Adopt a male or female dog?

Adopt a male or female dog?

You already know that a dog should move in – but a male or a female dog? First dog owners in particular often ponder this question for a long time. We give tips to make your decision easier.

Are males harder to train?

Males are ruffians and question the hierarchy? It’s not that easy. However, there are clear roles in packs that underpin these prejudices. Males are responsible for defending the area. So it’s no wonder that they tend to be a little more suspicious of other dogs. They not only defend the territory, they also mark it. This is how potential intruders know that they are not wanted. Males like to fight with other dogs, especially when they are young. This is not because they are “aggressive”. They must be able to assess their place in the hierarchy and be prepared for possible serious fighting. So they train through playful fighting. In dominant races, upbringing and socialization are especially crucial.

Male or female dog – who is more affectionate?

Males tend to be more affectionate than female dogs. Males can also remain playful into old age – this of course also applies to some female dogs. Female dogs often play more cautiously with human children, while males see the two-legged offspring as good brawlers. But all of these statements are only tendencies. With many dogs, it is not possible to tell from the behavior whether it is a male or a female dog.

Sex dimorphism: appearance of male and female dogs

In many breeds, the males are visibly larger and heavier than the female dogs. Their physique can also be significantly more muscular. In the case of very small breeds like the Chihuahua, this is of little consequence. In large breeds, the difference can be ten kilograms and more. For many breeds and mixed breeds, the boundaries are fluid: a large female dog can tower over a small male of the same breed.

What can you expect when the female dog is in heat?

Depending on the breed, female dogs reach sexual maturity between six and twelve months of age and come into heat for the first time, which lasts for several weeks. They then come into heat once or twice a year. There are several phases.


While the eggs in the female dog’s body ripen, she informs the territory of the approaching fertile days: She diligently marks her surroundings and drives males crazy with her pheromones. During this time the female dog also loses blood. She can lose drops of blood in the apartment. How much blood the female dog loses varies from person to person. Some four-legged friends lick their blood immediately so that you won’t see any of it in your home. For others, it can make sense to have them wear heat protection during this time. The female dog can already be less concentrated. The heat lasts a maximum of ten days.

Oestrus or heat

Ovulation initiates the heat, which can last for up to another ten days. This time can be a challenge for dog owners, because the female dog is usually not interested in treats, training or games – she wants to go to the male! She invitingly presents her bottom to him. On the other hand, she doesn’t like to have other female dogs around her during this time. Many forcefully drive away the unpleasant competition. Some bitches with butterflies in their stomach mark intensely with their legs raised during the heat to make themselves more attractive. Tip: Even the most obedient canine lady is not reliably available during this time. Use a tow line instead of letting it run free. After the heat, the bitch gradually becomes calmer and less interesting for males.


If the female dog is not mated and is not pregnant, she may become pregnant a few weeks after the heat. This is an ancient process that is useful in wolf packs: Pseudo-pregnant bitches produce milk and can help the lead wolf raise their pups. In most female dogs, the pseudo-pregnancy is normal. They show nest building instincts or lick their cuddly toys. You don’t need to intervene. However, some may show behavioral problems: they become restless, aggressive or emaciated. If the female dog defends her toy with bites or suffers from excessive milk penetration, speak to your veterinarian.

Do you want to mark males everywhere?

Raise your leg – many times with every walk. Most male dog owners know this behavior from their animal companion. “Urine collection points” such as corners of houses, hydrants or lanterns are particularly popular. But provided that they are well educated, the dog quickly learns that, for example, cars or walls are taboo. Consistently prevent the marking of neighboring properties. Instead, encourage your dog to pee on trees and lawns.

Keeping two dogs – what goes best together?

Exceptions also confirm the rule here, but: female dog and male usually harmonize better than same-sex couples. Because they see themselves more often as competitors, which can lead to discrepancies. However, many harmonious dog teams prove that it is also possible otherwise. Especially when they grow up together, same-sex animals get along well with each other.

What does neutering bring about the behavior of female or male dogs?

Some dog owners want to know whether they can use neutering to avoid the possible challenges that the respective gender brings with it. This is rarely the case and should be discussed in detail with the veterinarian and a dog trainer. Spaying and neutering is not a panacea, but a serious procedure that can change the dog’s character. Castration only makes sense for health reasons, increased aggressive behavior or an above-average sex drive. Veterinarians can now safely test male hormones with a hormone implant to see what effects the loss of male hormones can have on his character. Some dogs become anxious and restless, so neutering is not advisable. For others, it can actually be beneficial. Castration lowers the basal metabolic rate. Many animals tend to gain weight faster. However, dog owners should never take the decision to castrate their dog lightly.

The decision: male or female dog?

The character differences between bitches and dogs play a far less important role than characteristics related to race or upbringing. In summary – but not for all dogs:

Males – typically male?

  • are considered more affectionate but rowdy
  • are more often dominant towards conspecifics
  • mark (more often than bitches)
  • are stronger than bitches in many breeds

female dog – typically female?

  • tend to be more independent
  • are considered to be particularly good-natured towards children
  • come into heat once or twice a year
  • are smaller and more delicate depending on the breed

Anyone who decides on a puppy can consider how important the mentioned aspects are to them. It is best to get advice from the breeder as to which dog personality from the respective litter, in his opinion, suits you best. In the case of a dog from animal welfare or another adult dog, a lot is already known about whether it has “typical” male or female characteristics. Gender stereotypes play a subordinate role in the decision – you get to know the dog as a complete package. Be open to your new companion – whether female or male!

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