Australian Shepherds are incredible dogs. They are cute, loyal, easy to train and have a lot of other great features. Like any other breeds, future owners have to study thoroughly before getting an Aussie.
However, even after this research, some aspects often go unperceived. One of them is choosing the dog’s gender.
Male and female Australian Shepherds differentiate in only a few aspects. The main differences are physical aspects, like their size. Apart from that, both genders share the same personalities. Choosing between male and female Australian Shepherds is more of a personal preference.
If you are lost on how to choose the gender of your future Australian Shepherd, you’re in the right place. In this article, I will show you the key differences between males and females so you can choose the most adequate for your profile.
What Are the Main Differences Between the Two Genders?
Male and female Australian Shepherds differ in some aspects, such as:
- Ease to train
Different Aussie genders will not offer you completely different experiences. Both are fantastic companies and their mindset doesn’t differ too much. Physical aspects are what most differ them and are where you should focus your attention.
Size: One of the most noticeable differences between male and female Australian Shepherds is their size. As you can probably imagine, male Aussies are bigger than females. The average height of a fully grown male Aussie varies from 28 to 32 inches in a standing position.
On the other hand, females’ heights usually vary from 25 to 29 inches. Their length is also smaller. The average female grows up to around 28 to 31 inches. Meanwhile, males’ lengths usually range from 31 to 36 inches.
These dimensions might vary when they sit. Depending on the way they do this, both males and females may measure more in this relaxing position. Spreading the tail and the front paws over the floor will greatly increase their length.
Weight: Another point of comparison between male and female Australian Shepherds is their weight. Females have a tendency to weigh between 35 to 55 pounds.
On the other hand, Aussie boys weigh from 55 to 70 pounds. This isn’t much of a surprise. Similarly to most other breeds, they follow the natural tendency of males being heavier than females.
Male Australian Shepherds are thicker and denser than the opposite gender. They have heavier bones and longer hair, features that help in doing exercises and mating, respectively. These characteristics explain some of the reasons for distinct weights.
Appearance: Perhaps the characteristic that most easily allows us to differentiate dogs distantly. Australian Shepherds aren’t exceptions. There are key aspects that distinguish the two genders of this breed.
First of all, you probably know that males have to attract females to mate. This happens with every animal. Australian Shepherds follow this tendency.
Male Aussies have substantially longer hair than females and are more exuberant. They also have a more masculine head. Since girls don’t need a lot of exhibitions, it is not needed for them to have these features.
What Are the Hormonal Differences?
Male and female Australian Shepherds have distinct hormonal systems as well. Female dogs generally experience estrus, the recurring period of sexual receptivity, two times a year. Going into that period changes the dog’s body to be prepared for reproduction.
During this time, her organism will produce a secretion to attract male Aussies. It is only during the estrus that the dog will be interested in sex.
To prevent female Australian Shepherds from getting pregnant, many owners spay them, which means they undergo a medical procedure to remove the ovaries and other parts of their reproductive system.
Spayed females lose their ability to reproduce. They don’t experience the estrus and therefore lose their interest in mating. If you don’t want to submit your Australian Shepherd to this kind of surgery, you need to keep her away from males while in the cycle.
Just like human beings, male dogs don’t need to wait for a period to reproduce. They can mate at any time. The only restriction is the female fertile period.
However, male Australian Shepherds can also be submitted to a surgery similar to the one for females. This is known as neutering. The process removes the dog’s testes.
Aside from impeding the dog from breeding, these surgeries also reduce some behaviors related to mating. Pure dogs are more agitated. Males, for example, are more likely to mark their territory to show their dominance.
They might also jump over people, other dogs, or even house items more often. Also, they may even look for females with more determination. They can escape and even submit themselves to dangerous situations because of love.
What Are the Health Differences?
Male and female Australian Shepherds might suffer from different diseases, but their lifespan is pretty similar. Australian Shepherds’ life expectancy ranges from 13 to 15 years. This may vary a bit. Some dogs live less, and some live more independently from gender.
Spaying females and neutering males can prevent some health problems. In females, mammary cancer and uterine infections can be reduced with the procedure. Protection from prostatic hyperplasia and testicular cancer are some of the benefits of neutering males.
Some studies reveal that some diseases are more common in neutered or spayed dogs. However, the benefits of the procedures are also very high. That way, the advantages easily outweigh the risks and most veterinarians recommend the surgeries.
The timing of the treatment also impacts the dog’s health. In the past, the most popular recommendation was to spay or neuter at an early age, generally before puberty. This was believed to prevent bad behavior.
However, more recently, professionals say it’s better to wait until the dog reaches physical maturity. Aussies treated after being fully developed reduce the chances of orthopedic issues. In addition to it, they are less likely to suffer from some types of cancer.
Are There Differences in Training Male or Female Australian Shepherds?
Yes, there are. First of all, the average male Australian Shepherds are more eager to train than females. They are more motivated about food and praise. Due to that, it’s easier to convince them to train.
Nevertheless, boys are more distracted during training. Due to their puppy-like style and will to play, they can more easily lose their focus in these sessions.
Even though girls may be a bit harder to convince, they perform very well in classes. Female Aussies tend to reach maturity earlier. For that reason, they tend to be more concentrated. As a result, training female Australian Shepherds might be slightly easier.
This doesn’t mean, however, that training a male will be a hard task. Australian Shepherds as a whole are known for being incredibly intelligent. In addition to it, they love to please their owners. Combining these two features, training any Aussie is a fairly easy task.
What Are the Behavioural Differences?
If we ignore activity related to reproduction, there are only a few attitudes determined by an Aussies’ gender. However, there are some important points I should show you.
First of all, males tend to be more affectionate. They stick to their owners more than girls. Also, they will miss you more if left alone for a long time. They are more loyal and more reliable.
An aspect that can be either good or bad is that male Australian Shepherds tend to be a bit more unquiet. They are more playful and will act like puppies even when adults. Both sexes are crazy about food, but this is more noticeable among males. That contributes to the better trainability.
It is also common to see boys fighting for territory. For that reason, dogs of opposite genders tend to get along better if they live in the same space.
Females are more relaxed and more sensitive. Due to that, it is a bit easier to deal with their personality. Their increased maturity also makes them more organized. Girls have a more strict schedule and get more reserved when they age.
My Final Thoughts
Even though there are some differences between male and female Australian Shepherds, I think you shouldn’t judge them by their gender. Remember that they still are the same breed! Nothing is going to change drastically because of the opposite sexes.
My recommendation is to focus your attention on more important aspects. Get ready for your dog’s arrival, set up the house and study more about how to live with them. Surely this is more valuable than worrying about gender.
If you already have an Aussie and are planning to get another one, however, I recommend you to choose a dog of the opposite sex. As I previously mentioned, this combination is better than having two Aussies of the same gender inside the home.
People Also Ask
Is neutering the only way to calm down my male Aussie?
No. If you don’t want him to undergo surgery, you can train him! This is a relatively easy and effective method to improve his behavior.
Will my female Australian Shepherd ignore their owners while fertile?
Thankfully not! She will give attention to her partner but will never forget you.