Is there a difference between male and female dogs when it comes to their health and the way they behave? Is one gender more prone to aggressive behavior, while the other is more affectionate?
Let’s take a look at how males and females differ in terms of personality. You’ll also learn certain health issues each gender may be more susceptible to.
Behavioral Differences Between Male And Female Dogs: Are There Any?
Are male German Shepherds different than females of the same dog breed? Does a female Shorthaired Pointer have a more easy-going temperament than a male? Humans have a lot of preconceived notions when it comes to male and female dogs. Proving whether or not those notions are correct isn’t easy.
Researchers simply haven’t conducted an abundance of studies on whether or not there’s a major behavioral difference between male and female dogs. A dog’s breed might have something to do with personality differences. A Rottweiler male, for example, may tend to be more aggressive than a female. When it comes to more docile breeds, however, there aren’t that many differences.1
It does appear, however, that a male dog will tend to get along better with a female than another male and vice versa. If you are thinking of adding a second dog to your family, your current pup might bond faster with a member of the opposite sex.2
Are Female Dogs Smarter Than Male Dogs?
While there’s not a lot of research into canine behavioral differences in terms of gender, one study did take a look at cognitive abilities. The researchers running the study attached tennis balls to strings on a wooden board to analyze how dogs reacted to changes on the board.3
Scientists presented 25 male dogs and 25 female dogs with certain scenarios to see how they’d respond. For example, they would hide one ball behind the board and then put it back. They’d replace a small ball with a larger ball and vice versa. They then measured the dogs’ ability to comprehend what had happened by how long they stared at the board.4
According to the results of the study, the males didn’t notice any differences when it came to the appearance of the balls. The females, on the other hand, would stare at the board an average of 30 seconds. This suggests that female dogs may have better spatial cognition skills than males.5
That doesn’t mean they’re smarter. It just means they do a better job of recognizing changes in objects. More research will be needed in order to determine if one gender is superior in intellect to the other.
Have A New Puppy? Are There Training Differences Between Male And Female Dogs?
There are some people who believe it’s easier to train a male puppy than a female puppy. There are others who think the exact opposite. But there really is no gender that is easier to train than the other. A dog’s behavior typically depends on the training it receives once it’s ready to be separated from the litter – gender has little to do with it.6
There may, however, be a difference in the amount of time it takes a puppy to learn the training it receives. Females are usually smaller than males, but they mature faster. That may help them learn faster as well. For this reason, you might have an easier time training a female than a male.7
The Importance Of Spaying And Neutering Your Beloved Pet: Health Reasons And Population
There are many unwanted behaviors that occur in both female and male dogs that are intact, meaning they haven’t been spayed or neutered.
For example, male dogs will be less likely to run away from home after being neutered.8 A male will do whatever he can to find a mate. If that means jumping or digging under your fence, so be it. This can lead to fights with other males and, unfortunately, an increased chance of getting hit by a vehicle. Neutering your dog can significantly minimize these risks.
Both males and females tend to urinate more when they’re intact. Females tend to do so in order to attract a mate. Males do it for the same reason. Females will also go into heat and yowl incessantly.9
There are also health benefits to spaying and neutering. Spaying a female lessens the chances she will suffer a uterine infection. Neutering can protect males from developing several diseases that affect the testes.10
But perhaps the most important result of spaying or neutering your pup is that it is critical to keeping the dog population in check. Far too many dogs lose their lives each year simply because there are too many of them to be adopted.
Is Your Male Or Female Dog Exhibiting Behavioral Issues? Know When To Get Help From An Expert
No matter what gender a dog may be, they can sometimes exhibit aggressive behavior or other issues. Your pet may have a great personality 95 percent of the time but have serious problems the other 5 percent. Even though your dog may have come from a reputable breeder or rescue organization, there are times where an expert may be needed.
How can you tell when you need that expert? Well, if your pet growls excessively, or guards their toys (or a food bowl, water dish, or even a piece of your furniture) in a threatening manner, you may need to call a dog behaviorist.11
A trainer could help if your dog pulls on the leash, is easily distracted during training, or jumps up on you or visitors to your home.12
Contact your veterinarian and see what recommendations they may have. Your vet can tell you if a trainer or behaviorist would be better equipped to address the issue your pet is having. No matter what gender your pets may be, you’ll want to get them the help they need, so they can be loving members of your family for years to come.