Does the Gender of Your Dog Make a Difference In Temperament?
My First Dog
I got my first dog, actually I shared her with my brother, when I was 5. She was an adorable tiny thing, half chihuahua and half something else small. I was instantly in love. So was everyone else in the house. I had no other pet dog to compare her too at that time, and little did I know that I would spend most of my working life in Veterinary Clinics and Animal Shelters, bathing, grooming, cleaning cages, handling animals and even giving the occasional vaccine. But I learned much more from owning my own dogs, and rehabilitating a stream of strays that seemed to pour through my house, get socialized, trained, checked for diseases, healed vaccinated, groomed and moved on to new posh homes. I know I loved that little first dog of my own even better because she was a girl. Girls of five love other girls things, and boys love other boy things, it seems. How much does that carry on into adulthood? How much do we continue to feel that we relate better to species of our own gender? Or is it something different than that? Do the actual hormones of the dog, the actual genetic differences between the male dog's brain and the female dog's brain make them bond and react differently to us, just as they react differently to each other. This is a question I started asking myself after my husband and I rescued our silky terrier "Rico" from the pound. The last thing we needed was another dog, the last place we needed to be was walking down the corridors of an animal shelter, but something about Rico's eyes were not to be denied. He was skinny and matted and his Left Rear leg could not bear weight, but he stared at us with some kind of hope that defied all odds, and we took him home. His psychological recovery over the past two years has often left me wondering if there is a difference between the way Male dogs perceive the world, or is it just him.
I Think There Is a Difference, But It's All Good
So Basically, Rico slowly healed. His leg healed, but after two, almost three years, he still remembers the injury and insists that I handle it with kid gloves, and I do. He is very afraid of noise, so the fourth of July for me is spent on the bed surrounded by quivering dogs, with Rico sprawled, panting across my lap. He has become, ever so slowly, very very attached to me, as if he is MY caretaker, and I can't imagine a greater loyalty. He follows me literally everywhere I go no matter what time of the day or night it is and no matter how short of a distance or how far. I have previously had almost all female dogs before, except for PeeWee, the chihuahua, who is also very different from the females, and a dog named Max, who I got in high school (my boyfriend gave him to me) just before college. It was terribly tragic about Max. He wouldn't let anyone else pet him if I weren't there. I tried to arrange to get an apartment that allowed dogs for my freshman year, but my parents wouldn't hear of it. When I went off to school, and Max and I were no longer together, he hid behind the washer and dryer in the garage and refused to eat. Or come out for anyone else. My mother tried to pull him out by his collar, but he bit her. My dad informed me that Max had to be euthanized for fear of his having rabies, but he had had his rabies shot like clockwork every year. It was just a tragedy. From being around so many dogs of both genders, I have finally decided that Male dogs may take longer to bond if you don't raise them from puppies, but when they bond they bond hard and bond for life. They will do anything for you. That is not to say that females are any less wonderful . Female dogs will love you too, and protect you, and stay by your side and bond with you ever so much, and do incredible things to keep you company and keep you happy. They are just vaguely different sides of the same coin. And if you have two dogs. most experts say you should have one of each gender, to keep fighting down. But you know what you can do with your experts.