Male vs Female puppies – Which one is right for you?

So, you’ve finally decided which breed is for you. Now you’re wondering if gender makes a difference too?

The answer isn’t clear cut. There are some generalisations where a puppy may be more likely to exhibit a certain behaviour or look based on their sex. But there will always be individual differences.  

We’ve put together some information provided by pet specialists, trusted sources and even owner generalisations to give you a better idea of the role gender plays in dogs.

Do female and male dogs look different?

Apart from the obvious reproductive differences, males do tend to be larger than females.

These differences could be in height, weight, or even head size differences!

The differences will be much smaller when your puppy is young. You’ll see more differences in adult dogs when hormones begin to come into play (Nicole Ellis).

Behaviour differences between male and female dogs

  • Aggression Levels

Generally, male dogs who haven’t been neutered will show higher levels of aggression than female dogs or neutered male dogs. This could be down to the increased need to ‘compete’ for things they consider desirable (RSPCA). Research has proposed that high levels of testosterone could be the cause for increased aggression levels in dogs.

  • Trainability

On average, female dogs will tend to mature faster than their male counterparts. This could be why they are frequently described as being easier to train and housebreak.

However, male dogs have a better track record of winning ‘Best in Show’ at Westminster Kennel Club with a 37:20 ratio as of June 2021.  

  • Greeting behaviour

A lot of research has even found gender differences in how each sex greets another dog. A male dog will tend to sniff the rear of a dog first, whereas a female dog is more likely to sniff the face of a dog first.

  • Other Behavioural differences

Some other differences include that male dogs are more likely to mount and scent mark than females. Although, you do find that in certain situations, females will display this behaviour.

Male dogs are typically more described as playful and active too, compared to female dogs who frequently earn the description of being more connected to their owners.

So, are male and female dogs really that different?

Well, the truth is, sometimes but usually no. Pet specialists Nicole Ellis and Dr Gary Richter advise that it’s more down to the individual personality of the pooch and their level of training on which suits your household better.

Dr Gary Richter advises that if you’re looking for dog number 2, it is good to create balance in the household so that the chance of conflict is lowered.

Your chosen breed will make more of a difference usually than the sex of your new puppy Check out our breed of the week posts, where we concentrate on a new breed every week to help you make a decision!

Check out some other puppy guides for prospective pet owners here.

Our Forever Puppy buying advice…

If possible, you should always meet your puppy in person (along with the mother).

This gives a great indication of temperament to make sure your new puppy will suit your home. We’ve put together an Essential Puppy Buying Guide to help you further.

Check out the great puppies for sale near you.
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