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The following article by Mary Stasiewicz gives an excellent comparison of the differences between the sexes, along with
some guidelines on adding a second dog to the household.

In some ways, choosing between male and female dogs is a matter of personal preference. However, there are some
characteristics which are common in females and other characteristics which are common in male dogs. It is important
to evaluate these characteristics and determine which sex would fit in best with your home situation. Additionally,
choosing between male and female dogs is important if you already have another female or male dog and are choosing
an additional dog. This article will list a few characteristics of females, a few characteristics of male dogs, and how to
choose between male and female dogs when considering a second or new family member.

The following characteristics often apply to females:
Independent - females tend to want to be in control of the entire situation. They may come to their owner when they
are seeking affection but will often move away when they have had enough.

Stubborn - In many packs, a female is typically the Alpha. Female dogs crave more control of situations and are quick
to respond to perceived challenges with fierceness.

Territorial - Female dogs mark in the same way male dogs do. A spayed female may continue to mark for her entire
lifetime regardless of when she is spayed while most males will cease marking behaviors shortly after they are neutered
and the testosterone levels subside.

Reserved - females are generally less affectionate and friendly than male dogs. This characteristic is noticeable in puppies
and becomes more pronounced with age.

Changes in Mood or Behavior - It is also important to note that if you do not spay your female, she will come into
heat at approximately 6 months to one year of age and approximately every six months thereafter. During this time,
there will be some bleeding as well as a change in mood or behavior.

The following characteristics often apply to male dogs:
Affectionate - Male dogs are typically more affectionate than females. They tend to crave attention from their owners
more than females and as a result, display more affectionate behaviors.

Exuberant - A male dog is also more likely to be fun-loving and outgoing throughout his lifetime than a female. While a
female tends to become more reserved as she ages, a male dog maintains a more puppy-like exuberance throughout his

Food-Motivated - Males are often very motivated by food. This food motivation can make training extremely easy as
treats can be used to lure and reward a dog to display desired behaviors.

Attentive - While females tend to be more independent, males tend to be more focused on their human companions.
They want to always be close to the human and are very eager to please.

Aggressive Behaviors - It is also important to note that intact males may display aggressive behaviors toward other males
or exhibit marking behaviors. Neutering your male dog, will greatly decrease these behaviors!

Adding a dog to your home:
Dog owners who are adding an additional dog to their home should carefully consider the ramifications of adding a
dog of either sex. This is important because the makeup of the existing pack may be more accepting to either a male or
a female dog. The following are general tips for selecting the gender of a second dog:

If you already have a male or a female, a dog of the opposite sex is generally the best choice. Dogs of the same sex are
more likely to fight than dogs of the opposite sex.

If you already have a male dog, he is likely to be more accepting of a female and you are likely to have fewer
dominance issues if you add a female to the pack. However, if you opt to add another male to the pack, they can
peacefully co-exist and may even become friends. It is important to closely monitor their interactions early on to ensure
aggressive behaviors do not become common.

If you already have a female dog, she is likely to be more accepting of a male. Most males tend to be submissive. If he
does not challenge your resident female, she is not likely to have a reason to fight with him. Adding a female dog to the
pack, however, may result in complications. The worst combination of dogs is two females because they are more
likely to fight than a male and a female or two males.
However, many dog owners have two or more females
that live together without problems
. As long as there is an established Alpha and the other females know their
place in the pack, there will not be dominance struggles often, although they may still occur.

Selecting a male or female dog is largely a matter of personal preference. The above characteristics
are generalizations, and it is certainly possible to adopt a female puppy who displays male
characteristics or a male puppy who displays the typical female characteristics. Additionally, females
that are spayed and dogs that are neutered often do not have the gender-specific problems associated
with their sex such as coming into heat or marking.  

Male dogs can also wear Belly Bands while adjusting to a new home.  It normally takes any dog a couple of weeks to
adjust, and both males and females will mark their new territory for the first few weeks.   Click here for info on

Please click here to see a complete list of our Adoptable Dogs
Shelters, because they are considered less adoptable-  they will pull all the female pups and leave
the male litter mates to be killed and foster homes will refuse to foster male dogs.
People also purchase more females from breeders.  
Please keep this in mind when YOU are adding a new dog to your family-
Southern Shih Tzu & Toy Breed
Rescue and Sanctuary
A 501c 3 Non-Profit charity located in central Alabama and southern Louisiana,  dedicated to rescuing, rehoming and
providing sanctuary care for abandoned, abused and homeless toy breeds. Focusing on shelter dogs and breeder/mill dogs.