Choosing a pet is an important decision. You need to decide what type of pet best suits you and your family. Are you a cat person or a dog person, or does another pet appeal to you more? Then you'll have to decide whether you'd like to get a pedigreed animal or a mix. Do you want a large or small animal? Of all decisions to make, two of the most important are gender and sterilization. Find out if a male or female dog or cat is best for you.
Gender and Dogs
Let's start with dogs. Gender can play a role in the temperament of your dog. Generally, males have a more stable mood than females. A dog’s breed can make a difference also. In some breeds, males are more aggressive, and in others, the females are the bolder ones. In general, female dogs are more prone to mood swings. They can easily get grumpy if things do not go their way. The female of the species is normally less forceful. Females usually require lots of affection, but want it to be on their terms.
Female dogs are generally less aggressive and, unless threatened, are also less likely to mark their territory, making them easier to housetrain. An unfixed female may try to escape when she is in heat, attempting to find a male. She may discharge small amounts of blood and other bodily fluids, causing messes during this time. Heat usually lasts around three weeks. Having your dog spayed will end these problems. Some female dogs can be aggressive toward other females in the same household. They can be possessive of attention. Females tend to be more stubborn and therefore are often harder to train. Some females need “alone time” or “do not touch me” time.
Males are eager to please and more affectionate than their female counterparts. This makes them slightly easier to train. Males do like to mark their territory, and they may show dominance by humping people, objects, and other dogs. An unneutered male may roam if there is a female in heat nearby. Neutering your dog will correct most of this behavior. Males are often more aggressive and territorial around other males. They are also typically more likely to be dependent upon their owners and more in need of affection and attention.
Fixing Your Dog
Another factor to consider is whether to have your dog fixed. This applies to both males and females. If you are getting your pet solely for having a pet and do not intend to breed your dog, it's best to have your pet spayed or neutered. Not only does this prevent unwanted puppies, but it also enables your dog to have a longer life. Spaying or neutering greatly decreases the chance that your pet will get various types of cancer and improves undesirable habits, like marking territory and/or humping furniture.
Dogs, whether male or female, are as individual as people are. Each has their own personality, temperament, and behavior. Just like a child, each must be taught how to act and what is expected of them. Training your dog is essential to having a good relationship. They need to learn their place and their role in your household.
Gender and Cats
Most of these same issues are also true of cats. Males that are not neutered tend to spray and mark their territory. They tend to roam far from home looking for females in heat and may be gone for days at a time. Males will fight and can become very aggressive. Likewise, females that are not spayed are likely to try to escape the home in search of a male during heat. They yowl and pace when in heat. When fixed, both genders stop those types of behavior. Male cats tend to be more affectionate and females more independent. Most pet owners agree that when fixed, the differences between the genders become trivial. Other cat owners say that breed plays more into this than gender. Still others say that cats are as individual as people or as dogs.
In general, you should choose a pet based upon their personality and how well they will suit you and your family. Knowledge of gender differences may help inform your decision.
More on Finding a Pet
Finding the Right Cat Breed for You
Large Dog Breed Health
What Are the Best Dogs to Travel With?
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.