There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a canine companion and Australian Shepherds are no different. However, the male vs female Australian Shepherd differences are the biggest factor that might influence your choice.
That’s because the gender differences between the two, from size and behavior to training difficulty, can determine who they would be best suited for. How they interact with children or pets, for example, might decide if the male or female would be right for you.
What Are The Size Differences Between Male And Female Aussies?
One of the biggest differences between the genders is their size in height, length, and weight with the male being bigger in all categories.
Like many species in the animal kingdom, the male Australian Shepherd is the bigger gender for strength and mating purposes. Averaging around 30 inches in height, they can be as long from snout to tail as 36 inches with 31 being the low end.
Due to thicker bone density and more muscle mass, a healthy male can weigh as much as 70 pounds before it starts becoming a concern. While both genders have a lot of fur, male Aussies tend to have more.
While not petite by any means, females of the breed are smaller. Standing between 25 and 29 inches fully grown, the longest average length is 31 inches. With a smaller size comes a lower weight, which is around 35-55 pounds.
Being the smaller of the two, females are shorter and their longest maximum is the lowest average length of a male Australian Shepherd. It’s the same comparison with their weights, so the male is definitely the bigger, more powerful gender.
What Are The Temperament Differences Between Male And Female Aussies?
The Australian Shepherd breed is playful and loving by nature, but there are some behavioral differences between the two because of their varied temperaments.
Male dogs are energetic and as playful as an adult as they are as a puppy. Because of this they can be louder and more dominant, which can make them slightly more difficult to train. They absolutely love food, probably to make up for all the energy they burn playing.
Males can be very territorial and tend to mark their territory with urine when they feel provoked. Some owners choose to neuter them to reduce this behavior, but if you do it’s recommended to wait until they’ve been through puberty.
Female Aussies mature faster both in physical growth and mentally, so they’re usually the more intelligent of the breed. They’re not territorial, but they do become more defiant to authority and stubborn as they grow older.
Because of their maturity, females are more sensitive and relaxed. One important thing to know is that they enter a mating season every 6 months, so if you don’t plan to breed you might consider spaying or keeping them inside during these periods.
With the male vs female Australian Shepherd decision, the former is the more playful of the two and continues to be so as they age. They’re also more dominant, but that defiance shifts with old age when the female becomes more stubborn.
Males are more territorial, especially toward other males, but the female’s mating period twice a year makes it a personal choice of which one to take on.
Is There A Price Difference Between Male And Female Australian Shepherds?
While the difference here isn’t budget-breaking, it can play a role in choosing a male vs female Australian Shepherd.
At current rates, you can adopt an Australian Shepherd puppy from a breeder for around $700. You might be able to find one for less, at closer to $600, and some areas sell them $100 higher at $800 but that’s the ball park figure.
If you decide that a female Aussie is more your style, you can pick one up for $5-600. Of course, this can fluctuate with breeders and where you are but that’s the average price.
While it’s not a drastic difference in pricing, the norm is about $200 separating the genders. Again, it’s not much but it might be a factor to consider.
Are There Training Differences In Male And Female Australian Shepherds?
This is one area where the two differ, but Australian Shepherds love to learn and be challenged.
Male Aussies are extremely easy to train, being so eager to get involved that they won’t need any coaxing. They thrive off of positive reinforcement and are highly motivated by food, but be careful not to give them too many treats to watch their weight.
Their high energy and excitement is great for training purposes, but it also comes with a drawback: They get distracted easily. Whether by other people, dogs, or food, male aussies tend to be all over the place.
Not lacking in energy, the female Aussie might need some convincing to train. However, once she’s interested she’ll have a laser-focus and pick things up fast because of the advanced maturity mentioned earlier.
The female of the breed might be harder to get interested, but once they are they’ve definitely got a leg up on training. Their level of focus and quick learning curve is hard for their easily-distracted counterpart.
Are There Any Health Differences?
Australian Shepherds don’t have as many health concerns as some breeds, but there are a couple major ones for each gender to worry about.
The good news is that the biggest health concerns with male Aussies come later in life, which means you have time to neuter your pet and hopefully reduce the possibility of prostatic hyperplasia and testicular cancer.
Both of these are more common in older dogs, with the hyperplasia affecting its bladder, urinary tract, and kidneys, so whether you have the procedure done or not watch out for symptoms as your pet grows up.
Urinary tract infections are common with female Aussies, which can lead to pain, discomfort, or worse. The other main health risk is much more serious with cancer of the mammaries. Not only will spaying her reduce both, but also completely prevents uterine and ovarian cancer.
The life expectancy of all Aussies, barring complications, is 13-15 years. To reduce the risk of serious health risks for both genders you should consider spaying or neutering, but the latest advice is to wait until after they’re mature.
Post-puberty procedures on the Australian Shepherd lower the risk of any orthopedic issues that have been known to arise if it’s done before they mature.
Are Males And Females More Affectionate?
The Australian Shepherd is a loving, loyal breed, but one gender is typically more outwardly expressive of their affections.
Being more playful and puppy-like even as they grow old, the male Australian Shepherd is also more affectionate. This can translate to him laying at your feet or on your lap often and even following you around the house.
Some may feel like this is clingy behavior, but the male Aussie is also more likely to miss you after an absence whether it’s just running to the store or going to work. The male is definitely the more cuddly gender.
The female of the breed loves her owner and family, but she’s more conservative with her “puppy kisses.” As long as the tail is wagging, which tends to wag their whole body, she’s a happy dog.
Where the male Aussie tends to follow you around and express love all the time, the female is more of the “love me” mentality. One is definitely more outwardly affectionate constantly while the other picks and chooses her time.
Are Males Or Females More Independent/Dependent?
Both genders of this fantastic breed are loving and smart, but just like the behavioral differences there’s definitely a shift in which one needs you more.
The male Australian Shepherd is commonly considered the clingier of the breed, following you around and needing to know where you are at all times. With a higher amount of energy and enthusiasm, they’re much more dependent and reliant on attention.
While this can be very helpful when it comes to training and learning, this dependence will never change as they get older.
Similar to the affections, the female Aussie doesn’t necessarily need to be around you to be happy. She’s just as likely to sit on your lap as she is to find a quiet room in the house and lay down.
Especially as she gets older and more defiant of authority, the independence is stronger here. This might have something to do with the intelligence or maturity.
Obviously, the female is much more prone to independence and alone time than the male of the breed. He’ll jump up to sit with you while she’ll mosey over and lay at your feet, if she decides she wants some time with you.
Who Are Better For Families?
The Australian Shepherd has always been a great family dog, regardless of gender, and the differences are slight.
Male Aussies are protective, loyal, and loving, which means they’re great for a family. Their intelligence helps dictate how careful they are when playing with small children, which is frequent because of their high energy.
Their dominance might be a factor if they don’t listen to the entire household, but most of the time it won’t be a problem.
Similar to the male, females are loving and protective of family. Because of a maternal instinct, they’re fiercely protective of children and take good care of them. Even in their old age when they’re more stubborn, a female Aussie is great with family.
Both genders are great with family members in a household due to their loving and loyal nature, but males can be a little more ornery when it comes to listening to everyone.
Who Are Better With Other Pets?
Once again, Australian Shepherds are generally sweet and caring dogs but there is one thing to watch for with the males.
Males usually have no issue getting along with females, but they can be very territorial when it comes to another male dog in the house. Because they mark their area with pee, this is probably something to avoid.
This territorial nature does level out naturally as they get older or you can try training them with the other male if you plan to keep both in the same place. Still, it might just be better to put them with a female.
Don’t think that the female Australian Shepherd can’t be territorial. In fact, they can be quite catty when it comes to another female or a male that she doesn’t like. However, it’s far less common in this gender.
Both genders can be territorial, but males are much more prone to acting out. They usually only do this when exposed to other male dogs vying for the same house dominance, though.
Who Is A Male Best Suited For?
Male Australian Shepherds are energetic and cuddly, so they’re best for someone with more time and attention to give. You have to constantly show them affection and keep them busy with exercise that will challenge both their mind and body.
They’re also best for someone that will take them to training from a young age, because otherwise you’ll end up with a very playful adult Aussie that doesn’t listen and refuses your dominance.
Who Is A Female Best Suited For?
If you’re looking for a loving, smart companion without quite as much enthusiasm, the female Australian Shepherd could be a perfect fit for you. She’s typically more mature and intelligent than her counterpart and will become so sooner.
They’re also ideal for someone who doesn’t have as much time or doesn’t necessarily need a dog in their lap to feel loved by them. Because of their independence and advanced maturity, the female Aussie is a good choice if you might not want to take your dog to a trainer.
Want To Train Your Australian Shepherd With Peace Of Mind?
If you haven’t trained your Australian Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Australian Shepherd completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!
(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
Aside from a few slight behavioral differences, the only major thing that separates the male vs female Australian Shepherd is their size. Both genders shed a lot, both love to eat, and both love their owner.
Which one you should look into as a pet depends mostly on what you’re looking for. Males have a higher cost, more affection, and have more energy well into adulthood whereas females tend to mature faster and enjoy alone time so it’s largely a personal preference.