Human Friends: Does Your Pup Have A Preference?

You don’t have to tell me that Eko loves me, he shows me that every day.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The love pup

But what about when it comes to other people?  I have read a few posts lately which claim, that in general, dogs prefer females to males.  Can’t say I blame them, but it got me wondering if Eko has a preference.  I did not have to wonder long before the truth became evident.

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Eko is everyone’s best friend.  Here he is about two minutes after meeting my friend Andrew

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However, Eko has always LOVED Emily


And he is always desperate for her affection.  But it’s not just Emily

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Eko is also crazy about the Treat Fairy – aka my sister Helen

I have also noticed that aside from Emily and Helen, Eko also seems to prefer females to males when meeting both for the first time.

Rhodesian RidgebackAt a party we had, Eko was certainly interested in the guys

Can't ignore him!

But he kept running underneath the girls until they gave him affection!  He also sometimes pulls this move at the dog park and then runs off, leaving me to apologize

While I did not find any scientific data to back up the claim, anecdotal evidence suggests that most pups are like Eko and prefer adult females over adult males.  There are a number of theories (most primary dog care-givers are female, females are generally more calming than males, dogs have more positive association with females) but the consensus seems to be clear.

In Eko’s case, I wonder how his preference developed.  When I think about it, his preference for females was noticeable at a young age.  I have always been his primary care giver and I know he has a lot of positive association with me, so I wonder what it could be.  It’s not something I ever really considered, but it is interesting to think about.

Any ideas?  Does your pup have a preference?


22 thoughts on “Human Friends: Does Your Pup Have A Preference?”

  1. Both of my dogs have been jazzed to meet anyone, regardless of gender. In my experience, the difference is that the men will give a pat or a head scratch and move on, while women are more likely to keep petting and talking in a baby voice and giving treats.

  2. Solo & Krissy’s Mum here: That’s an interesting question. From the early days when we took Solo, we thought he was a bit of a “Mummy’s Boy”, but I have noticed that he will whine occasionally when his Dad leaves the house alone. Solo was an only pup, and although he came from a racing trainer, he was brought up by the trainer’s wife and her daughter, so he responds positively to women in general. Krissy definitely seems to be a “Mummy’s Girl” but she is a cuddle monster, like Solo, and both of them will happily stand to be fussed by just about anyone! Krissy’s old trainer was a woman, and both our hounds came from greyhound re-homing kennels run by women, so they’ve definitely had more company from women, rather than from men. I think the point about the voice is an important one, too, as they definitely respond positively to the higher, happier tones of women’s voices. If I ever lower my voice to tell one of them, “No” sharply, then I get a very hurt look back…. 🙂

  3. I’ve always read that dogs often prefer females to males as females generally aren’t as intimidating to dogs as males are…males are taller, have deeper voices, tend to lean over dogs more etc etc, all of which some dogs can find threatening…don’t think I’ve ever read any scientific studies on the subject though! 🙂

  4. Was just over on FB and saw your Petcentric video of Eko and his ball. I have so many funny river stories but….. We use to belong to a dog club and had a yearly Halloween party. One of the games was bobbing for dogs, hot dogs that is. Think kiddie pool with hot dogs floating in it. It sure was fun to watch. Mohave had no problem getting them! The big goof ball would blow bubbles out of his nose…. hilarious! Thanks for sharing Eko with us. I sure needed to smile today! and there is nothing like a good Eko video to do that! Seriously thank you Will!

    • That’s hilarious! One day I will have to get in the water with my camera to get some close up shots, I bet they will be hilarious because Eko does the same thing. Glad you like the video!

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