Did you know? Friendly, affectionate, and entertaining, dogs are well-known as faithful companions. Before getting one as a pet, research a dog’s housing, diet, and medical needs and make sure it fits your lifestyle, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
THINKING about meeting a guy because he happens to be a cute man with an adorable dog? Well, think again. Far more important than a pet person and his purebred pooch is his behavior with you.
The American Kennel Club recognizes more than 150 breeds of dogs, but not all breeds may be a suitable match for you, nor your pick of dog man. Relationship Specialist April Masini and Stanley Coren, Ph.D., a psychologist and author of The Intelligence of Dogs (Free Press), weigh in to enlighten us on the traits of a man and his best friend. Read on to discover how to make a dog-person love connection that will make you both happy.
Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Collie, German Shepherd, Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Top Dog Traits: Herding dogs are pooches bred for herding cattle or sheep. These go-getter dogs are active runners, and sport a keen eye for anything that moves (like a man with a roving eye). A run-around herding dog is ideal for an on-the-go dude who is fun-loving and intelligent.
Man’s Best Friend: Herding dogs attract a guy who is skilled at training and knows to give them work that rewards their instincts. He adores this heady, goal-oriented breed; it reflects himself. Like a herding breed, this energetic guy love a challenge and goes after what he wants.
What It Means To You: Don’t let his player instinct fool you. “Collie and German Shepherd owners are men who have classic lifestyles and values. While they may have frat-boy mentalities, that will mellow with age,” says Masini, “If you want a traditional relationship, this man is for you.”
Afghan hound, Basset Hound, Beagle, Bloodhound, Dachshund
Top Dog Traits: The hounds are touted for their uncanny sense of scent. The guy who is enamored by the hound dog shares the same dog-like characteristics: reliable, sturdy and tons of endurance. These hunting dogs, like their masters, are family-oriented, nurturing, and good-natured.
Man’s Best Friend: A man who owns a hound dog may be more laid back than a herding dog man. A Type A guy (i.e., fast-order cook, journalist) savors this cool dog because when he comes home from work he’s dog-tired and doesn’t need his pet bouncing around saying “I need to play,” notes Coren.
What It Means To You: If your guy is the kind who likes the underdog appearance of a hound, he’s going to be super sweet and sympathetic,” points out Masini. Love with a dog owner who has his hound for its instincts is going to be intuitive and sensitive to you and your needs.
Bulldog, Poodle, Chow Chow, Chinese Shar-Pei, Dalmatian
Top Dog Traits: A man who walks and talks to his non-sporting dog is smitten by this canine’s individuality. Whether it’s wrinkles or spots, this dog group is noted for its standout looks, original and stubborn temperament. True-blue devotion to its master will win his heart.
Man’s Best Friend: “Dalmatians and Poodles are dogs that have distinctive personalities. The like what they like when they like it—and so do their owners,” says Masini. Men who go for the non-sporting dog are saying to the world, “We march to a different drummer.” His dog symbolizes his uniqueness.
What It Means To You: “If you are special and like going against the grain, the non-sporting dog man will make a commitment to you quicker than you can say, “Down, boy!” says Masini. “But forget about being Top Dog. These guys are dominant and want to be in charge.
Brittany, Irish Setter, German Shorthaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever
Top Dog Traits: An outgoing, healthy outdoorsman connects with this upbeat, smart and adaptable dog group. Pointers, retrievers, setters and spaniels spell athletic. The sporting dog is versatile and action-oriented like this owner. These go-dogs sport a happy-go-lucky look on their faces and that is typically shared by their owner, says Coren.
Man’s Best Friend: The sporting dog is a great companion for the outdoor athlete. “This man will never want for friends with this type of dog,” asserts Coren. “They are the ones that will wash his face and kiss his ears and clean his soul.” He is a year-round good sport with a smile on his face.
What It Means To You: “He wants a girlfriend or wife who is not just intelligent but socially aware and able to multitask,” says Masini. Also, if you’re searching for ongoing romance, this is the dog man!”
Boston Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Scottish Terrier
Top Dog Traits: As a social person he wants a breed that is friendly, outgoing and good with people—just like him. The feisty and clever dog has a mind of its own. Think small dog, big attitude.
Man’s Best Friend: A dog that is scrappy, bold and imaginative will be a man’s best friend. Think of the Cairn as “Toto” in The Wizard of Oz and “Eddie” in Frasier. A high-energy pet who will not be skittish during a ball game is great. Terriers, a confident canine clown, will inject laughter into his life during the best and worst of times.
What It Means To You: “This is the guy who doesn’t mind chaos and noise, so if you like things calm, this isn’t the guy for you. However, if you like lots of friends and family around—and children—then you’ll have a great time,” insists Masini.
Chihuahua, Chinese Crested, Maltese, Pomeranian, Pug
Top Dog Traits: Six to twenty pounds of cute, toy dogs can and do win the hearts of dog men. Toy dog are affectionate, smart and love learning new tricks. These little dogs are a perfect fit for guys who crave a loving partner on their turf—apartment, at work, boat or plane.
Man’s Best Friend: He is an indoor hermit, with one hand on the remote control and the other hand in a bag of doggie treats. Funny-faced dogs like the Pug and Chinese Crested have a quirky appearance. Everybody will notice him, points out Coren. His dog will be a great icebreaker.
What It Means To You: “This kind of guy is unique, self-sufficient and he’ll want to be with someone equally unique and understanding of problems as obstacles—not road blocks. In romance, expect cute cuddles and admirable affection.
Akita, Boxer, Doberman, Rottweiler, Siberian Husky
Top Dog Traits: This intelligent dog man is drawn to the intelligent canine. Dogs like the physically strong Huskies are well-known for their macho jobs as sled dogs. Large, powerful, protective and strong-willed are irresistible male traits.
Man’s Best Friend: An indoor/outdoor worker adores the working dog because it is compatible with his lifestyle. The image of the working dog is power. Both dog and man will attract female attention. “He’s got these great-looking dogs because he cares how he looks.”
What It Means To You: The working dog man will care about how you look 24/7, too. He will want you to be an equal partner who can work hard, play hard, too. Indeed, great expectations of a woman are expected of the working dog man.
Mixing It Up—Grreat Lover or Lost Puppy?
Ever wonder about that man who adopts a Heinz 57 pooch? A mixed-breed dog-lover can point to a man’s good and bad traits. Here, relationship expert April Masini dishes…
* Guys who pick up lonely strays at the pound have a good heart.
* Mutt magnets also have a tendency to take on woes of the world.
* More than one pound puppy? Watch out for children glitches.
* Psst! A stray-dog lover will be very generous.
* Don’t dump him if he’s a pound-dog lover, but pace yourself.
(As originally published in Complete Woman Magazine, June/July 2006)