Should I Get A Male or Female Puppy

Female Dog vs. Male Dog: Which One Should You Adopt?

Getting a new dog is a big decision that will change your life for the better. Once you’ve decided that an adorable puppy can join your household and you choose a breeder, you will have a litter in front of you to choose from.

Many potential owners will pick the puppy that approaches them first with love. That choice is mainly based on the myth that “the puppy picks its person.” But, while you can absolutely use that method to choose your next animal companion, you can also pick based on gender.

Choosing whether to get a male or female puppy can be difficult. There are some subtle differences that can impact how your dog will live and how you will interact with it. That’s why it’s crucial to have all the information necessary on the differences between male and female dogs.

To help with this decision, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide of what to look for when getting a male or female dog.

Male and Female Dogs: Physical Differences

Physical Traits and Appearance



Experienced dog owners can distinguish between a male or female dog simply by looking at them. Female dogs tend to be a bit smaller than males which can be advantageous if you live in a smaller apartment and are looking for an appropriate pet.

Such a difference in size might not hold at all times, but a male puppy from a purebred litter generally grows slightly taller and heavier than females of the same age. The size difference is also less noticeable if the male dog is neutered at an early age which will slow its growth.





Male dogs tend to have a larger head and a more masculine look, while female dogs tend to have softer features. These differences in appearance, while noticeable for many people, might not be very relevant.

Appearance only affects preference in terms of how you want your dog to look, but the dog’s sex becomes more meaningful when we consider biological differences and hormonal differences.


Reproductive Health

Spaying and neutering dogs is standard practice amongst owners. It prevents the dogs from reproducing, halts the development of sex-associated behaviors, and reduces stray dog populations. Female dogs are spayed through a procedure called an ovariohysterectomy, through which the vet removes the dog’s ovaries and other reproductive organs.

Male counterparts are neutered by removing their testicles through a process called an orchiectomy. Spaying female dogs and neutering male dogs make it easier for owners to maintain them, especially when they reach sexual maturity or are in heat.

Female dogs are in heat around two times per year for two or three weeks each time. This experience is called estrus, meaning that the female dog can reproduce and carry a litter.

Her body produces pheromones or a type of vaginal discharge or bloody discharge that attracts male dogs. If the female dog is allowed to be close to non-neutered males, she will get pregnant and carry a litter.

Male dogs, on the other hand, are more likely to display signs of aggressiveness if they are around females in heat. Different from female dogs, male dogs tend to display sexual activity all year long.

Once a male puppy reaches sexual maturity, if not properly trained, it might start marking the house or new places. A male dog is also more likely to mount people, soft objects like dog beds and pillows, and other dogs which could lead to dangerous altercations.

While spaying/neutering your dog could curb some unwanted behaviors early, it’s not automatically true that these issues will stop coming up entirely. However, what spaying and neutering does 100% prevent against is unwanted litters.

In other words, training is the best way to prevent and stop these behaviors. Additionally, it’s important to consider that, sometimes, spaying or neutering pups too early cuts off important hormones which can interfere with natural and healthy development to full maturity.


Spaying and Neutering: Effect on Health Conditions

Spaying and neutering can have a great impact on the entire dog population, as taking this important step will prevent unwanted breedings and new litters. Spayed females are less likely to have health issues like uterine infections or mammary cancer. And, neutered male dogs are more likely to avoid testicular cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

To get these benefits from spaying and neutering, you should carefully plan the timing of these procedures. In the past, most vets recommended spaying and neutering early. As a result, many dogs had a tendency to develop health problems, including different types of cancer or orthopedic issues.

Nowadays, the consensus is to wait until the dog is physically mature. So while both procedures are beneficial to the dogs, they expose health differences between male and female dogs that spaying and neutering help minimize.


Male and Female Dogs: Learning and Behavior

Behavior and Temperament

There are a few differences in a dog’s behavior that you can attribute to their gender. Most of a pet’s personality depends on their training and learned behaviors. In other words, what you teach your dog makes more of a difference than what their innate urge tells them to do.

But even though there are a few biological differences, it’s mostly people’s preconceived notions about male and female dogs that influence what they see. One of those is that females tend to be more docile and soft-mannered, while their male counterparts are more focused on their handlers and are energetic.

Your dog’s temperament is mainly based on their genetics and what their parents were like. That’s why choosing the right breeders is so important. And, of course, you can change some personality traits with the help of a professional dog trainer.


Training and Learning

Another important question to explore when considering the differences between male and female dogs is trainability and the ability to learn. Is one gender easier to train than the other?

Many studies show that the background and personality of a dog are much more important than sex. Dogs tend to learn quite quickly what they can and cannot do which might affect how they perceive training and how much cooperation they show. Rather than a choice between male vs. female, it’s a dog’s personality that often determines its initial trainability.

Personality is critical, but there are some brain differences between female dogs and male dogs. Many veterinarians say that male dogs are quick to learn their social status and gain spatial information. So, male dogs can find items more effectively than the opposite sex.

Female dogs are better at staying focused, making it easier to train them. On the other hand, male dogs tend to mature slower than females of the same age, and many people describe adolescent male dogs as less focused and goofy.

This might only be a myth or observation that humans have made when comparing female dogs and males. It could also stem from our own beliefs that human males mature slower than human females.

All in all, both sexes are quick to learn and can be trained at the right time and under the right circumstances. All you have to do is start early before they’ve developed bad behaviors, and be patient with them as they navigate their way to understanding your teachings.


Aggressiveness and Biting

When we talk about aggressiveness and biting, we have to distinguish between aggression towards other dogs and aggression towards humans.

In terms of rivalry between dogs, same sex aggression is more common, but proper socialization and training can help you avoid this issue.

Aggression toward humans is 90% fear based, so ensure you understand dog body language to prevent a bite or attack. This is also why you ask to pet dogs you do not know.

Humans should be careful of how they interact with dogs because, if provoked, all dogs will bite. Early socialization and training are crucial to preventing such bad behavior and establishing the rules of conduct in the house for both male and female dogs. It’s also important to closely observe your dog’s behavior, so you know the signs of a stressed, aggressive, or happy dog.

This rule holds for all dogs but also for humans, especially children. Small children should be taught how to behave with dogs so as to prevent overstimulating dogs and experiencing a biting incident.


Life Expectancy and Nutrition

How Long Do Male and Female Dogs Live?

Even though we don’t like to think about it, we’ll likely outlive our furry friends. Life expectancy is something that’s always sitting in the back of our minds. Before you bring a new puppy home, it’s important to consider life expectancy. When we know how long they’ll live, we’ll know what our responsibilities are towards them, and what we can do to offer them a better quality of life in terms of food, health care, and play.

If there’s a difference in lifespan for male vs. female dogs, that could also be an essential point in helping you make a decision. In humans, females tend to enjoy a longer lifespan than males. But is it the same for dogs?

Studies show that there are very few differences in the lifespan of male vs. female dogs. Males tend to have a bit of an advantage. A neutered dog will live longer than intact males. Likewise, a female spayed dog will live longer when compared to an intact dog.

These are broad generalizations since each breed is very different from the other. Research also shows that small dog breeds live longer, while larger breeds age faster. Non-spayed or intact females have the shortest lifespan.

So reproductive health plays a more significant role in a dog’s lifespan rather than its sex. The most important lesson is that spaying female dogs substantially benefits their health and allows them to enjoy a longer life with you.


How to Feed Your Female vs. Male Dog?

Given the differences in the size of male vs. female dogs, it is only natural that there are a few differences in how to feed each gender.

Intact and neutered dogs require the right food to maintain strength and a balanced weight, with intact dogs requiring a bit more nutrition. Male dogs tend to become heavier than females, so ensuring your adorable pet isn’t overweight is crucial to keeping them healthy and avoiding many different health problems.

Here are a few tips on how to keep your male dog healthy through food:

  • By introducing solid food around 4 weeks of age we will be able to get your male puppy used to the puppy food’s flavor and texture before weaning him off of his mother’s milk.
  • Start feeding your dog adult food when it turns one year old, unless you have a large breed. Larger breeds mature at around 18 months of age, so you can start them on adult food at that age. Depending on the breed, when your puppy is 6 to 18 months old, you can start feeding them adult dog food.
  • At 7 to 12 years old, your dog will reach his old age and will need to transition to senior dog food. If the dog has any health problems, then the vet can guide you in the type of food they need to get the necessary nutrients.
  • Feed your dog a balance of fats, protein, and carbohydrates. Dogs are omnivores, so they can have a diet of animal products, such as meat and root vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries, and more. Test out different ingredients to see what your pet prefers and continue introducing variation into their diet. Such variation keeps your dog’s digestive enzymes on alert, so they are better able to handle themselves if they accidentally get into the trash or try new foods.
  • Your dog’s dry food should have between 22 to 32% protein and 10 to 16% fat. These numbers can help guide you in choosing the right dry and wet food to keep your male dog healthy.

If you choose to adopt a female dog, you need to adjust their nutrients to their needs, especially if you decide to breed them. Here are a few tips for feeding your female dog:

  • Fixing your dog at the right time slows their metabolism, so they need less food than when they are intact.
  • Your female dog’s food should have at least 20% fat and 30% protein.

No matter the gender of your dog, you should always have available freshwater to keep them hydrated. But if your dog experiences stomach troubles or starts vomiting, try to give them water in smaller amounts at an increased frequency. Try keeping them settled at least 30 minutes to an hour after eating or drinking a lot, as this will aid in preventing bloating in larger dogs.

Male or Female Dog: Performance in Competitions

Many dog owners want to enter their beloved pets into different competitions. If you ask people, most might have a bias and will tell you that performance in competition is based on whether the dog is male or female, or whether it is fixed or intact.

These beliefs are false, as competition and performance is not based on the dog’s gender or their ability to mate. It is entirely based on the dog’s breed, its genetics, and training. So if you want to enter your dog in competitions, you should discuss it with a reputable breeder, who will help you choose the right dog.

Male or Female Dog: Does Sex Ultimately Matter?

Now that we’ve explored some of the main differences between male and female dogs, what’s the verdict? Which one should you adopt, and does sex really matter at the end of the day?

Most veterinarians will tell you that the sex of a dog has little to do with how your experience will be with them, and it all depends on their personality and behavior. One breed may be easier to train than another, but those are more biological differences than sex differences.

A factor that will help you choose is first meeting the puppies you’re considering getting. Spend some time with them and see whether their energy levels and personalities fit with your lifestyle. If you have a very active lifestyle, then a particular breed might suit you better, and you’ll be able to spend more training time with them.

On the other hand, if you’re very busy and don’t have a lot of time to spend with the dog, look for a more docile breed that has lower energy levels.

Other factors are simply down to your preference. You might prefer males over females or one breed over another. That’s perfectly fine, and you should always choose a dog where the connection between you and them is just seamless. Just make sure that you’re choosing a dog that fits your lifestyle, has good behavior that makes training easier, and that you love.

The Snowy Pines Difference

Getting a new dog is a big step for you and your family. You’ll be adding an adorable pet to your household, who you and your kids will love. But with all those myths out there, choosing a dog’s gender can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to understand the handful of significant differences that might factor into how well your new pup adapts to its home environment.

In general, a dog’s reproductive health and their personality determines how you will interact with them much more than sex will. But if you’re looking for a larger dog to enter into competitions, then a male dog could be better for you.

If you want a smaller-sized dog that is perceived as more docile and focused on training, then a female dog might be right for you. At the end of the day, your preferences and preconceived notions of how male and female dogs are matter more than the actual sex of the dog.

Besides gender, breed is often a significant factor in which dog you adopt. If English Cream Golden Retrievers and White English Labs are your favorite puppy breeds, visit Snowy Pines. Our genetically clean and true white Labrador and Golden Retriever puppies are a part of our family and we treat them exactly like that. They also come with the best health guarantee in the U.S. Contact us today to inquire about availability for our next litter.