Dating apps have become more popular than ever. With more than 26 million users on Bumble alone, we can expect this amazing growth to continue in the next few years. In fact, a recent report by The Guardian notes that almost 40% of couples first met through the use of a dating app.

With so much competition, it’s only natural that people are trying all sorts of ways to make their dating profile stand out. Some people go the classic route: this typically includes investing in new hobbies to catch the interest of a potential match or improving their appearance through style changes. It’s estimated that more than five million people have used Invisalign to improve the look of their smile. These helpful habits not only make you more attractive to a potential mate, but they can also boost your self-esteem.

For others, investing in themselves is simply off the table. While lying in a dating profile is nothing new, some people have ventured down a new route — one that’s particularly heinous in the eyes of other users.


According to the Washington Post, this egregious act occurs when a user pretends to own a dog for the sake of a right swipe.

And it makes sense. Owning a dog is hard work and pretending to own one offers all the benefits and none of the responsibility. Dog owners have to take their beloved pooch for a walk at least one time each day while countless others have to invest in home repairs after owning a pet. It’s estimated that 10 million kitchens are remodeled every year, many of which need extra attention after decades of dog claws and in-house accidents.

Erika Ettin, an online dating coach, notes that potential dates seem more caring if they have a dog in their profile, especially if the dogfisher is a man. With this ace in the hole, users are able to glean more matches than a profile without one.

“Sometimes women subconsciously equate things like how a man treats his dog is how he would treat a partner,” Ettin explained.

Of course, there are countless users who snap pictures with a friend’s dog or a family member’s cuddly canine. It’s when the user pretends that the dog is theirs that the fraud occurs. While this act doesn’t constitute a Federal crime, there’s no doubt that this act of deception is a misrepresentation of who you are as a person. Of course, it’s common for people to emphasize their best traits online, but no one wants to start a relationship based on a lie. When the person is found out to be a fraudster, they’re more likely to turn off both potential matches and current relationships.

This happened to one Hinge user, Gaby Wolff. Her short relationship with another user came to an abrupt halt when her date revealed that his supposed pooch actually belonged to someone else.

“It’s like getting your foot in the door, presenting yourself in this performative way. Until that impression is ruined because you have to explain yourself,” Wolff said.

Ettin notes that the best thing you can do for your online profile is to tell the truth. When you use someone else’s animal in your profile, she explains, it looks like you’re trying too hard to get that right swipe.

Here are some of the best ways you can boost your online dating profile:

  • Showcase yourself doing things: Many online profiles are swiped left on because they lack personality. While you don’t need to showcase a photo of you on the red carpet, taking pictures when you’re performing hobbies are a great way to strike up a conversation. For example, visiting a museum can show that you’re cultured and interested in history or art. Glass mosaics have been around 300 years before the birth of Christ and they make an excellent backdrop for a dating profile photo.
  • Don’t neglect your bio: A recent survey among Australian daters has shown that almost 30% of swipers will choose their swipe based on a person’s bio when they’re unsure about a match. If you’re only using movie quotes or flooding your text with emojis, you might want to make some serious edits.
  • Don’t hide your face: Summertime dating means that you’re spending time on the beach and going on vacation. Even though you think you look cool in those sunglasses, potential matches want to see those baby blues. Ditch the sunglasses and make sure you have a few photos that show your face clearly.

Instead of posting pictures with a pooch that isn’t yours, actually showcasing your strengths will result in authentic matches and better dates. The next time you go online, watch out for dogfishers at all costs — and maybe swipe for better reasons than just a pooch in the first place.