Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Girls Rule - Boys Drool?

Or is it the other way around?

Because it seems I'm always in a constant state of puppy envy, I often find myself thinking about the next little spotted pup that will join our family. Don't get excited - it's probably not going to be for a while - but it's still fun to think about. :)

Here's the big question - will it be a girl or a boy?

Since it seems most people tend to have a preference between males and females, I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions...just for fun, of course!

I'll admit that until now, I've never had a preference either way. It wouldn't have mattered to me if Peyton and Pongo were girls or if Indy was a boy - they still would have come home with me.

Now I realize that there will be differences between breeds and different bloodlines, and of course every dog is unique - but as a whole, what draws you to a particular gender?

Just for the sake of comparison, let's look at Indy and Peyton.

Indy is my serious girl. I'm won't use the obvious word, but she's very mouthy, dramatic, highly opinionated, and is captain of the fun police. She likes attention, but only when she wants it. And when she wants it, you better give it to her NOW. If you don't have cookies, she's not going to be your friend. And even if you have cookies, she probably still won't be your friend. No offense. She does have a very playful, silly side, but only when *she* feels like it.

It goes without saying that Peyton is my clown. He's the kid who is always in trouble at school. His motto could be act now, think later. He likes to party, is a little reckless, and thinks life is way to short to be so serious. He does have a soft side though and his feelings get hurt very easily. Most of all, he's 100% a mamma's boy. At home, he follows me everywhere - always watching me.

When it comes to training, Indy and Peyton are very different. With Indy, she does best when something is her idea - shaping games are perfect for her. On the other hand, Peyton would rather I just show him what I want. He gets frustrated easily and doesn't have the time to guess what it is I'm looking for. Peyton hates to be wrong where as Indy is never wrong so don't you dare imply that she could be. :)

I think in general Peyton learns faster than Indy, but it's likely because Indy takes more time to try and convince me that her way is better. Once she knows something, she is very consistent where as Peyton tends to push the boundaries a little more. Indy definitely is more focused, but her focus is always on what she thinks is best. Peyton is (obviously) more easily distracted - it's not that he wants to be "bad", but he really can't help himself.

While I absolutely adore Indy, I think I'm a little more compatible with my boys. Maybe it's because I (like Indy) tend to be very serious - and Peyton is a constant reminder that life is too short not to laugh. While his antics can be very frustrating at times, it's also impossible to be mad at him. He can be extremely charming.

And not to leave Pongo out, but it's a little easier to compare Indy and Peyton since they are closer in age and have had similar training. While Pongo was also a wild child in his younger days, now he's so laid back that it's hard to remember all the times he pushed my buttons. :)

So that was a little long, but now it's your turn. There are a lot of girl dogs that I love (including some spotty girls up north) so please share your thoughts!

Peyton finds this whole topic rather ridiculous...everyone knows that girls are dumb and boys are the best.


The Thundering Herd said...

Great question and I can't wait to read all of the responses.

We are 3 and 3 here. My experience is that the boys, once removed of those annoying bits, are very easy. They are goofy, athletic, fun loving, but not necessarily the brightest stars in the sky. Once the hormones are reduced, they really are much more laid back - though always rambunctious. A fight between the boys is brief, loud, and rarely harmful. They can forget in 30 seconds that their was a scuffle.

The girls are intelligent, crafty, bossy, and clear about their expectations. I find them much more difficult about fighting amongst each other because they really mean it. A fight is very rare, but nasty when it happens.

Interestingly, I find that the alpha is always a female. A strong female - right now Natasha - tells everyone else how to act and makes it much easier for me to control The Herd. There is always a male who struts around, but no doubt watching them that a female is really in charge.

My 2 cents.

Kim said...

Wow, an equal divide!

..."not the brightest stars in the sky" - lol, Indy will agree with that! :)

achieve1dream said...

Oh my gosh, that picture is great!!

I thought I was the only person always dreaming about my next puppy!! I do that all the time! What breed, what gender, what color, where will I get it, do I want puppy or adult, what will I train it first. It's so much fun! It's not that I don't love the dogs I have now, I just want another one, but know I can't afford another one right now. :)

Anyway, on to your question. Ever since I was a kid and first started training the family dogs I've always had the impression that I prefer male dogs (also prefer male horses). I never really thought about the reason though.

I think I just don't get along with females. They're too independent and don't like to be told what to do and I'm kind of a control freak lol. Storm is basically the invisible dog. The only time she shows herself is when she wants something (food, water, potty, walk - never cuddles those are just tolerated). Jackal on the other hand is a total cuddle puppy (which I love!). He's always watching me, always wants to know what I'm doing. Total momma's boy. Even my husband will admit it. :)

I don't know which dog would be easier to train because Storm gets too excited and doesn't listen very well (wasn't started on clicker training until she was three or four years old). Jackal is fairly easy to train. He gets frustrated easily if he can't figure out what I want, but he does try pretty hard. He's a little slow, but I think I attribute that more to breed than gender. I guess it could be a boy thing, but not sure. My boy German Shepherds I had when growing up learned so fast though.

So I think I would choose boy. Although I think alternating boy/girl for each dog kind of makes things easier. Thanks for asking such an interesting question. :D

Lisa said...

OK, the "girls up north" are going to weigh in!! My husband and I have always had girl dogs, and always eventually in pairs. We've waited for the first to mature (2-3 years) and then brought in the second girl. We have fortunately always had an excellent relationship between our girls and never had a big fight.

So, why girls? First of all, I'd hate to be outnumbered by males in the household :) Very few of my blog friends know, but my husband has a male Orange Wing Amazon parrot, so I need those girl dogs to tip the balance of power!! The parrot is 28 years old and probably only approximately halfway through his life span. He's already survived our first pair of Dals and is "training" Tess and Jazz to do his bidding. Very smart bird, indeed.

Seriously, though, girls mature faster and learn easier without all the distractions of male hormones, etc. Many people feel that males are more loving than females, but they've obviously never been to our house! Our girls are constantly with us and love to cuddle and snuggle. They are a delight to be with and are incredibly affectionate.

When we got Jazz, our youngest, we've had the ultimate pleasure of being able to have frequent contact with one of her brothers. Until his owner was diagnosed with breast cancer, Jazz and Peet were in training classes together. It was very interesting to see the stages they went through and how they learned differently. Now, Peet's mom is an excellent and diligent trainer, but Jazz is light years ahead of him. I suspect he'll be catching up very quickly, though, as he's quite the smart boy. Our breeder performed early neurologic stimulation on the puppies, and I see a real difference in Jazz's ability to master a behavior, as compared to Tess when she was that age.

Having expressed my preference for girls (spayed, of course), I have to say that if I felt a bond with a special male dog, gender would not stop me from including him in our family. All we really want is a well-behaved, loving companion to bring joy to our lives...and I think boy dogs and girl dogs (and particulaly spotties) are equally up to the task!

Lisa said...

P.S. - Absolutely love the photo of Peyton. VERY expressive!! His thoughts on the boy/girl subject are very clear...and very typically the male reaction :)

Kim said...

I love these responses...please keep them coming! We're getting ready to hit the road for a trial, but I'll add more thoughts later! :)

Kim said...

I've always had a preference for male horses too...although mares are waaaay more nasty than most female dogs I know. :)

And Lisa, I think it's probably the cuddle factor that I'm missing from Indy - I know that she's (definitely) not the norm, but I love my 50+ pound lap dogs. :) I'm glad to hear your girls are so affectionate...not that I had much doubt!

And like you, if a spotty girl pup turned on the charm, I doubt that I could resist...I'm just leaning a little toward another boy at the moment. :)

Lisa said...

Kim, I think another boy would be a good choice in your household, especially while Indy is around to keep the boys in line!! Somehow, the right dog has always found its way into our lives. Although I really wanted a liver Dal, once I met the puppies, I actually fell in love with a black and white girl out of Jazz's litter. Our breeder was adamant that she felt Jazz was a better fit with Tess, and we wisely heeded her advice. I got my beautiful little liver girl, and Tess and Jazz are the best of friends...a perfect situation all around. When you run into the perfect dog for your pack, you'll know it :)

Kim said...

Lisa, I think Indy's preference would be to toss both of the current boys out and get a kitty instead! :) She thinks that would be much more fun than any dumb spotted puppy...