They are the best family pet you can think of, the best friend, the best therapeutic partner, yes they are Labrador retrievers. They’re the best choice when it comes to first-time pet owners because of their ease of training, and friendly persona. There’s an ongoing debate about “Male vs female labs”, but be assured they make great pets and you’ll love them to infinity.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth dive into how male vs female Labrador retrievers vary from each other, keep reading!
Let’s Talk About Labradors First:
Before we get into the entire “Which is better male or female Labrador?” debate, we have to talk about the origin of this wonderful breed. How it was formed, and for what purpose were they bred?
Labrador Retriever History
Labradors are among the most popular dog breeds alongside German Shepherds, Pugs, and other widespread breeds. It originated in the United Kingdom. One of the major reasons why they’re popular is because of their behavioral traits. If there was one most friendly animal out there, it would have to be Labrador retriever. They were bred to retrieve the game during the hunting process, hence they were named ‘The Retriever’, their sense of smell is top-notch which helps catch fallen prey way more technically with more brute force.
The Labrador Retriever originated in Newfoundland, England and worked with fishermen to pull nets in and catch escaping fish. His ancestors included retrievers, spaniels and setters. His primary goal is to be a skilled retriever and his calm temperament helps in this job.
He’s a great family dog because of his easy-going, placid nature when with people. He’s an excellent guide dog for blind people, in police narcotics departments and in search and rescue teams. His double coat can be chocolate, black or yellow. He sheds seasonally but regular grooming enables it to remain at its best water-resistant level.
Vital Stats About Labrador Dogs
Let’s have a look at some vital stats of Labradors:
|Dog Breed Group||Sporting group|
|Temperament||Easy-going and a placid nature|
|Average Height||22.5-24.5 inches (male), 21.5-23.5 inches (female)|
|Weight Range||65-80 pounds (male) and 55-70 pounds (female)|
|AKC Breed Popularity||Ranks 1 of 197|
|Life Expectancy||10-12 years|
Which is Better? Male or Female Labrador?
Finally, you’ve decided to get a pet now, and luckily it happens to be a Labrador Retriever. But you’re confused, like what gender Labrador should I opt for? Your friend might tell you to go for a female pup, on the other hand, the breeder might tell you to go for the male pup. This can be really confusing and frustrating at the same time.
While it is true that some of the major characteristics remain the same in both male and female Labrador retrievers, however, some traits differ vastly. In the end, it matters what Labrador retriever suits your needs, as all they need is love and they’ll return it back to you. We’ll cover some of the major aspects that differ among male vs female Labrador Retrievers. Keep reading and we hope all your queries will be answered.
Difference in Physique:
As it is the case with the majority of mammals over the world, the male and females have different characteristics when it comes to their physique. In the case of Labrador retrievers, males slightly weigh on the heavier side as much as being 10lbs heavier than their female counterparts. That’s the only major difference in their physiques since their heights are virtually the same with a difference of less than an inch. Although there might be no difference in the heights, due to their added weight, male Labrador retrievers look bulky and are slightly more muscular. This gives them the edge when it comes to brute powers, however, if you want to stay on the softer side, then going with a female Labrador might be the best choice.
The only reason why the difference in physique matters is because there are times when a dog can get aggressive due to being triggered by external stimuli or hormonal causes, and since Labradors are considered family pets, it can get hard to control them. In this case, lighter female Labradors are preferred, since they can be controlled easily.
Nevertheless, obesity issues are quite common in Labrador Retrievers, your female Labrador Retriever might end gaining a lot more because of no activity.
Always remember, each animal has its own personality, it doesn’t relate much to the gender it belongs to, however, some of the personality traits are often influenced by the hormonal dominance in either of the genders. We’ll read about some of the major personality differences among male vs female Labrador retrievers.
Male Labrador retrievers would do anything to please their owners. Command them to run through a wall of bricks, they’ll gladly do it for you. They’re crazy, and loyal to their owners and want absolutely nothing but love in return for their loyalty.On the other hand, female Labrador retrievers tend to be on the independent size. They’re not there to please you, rather you should be the one to amuse them. That isn’t the case with all the female labs, since a lot of them can show their love to their owners just like the male labs. Since females are on the independent side, they’ll prefer to sleep on their own rather than curl up and cuddle with you.
Male Labradors won’t leave any opportunity to show how happy they are to have you as their owners, whereas the female lab might act “Meh! What’s the big deal?”. Lastly, it mostly depends on the training as well as the breed color. A female in heat might act totally opposite to how she would behave normally.
Hormones Can Be Crazy:
Just like human beings and other animals, Labrador retrievers go through different phases of life as well. These phases include teenage and adulthood as well. The main reason why a dog transitions from a puppy to an adult dog, is because of the action of hormones. While it is advised to spay or neuter your dog, you must also consider the age of their adulthood before going for the operating procedure. Most Labrador retrievers reach maturity around the mark of 2 years.
Once they reach the age of maturity, you can choose to spay or neuter them. Spaying and neutering have their own benefits, but that’s a talk for another day, right now we’ll be sticking strictly to the hormones.
For a male Labrador, you might experience his desire to hump different things, the dog might start humping your cushions, your legs, or even the floor in general. It is completely natural, however, it can persist. The only way possible to mitigate this problem is to have the dog neutered at a certified vet.
Now let’s talk about the female Labrador retriever, females have their own typical way of development. They’ll go through mood swings and eventually have their periods as well. This can be pretty tough to handle, however, once you’re used to it no longer feels a chore, this is also one of the main reasons why people prefer male Labrador retrievers over the female ones.
Your female Labrador Retriever will face mood swings too, and that too out of the blue. So don’t be surprised if you find your beloved puppy growling at you, you didn’t do anything wrong at all, just her hormones are at play. The only way to resolve this is by spaying.
An average female Labrador retriever’s heat period lasts roughly three weeks and occurs almost twice a year. It can get really hard to manage a female lab when she’s in heat. If you happen to take her out then she will attract unwanted attention from the male dogs, no matter what breed they belong to.
She’ll constantly call them for mating, and it will get quite disturbing if you don’t take her away from there. The best you can do is to take the authority and always keep a leash on, because if the leash isn’t there, then there’s a high chance that she’ll run away to get male attention.
On the other hand, when it comes to territory marking, male Labrador Retrievers have it the worst. Whilst it is true that females also mark their territory by spraying urine on different corners of your house, or the place they are living in, male dogs just do it way more. Male Labrador Retrievers won’t leave any chance to show their dominance over the territory, you’ll find urine marks all over your house, and if you’re unlucky you’ll find faeces too.
Hence, this makes Labradors in general highly unsuitable for the apartment folks, they really need to consider a smaller breed.
Training Labrador Retrievers is just like training any other dog, however, there are some minute differences between male and female Labrador retrievers. The difference doesn’t matter in the long run once they’ve matured, but for first-time owners, this can be a real pain.
Male Labrador Retrievers generally grow slowly, hence mature slowly. They keep their puppy-like nature for a long time. Due to this training them at an early age is a tough job. They get distracted by the smallest things. You’re training them and suddenly they see a bird out of the window, a plane flying or a cat yowling nearby. These are enough to distract them and disrupt the training session.
During the early stages, they might even be disobedient towards their owners, but it is okay, they might be looking like full-grown adult Labrador retrievers from the outside, but from the inside, they’re still the same puppy. They’ll mature mentally sooner or later, nevertheless, keep the training sessions going. Always keep treats in handy to get their attention whenever you’re training.
Females Labrador retrievers are quite different when it comes to their training period. They mature fasters as compared to the male ones and therefore they’re able to integrate into the training sessions way early. You can start them with basic commands like sit, stand, and lay down from puppyhood.
Attachment to Their Owners:
Oxytocin is one crazy hormone, it is often addressed as the hormone of attachment. Humans have their own way of sharing oxytocin with each other, hugging releases tons of oxytocin and increases the bonding between two people. Similarly, in dogs oxytocin is also responsible for bonding, but surprisingly the same hormone is responsible for our bonding with the dogs as well.Whenever a dog touches us or licks us, it is subconsciously exchanging oxytocin, which in turn makes the dog trust us even more.
This continuous exchange only further deepens the bond, that is why you often see dogs licking their owners, it only signifies love and strengthens the bond between them.However, when we put genders into this perspective then things can get a little messy. Both male and female Labrador Retrievers are attached to their owners and their families, but there’s a pinch of difference among them.
A female Labrador retriever might be attached to your household, but would often keep her distance and would only come near when she wants to. It can take a lot of time for the female lab to get used to the household and show the same amount of attention as the male Labrador.
On the brighter side, a male Labrador Retriever would show you, never-ending love, and chase you to infinity. They are really easy to please as well, just a treat would do the job most of the time. To explain further, let’s say you have a male and female Labrador Retriever pair, and you’re a treat in your hand. The male Lab would jump crazy and go haywire over that piece of treat, but on the other hand, the female Lab will only stare at it and expect you to bring that treat over to her. They would rarely display any enthusiasm over the treat.
Labrador retrievers aren’t known for their aggression, in fact, they’re one of the most friendly breeds all over the world. However, from time to time they do feel anxious, which somehow triggers their aggression. One common way to get rid of aggression once and for all would be to get them spayed.
Female Labrador retrievers never show aggression towards anyone, except other female dogs. They despise each other and would often invite a group of male dogs in their fights as well.
Male labs are different, they can get very aggressive over the things they feel possessive about, this also includes the humans they love. Even at the worst stage of aggression, Labrador Retrievers won’t harm anyone. Plus, they don’t like asserting their dominance over the other dogs as well, such that you can keep several dogs together with no problem at all, given that none of them is remotely aggressive.
Spaying and Neutering:
Spaying is normally used to address the removal of sexual organs from a female animal, whereas neutering is the process of removal of sexual organs from a male animal. There are some differences when it comes to neutering and spaying male and female Labradors.
Males are generally neutered around the mark of 6 months because at this age their territorial traits aren’t in action, neutering the dog can stop the territory marking at the root level.
Females on the other hand a female Labrador retriever must be spayed after two years, this is because her body is fully matured at this point and her urinary organs are well developed. Early spaying can cause bladder and kidney issues in female Labrador retrievers.
Final Word on Male vs Female Labrador:
With a lifespan averaging around 10-12 years, Labradors are the must-have family pet. They’re crazy when it comes to loyalty, and make great dogs for children too. If you have a small family that’s looking for a dog to adopt or buy, then get a Labrador retriever.
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