Awhile ago we talked a little bit about dog longevity and some of the differences between various dog breeds. But what about some of the differences between male and female dogs?
As humans, we notice many differences between males and females, whether that means size sexual dimorphism (differences in size between males and females) or differences in gender roles and preferences. The males and females of dogs and humans are both subject to different kinds and amounts of hormones so this would obviously account for some difference between males and females. Creatures of any species are going to have genetic preprogrammed preferences and behavior in relation to their sex, but seasoned dog trainers and dog owners will tell you that personality differences will vary more between two random dogs regardless of gender. But generalities of temperament between males and females do exist.
One example of this is how male dogs may tend to be more attention hungry. Males seem to have a higher propensity to more actively seek the attention of their owners than do their female counterparts. One blogger said that males “care” more about humans than do female dogs, which I find to be untrue. It could be that females may have a tendency to better preoccupy themselves than males. Another, possibly more likely hypothesis, is that males may have an evolutionary desire to seek attention in order to build pack relationships to better ensure their survival. I don’t think this translates as a trait that is either good or bad.
As I have mentioned, females tend to be more independent and like to do their own thing. While this may be true, some people have made the observation that female dogs may interact better with children. In most cases, females tend to be the caretakers and nurturers of their respective species so, this could be a generality that holds true. However, this observation could simply be us humans projecting our gender roles onto our pets.
One temperament difference that I have seen on the internet time and time again is that two dogs of the same sex living in the same house will tend to fight more often than two dogs of opposite sex. This probably occurs because two females (or two males) are competing for attention and dominant status.
Those few things are the most common male/female differences that I have come across. Like I said in my intro, you are obviously going to have a bigger difference in temperament between the same sex of any two random breeds — say a male Chihuahua and a male Golden Retriever — than a male and female of any specific breed — for example, a male Black Lab and a female Black Lab. Basically, temperament between males and females of a breed are just generalities and are not always the case.