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Study Shows That Dogs Can Help Lower Crime Rates In Neighborhoods

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A recent study from Ohio State University published in the journal Social Forces found that neighborhoods with higher dog ownership rates are likely to have fewer crimes.

Researchers found that neighborhoods with more dogs experienced lower rates of homicide, robbery, and, to a lesser extent, violent assaults than those with fewer dogs. 

According to Nicolo Pinchak, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in sociology at The Ohio State University, the results show that people walking their dogs put more “eyes on the street,” which can discourage crime.

“People walking their dogs are essentially patrolling their neighborhoods,” Pinchak said. “They see when things are not right, and when there are suspect outsiders in the area. It can be a crime deterrent.”

The study’s results did not surprise Glenn Rogers of New Jersey, a canine trainer with 26 years of experience as a police officer. Rogers made this statement on “Fox & Friends Weekend” on July 9. Rogers observed that many canines provide house defense for unwanted guests.

“What’s involved is the people who are walking their dogs in the neighborhood. They become almost like a neighborhood watch,” Rogers continued. “They’re meeting their neighbors, and they’re getting to know their neighbors and getting to see what’s normal in the neighborhood if they do it every day,” Rogers said during his live segment. 

The university added in a press release that these areas also had higher levels of trust among the locals than those with fewer dogs. Pinchak added that the act of dog walking fills in the neighborhood safety gap that trust alone can’t fulfill. 

“Trust doesn’t help neighborhoods as much if you don’t have people out there on the streets noticing what is going on,” said Pinchak.

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