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.

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