It’s kind of a cliche by now: a guy with a dog is more attractive. See: Must Love Dogs, You’ve Got Mail, and every other romantic comedy of the last 20 years. But now, it’s been scientifically proven that a dog can actually get you more dates.
In February, The New York Times reported, that “People with dogs are often perceived to be more approachable, happier, and more empathetic.” The article quoted Dr. Helen Fisher, a senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute as saying, “Having a dog really says something about you.… It says you can care for a creature, that you can follow a schedule and get home to feed it, that you can walk it and love it and spend time with it.”
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And when you are perceived as being more caring and loving towards a creature, you are more attractive…to everyone. Brides points to two studies that back these claims, revealing that when showed a photo of someone with a dog, they were ranked as being happier.
Overall, results of both Studies I and II indicate that people appear happier, safer, and make a better “picture” when seen with a dog. Also, the results show that people appear more relaxed when sitting or standing with a dog. Finally, when asked to place themselves in the scene, subjects would rather be in a scene with a dog than alone.
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A final experiment showed that women find guys with dogs more attractive and, thus, are more willing to give them their phone numbers.
A survey of more than 1,200 Match.com pet-owning subscribers found that “women were more discriminating of a potential partner’s associations with pets than were men” and “dogs served more commonly as social barometers in the dating arena than cats did.” And according to Brides: almost one third of respondents said they had been “more attracted to someone” because they had a pet, more than half said they would find someone more attractive if they knew he or she had adopted a pet, the majority of respondents said they thought their date’s choice in pets said a lot about their personality, and over half said they would not date someone who did not like pets.
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This doesn’t even touch on the fact that a lot of people prefer pets to people in general. So it makes sense that dogs are a strong barometer for actually introducing a human into one’s life. It’s not a small decision.