How to Identify a Puppy's Gender

Determining sex can be difficult.

Determining sex can be difficult.

Identifying a puppy's gender is important: You do not want to end up with a dog of the sex you didn't want because someone told you wrong. This is crucial if you already have a dog and do not want to add another whose gender may cause problems.

Lay the puppy on its back carefully on your lap or other stable surface, cradling its head and body in your hand.

Locate the umbilical cord stump. It will be in the middle of the dog's belly. Depending on the pup's age, it may be difficult to find; it may appear as a small dot.

Look in a straight line down from the umbilical stump toward the dog's back legs. Look for a small raised area, almost like a tiny button, approximately 1/4 inch below the umbilical stump. This is a penis. Your puppy is male.

Look between the dog's hind legs if you found no penis bump on the belly. There will be a small, leaf shaped area with a slender vertical opening. This is the vulva, indicating a female puppy.


  • Use caution when taking a young puppy away from his mother for any reason. If she is not comfortable, she might bite you.
  • Determine the dog's sex as quickly as possible and place the puppy back on his stomach: Being on his back is uncomfortable.

About the Author

Carolyn Barton has an associate degree in business management from Seminole Community College and has been writing professionally since 2007. Her articles have appeared on websites such as She specializes in website content and ghostwrites for several private clients. She is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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