Gay guys like dogs. Of course, everyone likes dogs. Some people like them for protection, or because they look good in photos with kids. People who live in densely populated big cities like them because they provide companionship in an environment of anonymity and alienation. Such neighborhoods are the natural habitat of gay guys – all the better to escape one’s family and past - and just because the natural environment for canines is sparsely populated woodlands and savannah doesn’t mean that dogs can’t be perfectly happy pooping on asphalt.
Dogs make great companions, and that’s one reason why gay guys like them. Unlike gay roommates, dogs won’t viciously tease you for watching four and a half hours of a VH-1 America’s Next Top Model Marathon wearing only your underwear and eating dry Cheerios. Unlike a longtime partner, dogs won’t point out that they still love you even if you’re losing your hair. And most importantly, dogs won’t cockblock you in the park if you happen to meet another gay guy who has a dog.
The possibility of meeting other gay guys who have dogs is a crucial reason for owning a dog. It’s a real mystery why anyone thinks serious relationships start with one person holding a plastic bag full of. . .um. . .Let’s just say it’s not empty anymore. But then, hope springs eternal for gay guys or they wouldn’t spend Saturday nights in cavernous warehouses full of dry ice and methamphetamines. By contrast maybe dogs aren’t so bad.
For picking up gay guys, the breed of dog is crucial. The Labrador Retriver and the Golden Retriever are all-purpose dogs that straight people often buy. These dogs are easily trainable, but sloppy and drooly. Most importantly, however they are trite and remind gay guys of middle aged suburbanites with kids, which is just as unsexy to gay guys as it is to straight people. Retrievers show no originality and the gay guys, they love originality.
Better choices are members of the AKC Herding Group, which make gay guys look smart (easily trainable) and outdoorsy (active and fun!). Though it should be noted that this applies far more to the Australian Cattle Dog and the Border Collie than to, say, the Welsh Corgi, and that for gay guys haunted by memories of being taunted for throwing like a girl, having a dog that loves retrieving tennis balls can dredge up a long-forgotten and painful childhood on the little league field.
Slightly more butch than herding dogs are hunting dogs. Walking through an urban dog park with a German Shorthaired Pointer allows the gay guy owner to say something particularly butch like “it’s a German Shorthaired pointer. They’re for hunting pheasants and other upland birds.” It should be noted that this can be a very risky strategy for gay guys since followup questions might include “what kind of gun do you use?” or “wow, does NSTRA have a chapter in Fort Lauderdale?”
(At first glance it might seem that even better than hunting dogs would be German Shepherds or Doberman Pinschers (you know what they look like), but buying such an obviously macho dog gives the appearance of an effort to compensate for other shortcomings.)
Of course, not all gay guys buy dogs just to pick up other gay guys. Plenty of gay guys buy dogs because, as Isaac Mizrahi once said, “it’s impossible be truly fabulous without the proper dogs”. Straight people unaccustomed to gay life thinks this means poodles. And yes, the poodle remains popular among gay guys because they are easily groomed into adorable shapes and don’t shed. But poodles are passé. The Calvin Klein of dogs. No, really the Pierre Cardin of dogs. Maltese are a better choice for today’s on-the-go gay guy who wants a dog he can fit in a carry on bag and pass around with the flight attendants on the 9:15 JFK to Lauderdale. Small terrier breeds also work well for this purpose, though again, stay away from the German Shepherds and Dobermans.