Need a New Girlfriend? Borrow Your Dawg’s Dog!

Forget the old pastime of catfishing, there’s a new trend called dogfishing sweeping dating apps that might actually be more effective. Dogfishing is the act of posing with an adorable pet, most commonly a dog, that isn’t actually yours. People are using pictures of them with their friends’ pets to get more attention online, and it actually works.

Dogfishing has been around for a while, but the concept only recently became more popular. The Washington Post published an article on a 2014 study that found that women “were more than twice as likely as the gents to say that they were attracted to someone because he had a pet.” The same study found that men were twice as likely to admit to using a pet to “lure a potential date” and added that dogs produce better results than cats. So what? People like puppies, that’s not new information; but a pet is a commitment that requires patience, love and dedication. That kind of sounds like a relationship doesn't it?

First impressions are important, especially on dating apps since it’s the only thing making or breaking a profile. With so many options online, standing out can be tough. Pets are incredibly efficient ice breakers and are common ground for a lot of people, so it makes sense to use a furry friend as a wingman in the dating game. I can’t fault someone for wanting to put their best foot forward, but putting forward a paw that isn’t yours might be an issue for some potential partners. 

Explaining that you don’t actually have the dog(s) on your profile is a total vibe killer, but is it really that big of a deal? Dogfishing is false advertising in a way; he cannot provide me immediate access to that adorable fluffball in the pictures. But the dog is the only fake part of the pictures. If I went on a date with this person I would not be surprised by a stranger.

If you’re swiping right on a profile just for the animal in the pictures, you’re swiping for the wrong reasons anyway. As long as the guy doesn’t lie and actually claim the animal as his own, it’s not that weird, is it? The embellishment of appearances is extremely common, from friends that talk you up to job titles on resumes and even editing pictures for social media. For some people that embellishment could be a dealbreaker and for others, it may not be. Everybody has to decide for themselves whether dogfishing is a forgivable offense or not.

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Edited by Sydney Keener