Do Male Dogs Prefer Male or Female Owners? Explained

The bond between humans and dogs is a remarkable and complex phenomenon. Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, and their relationships with humans have evolved into deep emotional connections. 

While the gender of a dog owner may seem insignificant to many, there is an intriguing question that often arises: Do male dogs prefer male or female owners? 

In this article, we will delve into this topic, exploring the factors that influence a dog’s preference for a particular gender and shedding light on the nature of the canine-human bond.

Understanding the Canine-Human Bond

Before we delve into the question at hand, it is crucial to understand the foundations of the canine-human bond. Dogs are social animals that have an innate ability to form attachments with humans. 

This bond is built on trust, affection, and mutual understanding, regardless of the gender of the owner. Dogs rely on their human companions for care, companionship, and emotional support.

Factors Influencing a Dog’s Preference

Individual Personality: Dogs, like humans, possess unique personalities. Some dogs may exhibit a preference for one gender due to their individual experiences, socialization, and temperament. 

It is essential to consider that the preference of a male dog for a male or female owner cannot be generalized to all dogs.

Socialization: Early socialization plays a crucial role in shaping a dog’s behavior and preferences. 

Dogs that are exposed to various people, including both males and females, during their critical developmental period, are more likely to feel comfortable around both genders. 

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Proper socialization helps dogs become well-adjusted, regardless of their owner’s gender.

Past Experiences: Dogs are perceptive creatures and can be influenced by their past experiences. 

If a dog had positive encounters with a specific gender during its formative years, it may develop a preference for that gender. Conversely, negative experiences can also shape a dog’s preferences.

Training and Care: The way a dog is trained and cared for can influence its preferences. 

Dogs that receive consistent, loving, and attentive care from their owners, regardless of gender, are likely to form a strong bond. The quality of the relationship is more critical to a dog than the owner’s gender.

Scientific Studies and Research

Several scientific studies have been conducted to explore whether male dogs prefer male or female owners. 

However, it is important to note that the results are not definitive and can vary depending on the specific study, methodology, and sample size. Here are a few notable findings:

No Gender Preference: A study published in the journal “Anthrozoos” in 2015 examined dog-owner relationships and found that dogs did not exhibit a significant gender preference. 

The study concluded that the strength of the bond was primarily dependent on the owner’s behavior and interaction style rather than their gender.

Familiarity and Attachment: Another study conducted by researchers at the University of Vienna in 2017 examined dogs’ responses to unfamiliar humans. 

The findings suggested that male and female dogs showed no difference in their preference for male or female experimenters.

Instead, the dogs’ responses were influenced by the experimenter’s familiarity and the level of attachment they had with their owner.

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Owner Gender and Aggression: A study published in “Applied Animal Behaviour Science” in 2018 explored the relationship between owner gender and dog aggression. 

The findings indicated that male dogs owned by women exhibited lower levels of aggression compared to those owned by men. However, this study focused more on aggression rather than general preference.

The Importance of the Human-Canine Relationship

Regardless of whether male dogs have a preference for male or female owners, the key factor lies in the strength and quality of the human-canine relationship. 

Dogs thrive when they receive love, attention, and proper care from their owners, irrespective of their gender. The bond between a dog and its owner is built on trust, respect, and a genuine connection that transcends gender boundaries.


In conclusion, the preference of male dogs for male or female owners is a complex and individualized matter. 

While scientific studies provide insights into this topic, it is essential to consider that each dog is unique and may have different preferences based on their individual experiences, socialization, and personality. 

Ultimately, the strength of the bond between a dog and its owner is dependent on factors such as care, training, and the quality of the relationship, rather than the owner’s gender. 

The canine-human bond is a beautiful and intricate connection that goes beyond gender and brings joy and companionship to both parties involved.