Do You Love Dogs For Their Looks?

Dogs are (wo)man’s best friend.

They give unconditional love. They live in the moment. They make us laugh.

That’s what everyone says.

But do we really expect people to believe we love dogs for their characters? I don’t think we’re so deep.

In fact, most of us can’t resist a pretty face. And we really love dogs for their looks.

Honey the golden retriever is beautiful.

You love me for my personality? I’m so hurt.

Hey, Look At That Dog

As a dog lover, I’m the equivalent of a teenage boy at the beach—swiveling my head in every direction overwhelmed by gorgeous flesh while trying not to get caught looking.

“Look, look, there’s one,” I say as I poke my husband in the arm. “See the puppy?”

“Ooh, wait. Is that a Great Pyrenees? Or some kind of mix?”

My eyes are drawn to dogs. And it’s not their personalities I’m checking out. It’s their looks.

They’re gorgeous!

Although my eyes will follow every dog I see, I do have a type.

Shadow was a beautiful mutt.

I said I’d only adopt her if she didn’t pull on the leash. But by the time I walked her outside the SPCA, her looks had drawn me in. It was too late to say no.

I Love A Dog Who…

I like big mutts and I cannot lie…

No really.

I am a sucker for a large-ish, mixed breed dog with a thick coat, preferably in shades of brown with touches of white and black. If you know Cleo from Grouchy Puppy, you know my type.

Sure, I’ll stop to pet a white dog or a curly-haired poodle or a smooth-coated terrier. But once I get my hands into a double-coat and catch a glimpse of those expressive prick ears, I’m lost.

But what does that mean for the fact that I’m living with a blonde dog with a silky coat and floppy ears?

Honey the golden retriever puppy goes to work.

Sure I’m cute now. But someday I’ll be beautiful.

Looking Past Looks

Yes, I know many consider golden retrievers to be an exceptionally beautiful dog breed. But goldens were never my type.

Golden retrievers are like Portia De Rossi. I can see she’s beautiful. But I don’t want to date her.

They’re the Barbie dolls of dogs.

And yet… Honey is the most beautiful dog in the world.

I brought her home with me for her personality. So I could have a tolerant and patient dog who would welcome foster dogs into our home.

Now I’m smitten. And I look past the soft floppy ears, the smiling eyes, the gently curving mouth, the silky coat, and floofy tail and see the beauty within on the outside as well.

I’ve also never seen the appeal of smooshy-faced dogs. People tell me they love pugs and the like because their faces look so human (really?) but pushed in noses have never gotten me to coo.

Until recently.

Lil Punkin Butt offers up a Train Your Dog Month challenge.

They’re both kinda funny looking. But I find both irresistible.

Love Makes Every Dog Beautiful

If you told me I’d fall in love with a small, smooshy-faced dog with a stubby tail and a smooth coat I’d have said you were crazy. After all, that’s the opposite description of my favorite dog type. In every way.

But then I met Lil Miss Punkin Butt. And I fell in love.

I can’t resist her.

I love her little antic face with the tongue that probes my face like a heat-seeking missile. I can’t resist the little snores. And those froggy legs sticking out behind her when she’s resting make me die.

I knew I’d love her brother, Mr. Handsome. After all, he’s a Lab. He’s big and manly and handsome. My name for him fits. And he has personality plus.

But I never realized how beautiful I’d find a little dog with a butt like a pumpkin.

Lil Punkin Butt and Mr. Handsome doze on the couch.

Who’s cuter? I can’t tell anymore. I love them both.

I’m Shallow

What can I say? I’m shallow. I love dogs for their looks.

And even when I don’t start out loving them for their looks, it ends up that way.

But I doubt I’m the only one.

Your Turn: Do you have a “type?” Do your current dogs fit the “type?” Or did you fall in love despite yourself?


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  1. Before Elka, my dream dog was a Rottweiler. So I’d say I’m smitten for that black and rust coat, for sure! Maybe I also prefer the docked tail? I seem to be drawn to Corgis too, you see (yeah, yeah, me and the whole Internet). I definitely prefer a single coat, though, which is a good reason Doberman has been the dog for me!

  2. Labs are my favorite, I’ve had yellow and chocolate, both were “the best”. I was down to only 1 dog a few years ago, a senior pit/lab mix with some dog aggression, so I was not going to get another dog until she was gone…Well out with friends and my roommate (not a dog person) talked to someone who had one puppy left that was too big and going to the shelter the next day. So sight unseen and not wanting another dog, my roomate promised she would help care for this puppy, I went to pick up a 4month pup. 5 years later, this dog is my constant companion and also “the best”. I’d be lost without her love and companionship. She was just what I needed and my senoir dog, well this pup was the best thing for her too.

  3. Since both my dogs are wonderful, but opposites, I can’t say I have a “type”. I don’t like smooshed face dags, and I prefer fuzzy to smooth coated. That’s about it.

  4. I can’t look at a smooshed faced dog without thinking about all the physical problems humans have inflicted on them by breeding them for looks and not health. I love the long noses on dogs like their wolf ancestors.

  5. You are definitely not the only one! I was drawn to giants breeds initially by their looks. The personality was just icing on the cake for me. I think they just have a wonderful temperament. I like big and fluffy :)

  6. I definitely have a type – I love and adore collies! But I also love German Shepherds, and German Shep. mixes, and Golden retrievers, and Boxers…they are all very different dogs. But they are all large dogs, I just have no desire to live with a little dog. (Not that I am saying there is anything wrong with little dogs!)

  7. Competing in agility as I do, I often spend weekends surrounded by a wonderful bounty of breeds! I don’t think coat makes any difference to me but I do love prick ears. I do not like the smoosh-nosed dogs, never have. I don’t like the snorting, snoring and heat intolerance (It’s not their fault, I know!). And the googly eyes are not attractive! Size doesn’t matter either 😉 I used to think I would never have a small dog (corgis are NOT small!), but I would snap up a Papillon in a heart beat! For me, it is truly not about looks and more about the brain. I have to have a super smart, biddable dog who trains easily, and wants to train. A dull-witted dog holds no interest for me. Isn’t that awful?!

  8. I’ve always been a little dog lover and was crazy about pugs for their personalities–they are little clowns!–before I learned about their health problems. Little known fact: Long before I adopted Frankie, I put myself on a pug rescue list but withdrew when I learned I would have to start out by administering eye-drops to the first candidate who became available, not my idea of a bonding experience. And then I did some research… I supposed I started liking terriers when a friend adopted one and then when Frankie was presented to me that was that. Madeleine was not exactly my “type” — she doesn’t have the fluffy hair that sticks to the body I’d grown to love but I suspect she will be, soon enough.

  9. I tend to love bigger, short-haired, sporting type dogs, but after spending a little time with almost any dog I could probably fall in love with it because it’s always the personality that shines through the size, color and coat. They simply steal your heart :)

  10. Truthfully I love all dog types, but I think my true type is a big mutt or Newfie, definitely something shaggy. The dogs that we have now were all picked out by my husband or kids, but I love them all.

  11. All dogs are great in their own way. When we first researched the Entlebucher breed I didn’t like their long backs and short legs, but their mischievous personality won me over! Now I think they are the most beautiful dogs in the world of course :-

  12. I admit it. I judge both my books and my dogs by their covers. I have zero interest in fuzzy dogs – that kind of grooming requirement makes me want to curl up into a corner and rock myself. Short-haired dogs, unique markings, medium to extra large sized is my cup of tea. Bug-eyed dogs worry me. I’ve known too many bug-eyed dog owners that have actually told me that the eyes sometimes pop out. WHAT???!!! I couldn’t handle that.

  13. Before Harley – I always wanted either a Great Dane or a Chocolate Lab. But I didn’t grow up with dogs so I’m not really sure why I wanted either one of them – I just did. Then I saw a Goldendoodle at the park – and I fell in love with the coat, the size and of course the smile. Love it when they smile. I’m not so sure I’m into looks as much as I’m into a dog that I know has the same attributes and personality to fit well in my home. Harley and Leo are a perfect match for me/us!

  14. I am shallow too. I love dogs that are tall and narrow, with prick ears and a long snout.

  15. I’m a poodle lover, by far! I also love boxers because they are smart and dalmations because they are beautiful! But I always come back to the poodle – smarter than the rest, so they must be best!!! (along with the labradoodles and the great danes!!)

  16. I think a lot of it is personality for me, I was never a french bull dog fan (don’t tell my friend who has one) but then I went to France and met the cutest little one – it spent all day wiggling on it’s back and it won me over.

    I will happily love on any dog I see and I really don’t care about type for that. But other than BD and Mity I have only met one dog in my life who I saw in rescue and took actual steps to potentially adopt. But I think that was because this dog resembled BD and I couldn’t bare for a BD look-a-like (by look-a-like I mean completely different colouring and size but same eyes and similar face) to be in kennels.

  17. Having had long coated dogs for many years these days I love any dog with a short coat. Well, almost any dog. There are a few shortcoated breeds that don’t appeal. I still love dogs with long coats but not the work that is needed to keep them looking beautiful. I’m a really lazy person!

    When I got Frankie it was definitely because of his looks … in the photos of him on the website he looked so ugly with such lifeless eyes I didn’t think anyone else would want him. With Beryl it was the cheeky, mischief expression on her face that captured my heart, not her beauty. Asher suckered me in with his prettiness :) I do love him to bits, I was just kind of hoping he would be a lap-Greyhound and he isn’t. Oh well, he was probably hoping I’d feed him 24 hours a day, he’s a real foodie! I think we could both be worse off:)