Suppose you’re thinking of adopting a new pet to your household. In that case, there are likely to be lots of questions about the type of dog you’d like to choose, what to consider before bringing the new dog into the family, and what characteristics might indicate their temperament and character. Since you’re bringing an additional member to your family, you’ll want to make sure they’re a perfect fit.
Another important question that pops to mind for many prospective pet owners is whether you opt for a male or female pet? In this regard, we’ve got some useful tips to consider. We spoke with a vet and an experienced dog trainer to learn more about the distinctions between female and male dogs and help you decide which could be the most suitable for you.
Does Your Dog’s Sex Matter?
Dr. Gary Richter, a holistic vet, the founder of Montclair Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Veterinary Care, and author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide, states that a dog’s sexuality is not a major factor in the quality of its life as an animal. “That shouldn’t be a major factor in decision-making,” Dr. Richter notes. “Meet dogs and determine how their personality matches your own.”
He says that a great relationship between the dog and its owner can depend on other elements. “You must choose an animal whose temperament and behavior align with your lifestyle.”
This viewpoint is that of Nicole Ellis, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and an APDT member, American Kennel Club CGC assessor, and coauthor of Working Like a Dog. She believes that the biggest impact on personality and compatibility with human beings “is not male or female but how a dog is trained and what it’s exposed to.”
The gender that the pet you choose to adopt could not be a reliable indication of how well they will fit in with your family. But, both experts agree with certain distinctions that you need to be aware of prior to deciding to take on.
Let’s begin with the obvious: male dog breeds and female breeds possess differing reproductive and genital systems. There are, however, more subtle differences that you could take into consideration. Nicole Ellis says that male dogs are generally larger (both in weight and height) than female dogs. You may be thinking about that when the size of your dog is important to you.
As per pet MD, female dogs tend to mature faster than males. This could suggest that a female pet is older than male dogs of the same age and is, therefore, easier to train.
Nicole Ellis notes there are few differences between genders of dogs when they are young. But “As they get older, and hormones come into play,” she says, “you begin to see differences. However, the majority of these changes aren’t as important. .”
A lot of the differences in biology between female and male canines are attributed to the hormones that regulate reproduction. But, Dr. Richter says that while the behavior of dogs can be affected by hormones, when you take them out of the equation by neutering or spaying the dog, you’ll notice less of it over time.
The male dogs get neutered, meaning they undergo an orchiectomy, a medical procedure used to eliminate the tests. Female dogs are spayed, which means they undergo an ovariohysterectomy-a medical procedure to remove the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. Based on the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), spaying or neutering a dog reduces its reproduction capability, impacts the development of sex-related traits as well as behavior, and ultimately reduces overpopulation.
This method stops dogs from reproducing and reduces the behavior related to mating, as stated by the AVMA.
Pet MD informs us that a healthy female dog (an animal that hasn’t been spayed) will go through estrus every two years. It’s also known as “the heat cycle.” The fact that a dog is in heat indicates that the dog will be able to have a litter, and her body produces the hormones that attract male dogs. The spayed dog won’t go through an intense heat cycle and won’t be interested in reproducing.
Nicole Ellis cautions that if you don’t want your female dog to have a baby, it is important to ensure that she is away from dogs when she’s pregnant.
She says male dogs that haven’t been neutered are most likely to mark their territories. “If you aren’t neutering your male dog,” she states, “be prepared that it has an innate urge to pee and mark everything.”
The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty towards Animals (ASPCA) observes that healthy male dogs could climb on other dogs, people, or other inanimate objects and even run away in search of a new mate and put themselves in danger during the process. Neutered dogs are less likely to claim their boundaries and will not mount, hump, or wander.
Alongside decreasing overpopulation (which, according to the ASPCA claims, causes numerous abandoned pets) and preventing undesirable behavior, spaying or neutering could benefit your pet’s health.
According to pet MD, Spaying female dogs can reduce the risk of illnesses like mammary carcinoma or uterine infections. Neutering male dogs will protect against benign prostate hyperplasia as well as testicular cancer. Certain diseases are more prevalent for dogs who have had neutered or spayed; however, pet MD affirms that the procedure’s benefits far outweigh the risks, and most veterinarians would recommend it.
Dr. Richter says that the time of the procedure may impact your dog’s health, too. In the past that most vets have suggested spaying or neutering before puberty (before the puppy’s age) to stop the development of undesirable behavior. However, recent evidence suggests that it’s better to delay until the dog has reached physical maturity.
The effects of waiting until the age of maturity appear to differ from breed to breed. However, in general, the opinion of Dr. Richter says that dogs who are neutered or spayed later in their development are less likely to suffer from orthopedic problems and have a lower risk of contracting certain kinds of cancer.
Based on Nicole Ellis, there aren’t many distinctions in (non-mating-related) behavior that aren’t caused by the dog’s sex. A recent study of aggression in dogs discovered it was “male dogs were six times as likely to bite compared to female dogs.” However, she also stressed that “it’s not as simple as this and more is involved-including the dog’s upbringing and training.”
Dr. Richter states that a lot of the behavior differences reported between female and male dogs can be attributed to anthropomorphism. “A lot of it is human projection,” Richter claims.
He does, however, say that this behavior reported does appear to be correct. “Dogs tend to get along better with dogs of the opposite sex,” the researcher states when they live together in a household. “It’s like yin and yang.” Therefore, if you’re planning to add a pet to your home, it’s a good idea to think about finding that balance to have peace in your home.
How Should You Choose Your Dog?
In the end, experts are both of the opinions that the dog’s sexuality isn’t a huge factor to consider when choosing the right pet. Instead, you should concentrate on getting to know the dog, finding out the most it is possible to learn about their previous experiences, and thinking about how they’ll integrate into your life. The most crucial thing to do is to ensure that your pet’s personality, level of activity, and level of intelligence are a great fit for your lifestyle and any pets in your home.