Based on the new study, neighborhoods that have more dogs being walked by their owners have fewer crimes thanks to more eyes being on the streets. Potential criminals may be less likely to commit a crime if someone is walking with a dog, or there are dogs in the area – because those dogs could alert people with loud barking, or even react by biting or getting in the way of the suspect trying to break the law.
Lead author of the study and a doctoral student in sociology at The Ohio State University Nicolo Pinchak mentions, “People walking their dogs are essentially patrolling their neighborhoods. They see when things are not right, and when there are suspect outsiders in the area. It can be a crime deterrent.”
What research managed to find is that neighborhoods that have more dogs in them, especially in areas where trust is high amongst the community have fewer robberies, homicide, assaults, and property crime had low rates.
The study consisted of an evaluation of 2014-16 crime data for 595 census block groups in Columbus, Ohio.
For the study, researchers evaluated 2014-16 crime data for 595 census block groups in Columbus, Ohio. The data was then compared to measurements made in 2013 originating from a marketing firm that did a study compiling a list of all the residents who were dog owners.
Concluding the study, info was used from the Adolescent Health and Development in Context study, with one question being if the participants agreed with the statement “people on the streets can be trusted” in their community.
The study concluded that those neighborhoods that were high in trust among the people had less crime. On the other hand, the high level of trust communities with a bigger number of dogs had far less assaults, robberies, and homicides.
Pinchak said, “Trust doesn’t help neighborhoods as much if you don’t have people out there on the streets noticing what is going on. That’s what dog walking does.” This is the reason why owning a dog can be an advantage in potential crime-stopping something that cats don’t have or other pets that don’t require to be walked.
“When people are out walking their dogs, they have conversations, they pet each other’s dogs. Sometimes they know the dog’s name and not even the owners, Pinchak mentions. “They learn what’s going on and can spot potential problems.”