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More than just puppy love: Why men with dogs are perceived as more attractive

Puppies and dogs bless their owners with plenty of happiness. And according to new research, men who pose with their four-legged friends in dating profile photos are more likely to be perceived by women as nurturing, caring and responsible. In other words, these men are deemed to be attractive, long-term material! The Matchmaker UK can gladly confirm that many of our male clients are happy dog owners! Men, take note: if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, forget about that shirtless picture and pose with your pup instead.

Research shows that pictures of men with their dog are perceived as more attractive and nurturing by women. And it’s easy to see why. Dog ownership requires a significant investment of time, effort and money. Scrolling through dating profiles, researchers find that most men tend to exhibit traits associated with status, care and finances. Women, on the other hand, tend to exhibit traits associated with physical attractiveness. Taken together, in looking for a potential partner, a woman is more likely to associate a dog owner as a caring and long-term nurturing partner. It shows that he’s willing to spend time and money to keep the pup alive and well.

The science confirms that men who are looking for long-term relationships are more likely to show off pictures with their dogs on dating profiles. Professor Maryanne Fisher, conducted a study (published in Evolutionary Psychological Science) analysed 750 dating profiles, and asked respondents if they were looking for 1) a short-term relationship (namely, a ‘hookup’) or 2) a long-term relationship. She found that in the case of men looking for a serious relationship, 8 in 10 displayed pictures with their pups!

On the other hand, men who were looking for a hookup were less likely to share pet pictures (instead, opting for bare chests, motorcycles or “big fish they caught over the weekend,” according to Fisher). The researchers believe that dog ownership signals trust, resourcefulness and responsible character, all attractive qualities in a potential mate.

It’s not surprising that some men might borrow a pup from a friend for a dating profile photo to deceive potential matches! But however tempting this may seem, don’t fall for this easy trick. Ask questions and get to know your match before assuming the dog belongs to your potential match.

At The Matchmaker UK, we’re passionate about matching clients who are looking for a meaningful, long-term relationship. Founded by internationally-certified matchmaker Lara Besbrode, clients benefit from a discreet, highly bespoke and professional matchmaking service that caters to unique profiles and interests. If you’d like to embark on a meaningful relationship, please get in touch with us today and follow along our journey on Instagram at @thematchmakeruk.