New research from Rover.com, reveals that 56% of people say they’re twice as likely to talk to someone they don’t know if they’re with a dog, than without. In fact, almost four in ten said they would only start a conversation with a stranger if they had a dog.
It’s Golden Retrievers that is the dog breed most likely to attract con-fur-sation from strangers, closely followed by Labradors and German Shepherds. Over half of Brits are motivated to strike up a conversation because a dog is cute (56%) or unusual in appearance (27%). Almost a quarter of non-dog owners (24%) say because they don’t have a dog of their own they are keen to make friends with people who do, whilst one in five just want to catch a great picture for their social media.
However, not all breeds are likely to attract the same level of interest as others. Maltese, Beagles and Chihuahuas are the dog breeds least likely to invite conversation from strangers.
It’s often said that dogs are a great judge of character, but they’re also the benchmark for a trustworthy person – in fact, over a third say they don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like dogs. Having a canine companion not only makes you appear more honest, but 61% also perceive you to be a fur-iendlier person too.
And having a four-legged friend by your side also means that people feel more empowered to do things on their own. 58% would be happy to go to the pub without a human pal – in fact 55% say they’ve made new friends thanks to their dog and have people regularly stop to talk to them when they’re with them (69%).
This research comes as Rover announces the shortlist for the ‘Dog-Friendly Pub Category’ at the Great British Pub Awards, which it’s sponsoring. With pubs the pinnacle of a social environment, Rover is keen to discover which ones are the ulti-mutt venue for our canine companions, particularly as almost a third of dog owners say they wouldn’t visit a pub if it wasn’t dog-friendly. Judges will be looking at the amenities available for dogs, including beds, water bowls and treats, as well as how much the pubs have invested in making areas dog friendly. The winner will be announced later this year.
Dog breeds most likely to attract conversation from strangers
- Golden Retriever
- German Shepherd
- French Bulldog
- Border Collie
- Cocker Spaniel
Dog breeds least likely to attract conversation from strangers
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Adem Fehmi, Rover’s Canine Behaviourist comments “Dogs are naturally very social and, by their nature, help to bring people together. They are a great way to break the ice in many a social situation, making solo outings not so solo! Our four legged-best friendsalso help us to feel confident in both familiar and new surroundings when by our side.
“With more dog owners than ever, we have seen an increase in people wanting to share experiences with their dogs and make lasting memories together. Being a dog-friendly pub helps to make this happen and can be beneficial in settling both the owner and their dog. With the UK such a dog loving nation, we look forward to seeing more establishments evolve and develop with their canine clientele in mind!”
The Great British Pub Awards have announced the shortlist of pubs for the ‘Dog Friendly Category’ consisting of:
- Greenhead Hotel, Cumbria
- The Bellflower, Garstang, Preston, Lancashire
- The Leicester Arms, Penhurst, Kent
- The Oak, Coventry, West Midlands
- The Pheasant, Bassenthwaite, Cumbria
- The Runner, Swindon, Wiltshire