This may not be surprising, considering the many books and movies that show men musing dogs to pick up women, such as the Nick Hornby book, and subsequent Hugh Grant movie “About A Boy.”
Researchers at St Mary’s University in Canada found that men who are looking for long-term partners are more likely to pose alongside a dog on their profiles.
Professor Maryanne Fisher, an evolutionary psychologist at the university who led the study, told The Times that men looking for a short-term fling were more likely to show off their “chests, their motorcycles, their boats, and the big fish they caught on the weekend.”
The study examined 750 dating profiles, including 225 men seeking a long-term relationship, 225 women who wanted the same, and 225 men looking for a casual fling.
Forty percent of men looking for a relationship pose with a dog
It found that eight in ten men who were looking for something serious had a dating app photo featuring a dog on their profile. In comparison, only 5 out of 10 looking for a short-term relationship posed alongside a pup.
Professor Fisher says: “Keeping a dog alive is a huge investment. It is an investment financially, but also you have to walk it and care for it and keep something alive. By showing these pictures perhaps they’re thinking, ‘OK women, you’ll see these and infer that I’m willing to do the same things in our relationship.’”
But she added that it was hard to know how genuine the men posing alongside dogs were, suggesting that men likely “unconsciously know that dogs are the best way to entice women.”
“Some people talk about ‘falling in love’; in my field we talk about ‘mating strategies,’” Professor Fisher added. But, single men sometimes use dogs in dating profile photos to make their profiles more enticing — a practice known as “dogfishing.”
Borrowing your friend’s dog for a dating app photo op
One man confessed anonymously to the newspaper that he had borrowed his friend’s dog for a photo opportunity for a dating app.
He said: “I added one into my profile because … it’s just the done thing to have a picture with a dog. Everyone knows that people want to swipe on it, and you’ve got to stay ahead of the game.”
Indeed, surveys have shown women are more likely to swipe on a man’s profile if he has a photo with a four-legged friend. About 63% of respondents to a survey for a pet food brand “I and love and you” said having a cute pooch on their profile helped them get a match online.
Meanwhile, over a third (39%) of respondents said they swiped right because they wanted to meet the dog in someone’s profile more than they wanted to meet the person.