Should I get a male or a female dog?
It’s an age-old debate, but is there really a difference between the sexes of canines that would make them a better pet? We have heard various answers (and even excuses) to that question but it’s greatly affected by who you talk to! A friend who had a bad experience with a male dog may sing the praises of how wonderful her female furry friends are, or family member who had a male dog that was more affectionate than their aloof female may make the claim all females are more snobby and therefore have a biased towards a boy. Our opinion is that in the end we think it really depends on what personality you are looking for in a dog- regardless of sex!
It’s ALL about Temperament!
Having a biased for a puppy based on their x and y chromosomes has its pitfalls- and the biggest one is that it could delay you from finding a canine companion that really could be the dog of your dreams! Temperament is not associated with sex- you can have a female that acts dominating and competitive like the typical male we may imagine in our minds- bulldozing siblings, jumping off furniture, and roughing up toys as if she’s training to be the next American Ninja Warrior! Likewise- we have seen male puppies in our kennel who come off more feminine in their demeanor- daintily prancing around the room like a sugar plumb fairy and being the most submissively sweet and nurturing cuddle bug in your arms! And yet their sexual organs alone may deter a potential family from even considering a dog simply because they had a bad experience with certain sexes in the past or they have read completely biased reviews of males vs. female dogs online that don’t take actual temperament testing into consideration!
Why is temperament SO important?
What it really comes down to is if this cute pup you’re looking at has the personality and temperament you’re looking for. Will it’s activity level match your families go go go lifestyle or are you hoping to have a lazy lounger that doesn’t need to be walked 5 times a day? Is it confident, shy, or indifferent to meeting new canines or humans? Are they stirring up drama for some cheap entertainment or are they trying to snuggle with everyone in hopes of keeping the warm fuzzies alive in all of us? Do you think the military, homeland security, or police departments have a sexual bias for their specially trained dogs? No- they look at temperament first and foremost to see who has the potential to achieve the desired outcome!
Here at Blue Diamond we invest into each one of our puppies through the unbiased temperament testing process and is why the testing we do becomes the more valuable information to look at when comparing puppies – not gender! Plus- it will give you more options to choose from if you keep your mind and heart open to any dog who would be the best match for you regardless of sex! You can scour the internet and find articles claiming that males are easier to train, tend to be more affectionate, but also make for better guardians- or that females are less prone to mischief and better with kids because of their motherly instincts. But at the end of the day finding the best match for your family could very well mean throwing out the biases and letting temperament be the benchmark for finding your next furry friend! Whether the puppy you’re looking at is a girl or boy, has very little to do with the generic categorizations of the dog they will become based on a quick google search or the preferences friends and family might have based on their limited experience. Picking a temperament that lends itself to the personality of the dog you hope for who naturally matches your lifestyle, will give you a higher probability of finding the new best friend you’ve been looking for.
…But boys are bigger than girls and I want a smaller puppy!
Another misconception out there is that a male dog will also tend to be larger in size in comparison to their female counterparts but that is not always the case! Their pack pecking order among their own littermates can greatly affect the size as well as their temperament! If a puppy is more dominant in temperament- chances are they will get more of mom’s milk or kibble because they can shove everyone else out of the way! While a more docile puppy may get crowded out from mom’s teat because they don’t have the confidence or desire to fight it out. The difference in size can also be more prominent dependent on the breed or how each individual puppy took mom or dad’s genetics. How many of us humans have children who took on more features and genetic code from the parent of the opposite sex? The same holds true for dogs- and will especially be more noticeable in designer breeds such as the mini Bernedoodles and Mini Goldendoodles where mom and dad’s size will be on opposite ends of the spectrum!
Marking Vs. Bleeding- Weighing the hormonal changes between male and female before a spay or
Let’s be honest- no matter if you are getting a boy or a girl- the puberty stage is going to be a bit of a mess no matter the sex! At eight weeks of age there is very little difference in whether a puppy is a boy or a girl. However, this distinction will become more noticeable as they reach sexual maturity. Depending on the dogs’ breed this can be anywhere between seven and ten months of age. The onset of puberty will lead to physical and possible behavioral changes due to the influx of hormones so if you choose not to spay or neuter your puppy this transformation will result in either a dog who is marking territory around your property or bleeding and attracting any male canine to come on over! Male dogs that go through puberty tend to start marking their territory frequently and become increasingly stubborn in their training in a (hopefully) futile attempt to claim more dominance. They also have the propensity to wander and become little escape artists! But keep in mind that if your male puppy is less dominant and well trained in it’s young formative months- you will exponentially decrease his need to mark his territory in your home- leaving that ‘job’ to the alpha leaders in his pack which should be YOU! Once neutered, that tendency to mark drops dramatically and will drop even more if your dog was born with less alpha tendencies.
Female dogs will reach sexual maturity around the same timeline as males and this is made most obvious when she has her first heat cycle. Before the first heat cycle begins you may notice some of the same behaviors that pubescent male dogs exhibit- however they usually are not as noticeable so the female dog coming into their first heat is more likely to surprise you if you don’t know how to spot the changes in body language or don’t realize mood swings may be coming from raging hormonal changes! Be prepared for up to three weeks of bleeding combined with an increase in restless searching to find a mate that could result in a litter of puppies if you aren’t careful! Most vets will recommend waiting until after their first heat cycle to spay, and very few will perform a surgery on your dog in the middle of her cycle as it poses too much of a risk on the pup’s health!
As a family, we encourage you to write out what your next puppy’s personality to should be! Think about your lifestyle, the time you have to train and exercise your dog, and any other factors that come into play when determining the dog of your dreams. Do this exercise without having a biased towards one sex or the other- stay open! If there is a puppy or two who has caught your eye and want to chat with our local puppy trainer Kimberly who conducts our temperament tests- we are happy to share her wealth of knowledge and expertise with our Blue Diamond families as a resource when going through the tough process of finding the perfect pup! Please contact us if you would like to chat with her directly before deciding on your next family companion. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter here for the latest litter announcements on the breed of dog you are considering!