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Should You Choose a Male or Female Dog?

 by jaime on 19 Jun 2014 |
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When people consider getting a dog, the question always arises: male or female: which is best?  The answer is always that all dogs are wonderful, but the subtle differences between the males and females of any species only make life more interesting. Of course, it is assumed you will spay and neuter your dog, as veterinary experts advise, so the differences will only be very slight differences in personality.

Female Dogs
Female dogs are generally smaller than males and this may be an advantage in some situations. Female dogs mature faster than males, as well, which means you can start your training regime sooner and enjoy a well-behaved companion faster. Female dogs are usually un-aggressive and will enjoy being petted and sitting close by. The female dog is also tend to be more sensitive and may become disturbed by yelling in the house and other loud noises.

Male Dogs
The male dog is generally more active and more aggressive than the female. He may have the need to dominate other dogs and may even try to dominate his master or mistress. Male dogs require early, consistent training to reinforce good behavior, and it is important for the trainer to be confident and assertive to ensure that the dog knows who is boss. The male dog will be a fearless guardian and a devoted companion to whomever takes the time to teach him the civilized ways of society.
Mixing genders in the home
If you already have an animal of one gender and are considering getting a dog of the opposite gender, you should factor in a few points. If the first dog is an older female, she may not be patient with the constant shows of dominance of a new male puppy. She may snap or even bite the new comer to get him to stay within his behavioral boundaries. This can be a particular problem if the older female is ailing, as the new pup may be tiring and aggravating for her. Conversely, if you have an older male dog and wish to get a new puppy, an animal of either gender will probably learn to stay in line after a few growls or nips. If the older male is ailing, a female puppy may be less taxing on him both physically and emotionally.  

Your own biases about males and females
Canine researchers find that there is little difference in qualities of independence or aggressiveness in dogs that have been spayed or neutered. However, humans bring their own gender biases about male and female behavior even in dealing with their pets. They may allow more aggressiveness or energy in the males and expect more gentleness or submissiveness in female dogs. Be aware of these psychological prejudices when training and interacting with your dog.

Individual differences
Although these are general statements about the characteristics of female or male dogs, you can always find an individual animal that doesn’t fit the mold. In fact, even within certain breeds you can find variations from normal behavior. The problem of breeding closely within lines adds yet another dimension of variability. These animals may have intensified characteristics of their breed that may cause personality differences. Whatever the fundamental nature of your dog, you can get the best out of their personality by investing time in training, bonding and hands-on care of the animal.

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