Dogs arguably make everything better. And according to a recent study published in Social Forces, that includes neighborhoods.
More specifically, researchers from the University of Ohio found that more dogs in a neighborhood often point to lower incidences of crime.
The study, entitled “Paws on the Street,” analyzed crime statistics for nearly six hundred Columbus, Ohio, neighborhoods from 2014 to 2016.
These stats were cross-referenced against survey data asking Columbus residents if they had a dog.
The researchers also used data from an Adolescent Health and Development Context study to ascertain the amount of trust people had in their neighborhoods.
They found that neighborhoods with higher levels of trust unsurprisingly had lower levels of crime, including homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault.
Interestingly, though, the study also revealed that the presence of dogs in a neighborhood lowers these crime rates even further.
In fact, high-trust neighborhoods with high concentrations of dogs had about sixty-six percent of the robbery rates of neighborhoods with low amounts of dogs. The dog-heavy neighborhoods also had half the homicide rates.
Nicolo Pinchak, the study’s lead author, explained how seeing other people walking their dogs is almost a psychological safety net– encouraging trust and lowering crime.