For as long as one can remember, people are always trying to figure out if they want a female dog or a male dog. Would a female personality fit in better with their family or a male? Will the existing family pet get along with another of the same or opposite sex? How are you really supposed to know what their adult personality is going to be?
During a recent study on Beagles, Swedish researchers at Linkoping University have determined that females are, in fact, the friendlier and more sociable sex. It appears that their maternal instincts make them interact with humans more than males do.
Professor Per Jensen, of Linkoping University, said, “Females scored significantly higher on social interactions and physical contact. We don’t really know why females were more social towards humans, but a speculative possibility would be that it could be a side-effect of their nurturing instincts. Perhaps female dogs are more apt at co-operation since they have a pup-rearing responsibility in their natural behavior.”
The study took place with 400 pedigree Beagles. Each Beagle was presented with three plastic containers, each containing a biscuit. Two of the containers had lids that were slightly off and the third had a lid that was fully closed. It turns out that the females were much more likely to look at the researcher for help – some even touched them with their paw.
Professor Jensen hopes that this research can help figure out human behavior.
“Reduced eye contact and communication have been suggested to be important aspects of human autism spectrum disorders,” says Jensen.
He hopes that this can further the understanding of genetic basis of the autism spectrum disorders.
Fear not, male owners. Prof. Jensen doesn’t want you to think that the female is the superior pet.
“We studied only one single breed and we do not know how the communicative skills relate to other aspects of their social behavior… So I would not dare to take the conclusions that far.”