Sunday, 6 September 2009

The look of puppy love

I'm writing an article on what it is that attracts us to the breeds we love and I'd really like your help!
And I'm just talking about an instinctual attraction rather than a cerebral one.
Not the dog that fits our life, the type of dog imprinted on our hearts.
Can you spare a few minutes to describe to me the dogs you instinctively adore?
For example I'm attracted to pretty much any shaggy dog. I just love their faces particularly. Be it that shaggy mutt in the Oreo commercials, a PBGV, a Spinone or a Beardie - I just love them all.
What's your type?
Are there some shapes of dog you could never love?
Forget temperament, I'm purely interested in looks here.
What are our dog prejudices?
For example, Pugs.
Do you find them ugly or beautiful?
Bull Terriers?
Freak or unique?
Wolfie-looking breeds.
Why do some people like ears up? Do you favour a gentle looking face or an assertive one?
Why are you/aren't you attracted to sad looking dogs?
Round eyes, small eyes - human eyes - what sorts of expression do you feel drawn to?

I'm not asking you to interpret or theorise your prejudices - just own up to them! I know its terribly un-PC to say you don't like the way any dog looks, but I think we have to acknowledge we each have a definitive doggie type and it would be interesting to try to unpick the reasons why!
What is it about these unconventionally shaped dogs that some of us find attractive? Is it their vulnerability? Do we feel sorry for them when we look at them? Does it make us feel protective?
Do some people want a dog that will take care for them - while others want one they can nurture?
Do some people want an 'ugly' dog because they might have self-image problems themselves or are just tired of being judged by others according to their own level attractiveness?
Please do email me your inner most thoughts about why you are drawn to certain dogs and not others!
My email address is:
and you can be anonymous if you prefer - or very public. And if you send me good photos of you and your dogs we might put some of them in the magazine.
Can everyone just give me a quick soundbite on Pugs - do you love or loathe their looks? Nothing to do with temperaments or health, just purely aesthetics.


In the pink said...

I like pointy faced dogs! HOWEVER I must own up to quite liking Pugs and English Bull terriers as they are so ugly they are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Pug power! Pugs are soooo cute. Their little black "squished flat" faces are adorable. I am talking about a pure pug. Some pugs are mixed beagle and not as cute because their faces aren't as flat.

Heather said...

I must admit, my faves are pugs & all smooshie-faced big eyed dogs. I don't like long pointed noses as much. I also very much dislike large dogs, as they scare me. I don't like such a large predatory animal near me or my daughter, lol. Just a phobia, I guess. I find wolves beautiful, but also, very scary looking. So, pretty much I only like small dogs, preferably smooshie-faced button eared cuties that look like little puppies.

Karen Wild, BA(Hons)Dip App Psych said...

Tough question as I see so MANY! I love any dog that has a 'warm' expression. Relaxed face and soft eyes, regardless of colour or breed. I don't like 'hardness' as this implies stress/fear. Fortunately my job involves turning stress into calm (that includes the people too!) so I usually get the look I like in the end.

Anonymous said...

I like the shaggy/scruffy look also, just like the pic of Oscar lying on the grass. I love the look of labradors, boxers, newfies, bichons...I could go on.

I think pugs are gorgeous purely on an aesthetic level, the big eyes and the nose do it for me.
I don't find poodles or bedlington terriers attractive.

I do think though, when you love dogs you kind of have that so cute he's ugly thing going on, you might see a so-called "ugly" dog and still say "awww"

Anonymous said...

I love big, smooth coated, slender dogs. I love Pointers, Danes, Greyhounds, Vizslas. All the smooth, muscular, handsome looking dogs.
I also love the soft expression, floppy ears, and softness associated with each of those breeds too.
Not a huge fan of small dogs, or long haired dogs either.
I'm not at all keen on the way the Pug looks at all. I just don't like their squashed up face.

jo siemieniowski said...

I just adore boxers, got my first when I was eight yrs old, had them until I started a family, then went onto cavaliers(once my boxer died) they were easier to have around the house with children, when my last cav(toby) died of heart failure I went back to my first love Boxers! I do not like many small breeds ie pugs. jack russells,and poodles, but would never harm any, larger dogs have such expresive faces, and big soft brown eys that just melt your heart.

Lucy King said...

I'm colour-guided. I love Merles, any merles at all.

Facially I like Collie type noses, but then Collies are my faves. Eyes are very important. They need to be soft and warm, but intelligent!

In fact the only breeds I dislike are Dobermans, Rottweilers and Chinese Crested really. There are lots of others I dont agree with like the Pekinese, but I dont dislike them as such, just think they have too many health issues caused by our breeding methods.

Jordie said...

I'm a little bit color guided, loving the red, golden or cream colored dogs, especially if they have splash white or parti markings. I also don't like furry bearded faces and prefer a short to medium coat.

I have always liked a dog that is fairly average in head phenotype - not too long and narrow in the muzzle, but not short either. The Siberian Husky and the Beagle I have always considered the most beautiful.

This did change up for a while when I became involved with a mentor and studied a certain breed a bit as suddenly the smooched square muzzles and padded eyes started to appeal. I believe I conditioned myself more to that look because it was correct for the breed I was interested in, even though I used to think it was ugly and used to think the "poorbreds" had much more visual appeal.

Mandy said...

As a general rule I love long-coated wolf-shaped dogs! (Belgian Shepherds, Huskies, Tamaskans, etc.) Not too keen on the way pugs look, although I did see a pug puppy once who was very sweet!

carolanne said...

Big dark eyes or small dark eyes really, especially if they've got that teddy bear look, when they look out of corner of their eye and you see part of the whites. Bichons are my first love. Until recently I had 6, now sadly I'm down to 5. No I don't breed. My next faves are Dobermans.I like Rotties, GSD, Bull Terriers My Mum has a Bichon x Jack Russell, we call him Bichon Jack, he's a scruffy rogue that everyone loves.She also has a mix of Doberman, Bull Terrier, possible Pharoh hound poss ridge back. I'll have to send in a picture, she is absolutely stunning, and always gets lots of compliments. The only dogs I'm not keen on are Shar Pei's although nor could I cope with any drool. I love big dogs, but would draw the line at dogs that drool. With regards to pugs, I think their gorgeous, hopefully one day they'll be health problem free.

Anonymous said...

A shaggy dog sure does melt my heart. Short coated slender dogs with warm expressive eyes like greyhounds and lurchers - they are just gorgeous and my favourite. Blue eyes on a dog is rather odd and cold. For me a smushed face lacks character and expression. If a dog can lick its own eyeball, there's something wrong. Bull breeds are a no, but love labs, newfies and many more.