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How Your Dog Can Save Your Sex Life

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Written by Dr. Megan Stubbs

If you’re in the market for a new partner, consider enlisting your fur friend. I’m talking about your dog. Research suggests that having a dog has a positive effect on meeting potential partners from the initial meet all the way to overall relationship satisfaction.

One of the first studies to demonstrate this four-legged phenomenon was done in France. An attractive male subject was in a popular public location and tasked with complimenting women and asking for their number. Unsurprisingly, meeting strangers without context and asking for their number isn’t commonly well received. Out of 120 women approached, only 9.2 percent supplied their number. The experiment was repeated with the same subject, but a dog was added into the mix. Again, 120 women were approached, but the response was markedly different. He had a success rate of 28.3 percent! That was a drastic increase with just the addition of a dog.

So why is having a dog beneficial? It can’t all be attributed to those puppy eyes and wiggly butts. Research suggests that someone who is a pet owner has many positive attributes that are highly desired in a relationship—things like your ability to care for another, patience and compassion to name a few. In a study done by Match.com, of 1,200 people surveyed, more than half said they would find someone who was a pet owner more attractive.

In addition to these desirable characteristics, a study done by SunTrust Mortgage revealed that one-third of millennials are purchasing a house due to the fact that they need space for a dog. While many people are putting off marriage until later, some pet parents are committed to building a better life for themselves and their fur friend. Seeing that you are willing to have a mortgage for your pet can be a positive indicator to your partner that you are a responsible person and are willing to make a lasting commitment.

And if you think one dog is great, imagine what kind of stir you can cause if you have six! Lee Asher from The Asher House knows firsthand what having dogs can do for your interactions with women. He, along with his friend Luke Barton, is traveling the U.S. in an RV to raise awareness about shelter dog adoption. With his pack of six rescue dogs, Bo-Bo, Butters, Cali, Lillie, Molly, and Stella, they have been melting hearts across the country.

In a recent study, of 1,200 people surveyed, more than half said they would find someone who was a pet owner more attractive.

“Before people were aware of what we were doing and before we had the RV, certainly taking our dogs places helped us meet women for sure,” Asher says.

Whether it is asking for a picture or asking to pet the dogs, having them along has been a great ice breaker. Being a pet owner not only can help you secure a date, it can be great if you’re in an existing relationship. In an Anthrozoös study that investigated pet ownership and romantic relationship quality, researchers found evidence that suggested pet ownership had a positive effect on a couple’s relationship. The data indicated that more than 85 percent of respondents felt that pets had a helpful impact on their dating life. This is all well and good, but pet ownership can also act as its own kind of litmus test and doesn’t necessarily promise a happily ever after.

Being a pet parent can bring about attributes that only reveal themselves after your relationship has progressed more. The way in which you care for your pet can be a telling indicator to your partner. Asher concurs:

“I think pet ownership within a relationship is a great test. If you are with someone, and you want to have a child together, getting a dog is a great idea—especially if it’s within the first year or two. People really underestimate how long it takes to get to know somebody. A dog will test your temperament, patience, and how you take ownership of responsibility.”

Now don’t think that adding a cute dog as your sidekick is the surefire way to secure a date or save a relationship. If you use a dog to lure in a potential date, and you really don’t like dogs, it will become evident that you misrepresented yourself. The same goes for if you decide to get a dog together and then realize that you actually hate dogs. NRE, or new relationship energy, can only take you so far.

Above all, authenticity is key when dating and relating to people. If dogs aren’t for you, don’t throw a false flag to potential dates. But with that said, if you are a dog lover, but haven’t had the opportunity to get one yet, volunteer as tribute to your friends as dog walker or pet-sitter. Also, shelters would welcome you as a volunteer to foster and/or walk their animals waiting on their fur-ever home. Who knows, you just might find a love you didn’t know you were missing in a rescue animal.

So if you’re a single pet parent (or pet uncle) looking for a partner, slip on your shoes, clip on the leash, and get out there! And remember, its only cute when the dog humps on the first date.