We all know dogs are the best, but you might be wondering - can dog walking really improve your love life? Science (and psychology) say it can. Research on dogs and social interactions in general is fairly conclusive. Studies continually find that strangers and homeless people, or disabled people with service dogs all experience more interactions with others when accompanied by their canine friend. Their interactions are usually more positive too. In fact, having a dog with you is even more important when it comes to first impressions than the clothes you wear. But how does that information translate into an improved love life?
Dog Walking and Charisma
According to one survey, 82 percent of people feel much more confident approaching an attractive person when accompanied by their dog. Why is that the case? No study has been able to pinpoint the reason so far, but it is likely that your dog's presence relaxes both parties, provides an easy point of conversation and eases the fear of rejection since, no matter how your conversation ends, you still leave with someone who loves you! In addition, researchers tend to think that women are more likely to approach a man with a dog, since the fact that he owns a dog implies that he is willing and capable of caring for another person.
The story of Antoine gives impressive proof that dogs can really improve what people interpret as charisma. Antoine spent his summer striking up conversation with women on the gorgeous coast of Brittany, France. He preferred the "direct approach" and usually said something like, 'Hello. My name is Antoine. I wanted to tell you, I think you are very beautiful. I am on my way to work now, but I was wondering if you would give me your phone number so we can have a drink together later.' To improve his chances getting digits in this notoriously difficult manner, he brought along an adorable, friendly black mutt.
What the women didn't know is that Antoine was part of a study by Nicolas Gueguen and Serge Ciccotti. These two were from the University of Bretange Sud in France and their goal was to study how dogs facilitate social interactions. Here's the real kicker, though, Antoine approached 240 women during the study. When alone, his success rate was 1 in 10. When walking with the little black mutt, his success rate skyrocketed to 1 in 3! Pretty impressive numbers!
Dog Walking Your Love Life to the Next Level
So what's the practical application of all this? How can you dog walk your love life to the next level? Here are a couple of tips:
Socialize your dog. A timid dog may not be the best pet to break the ice with. But that doesn't mean your love life is doomed. Check out this article for practical tips on how to socialize both puppies and older dogs.
Know that dog breed matters. Sorry to be a breedist, but it's true. Studies show that a tough-looking Rottweiler is usually not quite as well received as a big, sweet Labrador. Basically, the cuter and more cuddly your dog is, the better your chances of getting a date are. That means if you have a fuzzy puppy to walk, your chances will be through the roof...just saying.
Include your dog in your first date. If you have attracted the attention of your ideal guy or gal thanks to your pooch and manage to get a first date, consider including your dog in that too. One study done by Dognition showed that 65% of people say their "perfect date" would include dogs!