Skip to Content

Should You Get a Male or Female Dog? The Pros and Cons

When it comes to bringing home a new pet, few dog owners stop to think for a moment: should I get a “boy” or a “girl”?

Rather than carefully weighing up the pros and cons of each sex, most folks end up making a decision based on recommendations, past experiences or even based on their “gut instinct”.

Young men, for instance, often like to pick up a tough-looking male because he probably reminds them of their own manly traits. While women typically like to buy small female dogs because perhaps, they feel a ‘purse dog’ makes for a cute companion! 

Either way, deciding what gender to own ought to be based on the pros and cons of each, which we will discuss in this article. 

Buying a Male – Pros

Less Expensive

Male dogs, for the most part, particularly pups, are slightly less expensive compared to their female counterparts. This can be a major advantage because it means you’ll be saving a little bit of cash to cater to some of the other needs of your beloved pet, such as extra food and treats or cute doggy gear. 

No Heat Cycles

Males do not go through heat cycles. While many dog owners feel this can be a twin-edged sword, it is mostly a ‘pro’ because you won’t have to do any cleaning. However, it can be difficult to anticipate when your pet might want to mate. 

More Affectionate and Passive 

It is widely believed that male dogs are more affectionate and passive.

Dog looking out of the window.
Photo by Urban Sanden on Unsplash

Better Watchdogs

It goes without saying that male dogs are far more protective of their owners and make good watchdogs, especially since they are more aggressive. 

Easier to Train

Many breeds of male dogs are easier to train because they are more receptive to commands. 

Better Working Dogs

Males tend to be larger, stronger and more robust. They also have higher endurance levels, making them more ideal as police dogs, rescue dogs and so on. 

More Playful

Male dogs typically have more energy and are more likely to look for ‘excuses’ to goof off or engage in horseplay. 

Less Expensive to Neuter

This is a common reason why so many dog lovers tend to go with males because they tend to be less expensive to have neutered than females to have spayed. 

Buying a Male – Cons

Can Be Overly Aggressive

Many male breeds can be over the top aggressive, especially if they are sexually frustrated. In fact, a ‘sexually aware’ male will go to any length to track down his in-heat mate. If they don’t, then they may irritate you with too much barking or chewing away pillows, soft carpets, sofas, etc. 

Behavioral Problems

Males may exhibit behavioral problems, particularly during their younger years. They can be difficult to train as a result and might also show a generally rebellious attitude. 

Unneutered Males Can Be Problematic

Unneutered males are more likely to wander about or sniff around when they’re not occupied by their owners and more likely to get into fights. 

Urine Can Damage Certain Things

Since male dog’s love marking their territory frequently, certain things around your house like buildings, flowers, shrubbery and bushes can get damaged. 

More Nutritional Demands

Males are larger, stronger and full of energy, which means they require more calories than females. So you’re looking at more frequent feeding cycles and higher food expenses.

Less ExpensiveCan Be Overly Aggressive
No Heat CyclesBehavioral Problems
More Affectionate and Passive Unneutered Males Can Be Problematic
Better WatchdogsUrine Can Damage Certain Things
Easier to TrainMore Nutritional Demands
Better Working Dogs
More Playful
Less Expensive to Neuter

Buying a Female – Pros

More Breeding 

Female dogs are perfect if you want to breed cute little pups, whether it be for personal or business reasons.

Relaxed and Chilled Out

This is a major incentive for buying a female dog – they are really relaxed and will chill out easily most of the time. You’ll probably never have to worry about your dog wandering around or attempting to escape. 

Less Aggression-Related Issues

Generally speaking, female dogs do not display too much aggression like their male counterparts, and this means fewer behavioral problems to deal with. They also exhibit less territorial spraying habits – although some varieties do not spray at all. 

Potentially Easier to Train

Even though it is said that male dogs are more playful, energetic and receptive, and hence easier to train – the same can be said for certain breeds of females – this is especially true for younger females because they mature a lot faster than males. 

Dog being pet by a human.
Photo by Adam Griffith on Unsplash

Very ‘Human’ and ‘Animal’ Friendly

Given their nature, female dogs are far more likely to make friends with people around the house and even visitors, as well as other pets you already have. 

Easier to Housetrain

Females are surprisingly easy to housetrain and even have the ability to hold their bladders for significantly longer periods. 

Less Aggressive and More Docile Towards Complete Strangers

Females are often more docile towards strangers and other dogs that they are introduced to. Depending on individual circumstances, this can be a major advantage for those living in urban areas, where there’s lots of children, friends and neighbors roaming about freely – with the dog willing to be ‘everyone’s best friend’. 

Buying a Female – Cons

More Expensive to Neuter

The cost of neutering or spaying a female dog is a lot more expensive than a male one. 

More Expensive to Buy

Female dogs are more expensive to buy from the get-go in most cases, as money can be made from females should you choose to have puppies.

Urine Burns ‘Stuff’

Much like male urine, female urine marks also burn grass and shrubbery, leaving you with yellow rings throughout the yard to deal with. 

Can Easily Get Nervous

Females have a tendency to easily get nervous and high-strung compared to males. 

Long Heat Cycle

At the very least, a female’s heat cycle will last for 14 days – these cycles occur twice a year. Problems arise when owners find themselves dealing with the clean-up of their cycle. And then there’s the moodiness that females will display due to being sexually frustrated. 

More Breeding More Expensive to Neuter
Relaxed and Chilled OutMore Expensive to Buy
Less Aggression-Related IssuesUrine Burns ‘Stuff’
Potentially Easier to TrainCan Easily Get Nervous
Very ‘Human’ and ‘Animal’ FriendlyLong Heat Cycle
Easier to Housetrain
Less Aggressive and More Docile Towards Complete Strangers

This post is contributed by Sally. If you would like to share some unique content with my lovely audience, click on my guest posting guidelines and shoot me a message.

Pin This:

About Danielle

I am the founder of PawLeaks where I share weekly tips on dog training and behavior. Sharing a passion for dogs and helping owners to solve problems through understanding canine behavior and modification is my number one goal.

Norman Wilkes

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

I love all of them regardless of their gender! Thanks for the article!

Nia Margalho

Thursday 2nd of April 2020

I love your blog, I've learned many tips, thank you for your time! My dog has attitude problems and thanks to your blog and other training blogs I was able to learn to deal with this problem! I hope I can help more people with the same problem! Thank you!


Thursday 2nd of April 2020

It turns out there is such a difference!!