the presence of canines seems to lower the likelihood of violent crime.
Location is an important component of where you decide to live. When you’re in the market to buy or rent a new home, you’re likely considering factors like your commute time to work and the quality of the local schools. But something you may not have thought about is the number of dogs that live in the neighborhood — and it could make a big difference in your family’s safety.
According to a recent study, neighborhoods with more dogs had significantly lower rates of crime. The research was conducted by a team of qualified personnel from Ohio State University and the University of Texas, Austin, who analyzed 2014-2016 crime data for Columbus, Ohio. The researchers used marketing survey data gathered in the city in 2013 to estimate dog ownership in neighborhoods and then relied on the Adolescent Health and Development in Context study to evaluate the trust shared between neighbors. It wasn’t long before the pieces started coming together.
The presence of the pups reduced the likelihood of crimes like homicides, robberies, and to a lesser extent, aggravated assaults. But it’s no secret that a barking dog could scare off possible perpetrators who might be scoping out your house, as well as alert you to the presence of an intruder timely.
Additionally, the new research pointed out an additional benefit of having the pups around, which is the fact that dogs have to be walked. While they might not realize it, the dog owners are essentially patrolling the streets while they walk their pets. They will see if something is amiss and can take appropriate actions. Even just having extra eyes on the street surveilling the area can discourage crime because it makes it more likely that the crook will be seen. And of course, more dogs in the neighborhood corresponds to more people walking the streets with their pets.
That said, the dogs can’t work alone. The researchers found that trust between human neighbors is also an important crime deterrent. Residents need to believe that their neighbors would help them if they were facing a threat, and vice versa. In other words, neighbors need to know that if someone saw something sketchy, such as when walking their dog, they would say something.
Just as the presence of dogs lowered crime rates, having high levels of shared trust between neighbors also lowered the likelihood of homicides, robberies, and aggravated assault. While both factors were effective crime deterrents on their own, the researchers saw the most significant drop in crime in neighborhoods that had trust AND plenty of pups. So the next time you walk your dog, take pride in knowing that you may be helping to make your neighborhood a safer place to live.