The watchful eyes of our four-legged friends are a key deterrent to burglars according to the latest research from the Petcare Information and Advisory Service (PIAS).
‘With statistics showing that someone in Australia is burgled just about every minute , the vast majority (88 per cent) of dog owners say that having a dog around the house deters burglars and they report that this is primarily about the dog’s ability to monitor and alert neighbours if an intruder enters the property,’ says Susie Willis from PIAS.
And it seems that leading insurers agree with these findings.
‘We know that thieves are opportunistic and generally look for “soft targets”, those homes where they can get in and out quickly without being seen or heard. Anything that makes this more difficult, whether that be a monitored alarm, well-secured doors and windows or a dog that will speak up if it sees anything unusual is a good thing,’ says Andrew Tubb, Corporate Affairs Manager, NRMA Insurance.
Research from the University of Western Australia shows that dog ownership does contribute to a broader feeling of safety within the community.
‘The perception of safety is one of the key measures of community well-being and it is clear from the UWA research that the presence of dogs in a community contributes to feelings of safety,’ says Susie.
Dr Lisa Wood from the School of Population Health at the University of Western Australia found that people out walking dogs increased social interaction within the community and made the community as a whole feel safer.
‘This isn’t about guard dogs and fences; it is about people recognising a neighbour who they see out walking their dog or people stopping to chat to a dog owner. It is also about the feeling of personal safety that dog owners have, with the research showing that 83 per cent of dog owners say they feel safer in their homes because they own a dog,’ says Susie.
Dogs may well be an effective deterrent to burglars, but it is clear that they also bring a range of benefits to their owners and the broader community,’ says Susie. Like Dixie (pictured) who is a trusted family member and a vigilant guarder of the family home!