The battle of the sexes is not limited to humans. Many people have strong opinions on whether male or female dogs are better companions. But are these differences supported by facts, or are they just a matter of preference?
When deciding to get a new dog, the first consideration for most pet parents is which breed will be best for them. If it is a mixed breed dog, the next question is often what size will work best. After that is usually the question of a dog’s sex. Should they get a male dog or a female dog? What difference does it make? Some people have very definite opinions on this topic.
One popular perception is that there are certain characteristics you can associate with male or female pets. Is that really the case?? Well, to be honest, that is a tough question to answer.
Many people have a preference based on their past experience with one sex or the other, and strongly believe associate desired traits with one sex.
Here are some rough generalizations between male and female dogs.
Pros for Female Dogs:
- Some believe that female dogs are more passive. It has been said that female dogs are more affectionate and make better companions, but to be honest, the jury is still out on that one. We believe that all dogs that are treated kindly and compassionately will give you unconditional love in return.
- In general, it is believed that female dogs have fewer aggression issues. They also tend to have less spraying and marking behaviors.
- Female dogs may mature slightly faster and be easier to train than male dogs of the same age. However, when dogs are adults, their ability to be trained is probably similar.
Cons for Female Dogs:
- It is more expensive to spay a female than to neuter a male.
Pros for Male Dogs:
Some believe that male dogs are more passive and affectionate. However, this is a great example of differences in perception; another commonly held belief is that male dogs are more protective and make better watchdogs.
Some believe male dogs are easier to train.
Cons for Male Dogs:
- Male dogs may have more behavioral problems, especially during their younger years.
- Unneutered males are more apt to stray or wander and get into fights.
These comments are very broad generalizations; every dog is different and both male and female dogs can be great pets. Scientifically speaking, these viewpoints are more based on opinion than fact. No large research study has proven any generalizations on the pros and cons of male versus female dogs.
One thing is backed up by facts, however: if you already own a dog, an important consideration is the sex of the dog you have at home. Most people think it is best to choose a young dog of the opposite sex to add to your household. This will decrease the chance of interdog aggression and make for a smoother introduction to your new family member.