In some ways, choosing
between male and female dogs is a matter of personal
preference. However, there are some characteristics which are
common in bitches and other characteristics which are common
in male dogs. It is important to evaluate these
characteristics and determine which sex would fit in best with
your home situation. Additionally, choosing between male and
female dogs is important if you already have another bitch or
male dog and are choosing an additional dog. This article will
list a few characteristics of bitches, a few characteristics
of male dogs, and how to choose between male and female dogs
when considering a second or third dog.
The following characteristics often apply to bitches:
– Bitches tend to want to be in control of the entire
situation. They may come to their owner when they are
seeking affection but will often move away when they have
- Stubborn –
In many packs, a bitch is typically the Alpha. Female dogs
crave more control of situations and are quick to respond to
perceived challenges with fierceness.
– Female dogs mark in the same way male dogs do. A spayed
female may continue to mark for her entire lifetime
regardless of when she is spayed while most males will cease
marking behaviors shortly after they are neutered and the
testosterone levels subside.
- Reserved –
Bitches are generally less affectionate and friendly than
male dogs. This characteristic is noticeable in puppies and
becomes more pronounced with age.
- Changes in Mood
or Behavior – It is also important to note that if you
do not spay your bitch, she will come into heat at
approximately one year of age and approximately every six
months thereafter. During this time, there will be some
bleeding as well as a change in mood or behavior.
characteristics often apply to male dogs:
– Male dogs are typically more affectionate than bitches.
They tend to crave attention from their owners more than
bitches and as a result, display more affectionate
- Exuberant –
A male dog is also more likely to be fun-loving and outgoing
throughout his lifetime than a bitch. While a bitch tends to
become more reserved as she ages, a male dog maintains a
more puppy-like exuberance throughout his lifetime.
– Males are often very motivated by food. This food
motivation can make training extremely easy as treats can be
used to lure and reward a dog to display desired behaviors.
- Attentive –
While bitches tend to be more independent, males tend to be
more focused on their human companions. They want to always
be close to the human and are very eager to please.
Behaviors – It is also important to note that intact
males may display aggressive behaviors toward other males or
exhibit marking behaviors. Additionally, intact males should
be kept away from females in heat unless a breeding is
Dog owners who are
adding an additional dog to their home should carefully
consider the ramifications of adding a dog of either sex. This
is important because the makeup of the existing pack may be
more accepting to either a male or a female dog. The following
are general tips for selecting the gender of a second dog:
- If you already have
a male or a female, a dog of the opposite sex is generally
the best choice. Dogs of the same sex are more likely to
fight than dogs of the opposite sex.
- If you already have
a male dog, he is likely to be more accepting of a female
and you are likely to have fewer dominance issues if you add
a female to the pack. However, if you opt to add another
male to the pack, they can peacefully co-exist and may even
become friends. It is important to closely monitor their
interactions early on to ensure aggressive behaviors do not
- If you already have
a female dog, she is likely to be more accepting of a male.
Most males tend to be submissive. If he does not challenge
your resident female, she is not likely to have a reason to
fight with him. Adding a female dog to the pack, however,
may result in complications. The worst combination of dogs
is two bitches because they are more likely to fight than a
male and a female or two males. However, many dog owners
have two or more bitches that live together without
problems. As long as there is an established Alpha and the
other bitches know their place in the pack, there will not
be dominance struggles often, although they may still occur.
Selecting a male or
female dog is largely a matter of personal preference. The
above characteristics are generalizations, and it is certainly
possible to acquire a female puppy who displays male
characteristics or a male puppy who displays the typical
female characteristics. Additionally, bitches that are spayed
and dogs that are neutered often do not have the
gender-specific problems associated with their sex such as
coming into heat or marking.