If you are thinking about different dog breeds you may want to get you may have selected the Australian Cattle Dog as an option. For more on getting a Blue Heeler for a first-time owner see here.
The next decision is should you get a boy or a girl Blue Heeler. What are the differences between male and female Heelers and which would suit you better?
It is important to remember when discussing the differences between dog genders that the ways they are different are generalized personality tendencies. Every dog is an individual even of the same breed and has a unique personality and temperament.
A female dog may exhibit traits that are more common in male dogs. My own female dog cocks her leg and marks when out on walks. This is not uncommon in female dogs and tends to be dogs that have a more dominant personality. Australian Cattle Dogs are a breed that can be more dominant than other breeds due to their cattle herding background. Controlling and moving large cattle takes a certain amount of assertiveness.
Differences between male and female Blue Heelers
The obvious difference between male and female dogs is that males are usually bigger. The size difference between genders in Blue Heeler is not that much overall. The average size of Blue Heelers is a weight between 14 – 16kg (30 – 35lbs) for females and 15 – 16kg(33 – 35lbs) for males.
The height range is 17 to 19 inches (43 to48 cm) for females and 18 to 20 inches (46 to 51cm) for males.
Female dogs tend to become more settled and mature younger. This means they may not be as hyper as they age and can be easier to train. This is down to hormones. Usually, there is not a lot of difference between genders when a puppy is young, but as they age their hormones come into play. Even then the differences are not that much.
Once a dog is desexed (neutering for males, spaying for females), the behavior attributed to hormones is even less. An intact female will go on heat twice a year from around six months old which means they may leave spots of blood around the home. It also may result in attention from male dogs.
As a male dog reaches sexual maturity at around six months old also, they may begin to show sexual behavior. This includes marking territory and even humping behavior. It can also make it more likely your male dog will want to roam to find a female.
Male dogs do tend to be stronger and have quicker reactions. They also tend to have a higher level of drive due to the presence of testosterone. As a result male dogs often perform better in dog sports such as agility.
Having said that there are many female dogs that are champions in various dog sports. Female dogs can also have relatively high levels of testosterone. Again it comes down to the individual dog rather than what sex they are.
Studies have shown that male dogs are six times more likely to bite. Whether this is right or not is hard to say. I have handled many female dogs that have aggressive behavior. Biting and aggression have more to do with training and socialization.
There are different types of aggression such as territorial (which may be more prevalent in males), maternal aggression (obviously in female dogs), and fear aggression which can be either sex. For more on aggression in Blue Heelers see here.
With other dogs in the home
If you have another dog in the home can have an effect on which gender a new dog should be. A male and a female Blue Heeler often do well together. However, you must take into consideration whether to have them desexed.
Two males are generally better than two females. Raising two females together can lead to fighting once they become mature. This is less likely with two males. For more on getting a second Blue Heeler or dog see here.
Summary – male vs female Blue Heeler
There are not many major differences between male and female Blue Heelers or dogs in general. The main differences are that unspayed females will have a heat cycle twice a year and a male may show more sexual behavior like, marking, humping, or roaming. However, whether male or female, if they are desexed these factors won’t matter.
Every dog is unique regardless of gender and it is more important to select your new Blue Heeler by their personality.