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Do dogs have a preference for 1 gender over the other?

A few nights ago me and Spirit stayed over my parents' place. Me and her were sleeping in the living room when Spirit woke me up at 2 am with a soft bark because my cousin was coming in through the front door. I wasn't in the mood to get up and walk the house so I tried to quiet her down so we could back to sleep.

I got her to lay down again but then she quietly walked over to my dad and softly barked to wake him up. She know my mom much better and she was in the same room, but Spirit picked my dad instead. I managed to call her back across the house had an otherwise uneventful night.

Me and Spirit live alone and she always wakes me up when someone is near the house, but she never approaches alone. She always growls/softly barks until I get up and points in the direction but never tries to lead. I just assumed it was cause I was the only human in the house.

Is she selectively picking the male humans to confront potential foes?
 

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How well has she been socialized with people of either gender? If she has not been exposed to as many people from one gender, she may be more wary of them. That's why it's so important to socialize a dog with people of all shapes, sizes, color, gender, clothing style, age, behavioral patterns, etc.
 

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I have a girl here that prefers male humans to females each and every time. She is an outrageous flirt with ALL guys, depositing herself on their lap if she can, and just gives passing acknowledgement to women. Sometimes she is very affectionate with me, and she cuddles in to sleep, but it is obvious that most of the time she prefers the men here, or just ANY man.

I believe it is becuz the men here have always been her playmates and I have been the one to do the stuff she hates - like grooming her and brushing her, taking her to the vet, forcing medication into her (she had lyme disease as a young dog), teaching her to stay off the table . . . etc.

In regards to Spirit picking your dad to alert to an unknown (to her) presence, she might have figured out he is the home leader.

SOB
 

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I think, for the most part, if a dog "prefers" one gender over the other it is because the dog hasn't been socialized as well with the non-prefered gender.

For example, my parents' chihuahua/terrier mix, Missy, prefers females and older males. She is quite wary of young males. That isn't surprising since my parents got her when they were in their 50s and she grew up with all females (my mom, myself and my sisters) and only one older male (my dad). She wasn't properly socialized with young males. Even the men she encounters on her walks through the neighborhood are generally older males. The neighborhood is very established and, since home prices in Hawaii have risen to astronomical heights, there are very few young families. She becomes shy when she meets a young male.

Her sister, a yorkie named Cricket, is more accepting of all adults, male or female, younger or older, but shys away from any child under the age of around 10 (my guess is she examines the age by looking at the size and movements of the child). She came to my parents as an adolescent and was exposed to more young males early on. However, she had unfortunate interactions with young children trying to pick her up and handle her like a toy. She was too adorable and teddy-bear-like for her own good. Now, sadly, she's developed a fear of young children. Luckily, she's not aggressive - she'll simply move away from the threat.

My dog, Coco, has had unfortunate encounters with children as well, although she is absolutely fine with all adults. I live in an apartment complex around a lot of very, very rowdy young kids. They are poorly supervised by their parents and, because of the layout of apartments, I often don't see them coming until they're running past. Coco has been frightened by their running (or skateboarding), and has since seen them as a threat. She won't attack; she will, however, bark. Thankfully, she's not this way with my 2-year-old niece, primarily because I never let my niece touch her unless I'm holding Coco. Coco has been familiar with her since she was very small, and since my niece has never been "frightening," Coco has never barked at her. It'll be a long time before my niece will be allowed to interact with Coco without me holding Coco, however.

Anyway, all that above is to say that I don't think dogs naturally prefer one gender (or one age) over another. It's really all about experience.
 

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I don't know about my dog - he just likes me and me only, he's just aloof with strange guys and girls.
But, my grandma has a dog who is in LOVE with men. OMG.....she'll just lavish and worship any dude that walks through that door. She'll go crazy over chicks, but when it comes to the dudes, watch out. And she always tends to go after the really sleezy scruffy guys too. LOL
And my grandma always yells at her, "OMG! You have such bad taste in men!"
With women she's all crazy and jumps and scratches, but with men, she's all submissive and very respectful and never jumps and scratches them.

I'm just banking on her one day to pick up a hot tall dark handsome one with a lot of money....
 

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In general Jubel seems to like women more than men but it isn't extreme in either direction. Though the majority of people he's been a bit wary of were men, but he's rarely acted wary about anyone.

For example my neighbors who he absolutely loves both of them, he prefers the wife. The couple volunteer at the rescue I got him from and the wife did our home visit. Both of them say they never really walked him that they recall in the 10 months he as at the rescue so no previous bond with either of them really. Since I adopted Jubel we run into the husband more often on walks and when I still went to the dog park, sometimes the wife. Everytime we see them Jubel gets really excited to go say hi, if both are there 100% of the time he's going to go say hi to the wife first. Last April he stayed with them for 2 weeks while I was on vacation. Most of that time was with the husband as the wife was out of town on business the first week. After that stay the disparity between excitement levels for her vs him have leveled out a bit but he still prefers her.

Just in general of the people we see often he always seems more excited to see females. That could just be because his previous owner was female and I am too. He loves my brother but I am his world (and primary care giver/provider). Can't comment on his socialization as a puppy as I adopted him when he was a little over 2 but based on him been pretty much a bomb proof dog in general I'd guess he was socialized pretty well.
 

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I had a dog who liked men but was somewhat suspicious of them. He was fine once they were properly vetted. He really liked women and seriously loved elderly women. He had no use for teenage boys. Would tolerate them but just barely. Old women and small children could do no wrong with that dog. I made a point of teaching him that little people were special, but it didn't require much to convince him.

Now I'm sure most of that was just the way he was wired. I socialized him to within an inch of his life when he was a pup, and those were his preferences. On the other hand, I'm fairly certain that, to some extent, he was picking up on my preferences and making them his own. Sensitive dogs will do that. He strongly preferred attractive young women in short skirts and you can make of that what you will.
 

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My dog is extremely reactive towards men. She's extremely sociable with women and girls, but will growl, snip, and stare at strange men who get too close to her.
 
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