Male and Female Dogs: Do they have different 'personalities'?

Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: Thinkstock

When describing the differences between the sexes in humans, they say that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. But does that apply to male and female dogs? Are there truly personality differences that can be attributed to the sex of a dog?

The short answer is: yes. The personality differences can most clearly be seen between females and intact (non-neutered) males. Males can be more dominant, territorial, and easily distracted than female dogs. On the other hand, males can also be more playful, active, and independent. Dominance and territorial behavior can also be seen in unspayed females when they are in heat.

Female dogs tend to be easier to housebreak, easier to train, and more connected with their owners—but in certain circumstances they can be more demanding of attention.

Aggression can be a problem in any dog of any breed, however it is usually more apparent in non-neutered males.

Does this mean that all non-neutered males and unspayed females will be aggressive, territorial, and dominant? And that all females will be easier to train and housebreak? The short answer is: no. These are just generalized personality tendencies. The fact is, most dogs of either sex that are properly socialized as puppies—and given the proper training and care—can grow up to be wonderful, obedient, attentive, life-enhancing companions.


Information courtesy of Mars, Incorporated and its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved, 2011.

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