Boys vs Girls

How people select the gender of their pets intrigues me. Many people I speak to appear to have a definite preference for one or the other. “Definitely a male.” “Always female.” Overall, we balance the world.

There is no doubt that the gender does make a difference to their personality and to our interaction with our pet (Kurt et al 2009). It also makes a difference to the problems we are likely to encounter. For instance male dogs may exhibit more separation related distress than females (McGreevy & Masters 2009). I don’t think, however, that most people are thinking of potential problem when they choose their dog (although I have to say having a female dog who does not stop at every lamp post is attractive in my opinion 🙂 )

People often ask me which to choose -male or female – and I generally don’t give them a definitive answer. Most pet owners will choose based on childhood pets and their genders, their partner’s preference, even biases they have for one gender overall. If it’s a second animal of the same species they are acquiring then I advise getting one of the opposite sex, especially if they are close in age and personality type.

Do you have a preference for male or females dogs or cats? Please comment on which and why below.

Kurt, K., Schoberl, I, Bauer, B, Thibeaut A. & Wedl, M. (2009). Dyadic relationships and operational performance of male and female owners and their male dogs. Behavioural Processes [Behav. Processes]. Vol. 81: 383-391.

McGreevy, P. & Masters, M. (2009). Risk factors for separation-related distress and feed-related aggression in dogs: Additional findings from a survey of Australian dog owners. Applied Animal Behavioural Science, 101: 320 – 328.
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  1. I definitely prefer female dogs, mostly because male dogs tend to have some habits I’m not entirely comfortable with *ahem* :o)

    My last cat was male and he was the most awesome cat in the world. After I got him I always swore I’d never have a female cat again. But after he died and I started looking for a new kitty, I fell in love with a girl.

    With birds, it depends on which gender makes a better pet.

  2. I have two male dogs. The first one I have owned for 41/2 years and the second dog I have owned for 8 weeks, he is 31/2 years old. I got the second dog because I wanted another dog/puppy. I liked this dog when I saw him on Gumtree and he was also the spitting image of my older dog. I love them both. And yes they do follow me to the toilet. I guess I love them just a little bit too much. But they are worth it.

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