Fisher and her colleagues conducted among more than 1,200 pet-owning subscribers.
Among the findings:■ Nearly one-third of respondents said they had been “more attracted to someone” because they had a pet.■ More than half said they would find someone more attractive if they knew he or she had adopted a pet.■ Most respondents said they thought their date’s choice in pets said a lot about their personality.■ More than half said they would not date someone who did not like pets.
“They want to know if this person is a good fit, and this may be one way to assess whether someone is telling the truth and is the right fit in a large, anonymous society.”Another interesting finding from the survey was that roughly two-thirds of respondents over all said they would judge their date based on how he or she responded to their own pet.
“That people might let a cat or a dog influence the most important close relationship in their life — that’s phenomenal,” said Justin Garcia, an associate professor of gender studies at the Kinsey Institute, who is also a scientific adviser to and a co-author on the paper.
Frat houses have for years used the trick of adopting baby animals, from puppies to baby chicks to kid goats, to draw visitors.
Men or women could similarly “borrow” a friend’s dog for an afternoon walk to lure potential mates. Fisher comes down on the side of pet owners, who must devote a lot of time to their animals.
They also found a correlation between pet ownership and higher relationship satisfaction. Cloutier acknowledged that it’s hard to know what comes first, the dog or the personality traits that make someone likely to commit to a relationship, and that the links could reflect reverse causality.
And that, she said, is a powerful mating signal.“Having a dog really says something about you,” said Dr. “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.”It’s a signal that the man may make not only a good friend but a good parent, she said.“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. Morrill is happily married and not in the market for a relationship).
Helen Fisher, a senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute and a chief adviser to “And 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.” (Just for the record, Mr.
Women tended to have stronger opinions on many of these matters than men, the survey also found.“Women are generally more discerning than men about their mate choices,” said Peter B.
Gray, an anthropologist who was the lead author of the survey report.
Another study found that when women heard vignettes about men who acted like “cads” who were uninterested in a long-term commitment, they rated the men more highly if they owned a dog.