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I recently asked the question Is the dog depicted on this image male or female?

It was put on hold as Primarily Opinion Based. I don't agree with this because AFAIK the physical gender of a dog as shown on a picture is binary: either the dog shows male characteristics or it shows female characteristics. I know the subject matter of the question itself could be seen as somewhat controversial considering the backstory of the dog, but I think the question itself has merit, even though the animal itself is a military dog and not really a pet.

Why was this question put on hold for this reason? Ideally I'd like to hear the motivations of the moderator who closed the question.

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    There also seems to be a bit of an edit war on Wikipedia concerning the gender. Sounds to me as if there are different opinions about the answer to this question. The gender of the dog in itself is a fact, but the only bit of data provided is apparently the vague picture, which has apparently led to debate. I personally don't see much value of moving that debate to PetsSE. Is anybody going to learn anything from the question or the possible answers? I don't think so. Is the answer going to be of any use? No, the owner of the dog already knows the sex of the dog. – JAD Nov 5 at 10:01
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    Is it Primarily Opinion Based? Maybe, not entirely. Is it an interesting or good question? No. – JAD Nov 5 at 10:02
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    And this is before I noticed that the question itself includes a comment of the owner of the animal. What is the point of the question altogether? – JAD Nov 5 at 10:06
  • @JAD The point of the question is that the picture of the dog that the owner shared did not appear to be a male dog, as the owner claimed. The question itself asks about the dog on the picture, not the dog the owner is talking about when he refers to a male dog. Is the dog on the picture a male dog or a female dog in my opinion isn't a bad question. – Nzall Nov 5 at 10:28
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    I closed the question, I don't have anything to add that is not already in comments here and at the question. – James Jenkins Nov 6 at 13:29
  • @JamesJenkins I've updated the question to be about identifying a dog's gender in general, rather than just this specific dog. I did leave the picture in, but mostly as a "you can't always tell from looking between the legs, especially with an untrained eye." – Nzall Nov 8 at 11:02
  • @Nzall looks much better. – James Jenkins Nov 8 at 12:42
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What if everyone needs their dog's gender identifying?

In my opinion, the thing to remember is what our goal is on Pets Stack Exchange. We're trying to build a repository of question and answers that can serve users for many years to follow. The questions we ask here need to be comparatively useful to current and future readers. Questions that work best are more general than the one you've posted because current or future readers are unlikely to be concerned about the specific gender of one dog.

I know the subject matter of the question itself could be seen as somewhat controversial considering the backstory of the dog...

The backstory feels somewhat irrelevant to me because, again, the real question it seems like you want to be asking is 'How can I tell the gender of a dog?'. This means that users who arrive with the same question don't have to ask specifically about their dog too they can just apply the general rules without asking another question.

If everyone posted a picture of a dog and asked the gender we end up with hundreds of images (which aren't accessible for users with vision impairments) all asking effectively the same question.

Is it Primarily Opinion Based?

I agree with @JAD here, it may not be completely opinion based, and I would have been tempted to close as 'Too Broad', but it's not a question that brings value to the site.

You are entirely welcome to ask the question of 'How can I tell the gender of a dog?' because then we teach our users how to identify the gender of a dog rather than giving them the answer to one specific case.

  • Okay, I'll ask the question abou how to gender a dog. Could I adjust the existing question I created or do you recommend I create a new question? – Nzall Nov 8 at 10:47

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