Hook, Line, Sinker: “Dogfishing” is the Latest Trend to Muddle Dating Waters

Dating has never been easier. Thanks to the plethora of dating apps available, it’s possible to seek love or companionship 24-7 by using any mobile device.

With so many people on so many apps looking for a match, some people are going to extraordinary lengths to distinguish themselves from the bounty of other dating profiles. What’s their method of choice? Dogfishing!

It isn’t what it sounds like. People aren’t suddenly taking their dogs fishing with them. Not at all. Dogfishing is an approach used by some single or single-minded folks, to “bait” a potential love match into giving their dating profile a second look, swipe or tap. As an intentional bonus or not, a profile picture with a pooch helps broaden the dogfisher’s dating prospects, making them eligible to include their profile on dating apps specifically targeted to dog owners.

Why would a person borrow a dog as a photo prop when they don’t own or have an association with it? Dating experts believe these dogfishers want to immediately appear more likable and appeal to more potential matches.

Researchers found that men were more likely to use their pets to attract partners. The study also revealed some women consider a man with a dog as capable of making a commitment, nurturing, and capable of caregiving. Moreover, the study found that these traits were perceived as positive cues toward a man’s companionship and parenting abilities. Perhaps this is because dogs generally require more care and attention than cats.

Identifying similar likes and interests such as pet ownership can be a convenient icebreaker in the initial stages of a courtship.

Pretending to be a dog owner on a dating profile may seem like a harmless white lie. It isn’t. It is a deceptive act that has the potential to backfire and turn off a potential match when they eventually discover that the doggy on your profile was used as date-bait.

If you are uncertain about how to navigate interpersonal connections, you may want to explore consulting with a behavioral science professional licensed through the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Board of Behavioral Sciences. Visit search.dca.ca.gov to find one near you.

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