Study Reveals Having A Pet Dog Improves Your Confidence
If you're a dog owner, it's likely you have a routine that you follow with your pet pooch. From particular parks you visit to routes you walk at set times, chances are you find yourself in the same spot with your dog at the same time of day. That means you're likely to make some pals who are also walking their dog at the same time...and your little pooches will make "friends" with each other, too.
A study carried out by Boomerang of 2000 dog owners recently found that 80 per cent of dog owners believe it's important for their dog to have his or her own friends, with 60 per cent believing that their dogs do have friends. And why wouldn't you? When your dogs have furry little mates that they sniff and wag their tails around every day on walkies, it makes sense that you might think they were best pals.
Additionally, almost half of dog owners have made friends of their own on walks, with each person meeting an average of four new people through their pet. And 54 per cent of dog owners believe that having their pet has boosted their confidence and made it much easier to talk to strangers out and about. One sixth of people even said that they know someone who has met their other half through having a dog - which makes sense, as how many of us will just stroll up to strangers if they're holding a cute little puppy?
Nick Jones, MA Dog Behaviourist, agreed with the study: "Dogs that mix nicely together can form strong bonds and learn a variety of social skills from each other that humans may find hard to spot or recognise." he said, adding, "similarly, dogs are the perfect ice breaker to start conversations with people you might otherwise pass by and are proven to bring numerous health benefits along the way, such as improvements in mental and physical health, which this research has also shown."
Having a dog has also proven to get you out of the house for puppy play dates, training classes, and walks with friends. It's the perfect way to get out of the house and gain confidence if you're nervous - and the perfect excuse to chat to strangers. Reportedly, the average dog has three friends of its own - and over one quarter has a "walking buddy".
That's more friends than a lot of people!
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