Sex differences in dogs may come down to spatial recognition - a27

..... dogs balls

“This here's a tale for all the fellas, try to do what those ladies tell us. Get shot down cause you're over zealous, Play hard to get an females get jealous” Ref 2

It seems that ‘noticing male behaviour’ is not restricted to humans. In the dog world, many people swear that they know the difference in behavior between male and female dogs, whether this be in regard to their dominance or emotional connection or even recall, But mainly this is based on personal experience with one or two dogs. The following is the tale of a 2011 dog study into the difference in dog sexes based on scientific observational behavior.

And of all the things that could be reported, this one is about how observant dogs are when a ball miraculously changes size. Specifically the study found that when a ball appears to magically change size in front of their eyes, female dogs notice the difference but males don't. The conclusions are a little vague however the researchers believe that in some situations—male dogs rely mostly on their sense of smell while the females use vision as their prime sense.

This is how cognitive biologist Corsun Muller of the University of Vienna designed the study. They chose 25 male and 25 female dogs. “When a dog came to the lab for the test, first it got to play with two balls: one the size of a tennis ball and one that looked identical but was about the size of a cantaloupe. Then the dog and owner left the room while a researcher set up the experiment. When the dog came back, it sat in front of its owner, who was blindfolded so that his or her reactions wouldn't influence the pet. One of the balls sat to the left of a screen in front of the dog, and an experimenter, hiding behind another screen, slowly pulled the ball with transparent string. As the dog watched, the ball went behind the screen. Then the ball reappeared on the other side. But in some cases, it was replaced by the other ball, so the ball seemed to have magically shrunk or grown.” ref 1

The differences in behavior may seem small but they are marked. While the males looked at both the small and larger ball that appeared on the other side of the screen for about the same amount of time, the females stared at the larger ball for about DOUBLE (36 seconds) the time that they looked at the smaller ball appearing.

Click here if you want to see the dog sex difference experiment in action


Stanley Coren, of the University of British Columbia proffers the reason for the difference may be that with multiple puppy litters, females may devote more time to training their vision to look after puppies rather than smell.

It is also suggested that male dogs in general may be more scent orientated – which is the reason why trainers for sniffing tasks in police and customs roles prefer male dogs. This higher reliance on scent may actually lesson a male dog’s attention on visual changes.

Article by Bruce Dwyer. If you wish to use any of this information please refer to the article as a reference and provide a link to


Ref 1

Ref 2 Young MC – Bust A Move, Lyrics


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