Does a male or a female make a better pet for you and your family?
It’s not uncommon for people to believe that a female dog will make a better pet. We get a lot of calls for people wanting that “special little girl”. For whatever reason they don’t think that females will exhibit “alpha” behaviors like humping and/or marking. A lot of people think that females are more passive and friendly and that they don’t take part in fighting over dominance, which could NOT be farther from the truth. If you check out the structure of dog packs, the females determine the pecking order and rule the roost. The result of that behavior is that the females become more stubborn, independent, and territorial than the males. These females are much more intent on exercising their control by participating in that “alpha” behavior like humping. Most fighting will usually break out between two females.
Males tend to be more affectionate, exuberant, attentive, and even more demanding of attention. The males are very attached to their owners, tending to be more dedicated, reliable and less temperamental. They are more sociable, more accepting of other pets, playful for years, and take quicker to children. Most boys are easily motivated by treats/food, words of praise and are so eager to please that training actually becomes easier. Their playful nature, however, can make males more easily distracted. The boys are more likely to act silly and more puppy-like, always wanting to play games, no matter what their age. The boys are fun-loving until the day they die, whereas girls tend to be more standoffish and dignified the older they get.
Neutered males rarely exhibit secondary sexual behavior such as marking and lifting their legs or humping. Once the testosterone levels recede after neutering, most of these behaviors will disappear if they ever existed. Boys who were neutered early (by five months of age) usually don’t ever raise their leg to urinate.
While the girls will come to you for attention, once she’s had enough, she will move away. The boys, however, are always waiting and willing to get your attention and be near at hand. Females are usually less distracted during their training only because they want to get it over with and return to their comfy spot on the couch! She is less likely to wage a dominance battle with you, but she’s smart and resourceful in eventually getting her own way. And she’s much more likely to exhibit mood swings, one day being that sweet adorable and affectionate little girl and the next day aloof, withdrawn or even grumpy.
The female also goes through periods of being in heat unless she is spayed. Those seasonal heats can last a month long. That’s a long hassle not just for her but for you and every male dog throughout your neighborhood. And seasonal heats happen on the average every six to eight months. If you’re not planning on breeding a female, do her and yourself a favor and have her spayed since during that time she can leave a bloody discharge on your carpets, your couches, or anywhere else she goes. Your sweet little girl will also be particularly grumpy, moody, and emotional during that time. A walk around the block during her seasonal heat can become hazardous if male dogs are in the vicinity. She will leave a scent for wandering intact males to follow right to your backyard where they will hang out and wait for days!
Research has shown that a female not bred during her heat cycle stays in a flux of estrogen level which might be the reason why females are more moody than the males. Did you know that males generally cost one-half the price to be neutered as the female does to be spayed?
So before making your decision on that age old dilemma of male versus female, hopefully this gives you some helpful information to think about. Talk to your breeder about what characteristics you are looking for in your pet for your family. After all, your breeder knows the puppies better than anyone and can help you make a decision on which puppy exhibits the personality traits that are right for you and your family.