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Should Your Next Dog Be A Girl Or A Boy? The Pros And Cons

Should Your Next Dog Be A Girl Or A Boy? The Pros And Cons

Should your next dog be a girl or a boy? Here's the pros and cons of each, plus the myths surrounding how gender affects temperament and personality.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.

Do you have an opinion on how girl and boy dogs are different? Help out our undecided friends. Which do you prefer?

Lindsay Pevny
Lindsay Pevny lives to help pet parents make the very best choices for their pets by providing actionable, science-based training and care tips and insightful pet product reviews.

She also uses her pet copywriting business to make sure the best pet products and services get found online through catchy copy and fun, informative blog posts. She also provides product description writing services for ecommerce companies.

As a dog mom to Matilda and Cow, she spends most of her days taking long walks and practicing new tricks, and most nights trying to make the best of a very modest portion of her bed.

You'll also find her baking bread and making homemade pizza, laughing, painting and shopping.

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Thursday 7th of March 2024

I've always had male dogs because my parents have witnessed bad experience with a female dog that belonged to my uncle she brought lots of male dogs and they had trouble getting rid of the male strays so every time I get a dog they make me choose a male but now they understand that every dog is different and that if I get a female she should get spayed, so now they let me own a female dog if I want as long as I have the money for her vaccines food water toys and get her spayed.

Lindsay Pevny

Friday 8th of March 2024

Oh yes, before my female dogs were spayed, when they were in heat it was terrible trying to keep males from all around the neighborhood from trying to get at them. At the time we lived in a rural area, so I know depending on where you live, that can make a difference too. I hope you'll love having a girl of your own, best of luck!


Wednesday 23rd of January 2019

I love both. The only con I can think of with a female dog is goig in heat but if you have them spayed, then it fixes that problem. Females, to me, seem to be calmer and more affectionate. Male dogs are nice too but they are constantly lifting their leg and peeing on everything in sight and if there is a female dog around, they are constantly humping it. So....I say female.

Amelia Johnson

Wednesday 8th of March 2017

I find that I alternate between male and female as one passes on. I am less likely to compare the new dog to the old dog if I switch sexes. I value both genders. They have both brought joy into my life.


Wednesday 18th of January 2017

Great article. I had a male dog and a female dog in the past.. I fell in love with both

Lisa Heath

Wednesday 18th of January 2017

My mom always had female dogs when I was growing up. Really not sure the reason. Our dogs were always female, but our cats were always male

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