Men are more likely to include a picture of a dog in their online dating profile if they want a serious relationship.

A dog

A dog

A new study has revealed that 40 per cent of males seeking a long-term partner will mention a canine in their profile as experts say the animals make men appear masculine and dominant while it signals that if they can look after a pet, they could look after a child.

The Canadian researchers added that men looking for short-term relationships may display pictures of fast cars, motorbikes or of themselves bare-chested.

Professor Maryanne Fisher, an evolutionary psychologist from Saint Mary's University in Nova Scotia, said: "Men pictured with dogs in their online dating profiles show they can look after a pet and keep it alive - the kind of investment which can help to keep a long-term relationship going too.

"The evidence suggests they choose dogs instead of cats for these profiles because cats are seen as more feminine."