Differences Between Male/Female Dogs

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#1
What differences do you guys notice between male/female dogs? Which do you prefer and why?

I'm just curious because I hear a lot of people say that male dogs are a certain way and females are completely different, and they prefer one over the other for xxx reasons. But I feel like a lot of the differences should just be chalked up to different personalities/ages/breeds as opposed to gender.
 

maxfox426

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#2
I have to agree with you. I mean, sure, there are some personality traits that females may be more prone to, and other traits more likely with males. Overall, though, I tend to believe that outside influences factor in just as much (maybe more) than "hardwired" into the dog.

In my immediate circle of family dogs, Morgan is currently the only male, and he's pretty chill. He's willing to listen and learn and be involved, but definitely doesn't have a problem with "turning off" for a while. And that's the way I like him. :p Of the females, one is just as easy-going as Morgan. The other two are much more hyper, and one of them to the point of spazzy, IMO. My in-laws' late dog was also female, and she was even more laid back than Morgan is.

Then again, I've only ever lived with/around mutts. I wouldn't be surprised of personality differences are more pronounced with specific breeds?


I will say, when I owned rats... the behavioral gender differences were much more apparent. All the boys were lazy squishes, and all the girls were GO GO GO problem solvers. :p
 
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#3
I think the differences depend a lot on the sex and the breed. For example, I've heard that SSA is a lot more common among female German Shepherds, and the difference between females fighting and males fighting is that males might have a couple scratches and then forgive and forget, while females will do more damage, remember the fight, and hold a grudge. I'm not sure if this is true in other breeds, as I know in other breeds the males may be the ones more prone to SSA.

I don't have much experience on the other traits people comment on, such as males being more goofy and owner oriented than females, etc. the only reason I prefer males really is because I feel a dog shouldn't be spayed or neutered under my care unless there is an urgent reason to, and I'm unsure if I want to care for a female in heat.

(Please forgive any typos, I'm on my phone and sometimes autocorrect can do weird things lol!)
 

AmandaNola

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#4
(on my phone, please excuse typos!)


I definitely think the major influence is nurture rather than nature, and also on breed. However, I've noticed a few differences, enough to know which sex I prefer.

I have four dogs, three females and a male. Two altered, two intact (will be spayed at later dates), ages 5 years to around 9 months or so. In my family/dogs I'm around frequently, there's 5 females and 3 males. I'm basing these observations off my own dogs, though I've noticed them in the outside circle too.


My girls are...sharper? More alert/aware? I'm not even sure how to describe it. They're more observant, and two of my girls are much more intense than my male, or the males I've been around. They're more one person dogs, and are more Velcro-y. They want to be near me always, and while they adore physical affection, they want it on their terms. My boy is all about touch, all the time.

My girls are more in tune with people, where as my boy just goes about life in a blissfully happy daze. He's more vocal than the girls, and he'll bark at anything, where the girls are more about actual oddness warranting barking. He barks if I walk outside the fence, they bark if someone pulls up.


My girls can be moody, where my boy is usually even keel.

I really don't see a sex difference with training. I see personality and breed differences. I don't see a difference in who's more likely to be the dominant/boss dog of the group. In my home, Nola is the boss. In my parents', it's a male.
 
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#5
(on my phone, please excuse typos!)


I definitely think the major influence is nurture rather than nature, and also on breed. However, I've noticed a few differences, enough to know which sex I prefer.

I have four dogs, three females and a male. Two altered, two intact (will be spayed at later dates), ages 5 years to around 9 months or so. In my family/dogs I'm around frequently, there's 5 females and 3 males. I'm basing these observations off my own dogs, though I've noticed them in the outside circle too.


My girls are...sharper? More alert/aware? I'm not even sure how to describe it. They're more observant, and two of my girls are much more intense than my male, or the males I've been around. They're more one person dogs, and are more Velcro-y. They want to be near me always, and while they adore physical affection, they want it on their terms. My boy is all about touch, all the time.

My girls are more in tune with people, where as my boy just goes about life in a blissfully happy daze. He's more vocal than the girls, and he'll bark at anything, where the girls are more about actual oddness warranting barking. He barks if I walk outside the fence, they bark if someone pulls up.


My girls can be moody, where my boy is usually even keel.

I really don't see a sex difference with training. I see personality and breed differences. I don't see a difference in who's more likely to be the dominant/boss dog of the group. In my home, Nola is the boss. In my parents', it's a male.
How you described your girls? Is totally my boy. :rofl1:

That being said, OP, I've had boys and girls and on the whole, I personally haven't experienced obvious differences in the males and females I've lived with where I could say, definitively, that the boys exhibited certain traits more than girls on the whole, or vise versa.
 

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#6
My two defy their gender stereotypes, so I generally write those off.

Meg is soft and sweet and loves everyone. She wants cuddles all the time, and doesn't care if it comes from me or a stranger sitting next to me. While she can have training issues due to the softness, she is basically the same dog every day.

Gusto is soft and weird and quirky. He loves about 4 people in the world, and is basically not interested in the rest of you. He's a wonderful cuddler if you are one of those four people, and if he's in the mood, and if he's in private. He's hyper aware of the world around him, and has dramatic mood swings from day to day.
 
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#7
I have had 3 males (all intact) and 5 females (3 spayed 2 entire). The boy BC I have now is the poster child for doofus mama's boys. I always wanted a boy like that :) The other 2 I don't recall a lot of difference between them and the females. I usually prefer to have females of the two breeds I own because they are smaller and lighter built not because I have any ideas about how their temperaments differ.
 

milos_mommy

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#8
I've mainly owned males, but lived with a few females, as well.

I see absolutely no marked difference in dogs generally, or in the breeds I've worked closely with both sexes. The only reason I'd prefer one or the other is in a breed with high SSA rates (basically Doberman or GSDs), or a size preference. I think anything stating one sex is different than the other is entirely andecdotal and I've also never heard a person who worked closely with dogs say they saw a difference. I'd be really interested to see if there are any actual studies done on this...
 

lancerandrara

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#9
I'm sure it depends mostly on the breed/genetics and nurture too, but looking at say a few of the herding breeds... I feel that males are more typically goofy, silly, happy-go-lucky hams. And females can be more protective, sharper, in-tune to the handler, with an often stronger sense of duty?

I actually don't know if this gender thing is still mostly "by chance".
 
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#10
I feel like all the replies pretty much confirm my thoughts on this. Breed, age, environment, and genetics are the biggest factors when looking at personality and drive, and gender probably doesn't hold much (if any) weight.

I volunteer with a dog rescue, so I get a lot of adopters coming in telling me they want one sex because the other is "too hyper/energetic/goofy/aloof" or whatever other reason they come up with. They come in with these stereotypes fixed in their mind that they've made up from previous experiences with their dogs, and sometimes, no matter how much a certain dog may fit their needs, they refuse to even look at dogs of the sex they don't want. I know one dog trainer who competes in rally with her labs that told me she never wants another male because they lack focus and drive when compared to females.

The only reason I'd choose a female over a male (when only looking at gender) is because they're smaller and can't pee on their own legs :p. But it really doesn't matter to me.
 
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#11
Between working the shelter, two daycares, and fostering dogs plus my own, I find that I mesh best with males. I couldn't tell you why that is, though.
 

milos_mommy

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#12
I've heard a few people say they'll only own female dogs because they want to be able to give belly rubs without a penis getting in the way. Which seems to me like a ridiculous reason to choose a dog but I guess it makes sense.
 

AmandaNola

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#13
(on my phone, please excuse typos!)


I definitely think the major influence is nurture rather than nature, and also on breed. However, I've noticed a few differences, enough to know which sex I prefer.

I have four dogs, three females and a male. Two altered, two intact (will be spayed at later dates), ages 5 years to around 9 months or so. In my family/dogs I'm around frequently, there's 5 females and 3 males. I'm basing these observations off my own dogs, though I've noticed them in the outside circle too.


My girls are...sharper? More alert/aware? I'm not even sure how to describe it. They're more observant, and two of my girls are much more intense than my male, or the males I've been around. They're more one person dogs, and are more Velcro-y. They want to be near me always, and while they adore physical affection, they want it on their terms. My boy is all about touch, all the time.

My girls are more in tune with people, where as my boy just goes about life in a blissfully happy daze. He's more vocal than the girls, and he'll bark at anything, where the girls are more about actual oddness warranting barking. He barks if I walk outside the fence, they bark if someone pulls up.


My girls can be moody, where my boy is usually even keel.

I really don't see a sex difference with training. I see personality and breed differences. I don't see a difference in who's more likely to be the dominant/boss dog of the group. In my home, Nola is the boss. In my parents', it's a male.

Forgot about adding which I prefer! Bitches all the way. :p I can't see myself ever intentionally seeking out another boy. I've always meshed better with female dogs, they're (generally) smaller, leg lifting grosses me out (I know some girls do it too though), and it's so much more fun shopping for a girl. I will say that boys are easier to name, though!
 

lancerandrara

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#14
I think I'm sticking to female dogs in the future too, for avoiding peen peen reasons. :I And peepee reasons.

My girls are...sharper? More alert/aware? I'm not even sure how to describe it. They're more observant, and two of my girls are much more intense than my male, or the males I've been around. They're more one person dogs, and are more Velcro-y. They want to be near me always, and while they adore physical affection, they want it on their terms. My boy is all about touch, all the time.

My girls are more in tune with people, where as my boy just goes about life in a blissfully happy daze. He's more vocal than the girls, and he'll bark at anything, where the girls are more about actual oddness warranting barking. He barks if I walk outside the fence, they bark if someone pulls up.

My girls can be moody, where my boy is usually even keel.
This is basically what I tried to describe, but described better! LOL

Also, exact description of Lancer and Rara, it's like you know them.
 
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#15
I don't feel I've had enough first hand experience with both sexes of the same breed. I really think you need to have lived with / trained many, many dogs and bitches within 1 breed to truly know.

Having said that, I know in the Bouvier breed, I've talked with several breeders (maybe 6 or 7) and every one of them recommends getting male for a first time Bouvier owner. They all claim the males are more likely to be people pleasers at maturity, and generally easier to live with.

I put some stock in this, based on the number of times I've heard it. However, I also believe things like this can be basically folk lore, that people hear and repeat, regardless of the facts. LOL!

However, based on these recommendations, I did opt to have a male as my first Bouvier. These same breeders also recommended that someone without any dog experience NOT get a Bouvier. Which I also believe is good advice.
 

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#16
The only reason I'd choose a female over a male (when only looking at gender) is because they're smaller and can't pee on their own legs
That's a pretty valid reason. Sometimes I think Gusto tries to pee on his own leg. He lifts and aims. Meg lifts a leg to pee as well, but it doesn't get on her. Boys are just gross sometimes.
 
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#17
True 'dat. My female routinely lifts her leg, and marks more than my male! However, she has never peed on her own leg. LOL!
 

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#18
Other than Sawyer I've only ever owned females. They've all been so different in so many ways I don't think I can pin any traits down to their gender... they've all been different breeds, raised differently....

Sawyer is also my favorite dog I've ever owned. Is it because he's a boy? Eh doubt it lol. I think I probably just click with him/the breed better.

I did however want to trade him in when he dragged his blanket up on the couch and started humping it. And I do wish his peep didn't get in the way when I hold him.
 
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#19
A coworker told me yesterday that she feels like she's molesting my boys every time she picks them up because their balls touch her. It made me think of this.
 

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#20
My sample size is pretty limited, but what I have seen is consistent. I grew up with a male and female mini schnauzer, and I currently have a male and female Welshie.

Both of the males were goofy and very sweet. Devoted to their mommas, but also easily distracted by the environment. It's weird to say they were independent, because they were actually fairly clingy, but when faced with the choice "listen to mom, or do what I want" they always sided with doing what they wanted. I would say generally low impulse control, kind of doing whatever the voices in their head told them at that moment.

Both females were mature from a young age, very in tune with people, very interested in doing the "right thing" and making their people happy. Just generally more biddable and more interested in training and learning. Both were more interested in running and chasing things which meant higher toy and prey drive.

Some of the things I've noticed have been consistent with what people generally say about males vs females. I do think there is absolutely a difference, but what that difference is and how big it is probably varies by breed, so I'm not sure you can make a lot of general statements. But my observations have carried over across quite different breeds which I find interesting.

ETA: Breeders in my breed will often tell new puppy buyers that there is no difference and both genders make good pets. Which is true, they do. But once you're in the breed everybody will tell you the difference and which they prefer. At least in this breed, I don't think it's just chance or nuture, I do think there are solid differences. I see them in dogs I know and I hear them again and again from breeders. The girls also don't pee all over their belly feathers, which is a huge positive.
 

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