Shall I get a dog or a bitch?

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Whether to get a male or female dog is one of those questions that owners can agonise over. When asking yourself 'Should I get a dog or a bitch?' here is what to think about: 

Things to consider about a male dog:

  • Dogs do not have seasons.
  • They are generally more likely to take off.
  • They are generally more competitive.
  • Their undesirable habits can include mounting behaviour or marking furniture with urine.
  • The behaviour of male dogs, some of which may be undesirable, may be overcome with good, positive training.
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Things to consider about a bitch:

  • Less inclined to want to investigate or size up every dog they spot when they are out.
  • They can have behavioural changes after spaying.
  • If they are not spayed then, apart from heats, they can start digging holes in sofas or floors, hoarding and 'nursing' toys and generally become more moody and/or snappy around the 'pseudo pregnancy' phase that follows two to three months after them.
  • Some can also be extremely aggressive with bitch-to-bitch aggression - most notably among female dogs who live together.

REMEMBER: Regardless of breed or sex, every dog is different, with his or her individual nature shaped by a unique combination of genetic, and environmental factors.

Multi-dog households - shall I get a dog or a bitch?

When you house many dogs of the same sex you increase the chances of tension, rivalry and aggression between them.

Sometimes just two dogs of the same sex, and particularly family members - such as littermates, mother and daughter, father and son - can be a recipe for non-stop conflict, with constant segregation or the rehoming of one party sometimes being the only answer. Whereas, male and female dogs can often be motivated by different things and so the potential to clash is reduced.