He said, she said: Which dog is best?

An Australian study shows that dog owners often veer toward pooches of the opposite sex.
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Sep 03, 2009
By dvm360.com staff

You’ve probably heard that men’s and women’s brains work differently. This heady difference affects their dog selection, according to an Australian study, and may indicate a person’s willingness to spend money on veterinary services.

Researchers at Monash University’s Anthrozoology Research Group have identified differences between what men and women consider the ideal dog. A survey of 877 participants showed that men prefer female dogs that are energetic, faithful, and protective. Men also lean toward larger, purebred dogs. Women, on the other hand, prefer male dogs that are calm and compliant.

The gender differences carry over into dog maintenance as well. Men tend to spend more money on their pooches, while women are willing to spend more time with their dogs.

But some troubling statistics spread across genders. Many participants listed obedience as an ideal dog characteristic, but only about 4 percent listed trainability, according to research assistant Tammie King. About 20 percent said that some dogs can’t be trained. Educating clients about realistic behavior expectations and their own role in training pets can help them find their perfect dog—and keep them coming back to you for all their pet-care needs.