Thursday, September 8, 2011

Scientific Gender Study

When I volunteered at the shelter the other day, I was thinking about this important question of dog gender. Do the boys and the girls behave differently? Specifically, the research question that interests me most (perhaps because the data collection part is so damn awesome): is one gender more cuddly and affectionate?

So I decided to conduct a very scientific study with all of four data points. You will serve as my official peer reviewers.

Because of the seriousness with with I approach all my research, I surveyed two dogs of each gender: Bart, Mercy, Mercutio, 
and Shirley. 

See Bart at
First research subject: Bart 

Male pit bull mix, 1 year old. True to his breed, Bart is happy, waggy, and loves people. He enjoyed posing for his picture, was responsive when I asked him to Sit or Wait, and loved me and everyone else he saw. 

Not over the top affectionate, but a very nice young man.

Second research subject: Mercy.

You may remember Mercy from our class at the shelter, where she proved herself to be a very smart, very sweet, though shy young woman. The best thing about Mercy? She has an application and will soon be going home with a lovely family!

Mercy loves a good scratch and is grateful for human contact, but won't go out of her way to stick her tongue down your throat.

See Mercutio at
Third research subject: Mercutio. American Bulldog, 10 months old. 

When we went for our walk, he kept checking in with me as if he found me way more interesting than anything in his environment. 

When I stopped to pet him, his face--and his butt--lit up with joy. 



For some reason, his temperament evaluation had him pegged as "aloof." 

Final research subject: Shirley. Female pit mix, 2 years old. Adoption pending!

How does Shirley fare on the cuddliness scale? 

Off the charts. Shelter staff members who agreed to act as research assistants concurred that this young woman is about the most scrumptious, doodly, happy, bumbly, precious gurglit muffin yo yo there is. 

And that was just the more scientifically inclined among them. 

This study, conducted using the most meticulous scientific methodologies, finds definitively that male dogs are happy gurgly waggy yodels while female dogs are shlurpy cuddly frumpy bumbles.


  1. One of my grad classes right now is "Gender Communication" and I'd say you hit the nail on the head with your scientific study...I think I just found my thesis topic.... :) Your "conclusion" cracked me up and totally made my day! I think I'll be describing my boys as "happy gurgly waggy yodels" from now on!

  2. This is perfectly in line with our experience with fosters. Our experience has been as follows:
    Chick (M) - uber affectionado
    Lollie (F) - also uber
    Gonzo (M) - fairly affectionate
    TANK (M) - another uber
    Stevie Wonder (F) - fairly-to-uber
    Little Zee (F) - uber plus

  3. Glad to hear there's more high-quality research being conducted in this important field of study.

  4. Emily, I hope you do! It was in grad school that I refined my scientific methodologies...and I think the academic community desperately needs more of this sort of scholarship!

  5. Hahahahahaha! I love your scientific analysis here. Fit for any serious journal on animal behaviour, I'd say. You have done the world a great service. :-)

    I love the name Mercutio. What a cutie he is!

  6. what a remarkable find! it describes my dogs almost spot on, I guess Kiba must secretly be a female.

  7. Ha ha ha! Who can be scientific when there's a puppy licking your face?

  8. hahaha lol. This is priceless.

    &&YAY disqus!

  9. I don't think I understood it all. The scientific jargon got me. Shlurpy? :)


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