Chapter 2
How To Know What Gender Dog Is Best For You

Choosing Between a Male and Female

Selecting the gender of a dog isn’t just a matter of preferring a male or female. Each sex has its own characteristics that may make one or the other a better choice for you. The differences between male and female include size and potentially costs. This is especially true of large and giant breeds. There are also differences in behavior and personality between males and females.

Size Differences Between Male and Female Dogs

In most breeds, males tend to be larger than females. In small breeds, the size difference won't be noticeable. But in large breeds, the size difference may be 6 or more inches at the shoulders, and from 10 to 70 pounds in weight. This can make a considerable difference in how easy or difficult the dog is to control.

Difference in the Cost of a Spay/Neuter

Neutering is surgically removing a male dog’s ability to father puppies. Spaying is the surgery that makes female dogs unable to have puppies. Unless you are planning to breed your dog, you should seriously consider spaying or neutering your pet. This prevents unexpected litters of puppies and helps to reduce pet overpopulation problems that plague most areas.
Spaying and neutering can provide both behavioral and health-related benefits. Female dogs spayed before their first heat have no risk of uterine cancer, and can reduce other female health problems as well. Spaying or neutering can also prevent many aggressive or territorial behaviors from forming.
The surgery to spay or neuter a dog involves different levels of complexity. As a result, each frequently carries different costs. Generally, neutering a male is less expensive than spaying a comparably sized female.
The difference in the price between spaying and neutering depends on your geographic location and if you go to a Humane Society, a low-cost clinic, or a regular veterinarian. The difference in cost may range from $5 to $150, depending on where you go to have the proceedure performed and the size of your dog. As with all surgical procedures, the general rule is the larger the dog the greater the cost.