Australian Shepherd Male vs Female – Which is Better?

We get this question often from those interested in puppies and that is why we would like to go into Australian Shepherd male vs female and hope to give you some help in making decisions.

Australian Shepherd Male vs Female: Physical Comparison


The standard prescribes a size range for both sexes. However, this standard is only a guideline, and the dogs can also be slightly larger or smaller.

The breed standard is 50.8 cm – 58.5 cm (20-23 inches) for males and 45.7 cm – 53.4 cm (18-21 inches) for bitches.


There are of course anatomical differences between the male and the female.

Penis and Testicles

The male has a penis placed under the belly, which is located in a penis shaft and a little further back, two testicles located in a scrotum. The testicles can vary in size depending on the male – they are usually about the size of a table tennis ball.

Vagina / Vulva

Like women, the bitch has a vagina/vulva to be recognized by the outer labia. In addition, she has a nipple column under her stomach, which consists of about five teats on each side, so a total of 10 teats, which you can hardly see or feel with a “non-mom”.

Australian Shepherd Male vs Female: Sex Drive

Aussies become sexually mature at around one year old – some earlier, others later. There are differences between the two sexes, which we would like to list below.

australian shepherd male vs female

Marking of Males

Males tend to be more prone to marking, i.e. urinating with a raised leg, than females.

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With a good upbringing, you can counteract this and only allow the male to mark certain trees or meadows. You can also forbid him to mark lanterns, corners of houses, or flower pots. However, you cannot completely prevent the marking and it would also be unnatural to completely prevent this. Males indicate by marking that they have been there and have a certain claim to this area/territory. Wolves mark out their territory by defecating urine or feces.

If a male is urinating inside the house, advice should be sought from a trained dog trainer as a matter of urgency, as this is in most cases misguided marking behavior. To protect your furniture you can let the dogs wear diapers to prevent the urine from reaching the walls and furniture.

Straying of Male Aussies

Since males can produce offspring all year round, they can also happen to track down a nice smelling bitch that is ready to mate and start straying. A dog owner must learn to recognize the behavior of his dog and to limit it at an early stage. Males can also start to whine or show restless behavior or even refuse to eat, for example when the neighboring bitch is in heat. If this is the case, the male should only enjoy a secured exit, otherwise, there is a good chance that he will disappear to his beloved without a trace.

Marking of Females

Bitches also mark, but in most cases less than males.

However, there are also some female dogs who mark more and, just like males, lift the leg and try to get the urine as high as possible.

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Bitches usually urinate more often when they are in heat or when they are ready to mate. They want to make males aware of their heat and their readiness to mate. Males can tell from the urine whether a bitch is ready for mating. Bitches usually pass urine before mating, which the male licks up and uses his Jacobson’s organ, which is located in the mouth and nose, to determine whether the bitch is ready to mate.

Males also smell whether a bitch will soon be in heat and usually run after her sniffing, which bitches sometimes perceive as a nuisance and also give the dog to understand by snarling at the dog or baring their teeth and if this repeatedly does not defend the dog they defend themselves too.

It is unlikely that bitches will mark inside the house.

Female Aussies in Heat

Bitches usually come into heat twice a year, usually about six months apart. The bitches begin to bleed from the vulva, and the vulva also swells. The heat lasts about three weeks, the bleeding increases and decreases again towards the end. In between, there are days, the so-called standing heat period, when the bleeding almost stops and the blood becomes flesh-colored, transparent.

The bitches can only mate during the standing heat period and are also receptive and can have puppies – ovulation takes place during these days. However, since this would lead too far and is difficult to recognize, the bitch owner remembers that the bitch can only be mated and is fertile during heat. The rest of the year, strictly speaking, he only has to look after his dog for six weeks and nothing can happen. The bitches also usually lick themselves clean and hardly leave any drops of blood on the floor. So there are no extra panties, tampons, etc. necessary. So it’s not so bad!

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But beware, bitches also like to move away in the direction of a potent male, therefore bitches in heat should only walk on a leash! It is said that bitches can be bitchier in heat, but also more affectionate and cuddly. We only observe softer, silky fur in our bitches and an even greater need to cuddle.

Australian Shepherd Male vs Female: Character

When it comes to character, the male is said to be a brawler and more suitable for sport, while the bitch is more dear, cuddly, and easier to handle. However, this cannot be signed as this, because the character is mainly formed through upbringing and there are also sporty bitches or males who love kids.

You can read more about this in our article Development of character and the effect of coat color on behavior.

Australian Shepherd Male vs Female: Neutering and Spaying

When it comes to neutering and spaying, there are also a few differences between both sexes, which you can find in our neutering and spaying article. There you can also read our opinion on neutering and spaying and we will clear up a few prejudices, so do give it a read.


As you can see, there are a few physical differences between males and females. The behavior mainly depends on your ability to train the dog. You should therefore choose the dog that you are most attracted to.