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Male Or Female Dog: Which One To Adopt? 


For pet enthusiasts, adopting a new dog comes with lots of excitement. This is more so if a void has been created by the loss or even demise of their initial pet or simply because they want to add another. With all the excitement comes the dilemma of deciding between a male and a female dog.  

You can’t afford to choose with indifference because the two sexes have peculiar qualities and differences that will suit different needs and circumstances.  

Before deciding, it is crucial to understand the significant differences between male and female dogs. 

The Significant Differences Between Male And Female Dogs 

  1.  Biological & Anatomical Differences

Biological differences are the most apparent distinction between male and female dogs. Female dogs have natural processes that differ from those of males and anatomical structures. Male dogs tend to be bigger than their female counterparts. They have more capacity to be aggressive if we narrow it down to make aggression dependent on size. This can be important when considering their ability to offer security.  

The biological difference between male and female dogs dramatically influences the outcome of the debate on the male vs female dog. Females can carry and raise puppies, and it takes the efforts of a male dog to serve the female during their heat cycle.  

If one adds another dog, biological differences can be an excellent factor to swim on. However, this may not mean much if the adoption is the first of its kind.  

2. Hormonal Differences

The male and female dogs also demonstrate significant differences in hormones. Female dogs are generally known to be very restless during estrus—the heat cycle—which occurs twice a year. During their heat cycle, the female dogs produce a secretion that attracts the ever-ready male dogs. The male dogs will respond by following the female dogs, and most males end up in new shelters.  

The hormonal distinctions between female and male dogs can be encumbered by spaying or neutering. While female dogs are spayed (they undergo an ovariohysterectomy; a medical procedure to remove the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus), male dogs are neutered (they undergo an orchiectomy; a medical procedure to remove the testes). 

3. Adaptability Differences 

While some pets, like cats, register the same levels of adaptability across gender, it is different for dogs. According to a 10-year study based on actual historical data from several shelters, 44% of the adopted dogs are females, and 56% are males.  

The difference is registered by the fact that many male dogs have tendencies to escape in pursuit of a female on heat, and some of them never return to their home, ending up in need of a new shelter.  

On the other hand, female dogs take about 5 months to adapt, while their male counterparts take an average of 6 months. The gap is substantial, with a margin of 20%. The percentage difference, however, does not reflect the adopters’ preference but the number of male dogs entering new shelters.  

Which One To Adopt? 

Dr. Garry Ritcher, America’s experienced Veterinarian and the author of the Ultimate Pet Health Guide, opines that a dog’s sex has little bearing on its suitability as a pet. He says that sex shouldn’t be the main factor in decision-making. Instead, he advises one to meet the potential pet dog and see if their personality fits.  

It is more of the demeanor and energy of the dog than their sex. And all these, in turn, depend more on your activity level and how you want to train the dog. 

With such substantial information, you must consider finding a dog that fits well into your system and life. You should also know that the result and observations may differ greatly across various breeds, as some are friendlier and less aggressive than others.  

Further, you can consider the following: 


If you consider raising more dogs, a female dog would be a good idea as they can give birth to more puppies. This is especially if you already have a male dog. But you can still control their reproduction through spaying. Female dogs can be a perfect idea to raise a colony and even start selling pets to other people.  

2. Partnership 

In most cases, dogs of different sex get along better than the same sex. A partnership between two males or females may not be as strong as between a male and a female dog. Thinking significantly about your purpose of adopting a new dog will influence the sex to pick, especially if you already have one.  

3. Training  

You must also be keen on your choices if you want to train your dogs on particular skills. On average, females tend to be easier to train because they are better concentrators than their male counterparts.  

This is, however, not a clear cut as the females can be very restless during estrus. On the other hand, the males seem to master the skills better, as is demonstrated by better results and more winnings in dog shows than the females. The ease of training is not paying in this respect.  


Deciding whether to adopt a male or a female dog can be challenging. As seen in this article, it is not so much about the sex as it is about the demeanor and aggression of the dog and how easily you are compatible with them. Your purpose of adoption is fundamental, and they can fit differently to your end goal. These characteristics also vary significantly across different breeds.  

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