Bro! Want to TRIPLE your odds of getting her number? Get a dog

November 12, 2014 Originally published on SFGate

Because it means you can take care of something. Because it means you’re not completely selfish. Because it means you might love something other than yourself.

Because it shows you can take a little responsibility. Because it means you’re capable of patience, and dedication, and long-term commitment, and you (probably) even own a car.

Because it means you don’t mind getting a little messy. You keep extra blankets around. You like to cuddle. And you won’t mind overmuch when you find random clumps of hair stuck all over everything.

Bring this guy to the park and you'll be fending off suitors from ALL angles and genders

Bring this guy to the park and you’ll be fending off suitors from ALL angles and genders

Whatever the reasons – and they are indeed plentiful – I am hereby reminded of some rather excellent studies by French psychologist Nicolas Guégen that apparently came out a few years ago but were just freshly reposted on some terrific blog I always read, so that makes them brand-new again, right? Because Internet? Great.

Here’s the best one, a study that reveals what every dog-wielding dude already knows: Your chances of getting a female’s phone number (or, more inclusively, any potential paramour) increase threefold if you have a canine with you. Take that, Tindr.

Easy enough, right? Want a date? Get a dog. Girls love dogs! Guys with dogs are automatically cuter, somehow! If you own a dog, you probably aren’t a serial killer, a GamerGate jackass or Ted Cruz! Dog owners tend to be 15 percent more social, whereas cat owners are 12 percent more neurotic! And so on.

Of course, caveats abound. We can add that your odds of meeting a potential hookup get even better if you are not wearing a flaccid, oversized hoodie, or a bright orange T-shirt celebrating your tech company’s 2011 Tucson sales conference, or spitting a lot, or screaming at your feral mastiff to bring back that chihuahua right this minute oh goddammit not again.

It also helps if you don’t spend all your time at the dog park angrily stabbing at your cellphone while your pet speeds around the park attacking squirrels, terrorizing children and pooping in places you conveniently ignore.

BTW, I do not, unfortunately, speak from direct, dog-as-wingman experience. I have the lamentable San Francisco situation in which my landlord disallows pets, despite having two dogs himself, despite all my begging, despite the general unfairness of the universe.

It’s a sizable issue right now, by the way, this urban pets thing, especially in rent-controlled San Francisco, where endless tech money is turning everything dung-beetle bland, landlords can freely reject pets all they like and shoebox-sized studio apartments in the Tenderloin are going for four grand a month, not including a Supercharger for your Tesla.

But I revere dogs. Grew up with dogs. Write about them. Radiate the “I like dogs!” vibe to nearly every canine I see, hoping they will give me that special “Hey, cool! I like you, too!” dog look right back. Did this dog-positive vibe help attract my current gorgeous paramour? I like to think so. That’s how cool dogs are; even liking them from afar is sexy.

Of course, there’s the dark side. There is the dog addiction problem, where the pet is the source of all the relationship woes, where the dog is an overbearing jerk, where the emotionally unstable human subsumes his or her identity entirely to the pet, or where the dog gets more attention than the love interest, and the better food, and the prime spot on the bed, and all the best stroking.

“It’s me or the dog!” some have even wailed. Wait, isn’t there a terrible reality show? Oh my God, there totally is. Because humans are insane. Dogs, on the other hand, just keep right on rompin’.

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Mark Morford

About Mark Morford