Do most youngish men own dogs?

I was reading Mens Health magazine. They claimed 71% of US men 18-44 owned a dog.

A quick Google led to a survey making this claim. But is it true? Some folks don’t like dogs. Some are allergic or prefer cats or fish. Lots of people live in cramped apartments or with roommates. Owning a dog is not cheap and some would prioritize other things.

So is this number possible? Any speculation on a different percentage?

3 out of 4 people seems awfully high. If it’s correct, I’d guess that more 30-44 married guys have dogs and that averages with all the 18-30 single guys that don’t.

And always remember, surveys are often biased towards the people that opted to take the survey. There’s a big difference between going to a grocery store and asking 18-44year old men if they have a dog vs going to a pet store and asking. So my question would be, who did they survey?

Here are several surveys which seem to agree with the numbers you give:

It doesn’t fit with my observations either, but that doesn’t prove anything.

Everything I click on statista wants me to sign up for an account and the gallup poll only says that it comes from their annual survey, however, the wapo survey quoting the same one as the survey in the OP.

When I tried to look this up last night, I noticed a lot of them were all quoting a survey by Mintel. Any article that uses the 71% figure, is probably getting it from the Mintel survey.

Without looking up any poles, but going off what statistical trend I seem to notice, it seems there are a lot of retirement aged men that are outside walking little dogs. Lol

What are you looking at in the Gallup poll? All I can find in there is that 50% in the 18-49 age group (both sexes) own a dog, more in line with most people’s intuition I think. That contradicts the Mintel survey that’s the origin of this statistic, which claims 71% of men and 60% of women in an almost identical age group (18-44) own a dog. I can’t find anything about the Mintel methodology on their website.

ETA: My guess is that the Mintel report is simply wrong, they are misreading their own data, and that the 71% figure is the proportion of pet owners who own a dog. That would be consistent with Gallup.

It seems clear from their own (Mintel) press release they are claiming 71% of men in that age group have a dog, not % of pet owners. I also find that surprising. Where I live the dog ownership rate is high, and lots of young couples have dogs before, with or ‘substituting’ for little kids. But a lot of younger single guys IME don’t have time for dogs. My sons in that age group just treat our dog as still theirs rather than bother having one themselves. And though it’s less relevant to today’s trends, we didn’t get a dog, the previous dog, until those same boys insisted on it when around 10.

Some people in my age group though would never have a dog. And that goes somewhat on ethnic/cultural lines IME. My area was traditionally heavily multi-generation Italian American and they are noticeably less pro-dog as a rule IME among American born groups, not counting immigrants from countries where people don’t like dogs. One of the reasons the dog population has increased so much here is ‘yuppies’ moving in and older Italian residents leaving, or dying.

A quick sanity check on this would be to compare the number of American men aged 18-44 vs. the number of dogs in the USA.

All right. There are approximately 60 million men aged 18-44 in the United States, and 90 million dogs. I cannot fathom what conclusion you expect to draw from this, but there you have it.

Well, if the total number of dogs was less than 77% of the total number of men in that age group, then the statistic would be conclusively disproven. And if it were only a little more, then it’d be in doubt, because there are other demographics that own dogs, and some people who own multiple dogs. Granted, it’s possible for a dog to have multiple owners, but I expect that it’s rare for a dog to have multiple adult male owners.

Do they separate out the men who are still living at home? About 34% of young people between the ages of 18 and 35 still live with their parents - a much higher percentage than at any time in the recent past. I wouldn’t be surprised if a high percentage of them have family dogs they would consider ‘theirs’.

Then when you consider how many of the rest of them are married and have young families, a dog might easily be in the picture. My wife and I bought our first dog together when we were still in our 20’s.

Also, if you are a city dweller, your perceptions are almost certainly skewed. In the suburbs, and especially in rural areas, dogs are extremely common.

Suppose there was a population with 10 million men between the ages of 18 and 44 and 10 million women between the ages of 18 and 44. Suppose there was no one in this population outside the ages of 18 to 44 (which doesn’t make any sense, but assume it for the purposes of this example). Suppose you were told that there are 5 million dogs that belong to this population (and to no one outside this population). Suppose that you were further told that half the men and half the women owned dogs. You would say, “How is that possible? It would mean that there are at least 10 million dogs.” Well, no, it doesn’t. Suppose that there are 10 million married heterosexual monogamous couples in this population. In other words, the entire population consists of married heterosexual monogamous couples. Exactly half of those couples own a dog. When you’re told that a person owns a dog, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that person is the only owner of that dog. It could be that the couple owns the dog and considers the dog to belong to both of them. There’s no way to tell from what we’ve read how many owners each dog has.

Which is why I mentioned that a dog can have multiple owners, but that it’s uncommon for a dog to have multiple adult male owners. It’s possible, of course: There are some homosexual couples, and some young adults who are still living with their parents, and some other situations where two men might jointly own a dog. But it’ll be a lot less common than a dog owned by a man and a woman, or by a man and/or a woman and one or more children.

And if the numbers are such that they can only be true if every dog owner is part of a couple which jointly owns exactly one dog, then the numbers are seriously questionable, because that’s an extremely implausible situation.

But apropo to Sam Stone’s comment ‘Do they separate out the men who are still living at home?’ and what I said earlier, young men who might consider the family dog still theirs even though they don’t live at home. I guess my sons, 18-44 yo’s who have their own single households, might say they have a dog referring to our family dog. Although they live close by and see her all the time. If they lived across the country that would be kind of stretch.

I suppose there’s something to that. I don’t live with my mom or her dog, but I still see them often enough that when someone asks me “Do you have a dog?”, my first inclination is to say “yes”.