Unlike babies, dogs can be pre-selected for gender. None of that, “oh, I don’t care as long as it’s healthy,” nonsense.
But what if you don’t actually know if you want a boy or a girl dog? You may have gotten advice from friends and family who have already chosen their favorite.
Here’s the real pros and cons of owning a boy dog or a girl dog.
Why You Should Get A Boy Dog
No heats. An unspayed female dog will go into estrus twice each year. She’ll bleed from her vulva for about 13 days. Then, she’ll be fertile for another week. That means no major events or off-leash excursions for almost a month, twice a year.
Manly fashion. Your boy dog might not wear dresses, but they’ll look dapper in bow ties and sweaters. For example, our friend Henry from The Broke Dog whenever he models his mom’s homemade accessories that she sells at Brooklyn Bowtied.
Personality? I haven’t found any compelling scientific research that convinces me that training, bonding and personality are significantly influenced by sex. Some people think female dogs are easier to train, others think males are more independent. I really don’t think it matters. Socialization, training and genetics are more important.
Why You Should Get A Girl Dog
Tummy kisses. When you have a boy dog, tummy kisses are awkward because of that crusty, pee-stained sheath in the middle of their belly. Gross. With girls, there’s plenty of room for belly rubs and kisses.
Bitch jokes. If you have an 8th grade sense of humor (don’t we all, at least a little bit?) you’ll have an endless supply of “bitch” jokes when you have a female. However, you can still make your fair share of “son of a bitch” jokes when you have a male.
Cute clothes. You can dress up a female dog and not worry about them peeing on their outfit.
You’re a man? Some people think dogs bond better to people of the opposite sex. Again, I don’t have any reason to support this. My female dogs are wary of strange men, but warm up more quickly to women. They’ve bonded with me because I snuggle, train and walk them daily.
What Your 2nd or 3rd Dog Should Be
If you already have a dog, and want another, you might want to consider getting a male.
Female dogs are more likely to get into fights with dogs they live with, and the injuries tend to be more severe. Having two females gives you the lowest chance of having a peaceful household.
If I had a choice, I would not have two female dogs. Cow came into my life after I got Matilda. Matilda and Cow have had some scary conflicts over food, but there has never been any broken skin or blood. I worry for Matilda’s safety, but she has learned to stay away from Cow when Cow wants something.
I combat this by feeding Matilda first and giving both dogs equal attention. Cow has gotten better, but I wouldn’t recommend this arrangement if you have a choice.
If you get dogs of the opposite sex, at least one should be spayed or neutered. Determined dogs can find a way to reach a bitch in heat. Attempts at mating can lead to aggressive outbursts if the female is not receptive, and unwanted puppies if she is.