June McNicholas, a health psychologist, said having a dog could increase your chance of getting "chatted up" by up to 1,000 per cent.
"Having a dog is the perfect ice-breaker," said Miss McNicholas, who conducted trials with dog owners in the West Midlands.
She sent a number of people out to go about their daily outdoor routines, half of them with a dog and half without. In addition, 52 dog owners and 43 non dog owners were asked to list all the people with whom they had some level of social contact in a four-week period.
The research showed that 40 per cent of dog owners said that they made friends easily as a result of having a dog.
"We found that just having a dog, regardless of how the owner looked, would increase the chance of someone talking to them by over 1,000 per cent," said Miss McNicholas.
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