“Dogs are man's best friend.”
I should know – I grew up with 20 dogs at my aunt's.
But here's the thing:
Some guys don't realize ALL the benefits of having a pup.
(Besides the company and unconditional love)
Think about it…
There's a reason why women adore those pictures of famous men with their dogs.
- Enhance your style
- Make you more approachable
- Draw the ladies to you even more
- Help you get a woman's number
Don't believe me?
Keep reading to find out how dogs level-up a man's attractiveness…
Study #1 – Dogs Make You More Approachable
Some guys have good looks, a great sense of humor…
But they may not have the most approachable “aura” (probably since they're shy or timid).
But don't fret! There are two things that can make up for that:
- A great style
- A pet dog
This was proven by researchers June McNicholas and Glyn Collis – who published a study in the British Journal of Psychology in 2000.
They wanted to tap into the way pet dogs could benefit people’s physical and psychological well-being.
Experiment A: Average woman bringing a dog around all day
The researchers recruited a Labrador retriever from a dog training center – which was known for being quiet and unobtrusive.
It was paired a female experimenter – accompanying her during all her life activities for five straight days. She would then spend the next five days doing the same activities without the dog.
Results: With the dog around, the woman had a total of 3X as many social interactions as she had when she was alone. The dog served as a good icebreaker, especially with strangers and acquaintances.
Experiment B: A well-dressed man bringing a dog around
This time, researchers were curious to know if a dog could make a stylish man even more approachable than when he is unaccompanied.
They had a sharply dressed man visit four locations in a small English city. He would mix up the following elements to change his appearance at each place:
- Fashionable clothing (collared shirt, necktie, sports jacket, pressed trousers)
- Shabby clothing (old t-shirt, stained jacket, torn and dirty jeans, scuffed work boots)
- A “neat” dog (with a fashionable matching leash and collar)
- A “scruffy” dog (with a rope leash)
- No dog
During the experiment, there was an independent observer standing at a distance. He recorded how many people interacted with the man – plus the length and type (verbal/non-verbal) of each interaction.
- Fashionable clothing = 705 interactions
- Shabby clothing = 465 interactions
- With a dog (“neat” or “shabby”) = 500 interactions
- No dog = 57 interactions
Surprisingly – it didn’t matter whether or not the dog appeared shabby. The man gained the most interactions by simply being well-dressed AND bringing a dog.
Be your most stylish self – and all that's left is to bring a dog to achieve maximum approachability. It's not that important to “beautify” your dog. Just make sure it's harmless!
Study #2 – Dogs Increase “Long-Term” Attractiveness
How can you show women you're a keeper – not some typical “cad” who they wouldn't want to marry or raise their kids?
It's widely believed that many women gravitate toward men who can be good providers and nurturers. They're looking for a good long-term mate – a committed husband and father.
That brings up two types of men's attractiveness from a woman's perspective (based on past research):
- “Cad” (Short-term): Men who are viewed as “bad boys”, competitive, and socially dominant – they just date, mate, and move on quickly
- “Dad” (Long-term): Men who are viewed as “husband material” – they care about long-term courtship and finding the “right” woman
So can “cad” guys only win over women who want a hook-up, but not those who want a real relationship? That was discussed in a study by Sigal Tifferet et al. (published in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology in 2013).
They surveyed 100 unmarried women – who would read two vignettes that were either about:
- A “cad” with a dog + a “dad”
- A “cad” + a “dad” with a dog
Those women would rate each character according to “how likely they were to marry” him. They also judged each man's “mating effort” (how willing he was to invest in a relationship).
- “Dad” guys had more “long-term” attractiveness by default – a pet dog didn’t really change that
- “Cad” guys had more “short-term” attractiveness – but those with a dog were rated much higher on “long-term attractiveness” and “mating effort” than their dog-less counterparts
That confirms how dogs can be a strong signal of “dad” traits – which may help boost the appeal of a so-called “cad” guy. It will balance out his dominant, overly outgoing traits.
Study #3 – Women Prefer “Dog Guys” Over “Cat Guys”
Here is what's interesting about the “cats vs. dogs” culture in our society. It also means their owners are incompatible to some extent.
So if you have a pet cat and you meet a woman who LOVES dogs – watch out!
Does the kind of pet play a role when you're trying to date someone? Previous research says so.
It shows that pets – like immediate family members – can influence the success of a dating relationship.
Going back to cats and dogs, it's a fact that both animals behave and interact with their owners in opposite ways:
- Cats: less social, more independent, and requiring less care
- Dogs: more social, requiring more attention and care
Each animal triggers different social effects. So does that put “cat guys” at a disadvantage in the dating and courtship arena? That was what Peter Gray et al. wanted to know in their study (published in the journal Anthrozoos in 2015).
They surveyed over 1,200 people on Match (whose ages ranged from the 20s to 50s). They were told to mention their sex, their age, and answer questions about:
- Whether they owned a dog or cat (or some other pet)
- Whether they found pets attractive in a mate
- Which pets they considered to be the “hottest”
- Women were more likely to be attracted to pet owners, men with pets on their profile, and especially any man who's a “dog person”
- Women were less likely to date men who say they're “not a pet person” or a “cat person”
- Women were more likely to agree that a guy's pet represents his personality
So yes – it matters whether you're a “cat guy” or “dog guy” overall. Your date may or may not be super crazy about pets. But there's a good chance she'll like you more if you love dogs – and have your own dog.
But if she prefers cats, that's another story…
Study #4 – Dogs Can Help You Get A Woman's Number
Here's another piece of proof that dogs help you attract women (in case you need more convincing).
This last study was conducted by Nicholas Gueguen and Serge Ciccotti (published in the journal Anthrozoös in 2008).
They explored the role of dogs in “facilitating human interactions” – specifically in getting people to fulfill a dog owner's request.
One experiment involved a 20-year-old guy (who was independently rated as attractive) wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers.
The catch? You guessed it – he was either seen with a dog or without one.
He would approach different women on the street to:
- Introduce himself and give his name
- Tell the woman he finds her really pretty
- Ask if she could give her number and meet for a drink later
- Among the women he approached ALONE – 9.2% gave their phone number
- Among those he approached with a DOG – 28.3% gave it (3X as many YES responses)
Studies On Men With Pet Dogs:
3 Main Takeaways
1. Women in general love pet people
Most women adore dogs. And this liking extends to how they gravitate toward dog owners.
Some guys struggle with portraying empathy and kindness – which hinders their approachability. But they can make up for it by getting a dog.
It shows everyone (even total strangers) that they've got some degree of friendliness, so they can be talked to for some help or directions.
2. Dog lover + cat lover = may not work
If you're a “cat guy” and your date is a “dog woman” – be warned that this can cause some tension.
She might end up liking you much less than she did initially – to the point that you would've been better off without a pet at all.
The reality is dogs are needier than cats. So there's an inherent assumption that “dog people” are more nurturing, caring, and responsible than “cat people” overall.
3. “Dog women” take more things about a man into account
For any “dog guy” who meets a woman who loves dogs – you're off to a great start!
Since you're the type of guy with more “dad” attractiveness, you'll stand out in a sea of men who are too selfish, irresponsible or inexperienced to settle down. And the ladies will notice that.
But take note that “dog women” can also infer stuff about you quickly – based on your dog's breed, how you take care of it at home, how you treat it in public, etc.
Your dog-loving date has her own beliefs on those things. But if your beliefs match hers, that's great! It shows how good of a “provider” you'll be in the future.
So… are you thinking of getting a dog? First, you might want to learn which dog breeds are most likely going to be a hit with the ladies.
But remember: pets are a huge responsibility. Don't treat your own dog badly, as if it's just a fashion accessory. Women will figure that out quickly. Once you get caught – your reputation is TOAST.
Want to know more about the science of style? Just browse RealMenRealStyle.com. You'll get lots of insight from my courses The Personal Image Blueprint and A Man's Guide To Style – as well as over 2,000 research-backed articles published over here.