Go On a Date and Bring Your Dog
Rebecca K. O'Connor
Are you just getting back into the world of dating? Or maybe you've been dating for what seems like forever, but you just can't get up the nerve to really chat up that gorgeous guy or gal. Why not try letting your dog be your wingman? Chances are that Fido isn't shy and could be the perfect icebreaker, giving you something to talk about. Golden retrievers, Labradors for their demeanor
How Bringing Along a Dog on a Date Works
First off, if you don't have a dog, don't go get one just for the purposes of being a doggie dating assistant. Not all dogs are good at mingling and all dogs deserve a full-time home. You should have time to spend, the right home for a dog and the life-long commitment to loving your canine whether he helps you find that spouse of your dreams or not.
Not all dogs are perfect for a date companion, but almost any dog can do it if he's well trained. Most people like dogs, but remember that not everyone lives with him. If the first thing Rover does is run over and sniff your potential honey in the crouch, he or she might be offended, especially if your date doesn't know that means "hello" in dog. So make sure your pooch behaves on a leash, knows how to sit, lay down and stays as well as understands the rules about jumping on and sniffing people.
Be sure to start by setting up Rover to succeed. If you have a dog that may look intimating to your date, do a little something to soften his appearance and make him look more friendly. Trying putting a bandana on him or provide him with a cute plush toy or ball to carry. Be sure to bring treats, both to help you remind Rover to mind his manners and to give your date the opportunity to make friends.
Use your pooch to help start the conversation. Let him make the first move to your date. If he isn't interested in meeting another human, give him time or hand your date a treat to give him. Remember that just having a well-behaved dog will score you big points with most people, especially if your man dating a woman. People who have great dogs, might raise fabulous children as well!
Chances are as soon as your date is scratching Fido's ears, he is going to want to know your dog's story and how you ended up with such a wonderful canine companion. Don't make up a story, but you'll get bonus points if your pooch has a sad story. Even if he doesn't have heart-wrenching past, there is probably a good reason why you chose to have this particular breed. Did you have a great Labrador when you were a kid and couldn't imagine your life without one? Start talking about your dog and your date might find out a lot of great things about you, like that you're compassionate, kind and a little sentimental.
What if my Dog Doesn't Like my Date or Vice Versa?
If you brought your dog along on a date, chances are you care about what your dog thinks. Okay, so you're not going to let him start making your investment decisions or anything, but do you really want to get into a long-term relationship with someone that can't stand spending time with your dog?
Personally, I would trust my dog's instincts if he seemed oddly disenchanted with my date. Dogs certainly seem to read people better than I do half the time. However, if your dog isn't used to going out, has had a long day all ready or has any other reason to be grumpy with people, don't let him be the deciding factor if you really like your date. If Rover doesn't warm up on the second or third date, then you might want to take him seriously.
If you're not real sure if dating with your dog will work for you, start by going to the dog park or to local events for dog people. See how your favorite canine interacts with others and build up your comfort level in letting him lead the way to starting a conversation. If you haven't tried it, why not give a shot? Even if it's the worst date ever, at least you got to spend a little quality time with your best friend!
Best Dog Breeds to Take on a Date
The book "A Dog Lover's Guide To Dating" by Deborah Wood suggests the five best and worst "date bait breeds:
Papillions for their demeanor and looks
Scruffy terrier-mixes for their cute factor
Collies for those who remember Lass
Afghans for their unusual beauty
Pit bulls which are misunderstood as aggressive
Rottweilers which are also misunderstood
Yapping little dogs which many people (men especially) find annoying
Dogs with elaborate hairdos who likely have high-maintenance owners
Chinese crested which are unusual but not attractive