No, I’m not talking about unattractive people who engage in online dating. I’m talking about actual canines in profile pictures and other photographs on dating sites. And I’m talking about them mostly because, back in the day, Mike used to talk about them a lot. When I say “back in the day,” I mean when Mike was perusing dating sites for a life partner rather than being the old, happily settled guy he is today.
The dogs bugged him.
I don’t like when people post pictures of their children on dating sites, but the dogs didn’t bother me. I assumed that most people were a little self-conscious posing for a dating site photo and wanted to make it look a bit more natural. But, the issue came up often enough that one day not long ago, I decided to experiment a bit.
I made this photo my main profile picture on a free online dating site.
Apparently, there’s something to the whole dog thing (or I have a remarkably unattractive chin), because overnight my “photo rating” jumped from 6.7 to 8.0. I got a fresh flurry of messages, much like when I’d first signed up for the site.
I considered asking about the dog factor, but I didn’t do it. And, it turned out that I didn’t have to. Not long afterward, a woman posted a question very much like Mike’s in the forums. In short, she wanted to know why guys were always posing for pictures with their dogs and their motorcycles.
The responses were mixed, but the most interesting referred to a purported study that showed that men were considered more likable and trustworthy when seen in the company of animals. This poster suggested that men in positions of power in business and politics often placed photos of themselves with dogs on display because it gave people a better impression of them.
So, what do you think? When you see a guy (or girl) pictured with a dog, does it change your view? Does it create a positive impression or make you question his/her judgment?