How dog ownership is causing a spark in London’s parks

Dog owners luckier in love and new research reveals the top London parks for finding ‘the one’

  • Dog owners more likely to be married or in a relationship and more positive about finding ‘the one’.
  • 30 percent of Londoners wouldn’t date somebody who didn’t like dogs
  • 35 percent of London dog owners asked on a date or found love whilst out with their dog, or as a result of somebody else’s dog
  • Clear link between dog owners’ luckiness in love and their local park – with St James’ walkers nearly twice as likely to find love or be asked on a date than those in Epping Forest.
  • 21 percent of Londoners not getting a weekly hug from dogs or humans; dog ownership can boost vital levels of ‘feel good’ hormone, oxytocin, and increase social circle
  • Doggie heaven: Pop up cuddle corner at unique Discover Dogs event gives Londoners the chance to boost oxytocin levels and find their potentially perfect canine companion

Londoners are much more likely to be lucky in love if they own a dog and new research has revealed the London parks that are the hottest place to bag a date.

The research, carried out by the Kennel Club ahead of its Discover Dogs event at ExCeL London on 20-21 October, shows that dog owners in London are luckier in love than non-dog owners with 72 percent of London dog owners describing themselves as married or in a relationship, compared to 55 percent of non-dog owners. Furthermore, nearly a fifth of dog owners in London enjoy dating and feel ‘the one’ is on its way – compared 13 percent of non-dog owners.

It is hardly surprising that London dog owners are faring better in love, given that being a dog lover is amongst Londoners’ essential criteria when looking for a partner – with 30 percent of Londoners saying they wouldn’t date somebody who didn’t like dogs.

Dog ownership doesn’t only increase your likeability but also your opportunities for finding love. A quarter of Londoners have been asked on a date whilst out and about with their dog, or as a result of somebody else’s dog and a further 16 percent have found true love this way.

However, there is a clear divide between how lucky Londoners are, according to the London park they walk in most frequently.

Londoners who frequently walk their dog in Brockwell Park are almost twice as likely to find love or be asked on a date than those who walk in Epping Forest, with 62 percent of Londoners who walk in the former saying that they have either been asked on a date or fallen in love, whilst out and about with their dog, or as a result of somebody else’s dog. This is followed by St James Park (61 percent); Regents Park (58 percent), Kensington Gardens (57 percent), Green Park (55 percent), Alexandra Park (52 percent), Wandsworth Common and Greenwich Park (50 percent), Bushy Park and Hampstead Heath and Bushy Park (48 percent).

By contrast Londoners are much less likely to be asked on a date or find love if they frequently walk in Clapham Common (40 percent), Richmond Park (35 percent) or Epping Forest (33 percent).

However, with 17 percent of Londoners overall saying that they are disillusioned with the dating game and the same number saying they would rather have a dog than be in a relationship – owning a dog has many benefits beyond possibly helping you to find ‘the one’.

Not only do dog owners in London find that dog ownership helps them to make new friends – with more than half (53 percent) saying this has happened whilst out with their dog – there are also important benefits to be found in stroking and petting a dog. The research showed that a huge one in five (21 percent) of Londoners don’t get any human cuddles in an average week –  despite psychologists recommending that a hug a day is good for boosting the oxytocin levels, the ‘feel good’ hormone. Dog owners fare much better than their non-dog owning counterparts, with only 13 percent failing to get at least one cuddle a week from a human, compared to 26 percent of non-dog owners, and 95 percent of dog owners go on to have hugs with their four legged friend as well.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Each October we put on our Discover Dogs event to help people find their perfect canine match, but it seems that dogs are also helping their owners to find love. This is unsurprising when you consider that dogs are a great ice breaker, when strangers may otherwise not look twice at each other, and that we tend to have very positive associations about people who love dogs.

“Of course, whilst the benefits of dog ownership are profound – from the potential for an increased social circle, to how dogs help us to unwind through a daily walk and a hug – it isn’t and shouldn’t be for everybody. But our research shows that Londoners are leading increasingly busy and disconnected lives, where it is possible to go for weeks on end without so much as a hug, so our pop up cuddle corner at Discover Dogs, gives people the chance to take time to unwind, and meet and pet a four legged friend. It’s a real slice of doggy heaven.

“Experts at the event can help people decide if dog ownership is for them – and if so which breed would be best – and from that perfect match, may just come the perfect human match as well.”

With the research revealing that only 63 percent of dog owners in London say that they are definitely sure they’ve found the perfect canine companion, the Kennel Club’s Discover Dogs event enables people to meet around 200 dog breeds of dog under one roof – from the most popular to those rarely seen or heard about. It enables people to talk to experts about which dog is the right fit for their lifestyle, as well as enjoying a fun day out surrounded by hundreds of dogs.