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[fullalbumimg:4a8b1b5f46]1364[/fullalbumimg:4a8b1b5f46]​


If I get asked, sometimes musingly, sometimes with real panic in their voice, this once a week by buyers, I get asked it a dozen times :)

Should I buy a dog or a bitch puppy?

Often they have a half solid idea in their mind what they want but have 'heard stories' about the sex they want to buy. Things like :

- You shouldn't have two boys together they will fight.
- Bitches are easier to train and are better with children.
- Dogs are more loyal
- Bitches shed more coat.
- Dog won't allow visiting dogs to the house once grown up.

..... etc etc etc.

Then there is the good old one... 'boys lift their leg up everything and wee'.

For every sound bit of common sense advice there are two or three old wives tales out there about BOTH sexes, so its hard to dig the wood from the trees. the wheat from the chaff in terms of making a decision.

Fact.
There are easy to train, calm, quiet males. And there are mad crazy oversocial females.

Fact.
There are easy to train, calm, quiet females. And there are mad crazy oversocial males.

Fact.
A dog or bitch is the product of 1) Its genetic set up passed on from its parents personalities and physical shape. 2) The way it is raised, boundaries given and the way it is treated and trained.
It is NOT a product of whether it is a boy, or a girl.
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That SAID, however, of course there are certain things that do not change, and those are:

1) Dogs being a male mammal, will always be destined to be slightly broader and slightly taller and slightly more muscular than the females of ITS litter at maturity. However, you get dogs from some litters with smaller parents that are far smaller than females from OTHER litters with BIG parents. So you will regularly meet bitches out that are bigger and stronger looking than some dogs of our breed.
Therefore the stereotype of the 'small petite' little bitch and the lolloping great huge male just isn't the case if you pick carefully looking at the PARENTS body type.

2) Bitches, and this is VERY important, have seasons. Now I won't go into the 'when to spay' debate, but lets assume you don't spay her, she will have seasons, which are messy and awkward especially if you have children (or cream carpets!) approx. twice a year. If you are a responsible owner for each season she will stay HOME for at least 10 - 14 days of each season which creates frustration, tension, feelings often of guilt in the owners and all sorts of negative (but essential!) shenanigans.
HOWEVER, of course you can spay your bitch. ideally, generally speaking midway between her first and second season.

However unlike castration which is a quick one, two, operation with the dog bouncing back a day or so later usually, it is invasive, expensive and the bitch is needing careful management for a week or two.

That is a small price to pay, however for ending her seasons, I can promise you! Its expensive, around £300 minimum most parts of the country. Compared to castration which tends to be a lot cheaper.

So this is a often unconsidered factor for SOME homes. Seasons... and if no seasons... spaying.
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Boys tend to get a bit of a 'bad press'. And indeed in some cases its entirely justified. Dragging their owners about with lots of weight behind them. Leg lifting, sniffing, being obsessive about bitches and being a pain in the backside about it.

Absolutely. But you know what? With the exception of the poor owner who has run into lots of in season bitches on walks which have wrecked his dogs idea of manners, general speaking those boys have been allowed to become like that by their owners. There is NO need for a dog to lift its leg anywhere but in the garden and when allowed on walks. There is NO need for a dog to hassle bitches unless it has been allowed. There is no need for dogs to tow you with their heads down looking for sniffs' unless the owner has allowed them to do so and not expressed how rude and disgraceful acting like that is from a very young age.

* Another slight negative to boys can be that many dog walkers, for their own reasons, will not take entire males for walking, so they either cannot go to a dog walker, OR need early castration, which is not ideal. But really, hand on heart, if you have to rely on a dog walker to have a dog, is it the right time for you to be getting a puppy?

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Bitches have this 'halo' image. A rose tinted picture of sweet loyal girl, especially to parents of children, especially of small children in the household, who loves, protects and adores the children of the family.

Wrong! Bitches are far more hormonal, like females of any species, than males. They have moods and personality swings. They however, till mature are just a CANINE, they aren't a FEMALE, so therefore, they will bash into, nick toys off, pinch food from, scratch with flying paws, playbite with flying teeth, swing off, knock down children. They will protect what is *theirs* if they value it from little hands. They will tear things apart children love if left laying around. They are NO different. Just because one day they might have the ability to PRODUCE children, doesn't mean they will LIKE or be careful around them any more than a male puppy!
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...... SO, what it all boils down to, is what you firstly like the look of.... boys or girls. What your HEART tells you that you want.

Secondly, often if you have researched well, what is MORE important is just get *a* puppy from the pairing, and breeder, you have really decided is fantastic, rather than a particular sex. So be flexible.

Thirdly, don't listen to the stereotypes or the rose tinted rubbish from people who have only owned a few dogs in their lifetime. Their dog, of THAT sex will often always be 'the best thing EVER'.

Me? If I could only have one sex, I'd have boys every single time. But that's by the by.

The ONLY sex combination in our breed that shouldn't really be considered if you are anti spaying/castrating and aim to keep one of each sex! Or you WILL end up with babies ;-)

Otherwise ignore any rubbish about girls not settling together. Boys not settling together. 'Dominance rubbish' about boys and about girls, etc etc.

Whatever you decide on, well raised, well trained and with clear boundaries, YOUR DOG OR BITCH will become the best in the world! If you end up with 'one of the negative stereotypes....' to be honest, you only have yourself to blame ;-)

Di
 

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Hear hear Di! I have to say that my Olly (a Wylanbriar Tom baby), is the sweetest most affectionate boy - and this is due to his own lovely nature and not my wonderful (NOT) training of him!! I wouldn't swap him for the world, but I'm sure his sister would have been just as lovely!
 

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We've always gone with an open mind when looking at pups, we go more for which one we bond with and don't have any preference for either sex. We do tend to find that we usually have a selection of boys as the girls usually seem to get chosen first.
 

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Thing being Trevor, the vast majority of breeders have a waiting list, and its only sensible that its based on lets say 4 people for boys and 4 people for girls, so your breeder was quite unusual in allowing you just to choose whoever you liked. Most need a solid waiting list tied up a long time before picking day.

So the vast majority going onto waiting lists need to tell the breeder what sex they require and then if there are enough of that sex they get on depending on where down the list they were... and if not, sadly they don't. OR maybe the breeder will let them swap sexes then... but usually not as they have enough for the other sex!

So most enquiries either already know what...yellow dog, black bitch etc they want, OR, as per about half of all the enquiries I get, people are dazed and confused as to what they should be going for :)

Di
 

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It amazes me how many people believe that bitches are easier..Have had this discussion many times at the school gates with mothers considering getting a puppy. They're quite gobsmacked when I say my personal preference is the boys :lol:

I get the "Yes, but don't they pee up everything" and "I couldn't be doing with the humping"......

I have dispelled many of the myths :lol:
 

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SO TRUE!!

I knew 'we' wanted a black girl when looking for Luna. Once she was home I knew 'I' really didn't mind what gender it was the character which was important.

Stickied!
(and abused MOD powers slightly by correcting a few typos ;-) blame the teacher bit of me :roll: - I didn't use red ink though :wink: )
 

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I'm sure that's the case with the top end breeders like yourself Di with high demand. With the Norfolk Terriers we used to have they mainly came from a hobby breeder and she would only sell them to people she knew, most were relaxed like us over what sex they were, some would want a specific sex and those were mostly those wanting girls so it was usually boys left.
With Mac, our first Lab, he was from a new breeder we know who didn't have all the litter reserved, so we had a choice of 3 boys as all the girls were reserved. Yes we did check health tests and yes he has good family lines, it was just that she was starting out so didn't have the reputation yet.
 

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I bet Shakira could outdo any "difficult" male dog. No, bitches are definitely not easier. Some maybe are, but not all.
 

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Trevor, I agree, if people breed a litter and then when they are born get to about 3 weeks, then advertise, then have people come and visit as they call, and reserve what they want, till they are left with two boys or whatever, and then advertise them as 'ready to go'.....its possible to run it that way yes.

It wouldn't just be established breeders though who would worry to death they would be left with buckets of pups If they started the ball rolling that late, promise ;-)

Di
 

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I could have done with reading this article two years ago when choosing our (well my) first pup! I was convinced that having a female would be easier for a first time owner than a male: I was concerned I wouldn't be able to manage a male as I imagined them to be bigger & stronger (which of course most of them are) but also more headstrong & more challenging; I thought a female would be sweet, gentle & motherly & more manageable. It's reassuring to read that dogs of either sex can be wonderful or indeed challenging - and that ultimately, training is the key to a well behaved dog.

I completely agree with your points about choosing a puppy from a litter based on the genetics of the parent animals; that it is more important to research the kind of animal you are likely to get from a particular breeding rather than to focus simply on the sex of the pup.

What about the emerging personalities within a litter? Is it reliable for breeders to direct a new owner to a pup that may be more suited to them or in the end is it more about how you train the pup once you get it?

Great article!
 

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This would have been a great article for me to have read while I have been looking for a pup these past two months.
I had my heart set on a female pup - it was decided. I t has stayed as a female the whole time I have been visiting breeders etc - until the last litter I saw and fell in love with a little boy.
I take the sex of the pup as it comes - id much rather have a connection with the pup then be fixated on the sex. This is going to be my companion for the next 10+ years - so the right one is far more important.
I tend to take the view on dogs a little like you would a human - everyone is different! then the way I bring the pup up is going to shape his personality - so if there are bad features within his attitude it would be down to me as his owner - not that will be happening ^_^

Great article and lovely images.

woow on my first post lol
 
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Some very good points made, Thanks Di 8) .

The only thing I would add for people who are trying to decide which sex to buy is, please be try to be aware of the dog walking area you live in before making your decision.

Despite what many believe, I would really like a boy (albeit a big Poodle one), but I know from years of experience, so many bitch owners around here walk their girls, often off lead, while they are in season. This causes havoc with many of the boys, even if they are not entire. One lady spent 4 hours looking for her ASD last week, because he had taken off after a hot mama scent, one of my neighbours GSDs got hit by a car and killed when he did the same thing a couple of years ago.

I'm sure it's all these girly hormones flying about which make some boys square up to each other too, and this can end with fur flying occasionally.

From walking dogs around here for as long as I can remember and from talking to many, MANY other dog owners, I can honestly say the majority of Dust Ups are between boys....Not all, obviously, but a good 80% are, and some of these Dust Ups are nasty.

So if I do ever get my big curly boy, I'm going to have to be extra, EXTRA careful where I walk him and who he meets and greets. In fact, I might not get him until I have moved into a much more rural setting, so I hopefully won't have so much of a problem.

So yes, there are pros and cons to both genders and no, bitches aren't perfect, far from it in fact (3 of my girls don't even really LIKE children, let alone feel all "maternal" towards them), but do try to base your choice on your area, as well as how much you are drawn to a boy or a girl, because you have years of living with that decision and managing any problems which arise. And much as we scream and shout at and about other dog walkers, we can't control them or what they do.
 

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I've always had bitches for a couple of reasons.

I didn't want the hassle of a multi sex household.
I'm used to the cycles and the behaviour of females
I don't like dangly bits.

I suppose if my first dog had been male I'd probably have ended up with an all male household.

I've never really had any major aggression issues. I live in a rural location. 3 of my 4 are entire and it's very rare if we get a male visitor at our gate/fence and many households around us keep male hunting dogs. The 2 older one have synchronized cycles so are in season at more or less the same time which is great. Hopefully pup falls into step too.
 

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I have had dogs all my life since the day I was born. Skipper the 'Irish Water Spaniel' was our first dog.

It was my husband who decided he wanted us to have a bitch this time. So I went with it, but with some trepidation - to me all dogs were 'he'. I still say 'good boy' to her quite often!

I love, love ,love her - and we do meet lots of in season bitches on our walks 8O, in fact I met another yesterday.

So Jules has a very good point.
 

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Me? If I could only have one sex, I'd have boys every single time. But that's by the by.
It's interesting, after many years being involved with dog training clubs I've found that so often women come in with a dog and men with a bitch! Me? after many years with dogs my first bitch coincided with my first Labrador, and I was hooked on both Labradors and bitches. I cannot imagine life without a Labrador and cannot imagine it not being a bitch.

Regards, John
 
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