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.
There are easy to train, calm, quiet males. And there are mad crazy oversocial females.
There are easy to train, calm, quiet females. And there are mad crazy oversocial males.
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.
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.
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?
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!
...... 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 ;-)