What fun this topic has been. Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts. Some have been hysterical! As far as performance in the ring goes, there have been some great male dogs and some great females all around the world in agility. I think generally speaking the girls are quicker but the boys are faster. The boys, by way of structure, are more powerful (except of course my butchy girl Feature, built like a boy, thinks like a girl:)). So if you have a wide open course, the edge may go to the males but in a twisty, turning course where quickness counts the girls may get the edge. Again all of these are gross generalities so don’t count them as gospel.
To clear up any confusion, I never said I thought males are stupid, far from it, Buzz is amazingly smart and was always very quick to learn anything (his enthusiasm sometimes got in the way of his mechanics but that is another story). Within each breed you may find more clever dogs of both male and female but here is the thing; if you are crazy-in-love with the dog no one (not even you) would ever realized if he isn’t quick as a whip. As I said before, it comes down to what you like, once you know what you like you will have more success training “it”.
I know many people out there that just don’t care, male vs female, they are happy to take either. I know if I bred Feature and she has only males, I will be owning a boy-dog, and it will be a great dog because I will believe in his potential and work hard to make him great (which won’t be hard if he is a puppy from Feature:)). I really think the differences between males and females are more perceived. But my perception is my reality and in my reality I prefer to train female dogs (I do prefer to train male horses though).
Some people think females are sulky, moody, stubborn, bitchy. I don’t find that at all. I will give you that they are a bit of control freaks. At one time I owned 5 females, three of them where Jack Russell Terriers, (the other two Border Collies) all living loose in our home, without any segregation. Although we may have had the odd squabble when one dog was aging the other ready to “take over,” they were few and far between and none were major enough to require vet care. All comes down to training and where you focus your attention.
Here are some comments from my friend and 4 time USA World Team Member (Silver medalist) Ann Braue.
For all the reasons Susan loves her female dogs I love my boys. Mark and I have owned 7 dogs: 3 female and 4 male so I have experience with both. And of course Spree (3 time AKC / USA WT member, AKC representative at Crufts, and 4 time USDAA World Agility Champion) is a female who has accomplished quite a bit! So, for all of our personal biases and preferences it probably doesn‘t really matter. Assuming good structure go with the puppy that your heart falls in love with!
But having said that here’s what I love about my boys………. My boys are very pushy. Sometimes this pushiness is tiring but most of the time I find it humorous! They just can’t seem to help themselves – maybe THIS time mom will let me get away with breaking the rules! They always have to test the limits which keeps me on my toes. They have a silly streak. My youngster can make ANY activity into a game. I love the size, power, and masculine appearance of the boy dogs.
Regarding boy dogs being “Rammy”. Hmmmmmmmmmm………. Yes, my boys are pushy but they are NOT stupid! If they run into a brick wall they do NOT do it twice……well, maybe twice but NOT 3 times! Maybe it is something in the water in Wisconsin??? Are our boys smarter than elsewhere??? Seriously, my boys are quite sensitive and have a great sense of *conscience*….. They TRULY want to please!
And, let’s set the record straight regarding males marking inappropriately. My boys have been intact until late in their life, and they do not mark inappropriately. I admit I keep a close eye on them especially early in their life so they realize marking in buildings etc is not ever going to be allowed. I really, REALLY hate watching owners ALLOW their boy dogs to mark inappropriately but I blame the owner not the dog! Dogs should never be allowed to pee on things people touch………ICK (and YES, this includes garbage cans!). Finally, scheduling trials is also a LOT easier with a male as you don’t have to wonder if / when the dog is coming into season :).
So there you have it. The last two days should tell you it really doesn’t make any difference what gender of puppy you should select for sport, it all comes back to let your heart decide.
Today I am grateful for Ann taking the time out of her busy seminar schedule to chime in our our gender debate. Ann can can be reached through her website at www.abctc.com. You can also see both of Ann’s outstanding male dogs by clicking on their individual links Scream’s page is
Being that it is my blog, I do get the last word on this . . . girls rule, boys drool:)