If youre considering adding a new dog to your family, you probably have a lot of questions about the kind of dog you should adopt, what you should look for before you bring a new pet into your home, and what different traits might mean for their temperament and personality. After all, youre adding a new member to the familyyou want to make sure they fit in wonderfully.
She says that the most important influence on personality and compatibility with humans is not male or female but how a dog is trained and what its exposed to. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), spaying or neutering removes the dogs ability to reproduce, affects the development of sex-associated traits and behavior, and, ultimately, helps reduce overpopulation.
Male dogs are neutered, which means they undergo an orchiectomya medical procedure to remove the testes. Female dogs are spayed, which means they undergo an ovariohysterectomya medical procedure to remove the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. This procedure prevents the dog from reproducing, and also reduces some of the behaviors associated with mating, according to the AVMA.
Some diseases are more common in dogs who have been spayed or neutered, but petMD says that the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks and that most vets recommend it. In the past, he says, most vets have recommended spaying or neutering early (before the dog reaches puberty) to prevent the development of unwanted behaviors.
Are girl dogs or boy dogs better?
Some believe that the male dog is more affectionate and easier to train, while the female dog is more aggressive and protective of its owners and puppies. Well, the truth is that when it comes to dogs and puppies there is no superior sex.
Are boy dogs more affectionate than girl dogs?
Male dogs are usually more affectionate than females, and some positively crave human attention. You’ll find it’s always you who brings the cuddling and fussing to an end – he could happily go on like this all day!
Do female dogs prefer male owners?
Dogs Prefer Adults — Particularly Women. A dog’s preference for one person — or type of person — over another has a great deal to do with socialization. Dogs don’t, as a rule, dislike men, but most dogs are cared for by women, and are thus more comfortable around them.
What are differences between male and female dogs?
Despite the obvious physical differences, male dogs tend to be slightly taller and larger than females and exhibit male stereotypic behaviors such as mounting and scent marking. They might show more male to male directed aggressive behavior, especially when challenged.
– Un-neutered male dogs are typically more prone to humping others and are more likely than female dogs to attempt to run away from home to try to find a mate.
INSIDER spoke with veterinarians and dog-behavior experts to figure out how a dog’s biological sex can play a role in the animal’s behavior and overall health. “Un-neutered or ‘intact’ male dogs tend to be more prone to urine marking and humping,” Ashley Valm , shelter behavior manager at the Humane Rescue Alliance , told INSIDER.
Valm also added that un-neutered male dogs can also be more prone to roaming running away or wandering out of the house in an attempt to find a mate. During this time she will typically secrete a vaginal discharge that ranges in nature from very bloody and thick to light-colored and watery. Female dogs may develop mammary tumors or an infected uterus, while testicular cancer and prostate issues occur in males,” Jessica May , lead veterinarian at FirstVet, told INSIDER.
May also added that the timing of both male neutering and female spaying can also impact a dog’s risk for developing certain diseases and health problems. Even though there are some established behavioral and physiological differences between male and female dogs, biological gender doesn’t play a huge role in the animal’s personality as a whole.
Male vs female dogs is one better than the other, or are they much the same? In this article we are going to help you to get to know the real differences between male and female dogs. Discover boy dog vs girl dog personality, male vs female dogs health, appearance, and how the physical differences between a female vs a male dog may impact on your life.
The size difference is greater in some breeds than others, and it will be less pronounced in a male dog that has been neutered at an early age. Once an intact male dog reaches sexual maturity, he may begin to mark, mount and roam.
Neutered male and female dogs may also exhibit these normal canine behaviors, but typically to a lesser degree. For example, you might choose not to neuter a female Golden Retriever because the breed is susceptible to a number of cancers that have been shown to develop more frequently in altered dogs. Evidence suggests that male dogs are more likely to posture, threaten and challenge as part of social ordering behavior.
While female dogs are less likely to exhibit threatening behavior, they have a stronger tendency to enforce their dominance in the social hierarchy. That is why early socialization and training of your dog is critical for the long term health and happiness of everyone in your home. In addition, early socialization and handling are critical to ensure that your dog is comfortable and friendly around people and other animals.
One study found that male dogs are more inclined to engage in social play with humans than females. Females can be tricky to compete as they may lose valuable competition and training time by coming into season or being tied up with pregnancy and lactation. One study looking at social learning and spatial information indicated that male dogs are quicker than females to adopt a different strategy to locate an item.
However, another study found that females dogs have a superior ability to focus, which may make training easier. If you are looking at a large and powerful breed where temperament problems can arise, it probably makes sense to opt for a female. If you are looking at a breed where neutering can raise the risk of serious health problems then you need to think more carefully about the biological differences between male vs female dogs.
Some people find it inconvenient to manage a female dog in heat for example and dont want to be responsible for making sure that she doesnt get pregnant. Significant risks of neutering have been demonstrated in Hungarian Vizslas , Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Labradors (see references below).
Male pups can be more playful, active and independent. On the other hand, they can also be more dominant, territorial and easily distracted than female dogs. Non-neutered male dogs often display acts of domination toward smaller dogs and even humans! Starting dog obedience training early to help curb this behavior.
Dominance and territorial behavior can also be seen in unspayed female dogs when they are in heat. Female dogs tend to reach maturity faster than their male counterparts, which can be a training advantage.
Spaying female dogs often leads to a mellower personality and fewer displays of aggression. Neutered male dogs tend to be easier to train, calmer, less aggressive and less likely to wander off.
Does Your Dog’s Sex Matter?
Dr. Gary Richter, a holistic vet, founder of Montclair Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Veterinary Care, and author ofHe adds that a good fit between dog and owner is more likely to be dependent on other factors. “You need a dog whose energy level and demeanor fit with your lifestyle.”That view is shared by Nicole Ellis, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), APDT member, American Kennel Club CGC evaluator, and coauthor ofThe sex of the dog you adopt might not be a strong indicator of how well they fit into your family. However, both experts note that there are some differences you might want to be aware of before you adopt.
Let’s start with the obvious—male and female dogs have different reproductive and genital systems. But there are also some more subtle differences you might consider. Nicole Ellis says that male dogs tend to be larger (both in height and weight) than female dogs—so you might keep that in mind if the size of your dog is important.According to petMD, female dogs also tend to reach maturity faster than males, which may mean that a female dog is more mature than a male dog of the same age and might be easier to train as a result.Nicole Ellis notes there are very few differences between the sexes when dogs are young. “As they get older, and hormones come into play,” she adds, “you begin to see a difference. But still, often these differences are not that major.”Many of the biological differences between male and female dogs are tied to their reproductive hormones. However, Dr. Richter says that while a dog’s behavior can be influenced by hormones, if you remove their source by spaying or neutering the dog, you’ll see less of the behavior over time.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), spaying or neutering removes the dog’s ability to reproduce, affects the development of sex-associated traits and behavior, and, ultimately, helps reduce overpopulation. Male dogs are neutered, which means they undergo an orchiectomy—a medical procedure to remove the testes. Female dogs are spayed, which means they undergo an ovariohysterectomy—a medical procedure to remove the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus.This procedure prevents the dog from reproducing, and also reduces some of the behaviors associated with mating, according to the AVMA.petMD notes that an intact female dog (that is, a dog that hasn’t been spayed) will experienceNicole Ellis cautions that if you don’t want your intact female dog to get pregnant, you need to keep her away from other dogs while she’s in heat.She adds that male dogs who have not been neutered will be more likely to mark their territory. “If you aren’t neutering your male dog,” she says, “be prepared that he has an innate urge to pee and mark everything.”The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) notes that intact male dogs might mount people, other dogs, or inanimate objects, and they might even escape to look for a mate and endanger themselves in the process. A neutered dog will be less likely to mark his territory, mount, hump, or roam.
In addition to reducing overpopulation (which, the ASPCA says, leads to many homeless dogs) and preventing unwanted behaviors, spaying or neutering can have health benefits for your dog.According to petMD, spaying female dogs can help prevent health problems like mammary cancer or uterine infections and neutering male dogs can protect them from benign prostatic hyperplasia and testicular cancer. Some diseases are more common in dogs who have been spayed or neutered, but petMD says that the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks and that most vets recommend it.Dr. Richter adds that the timing of the procedure can have an effect on your dog’s health, too. In the past, he says, most vets have recommended spaying or neutering early (before the dog reaches puberty) to prevent the development of unwanted behaviors. However, there has been recent evidence that it’s best to wait until the dog reaches physical maturity.The effect of waiting until maturity seems to vary from breed to breed, but in general, Dr. Richter says that dogs spayed or neutered later in their development have fewer orthopedic issues and are less likely to develop certain types of cancer.
According to Nicole Ellis, there aren’t many differences in (non-mating-related) behavior that are determined by the dog’s sex. She does note that a recent study on dog aggression found that “male dogs were six times as likely to bite compared to female dogs.” But she emphasized that “it’s not as black and white as that and a lot more comes into play—including the dog’s training and upbringing.”Dr. Richter says that many of the reported behavior differences between male and female dogs can be chalked up to anthropomorphism. “A lot of it is human projection,” he says.However, he says that one reported behavior that does seem to be accurate. “Dogs tend to get along better with dogs of the opposite sex,” he says, when they’re living together in a home. “It’s like yin and yang.” So, if you’re adding a second dog to your family, you may want to consider creating that balance for a more peaceful household.
Male vs Female Puppy
There is little difference between a male and a female puppy at eight weeks old. On average, male puppies are slightly larger than their sisters, but that’s about it. However, puppies don’t stay puppies for long. They grow up fast, so you really need to consider the difference between male and female dogs once they reach maturity.There are two key aspects of adult canines that may influence your decision when choosing between a male or female puppy. These are the dog’s physiology and temperament. Physiology is the way a dog looks and his bodily functions. Temperament is the way a dog behaves. Let’s take a look at the physical differences first.
Male vs Female Dogs: Physical Differences
There are differences, but they are not as great as some people think.
Male vs Female Dogs: Appearance
To begin with, male dogs are often a little larger than females. The difference in size is probably not enough to matter much to anyone. Not all male dogs are bigger than all female dogs of course, but on average, the male puppies in a purebred litter will grow slightly taller and heavier than the females in the same litter. The size difference is greater in some breeds than others, and it will be less pronounced in a male dog that has been neutered at an early age.Males also tend to have a different look. They appear, unsurprisingly, more masculine and may have larger chunkier heads. If you prefer the distinctive male look of your breed then this might be an influencing factor for you. Both when choosing a puppy, and when making decisions about neutering. Of course, we already understand the most obvious and significant physical difference between male and female dogs. But, what are the implications of that difference? That is largely influenced by sex hormones.
Male vs Female Dogs: Hormonal Differences
As a puppy approaches sexual mature, sex hormones cause bodily changes. For females dogs, that means the start of their seasons, or coming into heat. This occurs twice a year for two to three weeks unless they are spayed. During this time, she will have a bloody discharge that attracts male dogs. The discharge is messy and can be smelly. You’ll want to keep them off light-colored carpet and furniture. Dog diapers can help with this issue.Female dogs in heat cannot be walked in public because male dogs may become aggressive in their desire to mate. To avoid an unintended pregnancy, you’ll want to take precautions to keep male dogs away from your female dog in heat. It is not uncommon for male dogs to jump fences in order to mate. Whether or not this inconvenience is a big deal for you is a personal matter. Spaying a female dog is more expensive than neutering a male dog and may not be covered by pet insurance.Male dogs do not have seasons, and unless neutered, they can be sexually active all year long. Once an intact male dog reaches sexual maturity, he may begin to mark, mount and roam. Neutered male and female dogs may also exhibit these normal canine behaviors, but typically to a lesser degree. The instinct to mate is strong, so you’ll need to take precautions to keep your dog from roaming in search of mating opportunities. Neutering will mitigate a lot of the differences between male and female dogs.
Male vs Female Dogs: What About Neutering?
It’s important to think about whether or not you will alter (spay or neuter) your dogFor example, you might choose not to neuter a female Golden Retriever because the breed is susceptible to a number of cancers that have been shown to develop more frequently in altered dogs. If you definitely don’t want to cope with a female dog in season, then the sensible option might be to get a male instead. We’ve looked at the physical differences between male and female dogs, so now it’s time to consider temperamental and behavioral differences.
Male vs Female Dogs: Behavior and Temperament
You may have heard that female dogs are more loyal than males. This myth persists from the days when many dogs were left to wander unsupervised in the community where they lived. Once sexually mature, male dogs usually want to roam to find a mate. Female dogs may do this too, especially when they are in heat, but roaming is more common in males. A dog proof perimeter around your garden or yard will solve this problem and help keep your dog safe from traffic or theft.The aspects of temperament that most people worry about are aggression and trainability. There is a perception in some people’s minds that male dogs are both more aggressive and less trainable than females. But it is true?
Are Male Dogs More Aggressive?
Whether male dogs are more aggressive than females is not as clear cut as it might seem. Both male and female dogs can be aggressive. Evidence suggests that male dogs are more likely to posture, threaten and challenge as part of social ordering behavior. However, this is often a show that doesn’t result in an attack. Fights between two male dogs are often ritualistic and cause little harm.While female dogs are less likely to exhibit threatening behavior, they have a stronger tendency to enforce their dominance in the social hierarchy. Fights between two female dogs are more likely to occur than fights between two male dogs. In addition, female dog fights are typically more damaging. What about aggressive behavior toward humans?
Do Male Dogs Bite More?
Dog bites are more often attributed to male dogs than female dogs and more often to intact males than neutered males. These facts may not be as significant as they seems because they only report numbers and not reasons. Studies have shown that dog bites are the result of a wide variety of factors related to both the human and the dog involved in each incident.There may be more dog bite incidents involving male dogs due to increased contact related to roaming behavior, for example. And, of course, this behavior is stronger among intact male dogs. In fact, unrestrained dogs roaming off the owner’s property account for about a quarter of all dog bites.In addition, one study found breed differences in aggressive and biting behaviors. Specifically, that increased aggression among intact males (as opposed to neutered males) in two of the breeds studied did not apply to the other breeds of dog in the study.It’s important to note that any dog will bite if provoked. That is why early socialization and training of your dog is critical for the long term health and happiness of everyone in your home. Children are the most frequent victims of dog bites, so teaching children how to behave around dogs is also important for dog bite prevention. We’ve discussed aggression, but what about friendliness in male and female dogs?
Are Male or Female Dogs Friendlier?
Friendliness appears to be far more related to a dog’s breed than to a dog’s sex. A male dog from a breed that is known to be generally friendly may be friendlier than a female from a more aggressive breed. If on the other hand, you are looking at a breed with known temperament or aggression issues, then you may want to give the question of boy dog vs girl dog a bit more thought.Selecting a responsible breeder is an important factor for friendliness for two important reasons. If you want a friendly dog, you want a breeder that has taken care to only breed from dogs that are not aggressive. In addition, early socialization and handling are critical to ensure that your dog is comfortable and friendly around people and other animals.One study found that male dogs are more inclined to engage in social play with humans than females. While females are inclined to engage in cooperative behavior with humans. Which leads us to training, which is easier to train, a male or female dog?
Are Male Dogs Harder to Train?
Interestingly, male dogs predominate in a number of sports, which might indicate that they are easier to train, rather than harder. But again, we need to tease out the facts.In competitive sports, successful dogs are valuable as breeding stock and are rarely neutered.There are differences in male and female canine brains, and studies have shown that there are differences in the way male and female dogs think. One study looking at social learning and spatial information indicated that male dogs are quicker than females to adopt a different strategy to locate an item. However, another study found that females dogs have a superior ability to focus, which may make training easier.How much impact this has on how trainable they are is questionable. Anecdotal evidence from dog trainers indicates little significant difference between the sexes. In any case, male and female dogs can both be trained, but it’s important to start early and be patient.
Male vs Female Dogs – A Summary
The differences between males and females in many breeds are minimal and the evidence on trainability is not conclusive. If you are looking at a large and powerful breed where temperament problems can arise, it probably makes sense to opt for a female.If you are looking at a breed where neutering can raise the risk of serious health problems then you need to think more carefully about the biological differences between male vs female dogs. Some people find it inconvenient to manage a female dog in heat for example and don’t want to be responsible for making sure that she doesn’t get pregnant.Significant risks of neutering have been demonstrated in Hungarian Vizslas, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Labradors (see references below). We don’t know yet if they affect other breeds of dogFor the most part, gender is not a good guide to future health or personality. In other words, it probably doesn’t matter whether your puppy is a boy or a girl. Just as long as you know what is involved in their care.If you prefer males, then go for a male dog. And vice versa.How about you? Do you have a preference for male or female dogs? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.This article has been extensively revised and updated for 2019.
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