Once you have decided on the breed of dog that is right for you and the organization from which you intend to adopt it, you have to decide whether you want a male or a female dog.
The sex of the dog that will share your life for ten or fifteen years is indeed important, much more than its color or size. Here is some information to help you figure out the differences between a male and a female dog to determine which one is right for you.
The differences between male and female dogs
Generally, the differences between male and female dogs are more a matter of character and behavior than morphology. Sexual dysmorphism is not very pronounced in dogs, and males and females of the same breed are often very similar.
However, males are generally a little taller and stockier, while females are smaller and more slender. These morphological differences tend to disappear in neutered dogs and bitches that are spayed at an early age, as hormones no longer (or only minimally) affect their growth and development.
In terms of character, the distinctions between males and females are also relatively small, and should be qualified by virtue of the consequent role that a dog's education plays in its behavior. Nevertheless, we can observe that male dogs are more aggressive than females and more resistant to authority.
They have a greater tendency to want to establish their authority and to question their master's, especially when they are not neutered. Females are more docile, but also more moody and tend to be more demonstrative in their emotions.
In terms of behavior, the differences are notable in the attitudes related to the reproductive instinct of unspayed dogs. Males are often runaways, especially when they have smelled a female in heat a few miles away.
They will also tend to be dominant and have difficulty with competition from other male dogs, with whom it is often difficult to cohabit. As for the females, they have two periods of heat per year, during which they can possibly - but more rarely - run away.
What most often pushes owners to adopt a female dog is the disturbing urinary marking behavior of male dogs, which abundantly water their environment to indicate that they are here at home or, simply, that they have passed by. This type of behavior, like all those related to the dog's sex hormones, can be effectively eliminated by having the animal neutered or spayed early enough.
Male dogs: advantages and disadvantages
The differences between a male and a female dog are minimal, but it can be said that males are often more consistent, more predictable, more loyal to their owners or, at least, more willing to demonstrate their ability to please them.
Males are also often very gentle, attached to their family, protective of their home and dedicated to their work. On the downside, there is the problem of urine marking, running away and difficulty in living with other male dogs, all of which is underlined by a character that is often less docile, even aggressive in dominant males.
These disadvantages can however be eliminated by castration when they are motivated by the dog's sex hormones - which is not always the case.
Female dog: advantages and disadvantages
Once again, I would like to point out that the differences between male and female dogs are not always very significant and depend on each individual. Generally speaking, females are more submissive, live better with other males or females and are more expressive towards their owners.
However, they tend to be more mischievous, less constant, not hesitating to be a little interesting for their masters to solicit them. They can also meet a male during their heat and come back home with a belly full of little surprise puppies that you won't always know what to do with...
It is difficult to highlight the real differences between male and female dogs, as the character and behavior of a dog can vary from one specimen to another.
The most distinctive behaviors are undoubtedly those related to sex hormones, which often motivate males' aggressiveness, runaway behavior, urinary marking behavior and intolerance to their male companions.
Fortunately, spaying allows you to avoid reproductive behaviors - which are more problematic in males than in females - and to live in harmony with your dog, regardless of its sex.
Loving and educating your pet also means protecting it against the hazards of life. This is why we strongly recommend that you take out health insurance as soon as possible. This will save you astronomical veterinary fees in case of accident or illness.