The Temperament Differences Between Dogs And Bitches

The two core considerations that most potential dog owners think about before they even begin looking around for their perfect dog or puppy are what breed or type of dog they wish to own, and if they wish to own a dog (male) or a bitch (female).

Just as the temperament and core traits of dogs as a whole will vary from breed to breed, there are also some core differences between the temperament and personality traits of male and female dogs, which will often dictate to some extent how the dog or bitch in question will behave and think.

If you are not sure whether you prefer a dog or a bitch and are wondering what the main differences are in terms of their temperament and core traits, read on to find out more.

Neutering

The main differences in temperament between male and female dogs are generally much more obvious in unspayed or un-neutered dogs, and neutering will go some way towards muting the sex-specific traits and closing the gap between behavioural differences. However, the differences may still be present to some extent even so, but will be particularly prominent if you do not choose to spay or neuter your dog or bitch, and this is what we will look at in the various points below.

Territorial behaviour

Male dogs on the whole are much more territorial than female dogs, other than when a female dog is in heat or nesting/has a litter of puppies. Male dogs will scent-mark prolifically, peeing on trees, landmarks and everything else outside of the home!

Male dogs will tend to display a greater propensity to patrol the home, guard the home and family against strangers, and be more defensive towards strange dogs or people than female dogs. However, a pregnant bitch will defend her territory, and later, her young, and may well display territorial behaviour towards other female dogs, particularly when she is in heat.

Roaming instincts

Un-neutered male dogs will often display a desire to roam and live life as a free spirit, and they are exponentially more likely to try to wander off when out walking, or attempt to escape from the garden. This behaviour will peak when there is a female dog in heat in the locality, and male dogs will literally do anything in their power to get to the female to breed, even to the detriment of their own health or wellbeing.

Female dogs do not tend to roam or wish to cover as large a territory as males, and will generally be happier sticking closer to home. However, when they are in heat, they too may wander to try and find a male to mate with.


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Breeding and sexual instincts

Un-neutered dogs of both sexes will be driven with the urge to reproduce; for male dogs this is almost constant, while female dogs will only be affected when in heat.

This means that male dogs may roam in search of a mate, as outlined above, and will generally be more dominant, outgoing and territorial than bitches or neutered male dogs. They may also display overtly sexual behaviours, such as humping furniture, toys or unlucky legs, and generally appear at times to have a one-track mind.

Female dogs often go through something of a personality transformation when they are in season, and may either become clingy or shun human company, and will actively look for a dog to mate with.

Relationship to other dogs

Two un-neutered male dogs are much more likely to fight than one un-neutered dog and a neutered dog, or a dog and a bitch. This behaviour will peak if two dogs are in competition for the attentions of a bitch in season, and two male dogs fighting in this situation will potentially be extremely vicious towards each other.

Bitches when unspayed tend to be more tolerant of other unspayed female dogs than two male dogs will be with each other, but they will still be slightly more tightly wound than spayed bitches, and if either or both bitches are in heat, they may well snap and become territorial with each other.

Relationship to people

Both dogs and bitches, spayed and unspayed, usually build strong bonds with their owners, and neither dogs nor bitches really come out ahead in terms of which is more likely to be personable with people. This will generally come down to training, handling and lifestyle, and neither dogs nor bitches are by nature, more personable with humans than their opposite number.

Training and responsiveness

It is fair to say that neutered dogs and bitches are generally easier to train, more responsive and more apt to pay you their full attention when training than un-neutered animals, but un-neutered dogs and bitches can certainly be trained to a high level as well.

Problems generally arise because of the sexual nature and behaviour of un-neutered dogs and bitches, which as mentioned, can present itself at any time with dogs, but will follow the pattern of the heat cycle with females. When dogs and bitches have breeding on their minds, they will find it hard to concentrate on anything else, and so training a dog looking for a mate or a bitch while in season is likely to prove a challenge, and best tackled at another time.


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