I’ve grown up with female dogs in the family since I was a kid. So as soon as I was out on my own, I naturally defaulted to rescuing an adorable female pit bull named Annabelle.
Each of the female dogs in my life has shared the same middle name (Lynn — don’t ask me why), and each has had their own very different personality.
Then, one day, along came Toby, a barely alive pit bull puppy who was left in the parking lot of a Walmart. My brother took him in, and while he’s not technically my dog, Toby is one of the greatest loves of my life.
A New Experience
When I think about the female dogs I’ve raised, the word “fiery” comes to mind. While each has been a different breed, they’ve all been strong-willed, independent women.
Toby, on the other hand, is like a big, barrel-bodied teddy bear. There’s not a feisty bone in that dog’s body. In fact, before Annabelle came along, Toby had the misfortune of sharing a house with “Taffy,” a 9-pound Yorkshire terrier who absolutely ruled him. Poor Toby could never get the attention he wanted.
Whether those personalities stem from their upbringing, gender or something entirely different altogether, I might never know.
Of course, judging by the title of this article, I have a bit of a confession to make: Regardless of the unhindered love I’ve seen Toby overflow with, I still prefer female dogs to male dogs. So what gives?
Toby’s sole purpose in life is to give and receive love. That’s all he thinks or cares about. Annabelle, on the other hand, has a mind that never stops racing. You can see it in her eyes.
From my interactions with them, along with countless other dogs I’ve crossed paths with, I notice this pattern a lot: While the males aim to please you, the females like to indulge in a little self-glory along the way.
Female dogs are spunky and decisive. They love you, but when things aren’t going their way, it’s not hard to tell. They can be like teenagers — I swear I’ve seen Annabelle roll her eyes at me.
Personally, I love that. Give me a little attitude (in a good way, of course) any day. I’ll take it.
I won’t deny it — this is biased. In my experience, however, training female dogs has been a breeze. I’ve conquered basics in mere days and intermediate tricks like they’re nothing. I find female dogs to be highly astute and aware. When training female dogs, I’ve also noticed a strong tendency for them to “please” based off something they want, like treats or praise.
Training male dogs — particularly Toby — has been different. Toby has always wanted to please his people, but not by learning new behavior or tricks. Instead, he aims to please by sharing his love.
It’s like the boys are in it for you, and the girls are in it for themselves. Personally, I enjoy and admire the independence I’ve seen in the females.
Let’s face it — female dogs are daintier than male dogs. Females don’t lift their legs to pee, for example.
Not only that, male dogs who aren’t neutered tend to be ruled by hormones. Those hormones might lead to displays of, er, let’s call it ardor — with another dog in the house, a pillow or even your leg. Of course, females have also been known to do this, but still.
When I’m cuddling Annabelle on the couch or in bed, we sometimes snuggle up face-to-face (that’s totally normal, right?). She gets full-on belly rubs, and even though she’s big, she sometimes gets picked up like a toddler.
With Toby, or any male dog, for that matter, certain bits and pieces make that up-close snuggling a little farther away. It just doesn’t feel quite as doable to me.
The Verdict? You Decide.
The question is: Am I wrong for preferring female dogs to males? I’ve loved both genders fiercely, but at the end of the day, I know which one I prefer.
Maybe it’s the result of growing up with female dogs. Maybe I’m basing it off of all the opinions above. That being said, I can’t be the only one out there who has a preference, whether justified or not.
Have you had experience raising both females and males? If so, what’s your take? Are you completely unbiased toward either gender, or is there a draw — no matter how small — to one gender over the other? Let us know in the comments.