Are male or female dogs better service dogs?
Sometimes people are planning to get a new service dog and might be wondering which gender makes the best service dog. In general, both male and female dogs can make excellent service dogs.
Dogs are like people, and each dog is different, of course. Some service dog handlers will prefer one gender, but there are some things to consider. Let’s take a look at what some people have said about male and female service dogs, and if male or female service dogs are better.
We asked a few people who have service dogs what they think, and these are some of their responses.
In general, male dogs tend to be:
- Physically strong
- Can be more reliable than female dogs
Female dogs tend to be:
- More emotionally sensitive
- Can be better at providing comfort and support
Male Service Dogs
- Large organizations with their own breeding programs are sometimes more likely to pull successful females into breeding than males, which can leave fewer females actively in service
- Some dog breeders focus on breeding service dogs and prioritize males
- Male dogs are larger
- Male dogs mark and need to be trained around females in heat (but this is not difficult)
More About Male & Female Service Dogs
- Some people say that females typically pee all in one go, which can make it easier for certain disabilities, especially the physical type
- Although, some people say that females like to pee as many times as possible when out walking, marking every important place
- But most people surveyed seemed to say males tend to pee more while on walks
- Females tend to be smaller. If you don’t need your dog to be performing physical tasks, smaller might be better
- Smaller dogs are easier to fit on buses, planes, cars, etc. They take up less space and are less likely to be noticed if they were laying under a table
- Smaller dogs will require not as much food and less space for a kennel
- If you get a male, you don’t have to deal with a heat cycle before a female dog is spayed
- Females can have a pretty intense heat cycle when intact, and this can lead to them being out of commission a few weeks out of the year for service work
- Some people say that females tend to be more devoted to their handler than males because hormonally, an intact male dog’s biggest temptation is a female in heat because that’s just how their brains are wired
- Females are less hormonally driven and therefore can sometimes tend to be more focused on their handler
- Females sometimes have a reputation for being harder to train
- Smaller service dogs (females) can pose problems with mobility or deep-pressure tasks, so perhaps males are better for those roles
- Some people say that male animals are also just generally seen as sweeter, and more willing to bond with humans than females
- Some people say that male dogs are goofy
- Some people say that females are much more handler focused and a little less distracted than males
- Intact males might become distracted and not focus on their human if they smell a female (a mile away)
- Some females become bonded quickly and are easy to train
- Each dog is different
- Female dogs might tend to connect better with male humans and males dogs might tend to connect better with female humans
- In general, females are known for being more free-thinkers and males are more driven to please
- Males are goofy, females are serious
Both male and female service dogs can do excellent work. It just depends on what you need. Males tend to be larger and better for physical tasks, such as physical support jobs. Females are smaller and might be better for non-physical tasks. Think about what you need, how much you travel, and if the size is important to you. Each dog is different, so never assume that a dog will be a certain way due to a generalization.