So you’ve decided you want a puppy, but can’t decide on one thing: gender. Should you get a male or female puppy? What’s the difference? Which is the right one for you? Deciding on a puppy’s gender depends solely on each person’s own unique preferences. Some puppy parents may claim male puppies are superior to female ones and vice versa. Like humans, however, puppies aren’t bound to fixed gender characteristics and neither is superior to the other. Let’s take a look at the general differences you may find between each puppy gender.
Like a human baby, puppies generally do not show any noticeable gender traits, especially if they’re very young. Of course, as puppies grow and mature, they may display certain physical characteristics that pertains to their gender. Males, for instance, are often slightly larger and heavier than females. Some pups may also “look” more masculine or feminine. These traits, of course, vary between each breed and gender. Depending on your own preferences, your puppy’s look may influence your decision on gender.
Bodily functions and behavior
Male and female puppies differ in the way their bodies work—this becomes more obvious once they reach sexual maturity. Females usually mature faster than males, which makes them easier to train. However, if a female or male puppy is not neutered once they become sexually mature, there may be some concerns for their humans. A female goes into “heat” for 2 to 4 weeks twice a year. And they can start this cycle as early as 4 months! During this period, she will secrete bloody discharge to attract potential mates. You may need to keep her locked inside a room or in an area without valuable furniture to avoid male dogs and bloody stains.
An unneutered male puppy may mark his territory while inside the house, even if he’s trained to pee in specific areas. They may also try to roam to find a potential female dog in “heat.” This can be quite the work for pup parents to deal with when their little fur-baby grows up. If you have no plans to breed your pup or enter them in dog shows as an adult, neutering is the best option to prevent any unwanted problems or behaviors.
It’s a common misconception that one puppy gender is more loyal or friendlier than the other. Puppies grow into their personalities and display them as they learn the world around them. In many breeds, a male will exhibit a dominant and aggressive temperament. They may likely bite and play rough with other pups and even with their humans.
Of course, this is not to say all male puppies will show aggressiveness as adults, as some females may display these traits. Generally speaking, many females are more affectionate than males but can be moody. Aggressiveness and other negative temperaments are usually improved by neutering your pup—the recommended age is 6 to 9 months.
Remember that difference between male and female puppies are very minimal and largely depends on their breed and training. Of course, some pup parents may not be comfortable with handling a female pup in heat or a male puppy belonging to a temperamental breed. By knowing the general outlook of each puppy gender, you may see which meets your preferences and be one step closer to choosing your new furry friend!
For more tips on training your new pup, check out our other blog: Four Important Things to Teach Your New Puppy.