Some Dogs Love Guys

What is it about them?
By Karen B. London PhD, January 2011

 

Some dogs seem to adore men. They may be very fond of women and perfectly responsive to them, but an extra level of joy comes to them when interacting with men. We’ve probably all met dogs like this—they just love guys, especially guys who pay attention to them at all. No matter how many great women are in their lives and how wonderful their relationships might be with these females, there’s just something about the extra happy way they act around men.
 
What makes these dogs “guy dogs” is not clear to me. I notice some traits they tend to have in common, though I’m sure everyone who reads this will know of exceptions to each one.
 
These dogs are often playful dogs. They tend to like balls, frisbees, wrestling and/or chasing games more than life itself.
 
Guy dogs are most commonly sporting dogs (spaniels, retrievers, setters, pointers) or herding dogs (collies, shepherds), although I’ve seen it in dogs as diverse as Boston Terriers and Mastiffs.
 
Dogs who go nuts for guys tend to be physically fit relative to other members of their breed or breeds.
 
I notice the tendency of dogs to be enamored of men most often in adult dogs still in their prime, meaning that they are typically in the age range of 2 to 6 years.
 
In my experience, guy dogs are more often male dogs than female ones, though not always.
 
I’ve just starting noticing this among the guy dogs that I know, so I need to make more observations to be confident about it, but I think guy dogs may often have really doggy faces, meaning that their head and muzzles tend to be wider and fuller than average. (Of course, this varies a lot by breed, but I’m taking that into account.)
 
Have you known dogs that you would describe as “guy dogs” and if so, did they fit any of the patterns I’ve noticed? What else have you noticed about dogs who are just crazy about men?

 

Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral problems, including aggression. She is the author of five books on canine training and behavior.