Men and Dogs

Oct 23 2007

I found this article entitled “Why Dogs Make The Best Friends” in the Men’s Lifestyle area of MSN website. It is clearly written by a man, Jim Thorton, with an occasional jab at what he views as the typical overbearing woman, but it has a few very interesting comments worth reading about men’s relationship with “man’s best friend”. I pulled two of the most intriguing sections out to share with you, but if you would like to read the whole article, the link is

written by Jim Thorton, page 3, MSN article, Men’s Health…

In a 2003 paper in the journal American Behavioral Scientist, Alan Beck, Sc.D., director of Purdue’s center of the human-animal bond, and Aaron H. Katcher, M.D., a psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania, point out that cultures like ours have very few forms of play that mold caring and nurturing behaviors in male children. “Boy children,” says Beck, “tend to be very self-conscious about having to take care of younger brothers and sisters. They don’t play tea party or dollhouse, because that’s Mommy stuff. However, taking care of an animal is a notable exception. Caring for your dog is always okay.

“This license to love persists into adulthood. In virtually every public setting, women are, by and large, much more demonstrably touchy-feely than guys are. With dogs, however, this gender difference vanishes. “Men are just as likely as women to pet and stroke their dogs, hold them in their laps, kiss them, and so on,” says Beck. “It doesn’t matter whether they’re male or female dogs, either: Men can hug them without inhibition, without feeling any less manly. It’s one of the very few areas in life where men feel truly comfortable as nurturers.”

also written by Jim Thorton, page 4, MSN article, Men’s Health…

Given dogs’ femme-fetching skills, it was probably only a matter of time before they were marketed for this purpose. In Tokyo today, more than 100 “rent-a-puppy” shops now allow customers to take dogs on walks at a rate of about $15 per hour. Though most such customers are simply seeking a pleasant dog experience in a city where dog ownership can be prohibitively expensive, more than a few male clients specifically ask for cute breeds to help them attract women.

If anything, it’s a man’s ability to form close and intimate bonds with dogs, not the dogs themselves, that women find attractive. “When a dog is showing trust in and companionship with a man,” says Alexander (the Michigan evolutionary biologist), “a woman knows that the man likely has whatever it takes to establish an affectionate relationship and keep it going.”

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