Guys, looking for a date? Get a dog.
It's proven by science — women are more attracted to men with furry friends.
Plenty of men get dogs to hit on women in sitcoms, and it looks like they're doing something right. A number of studies conducted around the world, from France to Israel, have found that having a dog makes men more attractive to women.
One study conducted in France had a man walk around and ask for girls' numbers, both with and without a dog. The researchers from France's University of Southern Brittany found that, when the man was by himself, only 9 percent of the women he asked gave out their numbers. With a dog, it was 28 percent, which is a pretty big difference – the women were three times more likely to agree to a date with a dog walker.
"Women seemed to rely upon cues of how a partner interacted with a pet more than did men in determining whether or not the prospective partner was worth dating or considering for a longer-term relationship," wrote the study's authors in Anthrozoös.
Why do women like men with dogs so much? Researchers from Israel's Ruppin College and the University of Michigan conducted a lab experiment in Israel to try to figure it out.
Participants read short stories about men, some with dogs and some without, and then rated the men. It turned out that having a dog worked especially well for "cads" – hot alpha males who aren't likely to stick around or be all that great in long-term relationships. Apparently, having a dog softens their image.
"In modern societies, dog ownership signals substantial caretaking in a long-term relationship," wrote the researchers in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology. "Thus a cad with a dog is especially attractive to women, as they may believe they are getting the best of both worlds."
The researchers pointed out that this could be cultural, since dogs in ancient times weren't all that soft or cuddly (think wolves). Humans and dogs have been friends for at least 14,000 years, making dogs truly our oldest animal companions.
"Paleolithic dogs may have signaled resources or dominance more so than parental investment," wrote the scientists. These German shepherd-sized canines "were probably very useful in hunting: finding the prey, stopping and carrying it back to camp." The scientists theorized that this actually might make weaker men seem stronger and more attractive.
"Paleolithic dogs may have signaled resources or dominance," they wrote.
So if you're crushing on a woman at your office, try bringing your dog to work ... especially if you're a cad.
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