Do Dogs Have Gender?

This is a question I have been pondering for a long time. After reading an interesting post on 24 Paws of Love yesterday, the question has reappeared in the forefront of my brain. As someone formerly active in feminist circles, I have long maintained that gender, by definition, is a human social construct. Expected norms of male and female behaviour are not based on anything more than what human society has deemed appropriate in a given time. Do dogs have similar societal rules that govern their actions?

I’ve never thought so. There are sex differences, of course. I cannot deny biology. Male and female dogs have different hormones that may push them into certain behaviours. For instance, un-neutered males may be more likely to break out and wander the neighbourhood. But what about dogs that have been spayed or neutered? While I am not a behavourist, I do regularly have the opportunity to watch many different dogs interact, play, and perform. I have yet to notice any consistent differences in behaviour between male and female dogs. If all the dogs have enough fur and wear neutrally-coloured collars, it’s impossible for me to tell which dogs are female and which are male.

But it could just be that I don’t know what to look for. Perhaps there are subtle differences I have not picked up on. I know the stereotypes. Some trainers say they prefer to work with females as they are more attentive. Others prefer males as they  are less stubborn. It’s a common joke that males like to pee on everything in sight. Cranky female dogs are called “bitchy” – which, I guess, is where the insult originated in the first place. Many people seem to have a preference. However, I am not convinced this preference is based on anything other than personal opinion.

I like to joke that I practice gender-neutral dog ownership. Even though it appears impossible to raise a human child without gender expectations, I like to think it is still possible with a dog. “Shiva” is technically a male name. Her nicknames aren’t particularly feminine either; I’d call a male dog “Doofus” too. She has more blue things than pink. I do use the feminine pronoun “she” but only because there is no other appropriate word to use. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest if someone calls her “he” by mistake. I don’t think it bothers her either.

Not that I believe there is anything harmful in dressing one’s female dog in pink or one’s male dog in only blue. There is nothing wrong with hyper masculine or feminine names or insisting on describing one’s male dog as “handsome” and never “pretty”. I just think it’s interesting when some humans seem to believe their dogs understand these things. Is it possible Muffy really feels insulted if someone calls her a boy? Or Jake gets offended when forced to wear a pink sweater?

No doubt I am reading too much into the issue. It’s only meant in fun and I am sure most people are joking around. We humans like to anthropomorphize our pets. I do it all the time, mostly because it amuses me. As I say, for the most part, I don’t think there is anything wrong with this. The only way I think it could be dangerous is if we place these human ideas of gender on our dogs with the expectation they will fulfill a particular role. Say, if one chooses a female puppy over a male because he assumes she will be more loving. When this dog turns out to detest cuddling and prefer wrestling, this person may be very disappointed and the dog could end up in the shelter.

Do you think dogs have gender? Have you observed any consistent behavioural differences between male and female dogs? Do you think putting human ideas of gender roles on dogs could be harmful? Or am I completely off-base? Please share any thoughts in the comments. I am genuinely interested in a discussion on the subject.

33 thoughts on “Do Dogs Have Gender?

  1. Since we have one of each, I guess I am in a position to have some first hand experience. I don’t know about other dogs, but with Chessies, it is very difficult to have two male dogs in a household (unless you have a lot of land and can keep them very separate). Males are fine with females, but put an unaltered (or even an altered), male Chessie with another male and you risk a dog fight. They might be fine for a long time until one day, one looks wrong at the other and it is ON. The female is different from the male because again she is intact and her cycle may dictate her behavior. She gets very squishy when in season and becomes an “airhead” leading up to and following her cycle.

    But beyond the things dictated by their hormones, (and physically they are different in size) there really isn’t that much difference. They have different temperaments, but I would not attribute that to their sex, but rather their breeding (and the dogs who are their parents/grandparents).

    Funny story about pink dog accessories. Storm’s trainer was running a dog at a recent hunt test and had it on a pink leash. Yeah sure, it was a male, but more than that it was a Chessie with a pink leash at a hunt test. I am sure all the labs had a good laugh at the Chessie with a pink leash. I commented on it and the trainer said…well no one here would ever steal a pink leash! Couldn’t argue with that and the dog worked well despite the color of his leash. 🙂

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  2. Gwynn doesn’t exactly have a ‘male’ name, but even before they hear his name, most people comment on how ‘pretty she is’… i guess he’s just girly looking? Or they assume that I got a girl-dog because I’m a girl. Or, possibly, because he has a purple collar with green/pink/purple argyle patterning down it, lol… but it’s hardly visible, and oh-so-stylish 😛
    I rarely correct people about the he/she issue… or when they pronounce his name “Win” (Charlie Sheen’s dog?) or Gwen (… that’s definitely a girl name… makes sense, i guess), or Quinn. He really doesn’t care, so long as he’s getting attention.
    I can see the difference between how two dogs behave, male vs female, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you which one was male/female just based on how they act, unless one of them was lifting his leg to pee, which is definitely physical, not psychological. I’d say the main difference, m/f, is hormonal – it dictates how they’ll act in certain situations, esp. for unaltered dogs, since their hormones are far more different for m/f.
    If I’d bought a dog, specifically hoping for a cuddle-buddy, chances are, I’d have raised him from a puppy, used to being cuddled and willing to tolerate it at the very least… without consciously doing so, so it might seem to me that whatever sex I got was the ‘cuddlier’ sex of dog.
    lol… poor dog wearing a pink sweater, male or female… maybe it’s just because I pictured it being lab-sized… but it doesn’t matter if it is a girl, she’s still embarassed to be wearing it!
    great post!

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  3. Interesting Post… I too own one of each and I agree with what has been said. To expand upon since we currently have a pack of 8 running here on property. We have 3 intact males, 2 neutered males, and 3 intact females… but we rarely have fights, but this is also largely due to how they have been raised, we like to have as balanced a pack as we can, and they know the pack order as well. Sure there is a tiff here or there, but unless a female is in season nobody is trying to kill anybody else. But it is not an easy pack to maintains, we have 3 different breeds in the mix too. I agree with what was said about chessies from what I have heard and seen about them I am not surprised that it would be very hard to keep 2 males as they are typically a very strong minded/willfull/smart dog.

    As far as differences in genders, I think it largely has to do with hormones and how they were raised (all the way back to how their bitch raised them) AND what they were born with. I feel like girls as a whole are usually more thinkers and hold grudges longer than boys. Boys will fight it out and be over it for the most part, unless the underdog is not getting the message and needs reminders before status sinks in. Girls are grumpy longer, whereas I find boys more often than girls are more happy go lucky once they know what you (or the dog) are asking of them. If you relate it to what we know about humans I think it is very similar. Girls can usually calm down and focus better/sooner and thus seem to remember lessons better… whereas the boys due to their testosterone (most likely) are a little more out there and less focused. Even the neutered boys I tend to see this is the case more than with the girls, but again it can relate to girls being thinkers (IMO).

    Then you have the macho factor with the marking and strutting their stuff… this is where it comes down to what they are born with. Some dogs are born more dominant than others, and it’s just something to be aware of in training and other dog interactions. Luna is one of them. She will mark and pee on things with the best of the boys, but she also gets her fix with it sooner than Wyatt who feels the need to repeat lol. She also takes no flack from anyone and you will notice her tail is usually way up unless I have her on leash.

    I can’t put a finger on how I can sometimes tell sexes apart, even before I have looked. But usually if I find out what it was later on I am not surprised as I had guessed right. This happened at the PYO farm we were at this weekend. The resident lab approached us and our dogs… and I could tell by how she went about it that she was a girl, sure enough checked and she was. But I can’t tell you how I knew that lol, sorry. For some reason people always think Luna is a boy, even with a purple collar on, and her being small and having no hair to hide anything.. it is a peeve of mine, not like she cares though, she probably would take it as a compliment lol.

    Sorry so long, this was an interesting post, well done. And these are all simply my observations and opinions while having lived with and trained so many different dogs.
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

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  4. Oh and on the cuddle topic… In the Vizsla breed at least the boys seem to be the needier of the two, and the more happy go lucky type. BUT Luna can cuddle beyond your imagination, and will tolerate most any position of it too, tucked under chin, cradled in lap, on my pillow spooning with the Mr. (sad how well they do this lol). But Wyatt on the other hand whether it is just his genes/breed, even being a lab it wasn’t till he turned 1 that he actually wants affection. he is A-OK on his own, but now if we are loving on Luna he practically climbs on top of us to get some too. Weird huh. My dogs like to break the molds lol.

    OK, I’m done, sorry lol

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  5. Having one of each myself here is what I observe. Delilah is definitely more of a caretaker than Sampson. Meaning, she will approach him and clean him in areas a mother would. Is this because she had a litter? I’m not sure. I have never had two dogs before to observe.

    Having observed them in their greetings, even though Sampson charges enthusiastically towards the other dog, once he is there he stands very stiffly and still. Delilah will stand still, but she is not as stiff; she appears more relaxed.

    I don’t dress them in gender specific colors, but their collars are purple for her and green for him. Although I really do love a red plaid against her chocolate coloring.

    Not sure if this post made as much sense as the others before me and certainly not as well thought out. LOL

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  6. Great, great, great post, Kristine. Really. I haven’t ever really thought about this in an organized manner, but how interesting. I don’t know whether, or how, our dogs understand gender, both their own and that of others. We have noticed that our Chick far, far prefers male dogs to female dogs, we’re not sure why. He has spent significant time (as in, weekends, weeks, or longer-term live-in situations) with about 5 females and 5 males, so it’s not a huge sample, but I can tell you that he has become close buddies (of the playing and cuddling sort) with three of those males, whereas with the females he shows a distinct preference for avoidance. He gets along with them just fine, but he does not care to interact if it’s up to him. It could be unrelated to gender, but after such consistency, I’m starting to wonder.

    We do fall into the category of putting gender-related accessories on our dogs, but only when we’re playing. In our houses, the leashes and training/walking collars are all primary colors — red and blue. Chick has blue, the fosters (whether male or female) get red. But occasionally I do end up doing to my dogs what I would never do to my children — dressing them up in traditional gender-specific “cuteness.” I think I feel ok about it mostly because they are pit bulls, and pit bulls wearing clothes are just about the most ridiculous thing ever, and it helps make them seem so much more approachable to folks who have a lot of negative preconceived notions.

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    • Interesting… Chick likes to break the mold, from what I have read, heard (i think from your site) and seen myself mixed pairs have a higher likelyhood of getting along better. Luna is much more tolerant of boys in general, especiall intact males. I can’t think of any good buddies of hers that were females except for a greater swiss at the dog park and then her family members. She also liked my family dogs who were both girls, but she grew up under them and still treats them as elders so that makes sense.

      Wyatt on the other hand loves just about everybody, but that’s largely his nature, (and the breed helps too). We also have his direct littermate on property and she is not as friendly, but she also tends to be more shy than Wyatt. She has picked up the domineering ways of another female on property so she tends to be a bit of a brat when it comes to other playmates, especially the girls. But I noticed this higher drive/OCD part of her even as a little 8 week old puppy. It will work well for the field, but I am happy to have the more easy going, happy laid back lab. Even if he is a boy 😉

      I see the same thing with the training dogs and kennel dogs. I can run a group of labs together but as a whole the ones we have come in often are happy go lucky by nature.

      After all this I may post about this sometime.
      Anna

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  7. All of my dogs (girls & boys) have been so different from one another, that I can’t think of any trait that is specifically male or female.

    What disturbed me most was when Misty~girl would hump the pillows (quite methodically)….seemed like a boy behavior to me!

    My nephews always chose pink as their favorite color, before their friends told them it was “for girls”. Gender rules are definitely defined by society, not nature. But don’t you love it when a man wears a pink shirt! They always look so good.

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    • I’ve had two girls that liked to have their way with the pillows (and stuffed animals, and occasionally other dogs, although we try to limit that last one of course) too. So I guess it’s not just a male behavior.

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  8. Kristine, we would be best friends IRL… when I read the title of your post in my inbox I immediately thought, “not really, gender is a social construct created by a given social society…” then I read your first paragraph and it was almost exactly what I thought to myself!

    There have been studies that show small differences in how dogs play but the study was only done in a specific breed if I remember correctly. It wasn’t glaring differences (as in ALL of one sex did one thing and none of the other sex did that same thing) but there were tendencies–males were more likely to initiate the play in general and males were more likely to initiate wrestle play.

    I live with a control-freak female border collie mix. Female border collies are pretty well known for being extremely pushy and controlling (some would call it dominant.. while i don’t necessarily disagree, i’d rather be more precise with my language) and putting two females together is not something suggested because it can be very bad news–lots of serious bitch fights. But this seems to be more genetic/hormonal or breed specific and less of an a general gender trait.

    It is such a very interesting question… but I’d guess from our HUMAN gender construction point of view that they don’t seem to have gender traits that aren’t explained by breed genetics/hormones….BUT who knows… within dog culture there may be gender constructs but i’m not sure we’d ever know.

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  9. I will be the first to admit that I totally anthropomorphize my dogs’ behavior – which means that I interpret their behavior as male/female more than it probably is.

    But with that being said, I do think there are behaviors related to sex that are biological. It’s not all social constructs. What I think is lacking in most people’s gender generalizations are the shades of gray and the ways in which our experiences and biology predispose us to some behaviors over others and vice versa. Biology, genetics, environment and society all play a part in the gender roles we assume. I think to a certain extent that may also be true of our dogs. Would a male dog predisposed genetically to being an alpha be more likely to assume the alpha role if born into a pack with a weaker alpha male than a stronger?

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  10. Great subject for a post, Kristine…I don’t have much to contribute to this, since I’ve only ever had one dog (George), but I’ve enjoyed reading your post and the informative comments the others have posted.
    Apparently, with whippets, boys are more affectionate than girls and girls are more independent than boys…George is definitely one cuddly boy, but I haven’t yet had any experience with whippet girls to test the theory.
    Although we don’t always notice the gender differences when we observe dogs playing or interacting with each other, I think dogs do notice them. For example, George sometimes acts aggressively towards other large male dogs (shackles up, grinning teeth) when he feels threatened, but he never behaves like that towards a female dog. Somehow, he knows that the risk of a ‘dominance fight’ is very low in the latter case. Also, the girl dogs I know are very bossy, but the boys let them get away with it…

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  11. MayzieMom here. Interesting discussion and I’ve actually wondered about it myself. I definitely don’t think that gender roles affect dogs in the same way they do us. But with my two, I definitely see stereotypical male and female differences.

    Mayzie is all around a softer dog than Ranger is. She is incredibly sweet and gentle, whether it’s taking treats or cuddling. Ranger is much more forward. He bites hard when taking treats (no matter how much we’ve tried to train him out of it) and he slaps his paw on you when he wants to be petted. Mayzie will welcome anyone in and make them feel right at home. Ranger allows them to come in but lets them know that he’s got his eye on them so they better not try any funny business.

    On the other hand, Mayzie lifts her leg to pee. 🙂

    Ultimately, of course, I don’t know whether these things can be attributed to gender difference or breed difference or just plain personality difference. But I can’t help myself from thinking of the two of them as distinctly “boy” and “girl.”

    Amber

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  12. I read the 24 Paws post too–it is such an interesting question!

    I am totally with you about gender being a social construct for us humans, but that doesn’t stop me from having different relations with my dogs according to gender!

    Of all the dogs I’ve shared my home with, the vast majority have been males because the groups I’ve fostered with these past years have always given me males. Are there just more males on death row, desperate for fosters? My very unscientific reviews of petfinder would seem to indicate yes. Does that mean the boys have more behavior issues that cause their owners to surrender them?

    When I think about the girl-dogs I’ve had, words like “sensitive,” “special,” and “spirited” come to mind. They are the ones I’ve really bonded with and felt especially close to. They are the ones I’ve felt were my little familiars, and the ones whose skittishness or bitchiness or grumpiness or shyness I’ve identified with.

    I’m pretty sure that’s all my projection…but it doesn’t stop me from wanting another little girl foster-dog so I can project all over again!

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  13. Two things:

    1) It’s not a joke. Males have to pee on every single thing they pass. It’s horribly annoying.

    2) Gender is not a social construct. It’s inborn. Ask any transgendered person, they’ll tell you. Gender *roles* are a social construct, but that’s a different thing.

    I have been told, don’t know if it’s true, that you can lessen male aggressiveness if you neuter early, but if you delay neutering won’t affect them much. Our Best Friend was neutered at 18 months (approximately), and I can tell you it had no effect on personality and behaviour whatsoever.

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  14. Very interesting!

    As far as dogs are concerned with themselves, once sex is out of the picture, I don’t think gender plays a role.

    But that doesn’t mean we don’t see it that way. And maybe even the interpretations of female dog behaviour (e.g. stubbornness) and male dog behaviour (aloofness) are a result of our preconceived notions of gender. We think that because we know that dog is female.

    I definitely think we anthropomorphize. Especially on this issue. But some worse than others.

    For example, I know of a female Chow Chow named Homer (after Simpson, of course). The owner doesn’t care that most people then think her dog is male. And our friends with the male pitbull Hooch put lots of pink collars on him and don’t care that people then assume he’s a girl.

    On the other hand, I have been snapped at several times for mistakenly calling a dog “he” when it’s a she and vice versa. I don’t get the sensitivity, personally.

    Moses’ collar is purple. Not sure what that means, but most of his stuff is gender-neutral: purple, green, blue (yes, I see blue as neutral based on my own preference for it).

    So no, I don’t think dogs see “gender” in one another. But I do think we project that on to them to a great deal. And it’s our North American, dichotomous understanding that is projected.

    It would be interesting to see studies on how different cultures see gender in animals based as compared to their own traditional gender roles. I think the results would explain a lot.

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  15. Very interesting – and challenging to our unconscious responses to dogs. I tend to prefer males. Why? Less trouble with squabbling in my prejudicial, w/o much evidence, mind. However, here at Silverwalk, I currently have 16 dogs living in a pack, males and females, small, large, young, old – the squabbles are usually over toys or food, not between males and females or same gender. For those who have intact dogs, how do you do it? I have had a few dogs go into heat as nutritionally and physically, they were not strong enough to be altered in time; OMG – had an orgy in my bedroom to which I was NOT invited. I have a photo, meant to be a generic one of the pack in the front yard but it shows Sweetie Pie (in heat), small 13″ senior Beagle girl, gazing adoringly at Scout, a full grown young adult English Coonhound! Oh, everyone wanted to be with Sweetie but she only had eyes (and butt) for Scout (neutered, thank God).
    On an entire other hand, at my blog, Silverwalk Hermitage (http://blessedsilence.wordpress.com), where I address my relationship with God more than dogs, I don’t consider God to have a gender. Mon dieu! Have had some interesting reactions. To me, God is above gender; I use both Her and Him in my posts.
    I’m not sure when the boy/girl colors changed but originally, Pink was the color for a boy and Blue for a girl. One of those trivial facts which stays in my head, cluttering up the room for more important stuff. Thanks for the post and the erudite responses.

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  16. One Person has an interesting point. Gender roles are indeed a social construct, society decides what a woman is supposed to contribute and what a man is supposed to contribute. Gender, I think, is more of an emotional thing, which I think is what One Person is referring to when they talk about transgender people. Transgender people often say that they “felt” like the opposite sex all their lives. Whether or not it’s proper to extend that kind of emotional understanding to dogs is kind of silly. Hey, Elli, do you FEEL like a boy because you’re wearing your red collar today and people think you’re a boy? Like I said, silly.

    I do think play styles differ and I’ve seen Elli’s change quite dramatically depending on which sex she plays with. She tends to do a lot more chasing (being chased) with other females and more wrestling and jumping on (w/ two paws) with males. The wrestling seems to be her favorite, so I normally pair her with male dogs.

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  17. I try to judge the dog, not the breed or sex, especially because my dogs are all screwy. Leah and Meadow (my females) both mark – and Leah actually aims at telephone poles and has christened toys. And Toby (my male) squats and is the biggest wuss of a dog you could imagine.

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  18. Very interesting post and comments. Just thinking about my 3 rescue mutts, I think I would have a hard time separating gender traits out from their already quirky behavior and ‘breed’ differences. Luke and Sherri were ‘done’ as pups, but Britney had a litter or two before we got her. Even the later speying doesn’t seem to make much difference. We portray Britney as the ditzy cheerleader type, but that has more to do with her being an absolute SPAZ-RACKET than any overtly feminine qualities.
    Despite the fact that Luke is larger, Sherri is still the boss. She is older by a few months, and I got her first. The ‘squabbling’ isnt really gender derived either.

    I have had much more experience with cats, and I know even when neutered, gender makes a HUGE difference with cats. And I’m not just talking about the obvious things like males spraying and fighting. Females are better hunters, speyed or not. Neutered male cats tend to be lazy, and generally more affectionate than females (that’s not a rule though, my current little girl is a wonderful little cuddle bug). It’s also my experience that neutered male cats prefer other neutered males as ‘friends’ over speyed females.
    If you know cats, it’s easy to tell very quickly what gender the cat is, even without ‘looking’.

    Maybe the big difference is that dogs are pack animals and cats are loners. It may be that there ARE gender roles in dogs that are part of their social make-up that are too subtle for humans to perceive. It wouldn’t surprise me, because dogs are so similar to humans in their social make-up. May be we are not looking at it right. Remember, it took a long time for zoologists to realize that dog packs are not political hierarchies, but generational FAMILIES – although, was that because all the zoologists were male?

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  19. Well, your post made me think of several things.

    Did you know that Poodles and German Shepherds reproduce asexually? Yep! There are no male Poodles in the world and no female German Shepherds. My teaching partner has a Poodle, and no matter what she does with him, everyone assumes he’s a female. Despite all that we’ve said to some people about Morgan, some insist on calling her a male, even people who know us well and see her on a regular basis. It cracks me up that people can’t believe a male Poodle or a female German Shepherd can exist!

    There are differences in males and females of both breeds that I’m familiar with. Female Greyhounds are more assertive and determined, while males are a lot more laid back and goofy. Female German Shepherds have a much stronger drive to protect their pack while male Shepherds are more territorial. That’s not to say that there aren’t exceptions to the rule, but I’ve seen a lot more things that reinforce it than that discount it.

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  20. Very interesting comments. It wasn’t til I’d read a few that I realised I’ve got one of each too! Gender doesn’t really come into it for me. I don’t have a preference.

    Frankie is a real boy, but if he was a female he’d be a tomboy:) It’s just the way he does things. He’s still a very cuddly, soft chap and loves his home comforts! Beryl is a Princess, a Prima Donna and a Diva, but when the occasion demands she can get down and dirty with the best of them and be a real hooligan. I think it’s the dog, not their gender that counts.

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  21. Wow, what an awesome post Kristine. I agree that gender and how we perceive it is a learned response. I actually think that trans-gendered people prove that point rather than discredit it. The only real difference I notice between my boys and my friend’s girls is that they boy have to (and I mean HAVE TO) pee on everything we pass on a walk. Sometimes, they will only squeeze out a single drop but they gotta do it.

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  22. Pingback: Dogs and Gender – Reprise | Rescued Insanity

  23. Wow, I’m sorry I missed this post yesterday! Lots of fascinating responses 🙂

    I have walked and cared for MANY different dogs and I have never really been able to determine right off the bat if a dog is male or female (people always call Cali a “he” and I’m always surprised, because I think of her as being “girlie” – I suppose it is more because she is a big dog and she’s black!)

    I have always said that I would choose a girl over a boy (mostly because of the marking!) But Cali has been known to lift her leg to try and mark where the boys have marked – it’s pretty funny to see! I used to always say “female dogs, male cats” because I believed that the girl dogs were easier and male cats were more loveable .. but now I have two of the most loveable girl kitties and a sometimes stubborn girl . .so that theory has been thrown out the door. Not to mention that Cali really seems to prefer male dogs 🙂

    I think we take our ideas and beliefs and project them onto our dogs, but as we get older and more experienced we see that they are different in their own ways, independent of whether they are male or female 🙂

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  24. Because humans are biased and don’t realize how biased we are. I’m not sure we’ll ever know if there are true gender differences between dogs of different sexes. I’d imagine that whatever differences there are would be explained by evolutionary biology–males do what they do to ensure the spreading of their DNA far and wide; females do what they do to ensure the survival of their DNA. I don’t think dogs understand what “sterile” means so those two factors are probably the major sex differences affecting their behavior.

    The funny thing is the same notions affect human behavior but we’re often in denial about it.

    BTW, did anyone ever notice that people assume most cats are female and most dogs are male? I wonder if it has to do with cats having higher voices and dogs having deeper voices.

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  26. people told us not to get two females and it worked just fine. I do think play styles differ and I’ve seen Elli’s change quite dramatically depending on which sex she plays with. We think that because we know that dog is female. The wrestling seems to be her favorite, so I normally pair her with male dogs.

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  27. And I’m not just talking about the obvious things like males spraying and fighting. He gets along with them just fine, but he does not care to interact if it’s up to him. Very interesting post and comments.

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  28. Leah and Meadow (my females) both mark – and Leah actually aims at telephone poles and has christened toys. She also takes no flack from anyone and you will notice her tail is usually way up unless I have her on leash. It’s also my experience that neutered male cats prefer other neutered males as ‘friends’ over speyed females.

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