When you are first considering bringing a Poodle into your home, an important decision you will need to make is whether you get a male or female. This may depend on your personal preferences or the current pets in your life.
Have a read of this article to see which sex would suit you and your home best. From appearance and personality to exercise needs, there are some key differences.
Physical Differences Between Male and Female Poodles
It is important to remember that there are actually three varieties of Poodle. This includes the Toy, Miniature, and Standard. For all varieties, you will notice that the males tend to be slightly heavier and more muscular.
However, this is just a general rule of thumb and it is possible for a female to be bigger than a male. The size of the dog will depend largely on their genetics as well as their environment and nutrition as they mature.
Take a look at this table to better understand the size variations:
|Height of male||24-28cm||28-38cm||46-61cm|
|Height of female||24-28cm||28-38cm||46-61cm|
|Weight of male||2.8-5kg||5kg – 8.5kg||20.4-31.8kg|
|Weight of female||2.5-4.5kg||4.5kg-6.8kg||20.4-27.2lg|
So, we can see that while the heights do not vary considerably, males are noticeably heavier than female. This can be explained by the fact that they are built more robustly and have more solid muscle.
Male vs Female Price Difference
The cost of your Poodle will depend on a range of factors including:
- Which size Poodle you are after
- Where you are in the world
- The fur colour of the puppy
- Whether or not you are rescuing them from a shelter or buying from a breeder
- If the parents are registered pedigrees
- If the parents have been health tested
- Current market demands (during the COVID pandemic there was an unprecedented demand for puppies and the prices shot up all over the world)
As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay between $700 and $4,000 for a Poodle. Standard Poodles are the rarest of the three breeds so are the most expensive.
Some breeders will charge the same for their males and females while others might charge more for female dogs. This is more often seen in show lines, when the female can be used for breeding.
Interesting read: Poodle lifespan: Facts, Figures & FAQs
The Key Differences to Consider
Let’s take a closer look at the differences between a male and female Poodle. While these are generalizations and won’t hold true for all, they are useful guidelines to be aware of.
It is generally accepted that the Miniature and Toy Poodles are more affectionate than the Standard. Standard Poodles can be more aloof and independent.
Some experts will tell you that male Poodles, on the whole, are more affectionate. There is a theory that females can be smarter, but also more highly strung. This can mean they are more independent and less dependent on their owners.
Keep in mind though, the Poodle is known for being affectionate. This holds true for males and females and both will be happy to cuddle up to you on the sofa in the evening.
Most Poodles are social with people of all ages. However, Toy Poodles tend to be the least social of the dogs and can be prone to ‘small dog syndrome’. Anecdotally, they are the ‘yappier’ and ‘snappier’ of the three.
We can help to improve our pup’s social skills by encouraging lots of positive social interactions from a young age. The more good experiences a pup has around new people, the better.
While both male and female Poodles are renowned for being social pets, some experts agree that females can be more outgoing and social, especially with unknown people and dogs. Males can be more guarded and may take longer to warm up to new guests.
Regardless of size and sex, the Poodle just loves to play! These intelligent and lively dogs are eager participants in any game. This means you need to dedicate plenty of time to their entertainment and exercise.
Owners may find that their female loses interest in ‘silly’ puppy play before their male does.
Due to the hormonal differences, it is widely accepted that female Poodles will mature more rapidly than males. They typically reach sexual maturity a little earlier than their male peers. They also grow out of their ‘puppy’ phase sooner.
Of course, not every dog will follow suit and it would not be unheard of to have a goofy and fun-loving older female.
Need for attention
All Poodles, regardless of type and sex, crave attention. They are the classic ‘velcro’ dog and are constantly seeking a response and reassurance from their owners.
Due to the hormones associated with their season, females tend to be extra clingy when in heat. This can persist for several weeks after their season too. This is especially true if your female Poodle is unlucky enough to develop a false pregnancy.
Recommended read: Poodle Tail Styles (Complete Guide)
What Poodle Owners Had to Say
Several owners have expressed to me that their males in particular can be aggressive towards other male dogs, as well as to new people who come into the home. It’s important to note that we can mitigate the risk of this happening by ensuring our Poodles are very well socialized from an early age. However, even with good socialization, some individuals may not be overly friendly.
A common issue I hear about time and time again is that Poodles love to bark. This is true of both males and females. Poodles can bark due to excitement, fear, aggression, boredom… and a myriad of other reasons! Males in particular seem more likely to bark when newcomers approach their territory.
In general, male Poodle owners tend to mention:
- Lots of barking
- Male to male aggression
- Territorial behaviour
- Affectionate behaviour
Female Poodle owners find their dog is:
- Highly intelligent
- Highly strung
- Prone to barking
Should You Get a Male or Female Poodle?
The million-dollar question! The answer to this will depend on what you are looking for in a Poodle. Males and females each offer something unique and exciting. The differences between the sexes are not vast and generalizations will not hold true for all individuals.
I would not advise committing yourself to one sex, but to go see the litter of puppies (or that doggy in the shelter!) with an open mind. You may find the dog that catches your eye is not the gender you had considered in the first place.
Remember, personality will be shaped not only by sex but also by a dog’s experiences and genetics.
Which sex barks more, males or females?
A dog who barks a lot is typically one who needs something. Whether they are barking from frustration or boredom, or whether they are fearful or trying to assert dominance, dogs bark for a reason. We should work with our dog to determine why they are barking excessively and should try to meet their needs. Both males and females can bark a lot. Anecdotally, some owners feel their males Poodles bark more.
Are males more aggressive than females?
While there is a stereotype that uncastrated male dogs can be more aggressive, this is not always the case. Aggression will have a root cause. A dog may have been poorly socialized or might be highly anxious. Try to understand what is leading to the aggression and work with your vet and a canine behaviorist to address the problem. Do not fall into the trap of assuming that castrating your male Poodle will stop any aggressive tendencies.
Does either sex shed more fur?
Poodles are a hypoallergenic breed that do not shed very much at all. There is no noticeable difference between the amount of fur shed by males vs females. Some experts suggest females may shed more when in season due to the associated hormonal changes.
Do female Poodles live longer?
Generally speaking, females do live longer than males. However, this only holds true if the female is neutered. This is likely due to the fact that unneutered female Poodles are at much higher risk of mammary cancer and uterine infections. Standard Poodles tend to liver from 12-15 years, while Toy Poodles and Mini Poodles can live from 14-16 years. In fact, Poodles are renowned for living into their late teens, regardless of their sex. How long a dog lives will be down to their genes, nutrition, environment and the health care they receive more than anything else.