According to this analysis of photographs by Fickr, it seems that women prefer small dogs and that men choose larger dogs is mostly true, although the dogs preferred by both sexes are medium-small .
For the purpose of this study, images showing a single human being and enough image of a dog were tracked to allow estimating its size or identifying its breed.
Stereotype partially true
In the study, images with multiple dogs were not scored (unless they were of the same breed) and images with multiple humans were not scored. Images in which the dog looked like a puppy were also removed. All images in which the dogs were involved in some kind of service activity, or hunting, or were obviously part of military or police functions were also suppressed.
Images of homeless people with dogs were also left out, as they could be casual connections rather than based on a considered choice.
The dogs in the photos also had to look like they actually belonged to the human in the photo , rather than being part of the background.
Images that obviously involved studio models photographed for commercial reasons were also not taken into account. Finally, the human being had to be an adult man or woman.
The tabulation of the size of the dog by sex is, for women: 33% small, 43% medium-small, 19% medium-large and 4% large. For men, the results were: 16% small, 42% medium-small, 36% medium-large, and 7% large.
Almost half of the women preferred smaller dogs compared to men (76.3% vs. 57.7%), while men were almost twice as likely to have larger dogs (42.3% vs. 23.7%). However, these data also show that, in general, the most popular size dog, regardless of the owner’s gender , is medium-small dogs.