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Getting a Second Dog: Should You Get a Male or Female?

Are you considering getting a second dog? Maybe you are wondering if you should get a male or female?

Adding another dog to your family can be a lot of fun, for both you and your current dog! However, it’s not a step to be taken lightly.

To avoid potential conflicts between your current dog and a new dog, you’ll want to make sure to make the best choice.

As you know, we have a multi-dog household. We have had as many as 14 furry friends at one time however, currently, we have 9 pups. They range from a puppy to an 18-year-old Chihuahua, 7 pounds to 125 pounds, and a mix of males and females.

So let’s talk about which gender would work better with your current dog along with a few other important considerations you should think about.

Choosing a Second Dog - Should You Get a Male or Female

If you are worried about training you should look into a few online training classes from popular trainers to start.

To help you out, here are a few points to consider before making your decision.

If you are wanting to add another dog to the family, should you get a male or female?

Hopefully, these tips will help with that decision and soon you will be bringing home your new family member!

As you will also see, a lot depends on your current pooch!

1. Your Current Dog’s Gender

In general, when it comes to deciding whether you should get a male or female, opposite-sex dogs tend to work best.

A male dog will have fewer issues with a new female dog, and vice versa. This has to do with dominance.

Physical fights may occur as dogs of the same gender fight to become the alpha.

But if you have one male and one female, each can be the alpha of their own gender, reducing the risk of fights.

But if you do get another dog of the same gender, a pair of males may be less likely to get into fights than a pair of females.

Two dogs carrying a tree branch

2. Your Current Dog’s Temperament

When considering whether to get a male or female, you should definitely consider your current pup’s temperament.

If they’re sweet and playful and always get along with the other dogs at the dog park, they may be fine with a new dog of any gender.

Laid-back breeds like Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, Basset Hounds, and Golden Retrievers are more likely to be fine with dogs of the same gender since they have such dog-friendly temperaments.

However, German Shepherds, Dobermans, Rottweilers, and other breeds with strong, dominant personalities are likely to have a harder time cooperating with other dogs of the same gender and may show signs of aggression.

Choosing a Second Dog: Should You Get a Male or Female?

3. Your Current Pup’s Age

You should also take your current dog’s age into account when deciding on the gender of the dog you are adding to the family.

If you currently have a puppy, they’re likely to be more receptive to a new canine friend entering their life, regardless of gender.

Since puppies are in the stage of their life when they’re easiest to train, you’ll be able to quickly teach them what kind of behavior isn’t appropriate when around the other pooches.

As puppies grow up, the possibility of dominance fights may increase.

However, if dogs have grown up together they’re likely to be able to tolerate each other pretty well.

Big white dog looking down at small white dog

4. Your Current Dog’s Size

If your current pooch is small and your next pup is going to be big, it’s possible they won’t consider themselves similar enough to be worth having dominance fights.

A male Dachshund can think of himself as so different from a male Greyhound that he doesn’t even consider starting a fight and instead, the two become good friends.

However, a male Saint Bernard meeting another male Saint Bernard sees a dog of equal size and may view the other male as a threat.

Of course, there are exceptions to any rule.

Choosing a Second Dog: Should You Get a Male or Female?

5. Your Current Dog’s Energy Level

In addition to deciding on a male or female, consider if your current dog is able to interact with a puppy, or will an older calmer dog be best.

If your current pooch is high-energy and loves to play, then an active puppy may be the perfect companion.

They’ll help each other burn off excess energy and provide plenty of entertainment.

If your pup is more of a couch potato, then an older, more relaxed dog may be a better choice.

An older dog isn’t as likely to take on the role of alpha and can provide the companionship your current pup needs.

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

Ultimately, it’s up to you and your pup to decide what gender, temperament, energy level, and/or age of a new dog will work best in your home.

You’ll know a bit more about their compatibility when they meet, but you’ll have a better idea of their relationship once they’ve been living together for a few weeks.

Regardless, make sure to introduce them carefully, give each their own things such as food bowls and beds, separate spaces for quiet time, and be ready to correct any behavioral issues or bad behavior.

You will also need to remember that there will be an adjustment period for them to settle in.

Have you ever owned multiple dogs at once? 

Julia proud

Saturday 15th of January 2022

I had two male Dogs. My original dog was a Minton male, and when I wanted to adopt another dog, I had picked out another small male dog and he went nuts growling and barking, then I brought a small female dog over and she was probably the same size as him and same thing, but then I bought an Italian greyhound that weighed 20 pounds as opposed to my dogs 14 pounds, and he got along with him instantly. they loved each other very much, but they didn’t cuddle all the time. They cuddled when we forwarded them, they had to be in the same cage and they would get upset, but around the house they were kind of sitting on different places. So I thought now that my 15-year-old men pan has passed that I might try a female puppy to pair with my Italian greyhound who is also about 11. And the one I am considering is a Havanese, which is a very small dog, a lot smaller than my greyhound.Any advice would be appreciated.


Wednesday 15th of December 2021

We are thinking of adding a sibling to our doodle/groodle. She’s 18 months old and we are on a waiting list for a full sibling …. I’d prefer a female dog but after reading this maybe a make dog. They will be full siblings. Any opinions?


Tuesday 27th of October 2020

I have a female chihuahua mix and planning to get another chihuahua mix. We had other dogs but they have died of old age and now Nala is alone.

Sue heeks

Wednesday 21st of October 2020

I have a shitz he is 5 years old and always been on his own I feel he needs a play mate that's why I asked what sex to get

kerry kerestesy

Monday 12th of August 2019

i have a female half rotty half great dane . she 9 yrs old . she lost her best bud gus about 1 year. we are thinking of getting a puppy as a new frind. besse is fun and friendly and not agressive. although she is not a fighter she takes awhile to be comfortable with other dogs. she loved her old partner gus who died at 12. she has become more receptive to other dogs since he passed but i am wondering if the gender of the new pup will matter. my wife and i are both retired and have been raising dogs (mostly pairs) for along time. they where always. opposite sex. we where thinking of getting another female. nothing is set in stone. are two females a bad idea. kk

Jeff Tucker

Saturday 16th of January 2021

I was in the same situation 23 years ago, my old black Lab Blue, died at 13 and my female who was 4 at the time was lonely and sad, I took her with me to meet the dogs at the animal shelter and let her pick out the dog she liked best, which happens to be another girl and they are great togetther

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