Does Gender Matter When Choosing the Best Dog?
Which makes the better pet, boy or girl dog?
How does one go about making the decision to get a boy or a girl?
This is a hotly disputed subject and most people’s sentiments are just personal opinions. When it comes to these gender wars, people’s attitude about sex differences is based on their personal experience with their own pets.
They fail to acknowledge the difference in the personality traits of dogs. Every dog is unique with an exclusive set of genes and environmental experiences that make them who they are.
Does gender really make a difference?
Look at all the banter I have heard:
The females are gentler…The males are gentle
The males are more loving…The females are sweeter
The females make better pets…The males make better pets
The males are more loyal…The females are the most loyal
The girls are moody…
The boys are more dominant, the girls are more dominant
The ladies are friendlier
The Guys are easier to train
The boys are more aggressive
Girls do better with families of young children
Males are more playful or energetic than females
Males mark their territory, hump, or urinate in the house.
Who is Spreading Rumors about Boy or Girl Dog Differences
Dog owners of course, but what surprised me the most was that breeders tell potential puppy buyers which gender would be best for them.
Dog trainers also have an opinion on this too. Most of these views are based on previous dog experience.
Worst, I believe it is bloggers who truly don’t know or understand dogs. They may be the most to blame.
Boy or Girl Dog: Any Real Differences
Frankly no, but first let’s look at the facts:
Frankly, I was confused. Maybe the matter of gender preferences is breed specific. I had to find out for myself, so I searched the internet for opinions based on particular breeds. What I found should not have surprised me, but it is clear, there is no truth to any of these views based on breed.
Boy or Girl Dog?
A quick Google search revealed that at least 715,000 sites on the Internet show information about dog gender. That’s no small number. That does not include all the sites that are breed specific. For those, I had to put in specific breeds: Which makes the better pet, boy or girl German Shepherds. That added to the sites, exponentially.
Rottweilers, Dobermans, Pitbulls, Chihuahua, Beagles, Shih Tzu, …. Well the list goes on. Neither makes a better pet, but there are some real differences in gender.
Every field has its special jargon so I’ve added a few words here that are appropriate when speaking about gender in dogs:
Bitch: Female dog
Dog: Male dog
Intact: Non-altered male or female dog; For females, intact means that the girl is capable of mating, whelping (giving birth) and mothering a litter of puppies; Intact males have not been castrated
Spay: To surgically remove the uterus and ovaries of a female dog.
Neuter: To surgically remove the testicles of a male dog.
The Real Truth about Girl Dogs
The Truth about Girls Or “Bitches” (Appropriate name for a female dog)
- Females have heat cycles twice a year (except those dog breeds that are considered more primitive such as the Basenji which only has one cycle much like the Grey Wolf).
- Unless they have been altered or spayed, they will continue to have these heat cycles throughout their lives.
- Intact females in heat may wander away from home looking for a mate.
- Spaying fees are more expensive than neutering. A spay is a surgery where the ovaries and the uterus are removed, making the dog sterile.
- Intact females or those that have not been spayed do have some hormonal changes that can affect their moods.These mood changes are very individualized. Some can be clingy or more loving around the time of their heat cycle.
The Real Truth About Boys
The Real Truth about Dogs (Boy dogs)
- Males will wander away if they smell a female in season (heat)
- Neutering a male dog is less costly than removing the ovaries and uterus of a female dog. Neutering or castration involves removing the testicles.
- Intact (unaltered) not neutered males can be distractable if a female in heat is nearby giving the impression that they are harder to train.
- Intact males who live with intact females will mark in the house. Some females do this too. If neutered at around six months of age, boys will not mark in the house. Girls won’t either.
- Intact males will hike their legs when they urinate. If boys are neutered around five or six months of age, they squat to urinate for the rest of their lives.
- Intact males can become aggressive and fight over an intact female in heat.
- Boys can be a little larger than females (This is breed specific; In many breeds the dogs (males) and the bitches (females) are the same height, and weight.
The Truth About Boy or Girl Dogs
- Both can be just as easy or hard to train. Individual temperament is more important than sex differences when it comes to training.
- Both boys and girls can be equally friendly, reserved, timid, or wary. Differences can be found between breeds and individually within breeds. Most attentive breeders will be able to pick up on individual differences in a litter of puppies very early on in the pup’s life.
- Both boys and girls can be aggressive or not depending on individual differences, not sex. Boys do tend to fight more with other boys and girls do tend to compete more with other girls, but again, much of this fighting is the result of other problems that do not relate to gender.
Why People Prefer Boy or Girl Dogs
I still didn’t answer my original question though and that was why do some people prefer one sex over the other.
So, I went on a search once more to find out how people decide which gender to choose.
Not surprisingly, most people make unconscious decisions based on gender.
- I’ve always just had girls, I just think I know what to expect with girls more than boys.
- I love to give belly rubs and it’s just easier for me to do this on girls.
- I have a girl so I want another girl
- I have a boy, so I want another.
- I have a boy, so now I want a girl
So, is one gender better than another?
Unless you purchase a dog for breeding purposes, both girls and boys make excellent pets.
If cost is an option, choose a boy. The neuter surgery is easier and less costly.
Choosing the Right Dog Breed Part Two
Size Matters Color Choices