As a society, our understanding of gender roles is increasingly nuanced. In this post, we use broad generalizations to explain the differences between “women” and “men.” We acknowledge that these traits and behaviors are not strictly gendered.

Being afraid of men is not uncommon for dogs. Some dogs try to hide, and start cowering, shaking, or urinating out of nervousness. Others become anxious or show signs of aggression, like growling or baring their teeth. In some cases, a dog may unexpectedly attack or bite a man.

The reasons for this phobia can stem from prior abuse by a man, creating a lifelong fear. In the shelter world, we don’t always have a complete picture of what a dog has experienced. Prior abuse is usually a first assumption but may not be the root of the fear.

Men can be more intimidating from a dog’s perspective: taller, bigger, deep-voiced, and with different features such as facial hair. A sensitive dog might be traumatized by a man’s loud voice, abrupt movements, rough play, or intruding upon their physical space.

We have two dogs at the shelter who are fearful around men: Scout and Dawn.

Dawn is a young hound mix who is terrified of men. Dawn was found in the adobes tied to a tree. We’ll never know who left her there or what sort of trauma she was subjected to before she was found. She needs a person who is willing to take the process slowly and work on bringing her out of her shell. Because of her past, she needs a home with no men, children, or cats. Dawn is an energetic girl who needs to be able to put her nose to the ground and stretch her long legs.

One of our volunteers said this about Dawn, “I look forward to walking Dawn. She is a relatively calm leash walker, but prone to sudden bursts of joy! As I walked her up the mountain trail above Second Chance, she just took her time sniffing under logs for critters. Periodically, she would jump ahead a bit, excited by nature all around her.”

Scout is a sensitive senior German Shorthaired Pointer. He is fearful of men, but we recently saw him warm up to one of our male volunteers at an adoption event. Scout’s favorite thing to do is spend time with people. He takes a little while to warm up but once he does he’s the sweetest dog ever! Scout is nervous around men but is great with kids, cats, and other dogs.

For thirty years, the Animal Resource Center and Shops of Second Chance Humane Society have been serving Ouray, San Miguel, and Montrose Counties. Our adoption hours are from Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You can view our shelter pets and services online at Connecting Pets, People, and Community While Saving Lives.