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A new study from Ohio State University has found that neighborhoods with higher dog ownership tend to experience fewer crimes.
Glenn Rogers of New Jersey, a dog trainer with 26 years of police officer experience, told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Saturday, July 9, that he was not surprised by the study’s findings.
Rogers noted that while many dogs offer home protection in the case of unwanted intruders, the new study found that neighborhoods with high canine populations provided more eyes on the ground — which makes sense.
“What’s involved is the people who are walking their dogs in the neighborhood,” Rogers said during his live segment.
“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.”
During his time in law enforcement, Rogers said that formal neighborhood watch groups sometimes tend to “fizzle out” over time.
Regular dog walking is a different idea, however.
“When you’ve got a dog, you might be taking the same walk for 15 years,” Rogers noted on “Fox & Friends Weekend.”
Rogers, who has worked with K-9 units in the U.S. Army and the Tinton Falls Police Department in New Jersey, is now a head trainer with At Home Dog Training.
It’s a professional dog training service in Farmingdale, N.J.
The veteran dog trainer brought along his training assistant, Georgia, a 5-year-old Hungarian vizsla, to the “Fox & Friends Weekend” segment as he discussed the safety benefits she provides.
“Georgia is not a trained dog to do any kind of protection work,” Rogers said.
He said that she, however, like most dogs, has “a natural instinct to protect. [Dogs] have the mind of the wolf, which is to protect the pack.”
The Ohio State University study seems to make that point as well.
Researchers observed crime rates in various neighborhoods in Columbus, Ohio, where the university is located.
They found that neighborhoods with higher dog populations had lower rates of homicide, robbery and aggravated assault.
These neighborhoods also had higher levels of trust among the residents compared to neighborhoods that had fewer dogs, the university noted in a press release.
“Trust doesn’t help neighborhoods as much if you don’t have people out there on the streets noticing what is going on,” said Nicolo Pinchak, the lead author of the study, who is also a doctoral sociology student at Ohio State University.
In the university’s press release, Pinchak added that the act of dog walking fills in the neighborhood safety gap that trust alone can’t fulfill.
“Dogs have a crime-fighting advantage over cats and other pets that don’t need walking,” Pinchak continued.
“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’ [names]. They learn what’s going on and can spot potential problems,” he said.