Pitbull is one of the most affectionate family pets that I know. So, it’s no surprise that there are people like you who are interested in this breed.
Knowing the difference between male and female Pitbulls will surely help you to know the one that will be perfect for your needs and lifestyle.
Although they both do well in a family environment, there are few significant differences between the two genders.
So, which one is better: male Pitbull or female Pitbull? If you’re looking for a better family pet, you may want to choose a male Pitbull as it is a loving and a perfect playmate for your kids. If you’re looking for a better guard dog, a female Pitbull is what you need since it is a cautious and smart dog.
But whichever sex you choose, you need to do your part and provide them the right environment and training so they can fit right into your home.
To help you further, we will discuss what makes a male Pitbull different from their female counterparts regarding their temperament, health, behavior toward people, etc. Let’s get into it and find which one is the best fit for you and your family.
Height: 18 – 21 inches (46 – 53 cm)
Weight: 35 – 60 lbs (15 – 27 kg)
Puppy Price: $2,000 – $20,000
Lifespan: 12 – 16 Years
Build: Bulkier with more muscle mass.
- Confident, smart, and good-natured.
- Intolerant and aggressive towards other male dogs.
- Less suspicious of strangers.
- More demanding of attention.
- Excels at protecting a whole family or territory.
- Harder to train when young.
- More likely to bond with all family members equally.
- More aggressive during feeding.
- More playful, especially with children.
- More hyper during puppy years.
- A bit more stubborn.
- More intelligent and eager to please the owner.
- Less clean and neat overall.
- Hard getting along with other male dogs at the dog park.
Height: 17 – 20 inches (43 – 51 cm)
Weight: 30 – 50 lbs (13 – 22 kg)
Puppy Price: $2,000 – $20,000
Lifespan: 12 – 16 Years
Build: Slimmer with less muscle mass.
- Confident, smart, and good-natured.
- Intolerant and aggressive towards other female dogs.
- More suspicious of strangers.
- Less demanding of attention.
- Excels at protecting an individual like her owner.
- Easier to train when young.
- Less likely to bond with all family members equally.
- Less aggressive during feeding.
- Can be a little less playful.
- Less hyper during puppy years.
- Less stubborn.
- Less intelligent and eager to please the owner.
- More clean and neat overall.
- Hard getting along with other female dogs at the dog park.
Male Pitbulls are not that different from the females in overall physical appearance, but they do have some differences.
They generally look a little bigger as they weigh around 35 pounds and can be as massive as 60 pounds. They have a height of 18 to 21 inches, which is taller than the females.
Males have more muscle mass and bulkier body. They could pack more muscles per pound of body weight than any other dog breed. Even the body muscles in their neck and head are well developed too.
Their head shape is also a bit bigger and broader than most of the female Pitbulls. So, they may have a wider jaw, which is the most noticeable facial characteristic of a Pitbull.
Female Pitbulls are tinier and smaller in size than their male counterparts. They only weigh around 30 pounds and could be as big as 50 pounds. They are a bit shorter when it comes to height as they only stand approximately 17 to 20 inches.
Although their overall size is still big compared to other breeds, the female Pitbulls are smaller than male Pitbulls in both height and weight.
Another noticeable thing about female Pitbulls is that their back is longer and thinner. They also have narrower heads and smaller face compared to males.
It may not be noticeable, but there is a slight difference between the male and the female regarding their eyes and fur around their mouth.
The female Pitbulls’ eyes are wider apart while the hair around their mouth should be tighter than their male counterparts.
Males can be relatively more playful but can be independent too. However, they tend to have a dominant personality, especially if you decided not to neuter your dog.
They will mark or pee everywhere, around and outside the house, and will be more aggressive against whoever steps inside their territory.
On average, they are not that aggressive to dogs and humans. They are usually friendly and not very hard to please. Usually, they’re more tolerant and excited to see people.
They are so quick to run and play if they see someone new. They are also more affectionate than females. However, a few factors could be the culprit of why other Pitbulls have a bad temperament.
A few studies suggest that puppies could inherit the bad temperaments of their parents via their genetics. The brutal behavior might come from their parents, who were raised as violent dogs and used to participate in a dog’s fight for their past owner’s amusement.
Aside from the dog’s genetics, we should also look into the environment and how their previous owners treated them. As mentioned before, the owner could have raised them as fighting dogs.
It is also possible that they could have been living in poor conditions or had harmful social interactions with other people and dogs. Also, there are situational factors to consider, such as stress levels experienced by the mother during pregnancy.
Besides their aggressive behavior, males have higher energy than female Pitbulls, but they usually ease up after the first year. This male’s carefree attitude also means they can be a bit messier and clumsier than most female Pitbulls.
Females also mark their territories, but this is very uncommon. Usually, most of the non-spayed females don’t do any markings. What most dog owners worry about is when their female Pitbull goes into heat or bleeding, otherwise known as Estrus.
This cycle happens every six months or twice a year. During this period, the female Pitbull will feel restless and urinate a lot.
Female Pitbulls are less likely to fight with other dogs; however, it could show aggressiveness during or after pregnancy. To prevent this, you need to spay your pet. However, there are advantages and disadvantages of sterilizing your female Pitbull, which I will slightly tackle later.
Other than that, many Pitbull owners have mentioned that female Pitbulls are more connected with the owner, so it means that they can be more demanding of attention.
Males are trainable at an early age, but it will be challenging to train unneutered Pitbulls as they tend to be stubborn and bossy. Their aggressive behavior makes the training more challenging too.
For example, a male Pitbull can sense or smell a female Pitbull in heat nearby. However, if he is inside the house, he will not be able to get to her, thus leading to frustration and aggression. Because of this, your male Pitbull companion will be less responsive to your commands.
Like most dogs, Pitbulls exhibit warning signs, such as a quick movement or a growl, before tempting to bite or use their teeth if they get aggressive. They do not suddenly snap without reason, so it will be easy to tell if they were aggressive or agitated at the moment.
They also get easily distracted and even a bit goofy during training, so you will need a lot of patience when training your male Pitbull.
You may find yourself struggling to keep his attention to yourself and the training program. So, overall, male Pitbulls are harder to house train than females.
Females are easier to house train as they reach maturity faster than their male counterparts. Because of this, you can have them trained or attend classes at an early age. The female Pitbulls usually mature around the age of two, whereas males mature around four.
Female Pitbulls are more serious and focused when it comes to training. They also respond better with positive encouragement and praise during training than males.
However, it is still hard to train them, especially during their heat cycle or Estrus. They are likely to feel restless and ignore your orders during those times of the year. However, they are more manageable on regular days.
Male Pitbulls are generally healthy with an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years, but they’re also prone to specific health conditions. Don’t worry much as not all Pitbulls will get any or all of these diseases.
As long as they’re getting the proper care, they will be fine and healthy. Still, it’s essential to be aware of them if you’re considering getting this breed.
Some owners point out that male PitBulls can be more prone to bone injuries, joint and hip problems than females as they are more energetic and playful. They could also suffer from hip dysplasia and knee problems.
It is plausible to suffer from these problems as sometimes when you play with them, they run at their top speed and could injure themselves. Even when merely catching a ball, they could tear their cranial cruciate ligament.
Male dogs are also said to be more prone to struvite bladder stones than female dogs.
Aside from those, here are the common health problems that you need to be aware of:
- Thyroid Problems
- Nerve Disease
- Balance Problems
- Cleft Lip or Palate
They are also prone to several skin disorders ranging from mange, itchy allergies, tumors, and even skin cancer because of their short coat.
Female Pitbulls are generally healthy like their male counterparts. But they also suffer from the common health problems that I have listed above. However, there are specific conditions that only female Pitbulls experience.
Female Pitbulls could suffer from an infection in their uterus called pyometra. It is often the result of hormonal changes in their reproductive tract. Many female dogs die from this infection, which can be prevented entirely by spaying your dog.
It is also more likely that female Pitbulls can develop mammary tumors or suffer from breast cancers, mostly if they stayed un-spayed.
While spaying your dogs can prevent these infections, there are also some drawbacks that can severely affect your dog’s health.
According to a study at the University of California (Davis) Veterinary Teaching Hospital, spaying increases the risk of obesity and a few other health risks such as the following:
- Hip dysplasia
- Torn Ligaments
- Bone Cancer
- Urinary incontinence
However, like any other breeds, with proper guidance, environment, and supervision, these are all avoidable.
Pit Bulls are an excellent playmate for children. They are sturdy, energetic, and tolerant. They also have a great sense of humor, so they are ideal playmates.
However, no dog should ever be left unsupervised with children. They could injure the kids due to their heavy body when they bump on them or trip them due to their clumsiness.
Male Pitbulls are as safe as any other dog as long as you raised them correctly. It is a must that they live in a healthy environment, make them attend socialization training, and adequately house-train them.
Male Pitbulls are sweet creatures and protective of their family, which makes them a great family companion.
But to be safe, you need to teach your kids too regarding certain things that might agitate the dog, such as pulling the dog’s ears or tail.
Teach them never to approach any dog while the dog’s sleeping or eating or even take the dog’s food away. And make sure that your child understands how to behave around them.
Make sure to give your dog also his private place. Let him escape to this place whenever he feels overwhelmed by noises and sudden movements of the kids.
As I have mentioned above, female Pitbulls mature quicker than their male counterparts. They are more cautious and calmer around young children.
They also like playing with the kids, but they have less energy to play all day and retreat to their comfort zone, unlike their male counterparts.
It would still be better to spay your female Pitbulls and teach your kids how to treat them well as there is a possibility they might get aggressive during their heat cycle.
Female Pitbulls usually bond to one person only, so they may become pushy about sleeping in the same room with their favorite family member. And there are times where their maternal instinct will switch on and do everything to protect her family.
With Other Dogs
Unneutered male Pitbulls are more aggressive to other dogs than female Pitbulls. An intact male will be inclined to mark its territory to assert dominance. But this doesn’t mean that all dogs are like this.
Many even believed that they could be more social with new animals and people than the female Pitbulls. They only need socialization, obedience training, and monitoring, just like any other dog.
According to many experts, Pitbulls need to attend socialization training as early as possible to prevent aggressive tendencies in dogs and avoid passing on bad temperaments to its puppies.
Actually, in a recent study by the American Temperament Testing Society, Pitbulls had a passing rate of 83.9%. They mentioned that Pitbulls were generally less aggressive when faced with confrontational situations.
However, the ATTS website has a disclaimer regarding their study. They said that the data they have presented on their website is raw. It is not a scientific study, nor is there any statistical significance attached to it.
They also added that they have no control over who brings their dog for the test, and there is no accurate data as to a dog breed’s population in the US.
Females are less likely to fight and assert their dominance when they meet a new dog for the first time. They’re also less likely to run off and play with the new dog or other dogs in the park.
Nevertheless, it would be safe to keep them on your side or supervise them while they play with other dogs.
Female dogs only show aggressiveness during their heat cycle and after pregnancy. Therefore, they will be less tolerant of the noises and quick movements.
Also, several dog owners have noticed that females are likely to get along better with the male dog in the house. So, jealousy could also play a part in why they are aggressive.
With Cats & Other Pets
Male Pitbulls can get along quite well with cats and other pets, just like how they treat other dogs as long as you trained them properly.
To be safe, neutered or not, Pitbull should not be left alone, and you must supervise them if there are other pets such as cats as they could see cats and other small animals as prey.
And since there’s no way you could know how strong your dog’s prey drive is, you should be at least familiar with the signs of aggression or stress.
Generally, male Pitbulls can be more social with other animals due to their affectionate and playful nature. With proper socialization, Pitbulls and other pets can coexist without any problems.
Although they are more cautious at meeting new pets or other animals, female Pitbulls are less likely to be aggressive to assert dominance. But then again, they could show some aggressiveness during their heat cycle.
If she is not in her heat cycle and suddenly becomes aggressive to other pets, it could be because of hormonal changes and growing pains. It is essential to take her to a vet to see if there are any illnesses or injuries.
Pitbulls are known for having a high pain tolerance and enduring pain for an extended period, so perhaps she is protecting herself from the other dog or other pets.
If there are no health issues, you need to look into a trainer or a behaviorist to see if they can offer some guidance. However, it is best to separate your dog and other pets permanently.
Which Is Better for a Family?
This question is tough to answer, as it depends on the owner’s preference and lifestyle. Both male and female Pitbulls can do exceptionally well in a family environment, with or without other pets.
They are loving and intelligent companions for the family. Even in the early 20th century, Pitbulls were the No. 1 family dog. They are both noted for their gentleness, affection, and loyalty.
However, they are not for busy people. It requires an owner that is willing to put in the time to properly train and socialize them to avoid any aggression issues and incidents.
Many dog owners recommend getting spayed female Pitbulls, while the others recommend neutered male Pitbulls. It will depend on the owner, and people should take note that every dog is different. Nevertheless, here are the advantages of each dog:
Advantages of male Pitbulls in a family environment:
- Very playful and goofy.
- Have a great sense of humor.
- Energetic and athletic.
- Friendly and affectionate to people.
- Tolerant with kids.
- Bonds with all the family members.
- Independent and not clingy.
- Very eager to please its owner.
- Very excited to see new people or strangers.
- More social with other pets.
- Relatively few health problems.
Advantages of female Pitbulls in a family environment:
- Mature early.
- Non-spayed females don’t usually do markings.
- Much calmer and cautious.
- Less aggressive.
- Less likely to fight with other dogs.
- Easier to train.
- More focused on training.
- Very patient and calm around children.
- Good for breeding.
Both male and female Pitbulls are generally friendly with people. However, if you’re looking for a dog that you can train with more ease, it might be better to own or adopt a female Pitbull.
If you already have a dog in the house, it would be best to choose the opposite sex as they will get along much better than owning a dog with the same sex.
If you have children in the house, male Pitbulls are much better playmates than their female counterparts. But the female Pitbulls are much calmer and less clumsy, which is excellent if you intend to bring them to family outings.
If you have a cat or other pets in the house, it would be smarter to get a male Pitbull. Still, as I have mentioned above, they need the right training and have them attend socialization training at an early age to minimize this risk.
As long as you have time to train and socialize with them and make sure they are in a fair and loving environment, you’ll be okay with whatever sex you choose.
Which Is a Better Guard Dog?
Pitbulls are horrible guard dogs since they love people too much. Many Pitbulls are not that even protective because they like to please the people around them.
They may alert you to the presence of strangers roaming around nearby, but that is just because they’re eager to meet them. However, older Pitbulls can become more protective.
While their love of people makes them failures as guard dogs, they can still protect their family. They will defend their family with their lives when placed in a threatening scenario. So, if you tend to make them into a guard dog, here are each dog’s advantages:
Benefits of male Pitbulls as a guard dog:
- Larger body
- Jaws and neck are immensely powerful
- Better at sensing people or other animals
- Can dominate other dogs
Advantages of female Pitbulls as a guard dog:
- Can be overly protective
- Mature and easy to train
It all boils down to how you will train your dog to protect you and your family. Overall, female Pitbulls are better personal guard dogs than male Pitbulls. It will be situational, but female Pitbulls are usually cautious.
They will silently enter into a completely alert position without growling or snarling. They will only react with aggression if they determine or feel that someone they love is in danger.
Both male and female Pitbulls have their quirks and personalities. They both can do well in a family environment, but you also have to do your part as an owner.
These dogs need supervision, training, and a place to run when things become overwhelming for them. Whatever sex you choose, their behavior will depend on the environment, past experiences, and how you treat them.
So, make sure to visit a vet, trainer, or a respectable breeder to get enough information on their behavior and treat them better.
Nevertheless, they are a great addition to your family. They are the perfect playmates for kids as long as you both supervise them. High energy kid and high energy Pitbull will surely bring some laughter and joy for everyone.
Just make sure to keep an eye on all interactions between your kids and your Pitbull to prevent any possible accidents or problems.
You can also bring your dog along for out of town family trips or camping, especially if you have a female Pitbull as they are calm and less clumsy.
I hope this comparison between the two will give you some idea which one to pick.
And I hope that you adopt instead of buying from a pet store as there are a lot of Pitbulls from rescue centers that are looking for a place they can call home. So, give these adorable dogs the attention, lots of love, and affection that they need.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.