Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails (or why boys are icky)

Okay I knew once I wrote the “gold bullion comment” last week, that I would have to address my preference for selecting females over male puppies. Let me preface this by saying three of the rescue dogs I have taken, trained and re-homed over the years, were males (they all lived with me for 3 or more months). Buzz is a male and I do love him to pieces. However the main reason I considered taking a male puppy all those years ago, was for the experience as a professional dog trainer. I felt I needed to understand the males the way I did the females in order to help their owners. I think that is whole lot-o-cow feathers now, I mean they are all dogs after all, what the heck, but I am glad I decided to “try” a boy, otherwise there would be no Buzzy.  

To round out my experiences John has owned two male dogs over the time we have been together, so I do have some

Innocent looking DeCaff learning a new skill set.

Innocent looking DeCaff, at 7 weeks, learning a new skill set.

balance to my opinion, but just remember what I am about to write is just that, opinion! It may have been skewed a bit since growing up we had a female dog. I do not have scientific evidence for what I am about to say. It is just what I have observed in working with my own and the hundreds of male dogs my students have brought to me over the years.

Honestly I think our preferences of males vs females is a chemical thing within each of us. Laura Derrett, Ann Braue, Linda Mecklenburg amoung many others, all strongly prefer working with male dogs. I think it is the same reason why people have breed preferences. Why do I love Jack Russell Terriers, Bulldogs and Afghan Hounds? Why does anyone for that matter? I think there is something intangible and inherent about each of us, that makes up the why and that is what makes us all different.

First there is the physically differences, although I love the look of a big powerful male I don’t care for the extra dangling bits that spoils the view when you look at one . . . and don’t get me started about trying to give a pre-workout massage to a male dog eeeewwww! Then there is the “extra” training you have to do for the male that wants to “mark” inside  and outside your home and especially your friends homes:).

Clever little DeCaff putting that new skill set to good use.

Clever little DeCaff putting her new skill into service (in the refrigerator:)).

As far as training goes, the things that most people adore about working with a male dogs are the same things I find incredibly annoying. My observation, be it right or wrong, is that when a male learns something it locks in the value and the dog is happy to do it the same way for you each time he is asked. So once the male dogs learns something you are good to go, however it takes them much longer to learn it in the first place. The downside of that is even though female dogs might learn something faster, they also unlearn it and start doing it their own way just as fast! In other words the female dog may experiment more and try to change what you have already trained. Females I find to be problem solvers.

Yes bitches may be bitchy, but they match up with me well:). Yes females can tend be more emotional, getting worried if you screw up your training (not Feature however, sometimes I wonder about her . . . ). However, I like a soft dog, it helps me make sure I don’t screw up my training!

Often males are rammy, do something first then think about it later. A male will run through a brick wall every time you ask, a female may do it once but then figure out a better solution. Females are just so clever. They crack me up.

You know I may . . . someday . . . take another male puppy. If I looked at a litter and my heart skipped a beat because of a special little boy, it could happen . . .  wait, wait, let me check . . . nope, no pigs flying out of my butt today so . . .  not today but someday . . .  maybe.

What about all of you that have male dogs, com’on stick up for them, why do you prefer the male puppies?  I asked my friend Ann Braue to give her thoughts (just to balance things out), so looks like you guys are going to get yet another guest blogger here! 

Today I am grateful for the uniqueness that allows two people to see completely different things while looking at the same puppy.

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