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Difference Between Male and Female Dogs

Male and female dogs, like human, have many physiological and behavioral differences. One of the most noticeable differences is in reproductive anatomy. Male dogs have external genitalia, including a penis and testicles, while females have a vulva. Female dogs can undergo reproductive cycles, known as estrous cycles or heat, during this time they may show specific behaviors and attract male dogs for mating.

Behavioral differences between male and female dogs are also significant. Males are often identified as more territorial and may engage in marking behavior by urinating to mark their presence. They can be prone to displaying dominance, when interacting with other dogs. In contrast, female dogs may show maternal instincts, even if they haven’t given birth, and can be more nurturing toward puppies.

These behavioral differences can influence training and social dynamics. Neutering or in other words castration is a common practice for male dogs to reduce aggression and curb unwanted behaviours, while spaying in other words ovariohysterectomy in females not only prevents undesirable pregnancies but can also ease certain health risks.

However, individual differences exist, and factors such as breed, environment, and training play can shape a dog’s behaviour. Understanding these gender differences can help owners in providing prper care, training, and needs.

What is a Male Dog?

Definition:

A male dog is a dog with XY chromosomes and has the reproductive organs of a male of the species.

Anatomy:

Male dogs like other mammals have a penis and they have a pair of testes that are housed in a scrotum. Male dogs tend to grow larger and bigger than female dogs.

Hormones:

The male dogs, like other mammal species, have elevated concentrations of androgen hormones. These include the hormone testosterone.

Temperament:

The temperament of male dogs can lean towards high activity and aggression. Aggression is also linked to the type of dog (breed).  Neutering the dog can help reduce the tendency to roam and may decrease aggressive behavior. Training is important in helping young dogs to learn to behave and socialize properly.

Sterilization procedure:

The sterilization of male dogs is accomplished b y a procedure called neutering. The vet neuters a dog by removing the testicles. The operation entails a small incision into the scrotum and removal of the testes. This way the dog can no longer produce viable sperm, and is, thus, rendered infertile.

What is a Female Dog?

Definition:

A female dog is a dog with the sex chromosomes, XX, and with the reproductive organs and hormones of the female of the species.

Anatomy:

Female dogs tend to be smaller and shorter than male dogs within a breed. The females also have a uterus, ovaries, oviducts, cervix, vagina, and vulva. These are the reproductive organs of female dogs and other female mammalian species.

Hormones:

The hormones that are at higher levels in female dogs include estrogen and progesterone. The levels of these vary according to the reproductive cycle of the individual dog.

Temperament:

A female dog is believed to be calmer and less aggressive than a male dog. However, a lack of training and abuse may alter the dog’s temperament.  

Sterilization procedure:

Spaying is the way in which female dogs are sterilized. The procedure is also known as an ovariectomy, and is where both the ovaries and the uterus are surgically removed to render the dog sterile.

Difference between Male and Female Dog?

Definition

A male dog is a dog with male reproductive organs and XY chromosomes. A female dog is a dog that has female reproductive organs and XX chromosomes.

Reproductive anatomy

A male dog has testes in a scrotum and a penis. A female dog has oviducts, ovaries, uterus, cervix, vulva, and vagina; females also have mammary glands to breast feed puppies.

Hormones

High levels of androgens including testosterone are found in male dogs. Female dogs, have high levels of estrogen and progesterone.

Temperament

Male dogs may be more aggressive and active. Female dogs are calmer and not as active.

Sterilization

Neutering is the sterilization method for male dogs; this is where the testes are removed. Spaying is the sterilization method for female dogs; this is where the ovaries and uterus are removed surgically.

Table comparing Male and Female Dog

Summary of Male Vs. Female Dog

  • Male dogs are usually bigger and taller than female dogs.
  • Female dogs may be calmer and less aggressive than male dogs.
  • Male dogs are sterilized by neutering while female dogs are sterilized by spaying.
  • The temperament of a dog may also depend on how it has been treated in the past and if it has been trained.

FAQ

Is it better to get a male or female dog?

It depends what your situation is. A female dog is calmer and less active than a male dog. If you want a very active dog then a male dog would be a better choice.

Is there a personality difference between male and female dogs?

Male dogs tend to be bigger and taller than female dogs and show higher levels of aggression.

Which are more affectionate male, or female dogs?

Some people believe that male dogs are more affectionate and want to please their owners more than female dogs. There is a lot of variation though.

Are male or female dogs better guard dogs?

Guard dogs for police forces are male dogs as they are larger in size. The males are also more aggressive than female dogs. However, a well-trained female dog can be an excellent guard dog as well.

Are girl dogs more protective?

Not necessarily. In fact, girl dogs and boy dogs can be both be equally protective. There is a lot of variation among dogs in their behavior and temperament.

How do I choose a puppy from a litter?

It is important to watch the puppies for a while and assess their behavior, and appearance. Any dog that is limping is likely injured. Also check for signs of illness like unusual drainage from the eyes or nose and a bulging belly.

Are girl dogs more loyal?

There is no evidence that female dogs are any more loyal than male dogs. 

Are female dogs more aggressive in heat?

Female dogs are often more aggressive when they are in heat. They may also urinate more often and want to roam.

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2 Comments

  1. Awesome post. Will read on…

  2. I’m often asked about the differences in behavior between male and female canines. This article does an excellent job outlining the differences while acknowledging that all dogs (regardless of gender) are individuals and deserve good direction.

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References :


[0]Duffy, Deborah L., Yuying Hsu, and James A. Serpell. "Breed differences in canine aggression." Applied Animal Behaviour Science 114.3-4 (2008): 441-460.

[1]PetMD. “Spaying and Neutering Dogs 101: Everything You Need to Know”. PetMD, 2019, https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/spay-and-neutering-dogs-101-everything-you-need-know

[2]Vanacore, Constance V. “dog”, Encyclopedia Britannica, 2023, https://www.britannica.com/animal/dog

[3]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MAEJJED4uig-female-dog-groomer-brushing-a-bichon-frise-dog/

[4]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MADsWuNiSBE-male-veterinarian-examining-dog-veterinary-clinic/

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