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Male vs Female Dogs - Does Gender Matter in Dogs?

Male dogs

  • May mark their territory and lift their legs to pee indoors and outdoors
  • You can reduce the likelihood of marking by having the dog neutered before he's six months of age or reaches puberty
  • Intact male dogs or those not affected by neutering, may be trained not to mark territory in your house. You are fighting Mother Nature, however, and she doesn't give up easily

Female dogs

  • An old saying among breeders - there's a reason they're called bitches
  • Females will be in heat, with some bleeding or other discharge and possible moodiness, up to three weeks twice a year
  • Dogs don't go through menopause so if you don't have her spayed, she'll have periods all her life. You'll have to keep males away from her if you don't want to be constantly asking friends if they want a puppy

If there are other dogs at home

  • Two or more male dogs, if they're alpha dogs, may continually
    battle for supremacy
  • Some females do not like having a second female dog brought into the household and fights may occur
  • Often a male and female dog do better than two of the same gender
  • A breeder may want to keep exceptional female puppies for breeding
    but want to get rid of male puppies. This is something to keep in mind
    if the breeder tries to steer you to the male puppies. You may be in a strong bargaining position

What do experts say?

The only study I've found is from the University of California at
Davis in 1988. Two groups of dog professionals, veterinarians and
obedience trial judges were given a list of thirteen behavior traits
and asked to match dominant traits to gender.

The results were as follows:

  • Males - aggressive or controlling behavior, general activity,
    destructiveness, playfulness
  • Females - ease of house training, obedience training,
    demand for affection
  • No difference - excitability, excessive barking, watchdog barking

Bottom line

The gender differences that most people dislike - marking territory or being in heat - will be eliminated or at least minimized by having your dog spayed or neutered.

I honestly don't think male or female matters as much as the dog's individual temperament.

Good luck.

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