The Bitch is Back

I was just reading an article on dogs only because I was looking for an article on meeting behaviors, which somehow led me to comparisons of the male and female brain, which led to an article that compared males and bitches.

My first question is, why is a male dog simply called a “male” while the female is a “bitch?” Do we ever catch a break?

My first observation is that the words used to describe a male dog vs. a female dog are surprisingly close to the truth in the human species. Look at these adjectives for bitches:

  • Independent – Bitches tend to want to be in control of the entire situation. They may come to their owner when they are seeking affection but will often move away when they have had enough.
  • Stubborn – Female dogs crave more control of situations and are quick to respond to perceived challenges with fierceness.
  • Territorial – Females mark territory just like males do.
  • Changes in mood or behavior – Females are generally less affectionate and friendly than male dogs, and this characteristic becomes more pronounced with age.

Do these characteristics not sound just a little familiar? I have to admit that  the whole less affectionate and friendly thing does seem to become more pronounced with age. Get behind a group of women in their eighties at the grocery store and do anything that bothers them, and they’ll let you know. There’s nothing that scares me more than a gang of little tiny gray-haired women.

Now the characteristics of the male dogs:

  • Affectionate – Males crave attention from their owners more than bitches and as a result, display more affectionate behaviors.
  • Exuberant – While a bitch tends to become less friendly as she ages, a male dog maintains a more puppy-like exuberance throughout his lifetime.
  • Food-Motivated – Males are motivated by food, which can make training extremely easy as treats can be used to lure and reward a dog to display desired behaviors.
  • Aggressive – Males will tend to fight each other. Additionally, intact males should be kept away from females in heat unless a breeding is planned.

Any questions? I’m telling you, these adjectives could be used to describe most men and women I know. And don’t you love the way they refer to a male dog who has not been neutered as “intact?” Females are just “not fixed.” Males are all pulled together. And the whole in heat thing goes without saying.

I think the most interesting difference is that the worst combination of dogs is two bitches because they are more likely to fight than a male and a female or two males.

Maybe our behavior is a lot more inbred than we think. I would argue with the point, except that I told my husband last night not to help me with something because I could do it myself (independent), he made the mistake of questioning something I did and I went after him (stubborn), I love to have the house to myself (territorial), and I woke up this morning ready to kill somebody for no good reason (changes in mood and/or menopause – take your pick).

Come to your own conclusion concerning your personality and gender, but I see a pattern.