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September 12, 2011 at 6:08 AMComments: 6 Faves: 0

Which Gender is Better in Dogs - Male or Female?

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Paws & Awws Blog Series

The ongoing battle of male versus female continues even in the pet world. There are no hard straight answers for this ongoing question of which gender is "better." So, what do you do when it comes time to bring a dog home? What is the difference?

While there are no hard and fast behavioral traits that apply to ALL male dogs or ALL female dogs, in my years as a dog trainer, here are some gender observations I've picked up:

Female Dogs

  • More Independent. Females tend to be more aloof. This can lead some people to describe them as less friendly and affectionate, and yet they can be every bit as loving as a male dog! It's just that they are more willful and independent. They tend to seek you out when they want to be affectionate and they set the terms for how long the session lasts. They are also very clever in manipulating us to their favor. They like to call the shots. Training wise - this can make females a bit more challenging.
  • More Dominant. Females actually tend to be the more dominate dog in the house!
  • More Mature. Female dogs with their independent, willful nature seem more dignified and mature than their goofy male counterparts. Females are protective and free-spirited.

Male Dogs

  • More Dependent. While females tend to be happy go off on their own, male dogs tend to be much needier. This can lead people to describe them as overbearing with their need to be around you all the time, but it's just that they want to please us so much! Males seek out affection and love to hang with their people, they are happy to curl up with you whenever possible. Training wise - this makes males a little easier to work with.
  • Less Dominant. Of course, this trait is influenced by whether or not they are neutered, but neutered male dogs tend to be more submissive than female dogs in the home.
  • Less Mature. Males dogs with their needy submissive behavior tend to come off as less mature than females. Males can be more goofy and silly, and some people have observed they take longer to outgrow their puppy-like behavior.

Introducing Another Dog To Your "Pack"

If you already have dog in your family and are looking to add another, it is important to consider keeping a happy balance in the existing pack. Here are some tips to consider:

The general rule is the opposite sex is usually the better choice. I do understand that there are many people that have two females and two males that are not spayed or neutered and live in harmony, however these recommendations are more for the general public and not a breeder.

  • Female + New Female tend to have more disagreements as each wants to "rule the roost," especially if neither are spayed, which is known to be the worst case scenario.
  • Male + New Male tend to co-exist with each other just fine and sometimes are happy to be buddies though they must both be neutered prior to meeting each other to have a great outcome of living together.
  • Male + New Female. If you have a male dog and get a female dog, she will generally take the dominate role between the two. However, your male dog is usually happy to give that role to her with no fuss. Don't try to ensure your male as "Top Dog." Let them figure it out. Males tend to be more submissive and are therefore happy to give up the "reign" to a female.
  • Female + New Male. Females are usually accepting of a male dog because males tend to be more submissive and obedient. They allow the Female to hold her "reign."

A Final Word About Dogs and Gender Preference

The above suggestions and descriptions of personality traits are meant as a reference guide only.

It is very feasible that a female dog can have the personality and traits of a male and vice-versa. The best dog for you truly comes down to the dog itself - not it's gender. When determining which gender will be best for you and your family, consider your lifestyle first and any other dogs that you currently have in your family pack. The breed and personality in the litter are more accurate indicators of a dogs personality.

Whether a pup is male or female, pups that are huddled in the back corner of a crate or pen with their siblings should never be your first pick, nor should the bully of the litter.

The main thing is no matter what sex you get, you want to make sure you spay and neuter before they turn 6 months old.

If you don't spay your female, not only will she come into heat every 6 months, she will also have mood swings - one minute happy to see you, the next moment a little grumpy and wants nothing to do with you. Unaltered males can become very aggressive when they are seeking out a mate - they have one mission only, to gain a female partner and to dominate the sexual situation against other males, so unless you are a professional breeder, it is important to neuter your male.

This helps reduce unwanted behaviors in both genders such as; marking their territory, humping, aggressive behavior, and other issues.

Photo Credit:



Your Pure Bred Puppy - Male / Female Dogs

Toy Breeds - Gender

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  • Is the female always the more dominate gender in all breeds? Or are there exceptions?

  • Thanks for posting this Victoria! Very informative. Now I understand the way my parents animals interact. They have a female cat and a male dog. She is definitely very dominate. They had her for a couple of years before they got their dog. She was really made when he walked into the house one day! But, it ended up working well that they were the opposite sex. She would try and be dominate and he would instantly submit to her. There wasn't much fighting because of their different traits due to being female and male. He did learn not to get too close to her and give her space. He just wanted to play and be friends, but she didn't really want that. He learned fast after getting scratched a couple times.

  • Dayton, it is in all breeds, LOL! :)

    Bri, glad you found this informative, it is exactly how my two dogs are (male and female), Romeo came first and is extremely submissive, when we adopted Izzy she immediately (very proudly) announced that she was Queen to Romeo....Romeo was happy to let her have that role....they are very happy kids together! When I researched this, I found it very informative too!

  • I have a male 6 yr old domestic cat. Is it okay to rescue a 12 yr old female dog ?

    I heard that male and female pets get along better than same sex pets.

    Fyi.... both are fixed.


  • Hi Cissie~ We commend you for wanting to rescue. I would base it on a few things, does both animals like the opposite species? Do their energy levels mesh well? Do you have means to separate them at first until they can slowly get use to each other?

    Yes, male and female pets are the best match.

    Good luck in your rescue!


  • I had two female dogs both spayed . Got along great . Also had cats . I saw that the younger the cat was when you got the dog the better. I think younger cats are more accepting. We recently adopted a rescue puppy (6 months old) our 10 year old cat that has been around dogs all her life does not care for her as of yet stays upstairs will come down at night when she is crated. So I think it depends on the cats age as to whether it will work .

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