Male To Female Gender Reassignment Images Of Puppies

Physical differences between male and female dogs are both slighter and less obvious than those between other kinds of domestic pets or farm animals. Distinguishing between a male and female turkey, for example, tends to be quite easy, especially once they reach maturity. Differences in size and plumage between these birds are clear and striking. The male turkey is much larger, more colorful, and has a more dramatic appearance. Among dogs, average height and weight of females and males does vary, but the difference is normally only a few inches in the first case, and can be as little as 10 pounds in the latter. When we’re talking about newborn baby puppies, the differences are inconsequential. All newborn baby puppies are super tiny. So, how can you tell if a puppy is a boy or a girl? Let’s investigate.

Why does differentiating sex in puppies matter?

Even when dogs are fully matured, telling a male from a female dog can be difficult. How many times have you, as a dog owner, passed someone on the street or at the park and heard some variation of, “What a beautiful dog! May I pet her?” And how many times have you gently corrected, “Actually, he’s a boy!” I make that mistake all the time with other people’s dogs, and people make it all the time with mine.

If you’ve recently had or are preparing to welcome a litter of puppies, and people are asking to adopt one, they may have a specific sex of puppy in mind. Some people are particular about male or female puppies. Perhaps they’ve had better experiences with one sex of dog over another. Reasons can be difficult to parse, and impossible to understand or predict. If both you and the interested parties are patient, things will become clearer by the time they are ready to be weaned.

Can urination habits help tell if a puppy is a boy or a girl?

Some might huff at the very question, assuming that the stereotypical images of fully grown dog urination habits — squatting for girl dogs and the leg lift of boy dogs — will make the distinction clear enough. In baby puppies, however, one must remember that as puppies’ hindquarters develop and mature, puppies of both sexes squat. The positions that puppies take do not diverge for a while after whelping.

Indeed, male and female puppies may assume identical positions for up to two months. Puppies do not practice independent bowel and bladder evacuation in their first couple of weeks of life. Nor, for the first few weeks, do puppies have sufficient strength and stability in their hindquarters to make urinating activities distinguishable. Male puppies may not fully adopt the wonted leg lift until around their fourth month; for some male puppies, it may not become habitual until they are nearly six months old.

So, how can you tell between a male and female puppy?

There is, in fact, a way to discern the difference between female and male puppies. Be cautious and patient, though. The relationship between newborn puppies and their mother can be tenuous. Taking a baby puppy from a mother for more than a few minutes in the first several weeks after whelping can disturb their bonding. A mother dog may become wary of a puppy who spends too much time away from her and the rest of the litter.

Basically, male puppies can be distinguished by two small, raised circular marks on their bellies. People often ask where a dog’s belly button is located. Unlike in humans, the spot where the umbilical cord was attached to a dog disappears, healing over very quickly. It is right below the base of the rib cage. About an inch past that, there will be another small circular spot. This is where the penis will emerge.

Female puppies will have only the belly button mark, with the rest of their tiny little bellies bare. A careful examination of a female puppy’s rear end, from the base of the tail to the start of the lower abdomen, will reveal two openings. The anus, of course, will be just beneath the tail, and the vulva is a small, leaf-shaped structure located almost exactly between the legs.

The belly and rear end are the points to observe most carefully in determining a puppy’s sex. Newborn puppy. Photography by Soraluk Chonvanich / Shutterstock.

Always exercise patience and caution

To put it most simply, to figure out whether a baby puppy is female or male, examine a puppy’s rear end, right beneath the tail. Female newborns will have two points, male puppies only one. It is best to be patient and exercise great caution. In a puppy’s first few weeks, support a baby puppy with a warm towel, turn her over carefully, and only for a couple of minutes at most. Return the puppy to her mother and litter immediately after checking.

Baby puppies begin learning from their mother the moment they are born. Handling newborn puppies too often before three to four weeks of age risks alienating the puppy from the mother, which can not only cause stress, but also trauma to newborns. For the sake of satisfying curiosity alone, under no circumstances should you poke or prod at newborn puppies to determine whether they are girls or boys.

Thumbnail: Photography by Image Source Pink / Thinkstock. 

Learn more about puppies with Dogster.com:

The death of our collie Bonnie in 2006 hit my husband Frank and me so hard that it was almost a decade before we considered taking on another dog. But, late in 2015, my daughter mentioned that a friend of hers had a jack russell that was about to have pups. Familiar with female dogs, we decided that if there were any bitches in the litter we would take one. That’s how we ended up with Molly.

Picking her up involved a round trip of about 200 miles, but it was love at first sight. She was a tiny wee doggy, only 11in long and 6in high, and she weighed about a kilo and a half. She had delicate features – very feminine-looking.

We registered Molly at the local vet and made sure she had all her jabs. It was only when she started taking walks outside at about three months old that we noticed peculiarities in her behaviour.

Indoors, when Molly needed to pee, she would squat on her training mat as she had been taught, but when Frank took her out he noticed that she cocked her leg like a boy dog. We had spotted before that she had a tiny appendage between her back legs, but we thought little of it until we noticed that it sometimes seemed to cause her discomfort when she tried to sit down.

We took Molly to the vet to get it looked at. After examining her, the vet said: “I’m going to have a senior colleague look at this,” and took Molly into a back room. I was reminded of Bonnie’s diagnosis with stomach cancer and feared the worst. When the vet came back and said she thought Molly could be a hermaphrodite, I didn’t realise what she meant; I started crying, assuming she was referring to another form of cancer. But she said: “No, it means Molly has male and female genitalia.” I was flabbergasted; I had never heard anything like it. But we were assured that Molly’s condition could be fixed, although we would have to wait until she was older and stronger.

In the meantime, Molly started to behave more like a male dog, mounting cushions and soft toys, although this often left her sore and unhappy. When she was six months old, we took her back to the vet, where a senior practitioner, Ross Allan, examined her. X-rays and other tests confirmed his suspicions – Molly was an intersex dog. In fact, she was most likely genetically male, meaning she was a male pseudohermaphrodite. She had a small vestigial penis within what looked like a female vulva and testicles inside her abdomen that hadn’t descended.

Molly’s condition was very rare. About one in 6,800 dogs born are pseudohermaphrodites. In 15 years of practice, Ross had never encountered another case, nor had any of his more senior colleagues. Sometimes no operation is needed, but Ross explained that Molly’s complications were likely to increase as she aged. Well-meaning friends had already suggested it might be kinder to have her put down, because she was often visibly distressed. The thought horrified us. However, Ross reassured us that an operation would make her life much easier.

Experience: I accidentally bought a giant pig

The day she went into theatre was very stressful. Ross said: “Call me in the morning.” I didn’t sleep a wink that night, thinking about Molly and fearing the worst. But we were able to take her home the next day. Ross had removed the partly formed penis and testicles, which were at risk of becoming cancerous, and created an opening for Molly’s urethra so she could pee comfortably. She was exhausted the first day back and lay at the end of our bed, crying. When we spotted blood, we rushed her back to the vet, where she ended up spending a few more days being treated with drugs and antibiotics.

Twenty months on, she’s a cheeky little dog, full of character. She’s still unmistakably our Molly, whatever her genetic makeup. When our grandchildren visit, she jumps all over them and licks their ears; she’s clearly much happier than she was before the operation. She still loves her soft toys, too – just not in the same way.

•As told to Chris Broughton

Do you have an experience to share? Email experience@theguardian.com

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