So you’re ready to adopt a puppy. You’ve done the research and you know that a labradoodle will be the best for your family and living situation. If you’ve picked out the breed and maybe even found a breeder, you’re one step closer to finding your puppy!
However, there’s an important question to ask yourself – do you want a male or a female labradoodle pup? Are there major differences you should be aware of before choosing, or can you just choose based on color and personality preferences?
In this article, I’ll list all the differences and similarities between male and female Labradoodles. Once you’ve learned the variances between the two genders, I’ll discuss the most important factor when adopting a labradoodle puppy.
Male Vs Female Labradoodle
You might have heard that male Labradoodles (or male dogs in general) are more aggressive and harder to train. You might also have heard that female dogs get moody or territorial. Dog owners say that personality is different between the two genders and that male dogs are more loving, but female dogs run away less.
In reality, none of that is true! The differences between male and female Labradoodles are mostly in their physical makeup and ability to bear or sire children. Individual factors, such as where the dog is raised and its genetics, determine the dog’s personality.
When dogs aren’t fixed or neutered, they do have different types of hormones. Male dogs have fixed hormones that don’t vary too much in level over time. When male intact dogs are about ten months old, they hit their “teenage” phase and become more rebellious and harder to handle.
Male dogs are “teenagers” like this for over a year sometimes. While this makes them more difficult to train and increases their odds of running away (looking for mates), it’s only a phase and they will mellow out.
Female intact dogs, on the other hand, don’t have fixed hormones. Because of their hormonal cycles, they will mostly be emotionally stable and have bouts of moodiness when they’re in heat. These cycles will continue until they hit menopause.
Because females hit sexual maturity faster than males, they tend to be mellower and more obedient early on. During their hormonal cycles, you will have to monitor them closely for bleeding, disobedience, and running away to mate.
The difference in temperament is due to hormones. If your dog is fixed, you won’t have to worry about increased aggression or disobedience. However, before a dog is neutered or spayed, there are some differences between the genders.
Male dogs tend to be more loving and affectionate, but rowdier. If you’re trying to train a dog early, you’ll probably have more issues with a male dog than with a female dog.
However, female dogs can be more aggressive and territorial when left unfixed. This is due to their mothering instincts. Female Labradoodles like being the mother of the pack, and often are more possessive of other dogs, owners, or children in the house.
Both genders of Labradoodles will mellow out once they’re past prime child-bearing years. At that point, their hormones will relax. However, if they’re fixed, these differences in temperament largely disappear.
There is a negligible difference in size between male and female Labradoodles. If you are looking at the same overall breeding size (mini or regular), you really won’t notice a difference between a male adult and a female adult.
The biggest physical difference between male and female Labradoodles is that females tend to have a slightly slimmer build. They’re usually one to two inches shorter than a male and have smaller bodies. However, both males and females are in the same weight range (50-65 pounds for a regular labradoodle), so the difference is small.
Obedience and Ease of Training
How obedient your dog depends more on the training regimen you put it through than its gender. Your atmosphere and raising of the dog will mold its temperament into whatever dog you want it to be. However, an unfixed dog will pose different problems for training.
Female dogs learn quickly, even when they’re intact. Because their bodies mature faster, their brains have an easier time training. Females are generally pretty obedient after proper training.
Male dogs have much more testosterone running through their bodies, so it’s more difficult to train them normally. However, it still can be done. A different training technique is necessary for unfixed male Labradoodles, but they can become obedient and loyal dogs.
It’s easier once you remove your dog’s hormones, whether it’s when they’re fixed or after they pass through the “teenage” stage. If you stay committed to training, you’ll end up with a loyal, obedient dog no matter their gender.
Male and female Labradoodles have about the same risk of health issues. There’s not an enormous difference in the genders, especially if you go to a good breeder. The main health problems that Labradoodles face are poor breeding, overbreeding, or bad genetics. Preventing issues with proper screening of the breeder dogs is the best choice.
Unfixed dogs, however, are both at a higher risk of illness than fixed dogs. Both male and female dogs have a higher risk of cancer (testicular or prostate for male dogs and cervical for females). There’s also a higher risk of complications from unintentional breeding and urinary tract infections for female dogs.
Factors Other Than Gender
The differences between male and female (fixed) Labradoodles are relatively small. However, other factors affect your labrador’s personality and temperament much more than their gender. Before you pick out a puppy to take home, check into these factors.
A good breeder will not just take the parents’ health and history into account. Breeders also watch out for calm and obedient temperaments in their breeder dogs. Check into the parents’ temperaments and demeanors to find out what your puppy is inheriting! It makes a difference for you as you start to train a new dog.
Even though the parents’ temperaments affect a dog, each puppy will have its unique personality. The only way to tell how a dog will mesh with your family is to interact with the puppy!
If you are picking out a dog from a litter, it’s best to bring the family members who will interact with the dog most and see how each puppy acts. In the end, every dog is different, and how you raise and love the dog will affect your relationship more than the dog’s gender or breeding.
There are few noticeable differences between the two genders of fixed dogs. Because most of the differences come down to hormones, you’ll only find trackable differences between males and females if you decide not to spay or neuter your pets.
In most circumstances, veterinarians recommend fixing your dog. It will prevent unwanted pregnancies, help curb bad behavior, and increase your dog’s overall health. Many breeders spay or neuter pets before adoption. If this isn’t the case for you, talk to your vet. He or she will know what’s best for your dog.
One essential factor in a dog’s success is the family environment. Labradoodles are great dogs for families with or without children. Whether you have a fixed dog or not, a well-trained labradoodle will make an amazing pet for your family.
However, a dog is only as healthy as its family and environment. If your family is going through a lot of stress, a big move, or another adjustment, it might be best to wait until things settle down before getting a new puppy.
Adding a dog to a house is stressful and a large adjustment in and of itself–you don’t want to cause more stress to yourself, your family, or a puppy by creating more chaos. Not every family is peaceful all the time, but you can have a better guarantee of a healthy dog by waiting until you’re ready to adopt.
Training and Raising
Once you know you’re ready for a puppy and you’ve picked out a dog, the most vital thing you can do is train it right. Whether it’s a girl or boy puppy, your dog will benefit from training with you and with a professional.
By training the dog properly and raising it in a disciplined home, you will be able to enjoy a well-behaved dog for years to come. The gender of the dog won’t make a difference in the long run, especially if they’re well trained. Even with the added hormones of not being fixed, training a dog well will make your life easier and more enjoyable.
In reality, the main difference between male and female Labradoodles is their hormone levels. If these vary, you’ll find female dogs to be more aggressive and protective, but mellow out and are easier to train.
Male dogs are wilder during the “teenage years” but will always show you love and affection.
However, if you’ve got fixed dogs, you won’t notice a difference between male and female Labradoodles – you’ll just have a sweet and loyal dog to keep you company for many years.