A dating decoy: The role dogs are playing in online dating

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MILWAUKEE -- The latest tactic people are using to attract a lover -- dogfishing! And it's all based on a lie! Professional matchmaker Camille Kostin with It's Just Lunch Milwaukee joins Real Milwaukee to explain.

• Daters are borrowing a friend or family member's dog to take a photo to use on their dating profile. The Washington Post recently coined this as 'Dogfishing.'
• The cute dog they`re posing with is being used as bait to attract a significant other.
• Intentionally, or unintentionally, it deceives those interested in thinking the dater is a dog owner.

Why are daters using dogfishing as a tactic?
• A study revealed that 35% of women are more attracted to someone when they`re a pet owner. That`s true for about 25% of men, too.
• Whether consciously or subconsciously, being a dog owner sends signals to potential dates:
• Being a dog owner implies that you have nurturing qualities. Dogs teach us about empathy, responsibility, and add love to our lives.
• If you treat a dog right, you`ll probably treat your significant other right.
• Added bonus, when you`re seeking a significant other, a dog provides a starting point for the conversation--it`s an interest you`re both into.

Is there a way to catch a fake profile picture?
• You`re hopeful people are being honest in their profiles, but you can really do anything you want to online.
• My best advice would be to ask questions early on when you`re getting to know each other. You should learn pretty quickly if the person doesn`t have a dog or isn`t being authentic.
• Eventually, lies catch up with you.
• Always go with your gut. If your gut instinct is telling you something is off, follow it.

Should you include a dog in your dating profile picture?
• Not a dog or an animal you don`t own. You don`t want to start that relationship off on a lie.
• Your first photo should be your best photo -- it is your first impression after all.
• Have an authentic picture of yourself! Include a picture of you doing something you love like running, or maybe at your favorite spot or on a vacation.

What is your best tip for attracting a potential suitor?
• Be authentic. Be yourself.
• And remember, give chemistry a chance! No one person will likely check off every box on your 'must-have' list.
• It may take a couple of dates before you realize the person and the relationship may have potential.

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