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Dog owners perceived as more caring and attractive, study finds

Researchers have found that owning a dog can make you appear happier, more attractive, and more approachable to others. Dog owners are also perceived as being more caring and empathetic, according to experts.

In particular, men are viewed by women as being more compassionate when they have a pet. Women take it as a positive sign of how a man would be as a partner when he has made the long-term commitment of caring for a dog.

Dr. Helen Fisher is a senior researcher at the Kinsey Institute and a chief adviser to She said that men who own dogs come across as more capable of nurturing others.

Dr. Fisher told the New York Times:

“Having a dog really says something about you. It says you can care for a creature, that you can follow a schedule and get home to feed it, that you can walk it and love it and spend time with it.”

“That’s the bottom line message that women get when they see a man with a dog: He’s capable of nurturing, of giving without receiving a lot, of caring for another. He’s made a commitment to this animal.”

Previous studies have revealed that the presence of a dog helps to promote social interactions. In one study, men were shown to be much more successful in getting the attention of women on the street when they had a dog.

Dr. Fisher also told the Times: “One thing women have needed for years and years is a partner who could share the load, be responsible, care for them if they’re sick and show up on time.”

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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