“Adopt! Don’t shop!” has now grown as a rally cry among pet lovers as they aim to spread the word for pups looking for a home. However, even in shelters, there are times when people’s eyes gravitate more towards a certain dog, whether it’s that spark of connection or destiny’s call.
According to a new research, it seems that science and our own tendencies may also influence these choices. One study gathered 955 records of dogs adopted from shelters over a seven-year period.
Preliminary findings showed that more shelter dogs were adopted by women than men at a rate of 53 percent over 47 percent. Gender also played a factor in which kinds of dogs people chose to adopt.
The researchers found three main factors that influence a person’s dog adoption decision based on their gender.
Factors To Consider: Do Your Own Preferences Match?
The first factor that appeared to influence adoption tendencies was the size of the dog. Women appeared to prefer smaller dogs, while men adopted larger dogs. Adoption rates for medium-size dogs were of the same rate for both genders.
The dog’s coat color may also be another influential factor. Women appear to gravitate more towards brown dogs, whereas men preferred black dogs.
Finally, shelters who may be housing older dogs may have better results when appealing to women for adoption. The research also found that, while there is no difference in the likelihood of men and women adopting puppies or adult dogs, the senior ones are more likely to be adopted by women.
Perhaps women are more encouraged to express compassion and provide care, which may be why they’re more empathetic when it comes to senior dogs’ special needs.
A Dog’s Preference: Yes, They Have One, Too!
If men and women have their own interests when adopting dogs, it appears that the feeling is mutual for dogs.
The Royal Society of Open Science studied the response of humans in assessing the sounds dogs made. Understanding the emotions behind a dog’s bark or growl promotes a stronger bond between humans and their pets.
They found that women understood the meaning of dogs’ sounds more than men.
Research team member Tamas Farago said in a report by RSVP Live that this proves the activation of similar brain areas between mammals. Women on average read emotions transmitted through vocalization better than men.
“Women are likely more empathic and sensitive to others’ emotions, and this helps them better associate the contexts with the emotional content of the growls,” added Farago.
This does not mean that dog is no longer literally man’s best friend. It suggests that a little compassion and empathy goes a long way for our furry pets.
Do you have preferences when it comes to adopting dogs? Share with us a story on how you came to adopt your pup in the comments below.