Choosing a Female Dog

Male or female? A crucial question that arises in front of any future dog owner who has made his/her decision about the breed. We generally advise the undecided to go for a female, but this choice should only be made after knowing the characteristics specific to the female.

Once the choice of the breed has been made, you will then have to choose the sex of your dog. Again, your final decision will have to be made after careful consideration, based on different criteria and what differentiates females from males.

Less sturdy than males

Generally, the female is always less imposing than the male. It’s smaller and lighter, which is a significant aspect when considering adopting a female dog, especially for its size.

You will have to control, carry, and keep your dog on a leash. The physical constitution of your companion compared to yours constitutes an important criterion of choice.

A less fiery temperament

Males tend to be more spirited, more active, and more easily distracted than females. The behavior of a female is therefore easier to manage both on a daily basis and during education. Particularly attentive, calm, and receptive, they learn faster, especially as they reach maturity more quickly.

On the other hand, their attitude can undergo some changes during hot weather.

The heat

The heat, in fact, generally begins at the age of one year and then starts twice a year. They last 3 weeks on average and are divided into three main phases:

  • Proliferative phase: marked by blood flow from the vulva, it lasts between 6 and 12 days
  • Estrus phase: the female is ready to mate. This phase lasts between 5 and 9 days during which most bitches no longer bleed.
  • Ovulation: this third and final phase lasts 10 or 11 days

The heat can pose a problem in terms of hygiene. You will, in fact, have to clean the bloodstains .

You will also have to deal with the many “suitors”. All the males in the area are likely to perceive the signals emitted by your bitch in heat. You are therefore very likely to find them in front of your house or to have to deal with insistent dogs during walks.

Pathologies specific to females

Females, like males, can develop pathologies specific to their sex. A fact to take into consideration at the time of your choice.

Here are a few :

  • The nervous pregnancy: the female displays a behavior and presents physical signs which normally make think of a pregnancy, whereas this one does not take place. It becomes restless, appears preoccupied, and may experience loss of appetite. Its udders gain volume and secrete a substance similar to milk.
  • Uterine pathologies: including pyometra, an infection of the uterus developing 3 to 8 weeks after a heat cycle.
  • Breast tumors: more or less serious, they can sometimes result from a nervous pregnancy.

The sterilization of the female makes it possible to prevent these pathologies. Unless, of course, if you want your female dog to reproduce.


  • Amanda Wheatley

    Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..) Why Trust ShelterAPet? At ShelterAPet, our collective is composed of writers, veterinarians, and seasoned animal trainers with a deep passion for pets. Our team of esteemed professionals delves into extensive research to deliver trustworthy insights on a broad spectrum of pet-related subjects. We anchor our evaluations on direct customer experiences, meticulous testing, and comprehensive scrutiny. Our commitment is to uphold transparency and integrity for our cherished community of pet aficionados and prospective pet parents.

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