Single users who join dating portals are associated with a higher chance of receiving a match if their profile picture includes a small dog. This is shown by research commissioned by The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, conducted by scientists from the Kennel Club.

The team, led by Paul Martin, surveyed 1,000 British adults registered on a dating app or site. According to the survey, about two-thirds of respondents reported finding profiles in which pictures of dogs appeared more interesting. Sixty percent of the cohort then believed that owning pets was generally a trait associated with a greater likelihood of establishing a stable relationship.

Pet owners were also considered more sociable, active and empathetic. Fifty percent of respondents said they would take pictures with a friends’ or family members’ dog to increase the chances of initiating a conversation through the app or site. Finally, 59 percent of dog owners reported that they would not engage in a relationship with a non-dog-loving person.

“What’s interesting,” Martin comments, “concerns the characteristics generally associated with our four-legged friends that are then projected onto pet owners. Empathy, patience and reliability are all desirable traits for a potential partner as well. Having a dog could provide additional possibilities for interacting in chat rooms and dating sites.”

“Having a dog,” adds Helen Fisher, senior researcher at the Kinsey Institute in Indiana, “reveals many aspects of someone’s personality. We generally tend to think that pet owners are more trustworthy and empathetic, given their ability to care for another living being.”

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