Having experimented with several dating apps over the years, I admit to having borrowed my roommate’s dog on a handful of occasions for the old “photo of me + dog = greater matching success” trick. If you also find yourself swiping one way or another as if it’s a canine edition of Photo Hunt, there’s an app for that.
Enter Dig, branded as “the dog person’s dating app.” Co-founded by sisters Casey and Leigh Isaacson, the app allows dog owners—or anyone who’d like to snuggle up to a dog owner—to connect with other canine-loving single folks. The app has been available throughout the U.S. since February 2018, but in a bid to increase user numbers in Portland—by all measures a dog-devoted city, what with our 30-plus dog parks, slew of luxury dog hotels, and even one of the world’s only animal law professors—Dig is throwing a launch event later this month. It’ll be a dog-friendly party, of course, with adoptable pets from four rescue organizations.
The app itself will be recognizable to those who’ve Tindered or Bumbled or Hinged. You set up your profile with your gender (male, female, or non-binary) and a few photos. If you own a dog, the app asks you to give your mutt’s moniker, some photos, and size (small, medium, or large). Finally, you’re asked what type of relationship you’re looking for, whether you want a potential partner to own a dog, and, if so, what size dog you prefer. Then you’re all set to start swiping. Note that the app is not for finding friends. “Nobody on a dating app wants to be confused why you’re there,” Leigh Isaacson says.
Isaacson says Dig currently counts about 21,000 users across the eight cities that have hosted launch events. (Compare that to Tinder's nearly 4 million paid subscribers, a figure that doesn't account for the millions of users with free accounts.) She adds that Dig's user base in a city typically jumps by 3,000–5,000 within a week after such events.
If you’re ready to start swiping (and petting), the Portland launch takes place Thursday, February 28, from 6–8 p.m. at WeWork Pioneer Place. It’s free—though you have to download or share the app—and open to “non-reactive dogs and their well-behaved humans 21+.”