Dog Adoption Advice

Adopting a New dog: Should I choose a male or female dog?

You want to adopt a dog but haven’t decided yet if you want a male or female dog. Many people who adopt a pet for the first time have this doubt. We give you tips to make it easier for you to make the right decision.

Are males harder to educate?

Are the males tough and rebellious? It’s not that simple. There’s a clear distinction as to the role of each dog in the pack. The males are to defend the territory. It’s no wonder they are more suspicious of other dogs. Not only do they defend the territory, they also mark it. So the supposed intruders know they’re not wanted there.

Male dogs like to fight with other dogs, especially during puberty. But aggressivity is not the real reason. They need to determine their rank and be prepared for serious fights. They train with these fights that are nothing more than a game. Education and socialization are decisive for the most dominant dog breeds.

Male or female dog: who is more affectionate?

Males are closer than females. In addition, males are playful even when they are older, although this also happens to some females. Bitches are more careful when playing with children, while males see them as ideal companions for frolicking and fighting. But all these statements are just trends. With many dogs, it is impossible to guess whether they are male or female based on their behavior.

Sexual dimorphism

In many breeds of dogs, males are visibly larger and heavier than females. The complexion can also be considerably more muscular. Although in small breeds, such as Chihuahua, this is hardly seen, in large breeds there may be a difference of over 10 kilos. Depending on the breeds and crosses, it is also possible for a large female to outnumber a small male of the same breed.

The zeal of a female dog

Depending on the breed, the bitches reach sexual maturity between six and twelve months. This is when they go into heat for the first time, which can last for several weeks. From there, they go into heat once or twice a year. Here are several phases:


As the eggs mature in the dog’s body, it informs the environment that their fertile days are approaching; it marks the environment and brings the male’s head with its pheromones. During this period, the female also stains. You may find drops of blood around the house. The amount of blood released depends on each can. Some quadrupeds clean up the blood immediately, so you may not even notice. Others may need protection during this stage. The dog may be out of focus. At most, the proestrus lasts about 10 days.


Ovulation starts the heat phase, which can last up to ten more days. This stage can be challenging for those who have bitches because they are not interested in snacks, games, or training. ¡ They only want one male! He invites them by showing them his butt. During this phase, they don’t like to surround themselves with other females. Many drive away the competition with insistence. Some bitches in love mark the environment with intensity to attract even more.

Tip: During this period, it is better to use the strap instead of letting it walk alone because even the most obedient female can ignore it at this stage. Once the heat phase is over, the female calms down and stops being interesting for males.


If the dog does not mate and therefore is not pregnant, a few weeks after the heat, it can have a psychological pregnancy. This is a natural process in the wolf pack: females with a false pregnancy produce milk and can help the leader raise her puppies. In most bitches, the false gestation is hardly noticeable. They show nest-building instincts or lick their stuffed toys. However, some females may have behavioral problems: they become nervous, aggressive, or lose weight. If the bitch defends her toy with bites or lowers a lot of milk, talk to your veterinarian.

Do the males mark everything?

The dog urinates several times on all walks. Most of those who have a male know this behavior. The most popular marking areas are house corners, fire hydrants, or street lamps. But with a good education, the dog quickly learns that cars or walls, for example, are forbidden. Prevent your dog from marking neighbors’ properties. Instead, encourage your dog to urinate on trees and green areas.

To Have two dogs: who gets along better?

There are exceptions here, but a male and a female get along better than same-sex couples. These are often seen as competition, which can lead to disagreements. However, many teams of harmonious dogs show that it is also possible in other ways. Animals of the same sex, above all, get along well when they are raised together.

What changes does castration cause in males and females?

Many of those who have dogs want to know if castration can avoid the challenges that the respective sex brings with it. This is rare and should be discussed with the veterinarian and a dog trainer. Castration is not a remedy for everything, but a serious procedure that can change the character of dogs. A castration only makes sense for health reasons, for an increase in aggressiveness, or an unusual sexual impulse. Currently, veterinarians can check with a hormonal implant the effects that the elimination of male hormones can have on the character of a male.

Male or Female Dog

Some dogs become anxious and restless, so castration is not advisable. For others, it may be favorable. Castration causes the metabolic index to decrease, so many animals gain weight. However, the decision to castrate a dog should never be taken lightly.

The decision: a male or female dog

Differences in character between a female and a male play a much less important role than characteristics related to race or education. In short, but bearing in mind that this does not apply to all dogs:


  • They are considered more affectionate, but they are more quarrelsome.
  • Are often dominant with their peers.
  • Mark the territory (more often than females).
  • In many breeds, males are more stocky than females.


  • Tend to be more independent.
  • They are very noble with children.
  • Heat up once to twice a year.
  • Depending on the breed, are smaller and more delicate.

If you decide on a puppy, you can think about the importance you attach to these aspects. It is best to let the breeder advise you on which litter is most suitable for you. If you adopt a dog from an animal protector or another adult dog, it is already possible to know a lot about whether the hairy one has typical male or female characteristics. Gender stereotypes play a secondary role in decision-making. Keep an open mind about your new canine partner, whether male or female!

Ema Clark

Dog Trainer and Writer Since 2016. Over 17 years of experience working with all breeds and ages of dogs, using a variety of training techniques.
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