Can your dog help you find the perfect mate?
By Lexi De Forest
Having trouble finding the perfect mate? Tired of dating services that don't work and blind dates with people with whom you have nothing in common? Before you take yourself off of the market, always remember that you have your dog. That's right. Enlisting the help of your faithful canine companion could be your best bet at finding your perfect mate.
It stands to reason that if dogs can sniff out cancer cells in humans, detect bombs, and locate lost people, they might also be able to find your perfect match. Cesar Millan is a believer. "Dogs live in an instinctual world. They are more sensitive to instincts than humans are. Dogs can read a person's energy. They know when energy is compatible and when it's not."
In an experiment conducted at Cesar's Dog Psychology Center in Santa Clarita, California, heart rate monitors were hooked up to both humans and dogs. The monitors measured physiological reactions when dogs and humans were introduced to each other for the first time. Dogs reacted much sooner than humans. Oftentimes, their reactions — good or bad — occurred at distances of fifty yards or more. Their initial reactions tended to telegraph the same behavior as the dogs came closer to each other. Not so with dog owners. Cesar says one of the reasons why humans take longer to determine fit or chemistry with other humans is because, "Humans generally don't go by instincts, they rely on intelligence or emotions." These can be deceiving.
Of course, you can't put heart monitors on potential mates, so here are five suggestions on how your pooch can be your best matchmaker.
1. Dog walks are better than strolls alone in the park
Taking your dog out in public places increases your chances of meeting someone who is a likeminded dog lover. A research study conducted by the American Kennel Club confirms that dogs can be magnets for mates. According to the study, "46% of women said they'd stop and talk to anyone with a cute puppy," and "58% of men said a puppy was a foolproof babe magnet."
Dogs out for a walk with their owners can help bypass the initial awkwardness of stranger introductions — provided the dogs are well-behaved.
2. Dog parks are more social than bars
Busy dog parks are an ideal setting to meet someone new. At the dog park, you are in the company of others like you. If your park allows dogs off-leash, untether your pooch and see which dog he or she picks as a playmate. If your dogs get along, chances are you may have a match. However, if your dogs don't like each other, you're probably wasting your time.
3. Let your dog pose for the picture
Popular dating sites may not offer a box to check for "must love dogs" but dog lovers know it's essential to a meaningful relationship. If you're looking for a mate that shares your love for dogs, let suitors know by listing your passion for dogs on social networks and dating sites. Try using a photo of you with your pup as your profile picture. This sends a subtle message to would-be suitors that you and your dog come as a package deal.
Plentyoffish.com, one of the largest online dating services, has studied the correlation of pet ownership and dating, and found that there is a 45% increase in the likelihood that a dog owner will end up in a long-term relationship with other dog owners as opposed to non-pet owners."
4. Grab a cup of Joe
Coffee shops like Starbucks have become popular singles hangouts. Most Starbucks offer outdoor seating for you and your pup, and some even offer water bowls. Humans of all kinds will be attracted to your dog, so be ready to be approached. However, only try this if your dog is friendly to strangers.
5. Know what your dog says about you
Be aware that the dog breed you own can send subtle signals to the opposite sex. A survey about what breeds are attractive to the opposite sex done by Klooff, a mobile application for pet lovers, revealed that if attracting a date is your goal, you can't go wrong with retrievers, popular breeds for both sexes.
According to the survey, the top dog breed to attract women is the golden retriever, followed by Labrador retrievers, Chihuahuas, poodles and beagles. For women, the top breed of dog to attract men is the German shepherd, followed by golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, huskies and French bulldogs.
How Cesar Millan sees it
While Cesar says he's not an expert at matchmaking, he suggested adopting a dog from a shelter to improve your date chances. "Adoption not only saves a dog's life, but it shows compassion and empathy — two qualities any potential mate is likely to value." Cesar added that, "For right or wrong, people who love animals believe they can trust a fellow animal lover, so it makes introductions easier."
We asked singles what the best introductory lines are for meeting other dog owners. Here are the top four responses:
- 1. Your dog is cute. How old is he/she?
- 2. What kind of dog is that?
- 3. Would you be interested in a doggie play date?
- 4. Do you watch "Cesar 911?"
But beware! According to the same respondents, asking more forward questions during your initial meeting can be a big turn-off. First-time daters should avoid questions like, "Can I take your dog for a walk sometime?" as this question might indicate a controlling personality.
Have your dog helped you find your perfect mate? Tell us all about it in the comments.