Owners of female Labs: Do strangers assume she's a male? [UPDATED]
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Thread: Owners of female Labs: Do strangers assume she's a male? [UPDATED]

  1. #1
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultOwners of female Labs: Do strangers assume she's a male? [UPDATED]

    When I was maybe about 5 years old, before we moved to a farm in Vermont, I thought all dogs are males and all cats are females and that they were the same species, just different looks : ???

    But when Puff and I meet people, probably 90% of the strangers who comment on her (either to me or their children or companions) use male pronouns ("what's his name?" "can I pet him?" "he's pretty" etc. Occasionally a gender pronoun is left out entirely and I can't remember if anyone has ever, in such a situation, called Puff a her or she.

    I'm curious how often other owners of female Labs get the same reaction? Or am I just living in a belt of immature, puerile thinkers?

    ================================================== ===================================

    UPDATE, As of 9:52 AM on Jul 4th, my crude tallies gave:

    Female Lab called "he" ------------------------------23

    Male Lab called "she"--------------------------------- 7

    People call dogs the gender they're accustomed to ---- 4

    Thought all anmals were female ----------------------- 1



    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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  3. #2
    Beachboys is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Owners of female Labs: Do strangers assume she's a male?

    Not really what you asked. But Mambo is called a girl all the time. Even when he has his collar that says I am a boy on. Oh and its blue.

    When I was younger I thought all cats where girls.

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    DefaultRe: Owners of female Labs: Do strangers assume she's a male?

    I used to think all animals were female. I think it was because they were all so cute.

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    Rushpuppy is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Owners of female Labs: Do strangers assume she's a male?

    Yep Boo is ALWAYS called a he and Rush is about 90% of the time. I always ask before so I can at least get the gender right. To me they look female but, they are my girls.


  7. #5
    ds77755 is offline Member
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    DefaultRe: Owners of female Labs: Do strangers assume she's a male?

    Ellie always gets called a "he".
    Even with her faux pink Burbery collar on! :

    Dominic &amp; Ellie<br /><br />

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    Jeep274 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Owners of female Labs: Do strangers assume she's a male?

    I have witnessed a similar thing here. But overall I find that most people who use a sex pronoun regarding an unfamiliar dog use the one they are most used to. For example, many people have only owned females and are so used to using "she" and "her" that they just use them without thinking. I usually make an obvious comment like "good boy" to Kody if someone assumes he is a girl and they get the hint.

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    maggieandfinn is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Owners of female Labs: Do strangers assume she's a male?

    Finn always gets called a she

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    DefaultRe: Owners of female Labs: Do strangers assume she's a male?

    Yes, usually non-lab people use male pro-nouns when talking about my dogs in the same ways you've described..."what's his name?" Most people I run into who own labs usually assume my dogs are all females. Darwin is 22" and about 70lbs. Most people think labs are a large breed and often tell me about the 120lb lab they have at home that comes up to their waist...so to them, my "small" dog must be a female...lol

    I don't think much of it because I find it incredibly hard to think of a poodle (of any size) of being a male

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    DefaultRe: Owners of female Labs: Do strangers assume she's a male?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeep274
    I But overall I find that most people who use a sex pronoun regarding an unfamiliar dog use the one they are most used to. For example, many people have only owned females and are so used to using "she" and "her" that they just use them without thinking. I usually make an obvious comment like "good boy" to Kody if someone assumes he is a girl and they get the hint.
    I was thinking the same thing as I read this. I notice I say "he" or "him" a lot to other dogs and cats because I have a male cat and dog. I'm used to saying those pronouns. I agree that a good part of the reason is probably people having that gender of an animal.


  12. #10
    Thunders Mom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Owners of female Labs: Do strangers assume she's a male?

    People think Simba is a boy until I correct them. I think they try to go by their name.

    It's not the destination, it's the journey!

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