How to tell if puppies are male or female

Updated April 17, 2017

Puppies are a popular pet. According to the Animal Rescue League, 150,000 puppies are born each day. A female can start having litters anywhere from five to seven months of age. Each litter can produce six to 12 puppies. When puppies are born, there are ways to determine the difference between males and females.

Grasp the puppy with its stomach facing up in your hand. If you prefer, place a puppy on its back to determine its sex.

To determine if it is a male, look for the scrotum underneath the anus and near the hind legs. Look for a penile opening over the anus. The penis can be found on the latter half of a puppy's belly. By two months of age, you will be able to notice testicles near the animal's scrotum.

To determine if a puppy is a female, look for the vulva. Keep your eye peeled for the vertical slit located above the anus and between the hind legs.

If possible, place puppies side by side. You can make a determination of a puppy's gender by comparison. A female will have a genital opening in the shape of a leaf. For males, look for the penis, which will be round in shape with a dot-shaped genital opening.


When examining for gender, do not leave the puppies on their backs for long periods of time. Lying on their backs too long will cause them to be uncomfortable, according to the Pet Informed website.

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A writing professional with more than 15 years of experience, Steve Repsys is currently employed in a college marketing environment. He is part of a team that produces award-winning publications. He holds a bachelor's degree in communication from Stonehill College and a master's degree in sports marketing from Springfield College.