If you’ve decided to welcome a goldendoodle into your home, you’re about to make your and your family’s life brighter. Doodles are some of the sweetest, most affectionate and easiest-to-train dog breeds out there. If you’re being thorough about research, there’s a good chance you’re wondering if there’s a difference between male and female goldendoodles, and which one might be best for your household.
In this article, you’ll discover if there’s any difference between male and female doodles when it comes to behavior, training, early years and physical and personality traits. Plus, we bust some common myths about goldendoodle male and female dogs to help you decide which puppy gender is better for you.
Male vs Female Goldendoodle: Do Gender Differences Exist?
For many people, goldendoodles are a dream dog. These loving dogs embody the idea that dogs can be a man’s or woman’s best friend, make excellent service dogs and love making their pet parents happy. But are there notable differences between one gender and the other that dog owners need to know about?
Generally speaking, there are very minor differences between a girl and boy dog, but they mainly relate to height, weight and physical appearance. A dog’s personality tends to be more directly related to the dog breed, genetics and quality of breeding. Different personality traits exist in every dog and don’t relate much to gender.
Some people say a female dog can be more nervous and edgy than a male or females are less prone to aggression. However, this is more likely to vary from animal to animal than relate to gender — especially regarding neutered dogs. When it comes to neutered dogs, the gender differences are so minor that choosing a male vs. female goldendoodle is mainly a case of personal preference.
Male Goldendoodles vs. Female Goldendoodle Personality
All personality differences between male and female goldendoodles are anecdotal. Scientifically speaking, personality traits are breed-specific rather than gender-specific. Individual genetics and the way a doodle is raised are more influential when determining the level of aggression, confidence or intelligence a dog displays. As golden retriever and poodle offspring, they all have the smarts of a poodle and the loving nature of a retriever — how well-developed these traits are is largely down to breeding, genes and early training.
Personality Traits vs. Temperament
Temperament is the inherited element of your dog’s character. Personality refers to the individual nature of your dog. It’s impossible to pinpoint gender differences because personality is different for each dog. Some will prefer to cuddle and snooze with you; others will be boundless bundles of energy. Most dog owners choose a new pet based on these types of traits, which are unrelated to whether you opt for a female or male puppy.
Behavioral Differences Between Male Dogs and Female Dogs
Many people looking to welcome a new dog into their home are looking for the perfect pet, one that’s mild-mannered and easy to train. In truth, the unique nature of a doodle’s heritage means it’s one of the best breeds to pick if you’re an inexperienced dog owner or simply want an easier life. However, there are no guarantees that any puppy will grow into a perfectly behaved adult doodle.
If you’re looking for a well-behaved doodle, learning the best methods for training your dog is infinitely more important than worrying about which gender is more easy-going.
Barking, Chewing and Scratching
When it comes to scratching, chewing and biting, it doesn’t matter if your new puppy is male or female. Stopping these types of behavior is all about maintaining a consistent routine, proper house training and giving your dog lots of love and attention. Some dogs might be more prone to unwanted behaviors than others, but it’s not about gender.
If your pet is especially challenging, you can seek help from a professional dog trainer. Most behavioral issues have a root cause and in most cases can be resolved with consistency and hard work.
Territory Marking and Humping
There are two main behavioral issues people talk about, particularly in reference to male doodles: marking and humping. In fact, both genders can display these unwanted behaviors, especially at the onset of sexual maturity. Humping is as much about dominance and play as it is an exploration of their bodies, while territory marking is something all dogs do before being trained not to.
How to Correct Marking and Humping
Both males and females go through a “teenage phase” where they display marking and humping. It’s no easier or harder to correct in males or females and simply involves a calm and consistent approach to setting boundaries. Redirection and positive reinforcement are the most practical and effective long-term solutions for preventing unwanted behaviors. Other tricks include:
- Taking an un-house-trained goldendoodle puppy for potty breaks every one to two hours and calmly but firmly saying no and taking it straight outside if it does mark indoors
- Using an enzyme cleaner if it does manage to mark inside, then spraying a deterrent to prevent it from going back to the same place again and again
- Distracting a humping dog with a favorite toy or game as soon as you see them begin, then piling on praise when it stops — doodles are super-smart dogs, so positive reinforcement is highly effective
Remember, females can also display humping and marking for the first few heat cycles, so it’s not just male dogs that this advice applies to.
Physical Differences Between a Typical Male Goldendoodle and Female Goldendoodle
When it comes to selecting a male vs. female goldendoodle, the key differences are physical, but they’re minimal nonetheless.
Size is probably the most concrete variation between standard male and female goldendoodles. While there are exceptions to every rule, boy dogs tend to be a little larger than girl dogs, with the average size difference being around 10%. That said, females generally mature quicker, so a girl might get bigger more quickly than a boy, but the boy will ultimately end up larger.
What’s more, when it comes to mini or toy doodles, even the size difference is usually negligible.
Coat and Grooming
Both male and female goldendoodles require regular brushing and ideally should see a groomer every two to three months to get a haircut. Lifestyle factors such as the amount of time you spend outdoors together have more of an impact on grooming requirements than gender. Of course, you might be more inclined to pamper and preen your female dog, but a male doodle would appreciate it just as much!
Reproductive health is one area where there are minor differences between female and male dogs. Unneutered female goldendoodles experience menstrual cycles and are more prone to uterine and breast cancer, while only a male doodle can develop prostate cancer and prostate-related bacterial infections. However, you can practically eliminate the risk of these infections by ensuring you get your goldendoodle desexed at the earliest opportunity.
Aside from reproductive health, all doodles are prone to the same genetic health problems:
- Hip dysplasia
- Eye disease
- Thyroid issues
- Addison’s disease
Male vs. Female Goldendoodle Puppy
There are very slight differences between baby male and female goldendoodles, but again, they’re mostly related to appearance. In fact, a puppy’s parents have a much bigger impact on how an adult dog’s behavior turns out than gender.
If you provide a consistent, stable and loving environment for your pet, it’s infinitely more likely to grow up to have desirable physical, mental, emotional and behavioral traits. Doodles that display unwanted characteristics tend to grow up in a neglectful, abusive environment without lots of love and affection or have an inconsistent, unpredictable routine.
Every doodle puppy is a unique individual. Selecting based on gender provides no guarantees, beyond the fact a male dog might grow up to be a little larger.
Neutered vs. Unneutered Males and Females
A neutered dog is one that medically can’t produce puppies, while an unneutered dog can also be referred to as intact. Many experts agree that the differences between neutered and unneutered dogs are more pronounced than those between female and male goldendoodles. For example, neutered dogs tend to:
- Mark territory less
- Demonstrate less leg-lifting
- Be less aggressive — neutered doodles usually aren’t aggressive at all
- Focus less on other dogs and be more obedient
- Display less humping behavior
- Not experience periods (female doodles)
- Not get prostate and testicular cancer (males)
Busting Common Myths About Male and Female Goldendoodles
There are a bunch of myths out there about female goldendoodles vs. male goldendoodles. Learning what’s true and what’s false can help you make the right decision when choosing your new pet.
A Male Doodle Is Harder to Train
Generally speaking, male and female goldendoodles house-train at the same rate. Your training teaches them that marking inside isn’t the thing to do, but you’ll need to reinforce this regardless of gender.
That said, unneutered males can be harder to house-train, as can dogs that are neutered after the age of six months.
Female Doodles’ Urine Burns Grass
This one might sound weird, but it’s something lawn-loving pet parents have noticed. Keep in mind that any highly concentrated pet urine can kill grass, but because females squat instead of leg-lifting, their pee has a bigger impact. To prevent this issue, make sure your dog is well-hydrated by providing more bowls of water in your home and backyard or by adding extra water to their food.
Male Doodles Tend to Be More Affectionate
Doodles make exceptional service dogs, therapy dogs and obedience champions. This is true regardless of gender because the breed itself is one of the most loving and sweet, by nature. Individual personality differences might exist between dogs, but these don’t relate to gender in any meaningful way.
Females Tend to Be More Independent and Moody
Likewise, independence and moodiness are personality traits that vary from dog to dog, whether your pet is a boy or girl. Anecdotally, people say female dogs are more nervous and edgy than male dogs, but there’s nothing scientific to back this up.
Males Tend to Show More Aggressive Behavior
Aggression in males is largely eradicated with desexing, and it’s very rare for a female goldendoodle to be aggressive. When it comes to barking, biting and impulse control, your training and the consistency of your dog’s schedule have more of an impact than gender.
Only a Male Dog Displays Humping Behavior
Humping isn’t something to be concerned about, and it’s a perfectly natural instinct in all dogs. However, it’s not particularly desirable and easy to train out of your pet with redirection and positive reinforcement.
Should You Choose a Male or Female Goldendoodle?
Whether you select a male or female goldendoodle is all about personal preference. There are no concrete differences beyond a small size discrepancy, so it’s best to ask about the unique traits of an individual puppy when buying a new doodle rather than picking based on gender. Provided you buy a goldendoodle from a reputable breeder, you’ll benefit from all the wonderful traits these adorable dogs possess.
If you’re ready to welcome a goldendoodle into your home, check out the available puppies here at Pride & Prejudoodles.