Some dog owners claim that males are typically more aggressive and destructive, particularly in small spaces. Female dogs are said to be easier to train and more affectionate.

Depending on the dog breed, these stereotypes may be true or not.

Male dogs insist on marking their territory, whether it’s around your house or in the yard. They do this by urinating on their “spot” so they can find it again. You can try to train a dog not to mark his territory, but you’re asking him to go against his instincts.

If you have another male dog in the house, expect a battle for who rules the house, particularly if both want to be alpha dogs. Even a smaller male dog will challenge or irritate the larger male – just to prove who was in the house first.

Dogs of opposite genders tend to get along better than dogs of the same gender. While female dogs are not as vicious toward each other as male dogs, some females don’t want to share their space with another dog.

Female dogs are generally easier to house train than male dogs, although that can vary by breed and by the skill of the dog trainer. Male dogs are seen as more lively and active, but certain breeds are “high strung” in both males and females.

Ask the average person looking for a dog and you’ll find many are looking for a female dog. They probably believe the notion that female dogs are easier to train, but gender isn’t the only predictor (or even a good predictor) of how a dog will behave.

Breeds that are known to be calm and tolerant tend to be that way whether male or female. Other breeds that are feisty, nippy and difficult to handle are that way for males and females.

Since there’s no scientific evidence that predicts the characteristics of males compare with females, then the decision about dog gender is essentially subjective. Chances are your memories of a childhood pet or a friend’s pet that you wish you had is what’s influencing your choice now.

Maybe you recall the gentle female Collie who lovingly cared for litter after litter of puppies as the ideal dog. Or you think about the rough and tumble large male dog that could run hard, play tirelessly and keep up with the most inquisitive children. If that’s what leads you to decide whether a male or female is the best dog to have, then go with your feelings. For you, that will be the right choice.

When your dog learns to follow a potty break routine, you have to avoid doing anything that makes the lessons harder. One way you can help this process is in managing the dog’s food intake.

Monitor and log the crate time and potty-breaks and make a note of any pattern in your dog’s elimination. Make sure that the food you provide and the timing of feedings don’t compromise training.

Feed your dog at the same time each day. If you feed him in the morning before leaving for work, put out the food as soon as you wake up. The dog can eat and begin to digest the food while you’re getting dressed and having your breakfast. Then the dog will be ready to potty before you leave. Never leave the dog food out all day. If your dog (especially a puppy) eats gradually all day long without a potty break, you’re asking for an accident to happen.

For crate training a puppy, make sure there’s a supply of water in a container that won’t tip. Also leave a few small dog biscuits or treats in case he gets hungry during the day – but don’t leave a full meal.

When you get home, take the dog out and then feed him. Don’t wait until late evening to feed dinner to the puppy or you’ll be cleaning up feces in the crate or on the rug. Allow a reasonable time for the digestion to occur.

No matter how much the dog begs, don’t give table scraps or snack foods. These are not well tolerated by most dogs and some snack foods can be harmful to the dog.

Just because a dog will eat what you give him in food scraps doesn’t mean it’s suitable for him. Feeding him the wrong kind of foods is likely to result in doggie diarrhea. If you don’t give your dog the non-nutrient snacks and junk that you eat, he won’t develop a taste for it – which is definitely better for everyone in the long run.

High quality dog food is made with added nutrients and designed for the age and weight of your dog. If you’re on a budget, find a place to skimp besides your dog food budget. Cheap dog foods can contain ingredients that cause stomach upset and have minimal nutritional value, so your dog may get fat but doesn’t grow and thrive.

If your dog gets diarrhea (even from high quality foods), check with your vet. There may be an ingredient in the food that doesn’t interact well with your dog’s digestive system. Ask the vet for a recommendation. If the next high quality food gets the same results, then your dog may have an internal illness or food allergy that the vet can diagnose.

Dogs are, in many ways, essentially simple animals. The typical pet dog will be free with its friendship if it is encouraged to do so. If it is left to its own devices and treated like a machine for entertainment, it will not be so keen to play favorites. Dogs respond to their pleasure stimulus more than anything, and it is by using this that you can train a happy, content dog while having a lot of fun yourself into the bargain. Go to a dog-friendly park anywhere in the country and you will see dogs responding to their pleasure instinct, and making their owners happy into the bargain.

One of the most simple commands, and a game that any dog will love to play, is “Fetch”. If you take your dog to a park where it can be let off its leash, take a ball with you and see the sheer joy that it gets when you sling the ball as far as you can and yell “fetch!”. It pins its ears back, and sets off in full flow, chasing down that ball, picking it up and bringing it back for another round. It does not question why you keep throwing the ball, but keeps bringing it back for another go – often waiting at your feet until you do.

This has a lot of applications in training a dog. It will be ready to learn from you if you are willing to give it the time and attention it wants. It will burn up a lot of excess energy which can make dogs lose concentration in training settings. It will also learn to respond to commands – although full marks go to you if you throw the ball, say “stay” and it does so. This can be considered something of a miracle.