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Hello! We are hoping to adopt our first Spoo in 2021 and I would like to ask everyone's take on which sex is best? I currently have no preference, and told our prospective breeder that our requirements for a pup is based on temperament. The two dogs I grew up with were both female and they were great, but I'm sure males can be great too!

For all of you, what is your preference? Benefits/drawbacks of boys vs. girls? How about as family dogs for families with small children? When you got your pup, did you specify gender, or just temperament?
 

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I would ask the breeder to narrow down my choices by temperament, ideally recommending a couple of puppies for me to meet and choose from. That is my dream scenario.

All but one of my dogs has been female, and because I struggled to bond with the male, for the longest time I was positive I only wanted females. But I've since realized it had nothing to do with his sex. We just have better chemistry with some dogs than others.

The females in our classes have always been a little more intense than the males, the males a little more goofy/happy-go-lucky. But that could be due to nurture more than nature. Maybe humans are more likely to spoil females. Hard to say.
 

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Housebreaking.

1) Females are usually housebroken much faster. My toy poodle girl learned in a day at barely 12 weeks old. My boy took 4 months.
2) Females don't take as long to walk on potty breaks. That's b/c males want stop multiple times sniffing every tree, pole, and fire hydrant to pee on.
3) Some males will lift their leg to mark in the house when they approach or enter adulthood, some even after being neutered. I think the markers might be in the minority but I'm not sure, and for these, belly bands for indoors are just the thing. Others here will offer advice on how to nip it in the bud if it starts.

In general, I've seen no difference in sweetness, affection, or smarts, but poodles, like people, have individual personalities.
 

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There have been a lot of threads on this that may be useful to you in getting different perspectives, so I would advise doing a forum search for old threads.

I agree temperament is the biggest factor. There are some generalizations that are usually made about male and female temperaments, but individual dogs vary a great deal and so I wouldn't let these generalizations dictate things. Females have a reputation for being more independent and maturing more quickly. Not as needy, and less easily distracted in training. Males have a reputation for maturing slowly, being more goofy, cuddly, and needy. I have always felt males are a bit more simple while females are often quite complicated in their feelings. But again, not all males and females follow these things.

Aside from temperament, there are some hormonal and physical differences that could sway you one way or the other. Males on average are larger than females and heavier boned. Spoos, as larger dogs, are recommended to be spayed or neutered late (if neutering is the plan) generally between 18-24 months and 12 months at the earliest. This means dealing with adolescent hormonal behavior. For males you may deal with marking and humping, both of which can require additional training to curb. I don't know about all males, but my own definitely went through a "gross teenager" phase in regard to frequent arousal, and I know this can be bothersome to some and is often cited as a reason for female preference. Females, on the other hand, will typically go through one or two heats before it is time to spay. For me this was not something I was prepared to deal with because my schedule is too unpredictable to be sure I would be able to be around for a heat cycle and I personally would not want to leave a dog with a sitter during this time. So that is why I had a male preference. If my life stops involving vital travel for work, then I would consider a female in the future. Both sexes have some minor additional dumb hormonal behavior as adolescents, but I don't think one is worse than the other.

Both can make very good family dogs. If you make sure you're getting a dog from a reputable breeder who will make a good temperament match, and you have your whole family on board for training, things should go pleasantly.
 

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To offer a small counterpoint to Vita's excellent list: My last girl was a lifelong marker and struggled with housebreaking. She would mark on walks until there was nothing left....and then just keep going through the motions!

She also was an enthusiastic, lifelong humper of any dog she felt was getting a little too excited.
 

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I think housebreaking success is a matter of temperament, not gender. I’ve raised many, many puppies and never saw any relation to gender in how long housebreaking took. Beckie, my current tpoo, was very hard to housebreak and took almost 1 year.

As for picking a puppy, I wouldn’t care if it was a male or female, temperament is what matters. One exception to this : if I was to train my dog on pipi pads permanently, I would want a female, as males will lift their legs and risk catching walls or others. But with a spoo, this is not a consideration !
 

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The only reason I would choose one gender over another is if I already owned a dog that was aggressive to one gender. My family has never had any trouble with our bitches, but I've heard some people do. Our alpha girls simply explained to the others what the household rules were. The others went along with it.
 

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In a multi-dog home it is usual for one older female to set and enforce the rules. I did have one terrible experience with a mother and daughter standard poodle who got into an awful dominance fight - the daughter had to have quite a few stitches to repair her muzzle. Most of the time the queen bee who rules the roost holds that position for her lifetime (or close to it). I have had male dogs get into fights, but have never had a really nasty fight - probably because I have mostly had whippets and poodles, neither of which are particularly dog aggressive.

Perhaps the strangest top dog was an ancient female whippet who was always emaciated due to a greatly enlarged heart. We always had a sweater on her in public because we did not want people to think she was being starved. That old girl would lie on her sofa and dominate the other dogs by simply raising her lip just enough to show the tip of a canine tooth. She weighed about 15 pounds (that's an extremely low weight for a mature whippet), but the standard poodles and greyhound kow-towed to her.

Right now we have three females and one male. Zoe, the mini poo, is the dominant dog even though she is the youngest. She loves the old male whippet/border collie who raised her and does not bother trying to dominate him. She does hump the female Lab at least once a day to remind her that she is small but fierce. She also picks on the female Chihuahua regularly - behavior I strongly discourage.
 

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To offer a small counterpoint to Vita's excellent list: My last girl was a lifelong marker and struggled with housebreaking. She would mark on walks until there was nothing left....and then just keep going through the motions! She also was an enthusiastic, lifelong humper of any dog she felt was getting a little too excited.
Female humping, yeah, I've seen it, but marking? Wow. Was she spayed, and if so, did she continue marking afterwards?
 

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Lily will mark and the boys tend to pee over her pee, but then she will go right back and cover them. She will even pick up one leg to be able to aim a bit higher. We have two intact male dogs and have never had either of them lift a leg to mark indoors. For Peeves as a puppy with Lily she just never let him think about it (would hump him for his least transgression of anything). For Javelin I was in a Pep Boys or someplace similar with puppy and he started to look at an aisle end cap as a place to mark (right around when he first figured out that big boys lift their legs to pee). As I saw him slow down and start to baalance himself I loudly said "no you don't" as I scooped him up and carried him out of the store. He never thought about doing any marking inside anywhere again. I startled him enough that I made quite an impression. As Johanna put is Lily is a Queen Bee and therefore I will never have another bitch until she is over the bridge. She loves people, but show her another black spoo bitch and she will not be happy. She recently even curled her lip and gave a little growl to a friend's parti spoo bitch. Javelin on the other hand adores that girl.

Okay now to the OP's actual question. A now deceased poodle owning friend of mine always said girls will love you but boys will be in love with you. I tend to think that is so. That friend's daughter who also has had many spoos shown to great success in obedience has had both bitches and dogs, but had more success with dogs than her girls. I have shown Lily successfully in obedience, agility and especially rally obedience but I often feel as if her look ups have said "yeah, what's in it for me to do this" whereas my youngster boy Javelin looks at me in a way that says "okay mom what can I do to please you?" They are both lovely companions and family members.

Generally though I think if the individual is structurally sound and temperamentally steady for most people the sex of the individual matters little.
 

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Female humping, yeah, I've seen it, but marking? Wow. Was she spayed, and if so, did she continue marking afterwards?
Yep, she was spayed around 6 months. The behaviour started probably a year later. It was annoying on walks, but she could be jollied along. Much worse was when another dog came to visit. Then she would mark carpets, as well as any dog blankets on the floor.
 

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Temperament always comes first. Every dog is a unique individual and I would not make gender one of my first considerations, when choosing a puppy.

However, if all things are equal, I would chose the male puppy. I went into getting my poodle wanting a male, but was open to a female. I just think boys are generally ( and I mean GENERALLY ) sweeter, more easily trained, less complicated and more loving.

Sammy was so easily housetrained, doesn't mark inside at all, although he now lives with my daughter's dog that does ( and neither are neutered) and just lives to please me, learn new things and be loved. He does get picked on by other male dogs, neutered or intake. So, he may be more submissive than most.

I just love a boy. The love he gives me is unconditional and steady.
 

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I thought I really wanted a girl, but yesterday we visited our breeder and saw her five week puppies and now I REALLY don’t care about the sex. They had such lovely little personalities, and all three of the boys in the litter were affectionate and charming in their own ways. If the breeder rings in two weeks to say she’s thinking that one of the boys would suit us best, I’d be SO happy. (She’s doing Avidog testing and will let us know!)
 

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Female humping, yeah, I've seen it, but marking? Wow. Was she spayed, and if so, did she continue marking afterwards?
females will mark too but they are usually anxious or unsettled (poor temperament) dogs. I have a very dominant anxious terrier who will mark on walks, though never in the house. That usually is a sign of a very unsettled dog or urinary incontinence. I had a shih tzu who would mark, also outside only, but after having her spayed she stopped that behavior. Back to male/female..I personally now prefer males I find them easier to train though that could just be me.
 

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females will mark too but they are usually anxious or unsettled (poor temperament) dogs. I have a very dominant anxious terrier who will mark on walks, though never in the house. That usually is a sign of a very unsettled dog or urinary incontinence. I had a shih tzu who would mark, also outside only, but after having her spayed she stopped that behavior. Back to male/female..I personally now prefer males I find them easier to train though that could just be me.
In Gracie's case, no. Luckily!

She was a social little girl who came to work with me every day on the screeching, rocking subway, greeting all the weary commuters and then snoozing on my lap. And she would trot happily from the station to my office, largely unfazed by the busy downtown streets. She never marked there. Only in more rural settings. She never marked in my office either, even when other staff had their dogs visit.

But when male dogs came over to my house, look out! She was almost guaranteed to mark. Interestingly, as I reflect upon this more, she didn't ever react this way to visiting females.

I suspect it was the poor way I briefly introduced a male puppy into our household. They remained the best of friends after he went to live with my retired parents, but she made it clear whenever he visited: Under no circumstances was he to stay!!

(Sorry for getting off topic. I think it's a good reminder, though, that there are always going to be exceptions. That's why it's probably best to choose a puppy based on demonstrable temperament above all else.)
 

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In Gracie's case, no. Luckily!

She was a social little girl who came to work with me every day on the screeching, rocking subway, greeting all the weary commuters and then snoozing on my lap. And she would trot happily from the station to my office, largely unfazed by the busy downtown streets. She never marked there. Only in more rural settings. She never marked in my office either, even when other staff had their dogs visit.

But when male dogs came over to my house, look out! She was almost guaranteed to mark. Interestingly, as I reflect upon this more, she didn't ever react this way to visiting females.

I suspect it was the poor way I briefly introduced a male puppy into our household. They remained the best of friends after he went to live with my retired parents, but she made it clear whenever he visited: Under no circumstances was he to stay!!

(Sorry for getting off topic. I think it's a good reminder, though, that there are always going to be exceptions. That's why it's probably best to choose a puppy based on demonstrable temperament above all else.)
LOL that is odd she only marked after other females usually they will mark after any dog. My terrier is not picky, where a dog goes she will mark. I am glad she doesn't mark inside though. I once had a male GSD, he never marked until a neighbor brought her GR over one day for me to look at. She said something was wrong and she didn't know , heh the dog was in heat. several month later we realized our GSD was marking in the house, just a tad but we were smelling this odd smell whenever we came in after being out all day. I ended up having to replace all he carpet and under pads. He had favorite corners. That was back in the day before everyone neutered/ or spayed their dogs. My terrier is quite personable too but she is an anxious dog and is alpha .
 
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