Considering Gender When Choosing a Dog

With all the criteria to look for in a furry companion allow me to offer some helpful insight on one factor. Male dogs vs female dogs. My goal is to both help you fulfill your expectations but also provide a “fur-ever” home that your dog won’t have to face leaving.

One of the most common criteria when picking a dog or puppy is gender. But I want to impress that this may be restricting you rather than allowing you to find the pet you want. Finding that ‘magic’ you hope for in a pet requires things like good breeding and rearing, training, proper breed choice for your lifestyle, and other factors, but rarely should include gender. Simply put, a dog’s gender is not a guarantee of certain attributes. I repeat, a dog’s gender is not a guarantee of certain attributes.

Dog Gender Myth

Many pet owners who want an ‘adventurous and playful’ dog or puppy mistakenly exclude worthy females from their choices. This also goes for owners who want a ‘calm and quiet’ dog or puppy who exclude worthy males from their choices. When people do this there are two issues at play here: (I) they could unknowingly exclude a dog that could very well meet all the attributes they hope for AND (II) they still may well end up with a dog that does not embody the attributes they desire. Bottom line, when your choice is based on gender, gender is the only guarantee.

When DOES a Dog’s Gender Matter?

The only facts that you can count on regarding a dog’s gender (besides the obvious regarding breeding) is that a female’s urine can and does ruin your grass and that an intact male will likely mark everywhere and possibly (ahem) hump. Regardless, there are products that alleviate the female urine’s acidity, and of course, neutering does help (if not entirely eliminate when done before the behaviors become habits) the male’s inclination to mark and hump.

A Note for Dog Allergy Sufferers

Dog allergies are case-specific and vary from person to person. Your allergies may be due to saliva, dander, fur, urine, or a combination of the four. And yes, both male and female dogs may produce your specific allergens, however, certain allergens may be found or increased due to gender. There is a less-known allergen that some intact males produce. This is a protein within the prostate that triggers an allergic reaction to their urine known as ‘Can F5’. This allergic reaction is similar to the typical allergic reaction sufferers have to dander and can be indistinguishable. ‘Can F5’ is not well-known and requires testing from allergists/dermatologists to diagnose. Neutering is shown to reduce the growth size of the prostate and may help with this specific allergen. On the other hand, it’s important to note that females are shown to be somewhat higher producers of the ‘Can F1’ (dander) allergens which is the common allergy-sufferers’ diagnosis. Regularly bathing and brushing your dog can bring this under better control and may help. I highly suggest and please ask you to consider a pure breed that is ‘hypoallergenic’ such as a poodle or seek out a doodle breeder that does coat-testing for their hybrids. In either case, it is recommended to meet the dog your considering in-person to weigh allergic responses.


All in all, there may be no reason for you to not be wide open to consideration of a dog’s/puppy’s gender. And not to disregard the mere fact the people simply prefer one gender over the other for their furry companion, but with respect to that, I love to point out one of my all-time favorite books ‘Green Eggs and Ham’. Finally, there is an old saying ‘A female dog will love you, but a male dog is in love with you’. Give me your feedback on this matter and let me know if you think this is true!