Physicians have long claimed having a dog is healthy and French researchers proved that a dog helps both men and women get dates and cash in a phenomenon known as the "dog effect."


On July 21, Gad Saad, PhD, research chair in evolutionary behavioral sciences and Darwinian consumption at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, reviewed four studies by Nicolas Guéguen, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Bretagne-Sud in France, and colleague Serge Ciccotti in the bimonthly magazine Psychology Today.

The studies were originally published in the journal Anthrozoos in December 2008 and consisted of four experiments - each was carried out with or without a dog. Here they are explained with their results.

1.  A man solicited people for money in the street and 9 out of 80 people donated ($0.26/€0.20) to the man without a dog and 28 ($0.31/€0.24) gave to the guy with the dog.

2.  The same experiment as #1 except a woman executed the experiment instead of a the man. Twenty-six out of 100 people ($0.31/€0.24) gave to the woman without a dog and 51 ($0.47/€0.36) gave to the lady with the dog.

3. A man accidentally dropped some coins on the ground, to see if people would help him pick them up. Twenty-three out of 40 people helped the man without the dog as opposed to 35 that helped when the dog was present.

4. Young women were approached on the street and asked for their phone number by a man. Eleven out of 120 gave their numbers to the guy with no dog whereas 34 gave to the guy with the dog.

Guéguen and Ciccotti concluded "that the presence of the dog was associated with a higher rate of helping behavior (experiments 1, 2, 3) and higher compliance with the request of the confederate (experiment 4)."

Saad added, "This is an astonishing finding: a man's likelihood of obtaining a woman's phone number increases three-fold when accompanied by a dog!"

Full study, "Domestic Dogs as Facilitators in Social Interaction: An Evaluation of Helping and Courtship Behaviors": h ttp://