|Male vs. Female
|It is a matter of personal preference. However, there are
some characteristics which are common in bitches and
other characteristics which are common in males. It is
important to evaluate these characteristics and determine
which sex would fit in best with your home situation when
you choose a puppy. Additionally, choosing between male
and female is important if you already have another bitch
or male and are choosing an additional dog. This article
will serve as a guide for genders and will list a few
characteristics of bitches, a few characteristics of males,
and how to choose between male and female when
considering a second or third dog.
The following characteristics often apply to bitches:
• Independent - Bitches tend to want to be in control of the
entire situation. They may come to their owner when they
are seeking affection but will often move away when they
have had enough.
• Stubborn - In many packs, a bitch is typically the Alpha
dog. Females crave more control of situations and are quick
to respond to perceived challenges with fierceness.
• Territorial - Females mark in the same way males do. A
spayed female may continue to mark for her entire lifetime
regardless of when she is spayed while most males will cease
marking behaviors shortly after they are neutered and the
testosterone levels subside.
• Reserved - Bitches are generally less affectionate and
friendly than males. This characteristic is noticeable in
puppies and becomes more pronounced with age.
• Changes in Mood or Behavior - It is also important to
note that if you do not spay your bitch, she will come into
heat at approximately one year of age and approximately
every six months thereafter. During this time, there will be
some bleeding as well as a change in mood or behavior.
Keep this in mind when you adopt a puppy and make the
decision of whether or not to spay her.
The following characteristics often apply to male dogs:
• Affectionate - Males are typically more affectionate than
bitches. They tend to crave attention from their owners
more than bitches and as a result, display more affectionate
• Exuberant - A male is also more likely to be fun-loving
and outgoing throughout his lifetime than a bitch. While a
bitch tends to become more reserved as she ages, a male dog
maintains a more puppy-like exuberance throughout his
• Food-Motivated - Males are often very motivated by food.
This food motivation can make training extremely easy as
treats can be used to lure and reward to display desired
• Attentive - While bitches tend to be more independent,
males tend to be more focused on their human companions.
They want to always be close to the human and are very
eager to please.
• Aggressive Behaviors - It is also important to note that
intact males may display aggressive behaviors toward
other males or exhibit marking behaviors. Additionally,
intact males should be kept away from females in heat
unless a breeding is planned.
Owners who are adding an additional dog to their home
should carefully consider the ramifications of adding a dog
of either sex. This is important because the makeup of the
existing pack may be more accepting to either a male or a
female. The following are general tips for selecting the
gender of a second dog:
• If you already have a male or a female, a dog of the
opposite sex is generally the best choice. Dogs of the same
sex are more likely to fight than dogs of the opposite sex.
• If you already have a male, he is likely to be more
accepting of a female and you are likely to have fewer
dominance issues if you add a female to the pack. However,
if you opt to add another male to the pack, they can
peacefully co-exist and may even become friends. It is
important to closely monitor their interactions early on to
ensure aggressive behaviors do not become common.
• If you already have a female, she is likely to be more
accepting of a male. Most males tend to be submissive. If he
does not challenge your resident female, she is not likely to
have a reason to fight with him. Adding a female to the
pack, however, may result in complications. The worst
combination is two bitches because they are more likely to
fight than a male and a female or two males. However,
many dog owners have two or more bitches that live
together without problems. As long as there is an
established Alpha dog and the other bitches know their
place in the pack, there will not be dominance struggles
often, although they may still occur.
Selecting a male or female is largely a matter of personal
preference. The above characteristics are generalizations,
and it is certainly possible to purchase or adopt a female
puppy who displays male characteristics or a male puppy
who displays the typical female characteristics.
Additionally, bitches that are spayed and neutered often do
not have the gender-specific problems associated with their
sex such as coming into heat or marking.