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Home > Dogs > What Are Male Dogs Called? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQ

What Are Male Dogs Called? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQ

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Veterinarian, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Many people know that a female dog is technically called a “bitch.” However, most don’t refer to female dogs this way unless you’re a breeder or in a dog show. In other words, the term “dog” is non sex specific when talking about our canine pals.

But what are male dogs called? Do they have a technical term? It may come as a surprise, but male dogs are simply called “dogs.” Today, there is no sex-specific name for male dogs like there is for females.

Join us in exploring the male dog and if and when they are called something different.

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Where Did the Term “Dog” Come From?

male great dane dog on grass
Image Credit: belu gheorghe, Shutterstock

Finding out where the term “dog” came from is a bit complex in the etymology world. In fact, linguists have not discovered the root of the word.

It’s believed to come from Middle English “dogge” from Old English “docga.” The word surpassed the Germanic term “hund,” which the word “hound” is mostly used today, referring to sight or scent hounds.

What Is the Real Meaning of the Word Dog?

The word “dog” (Canis familiaris) is a noun used to describe a domestic, carnivorous mammal. It refers to canines kept as family pets, guards, or hunting.

Much like its origins, it’s not factually known exactly where the term came from, but it’s widely used today to refer to canines rather than the word “hounds,” which is believed to have been the most-used term at one time.

When Are Male Dogs Called Something Else?

male boxer dog standing on grass
Image Credit: Dmitry Kalinovsky, Shutterstock

For breeders, male dogs are sometimes not referred to as “male” dogs.

The term “stud” is used to describe a male dog that is kept for breeding purposes, is over 6 months old and not castrated, and “sire” is used to describe a male dog that has fathered a litter of pups. For the rest of us, we simply call our male dogs “dogs.”

What Are Neutered Male Dogs Called?

There is no specific name to call neutered dogs. Most people refer to neutered dogs as “fixed.” Some people may refer to a fixed male dog as “castrated.”

Fact: neutering your dog eliminates the development of testicular cancer. According to experts, you should neuter your male at 6–9 months for toy breeds. Wait at least a year for medium breeds and roughly between 12–18 months for large and giant breeds. Contact your veterinarian for advice tailored to your dog.

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Final Thoughts

As you can see, the word “dog” is complex, and its origins are not widely known. Breeders often use technical names for male dogs, such as stud or sire, but for the average Joe, we call our male canine pals “dogs.”

Even though female dogs are technically named “bitches,” we don’t normally go around calling our female companions this name. In this case, the word “dog” is non-sex-specific and is used by the majority of people to refer to either a male or female dog.


Featured Image Credit: Gabor Kormany, Shutterstock

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