Buying a puppy – Male or Female? Which is best?

A Male or Female puppy – what’s best for you?

One of the questions we ask people to answer on their puppy application form is whether they are seeking a male or female puppy – in our experience it is never even… we go through periods where everyone is looking for a male and then everyone is looking for female and the only thing for sure is that we always have the opposite of what they are looking for!!!!

Hahahaha can’t win them all!!

On a serious note though, in order to decide between the two, it’s important that our puppy buyers understand the differences between the male and female puppies, and more importantly the differences between male and female ADULT Rottweilers!

Because… there is only one definite…. They will not be puppies for long, and they are adults for a long time!

At this stage, I’d like to make the following disclaimer:

“Most of this conversation / article is based on generalisations and observations which I have observed in my 15+ yrs. as a breeder and 30+ yrs. of being involved with working dogs. There will always be examples that do not fit the “norm” or those exceptional cases where they broke the mould when they were born!”

Hopefully this information can assist those in two minds about which sex they will select for their future companion.

Influencing Factors

Before we speak of the differences let’s understand some of the factors that can influence the outcome.

  • Genetics
  • Environment / Rearing
  • Diet
  • Socialising / Habituation
  • Training

When reviewing a list such as that written above, many will attempt to prioritise the impact that each of the elements will have on the outcome.

My take on this subject has been heavily influenced by my good friend and mentor Kris Kotsopoulos; the outcome is:

  1. 100% Genetics,
  2. 100% Environment,
  3. 100% Diet,
  4. 100% Socialising and,
  5. 100% Training….

Hang on… that’s 500%!!! How is that even possible???

The short answer is: IT’s NOT!!!

In saying this, the thought process behind this needs to be understood – the equation is not a mathematical one where one adds all the elements and arrives at a number – the truth of the matter is that, your dog is THE 100%, and is influenced by 100% of each aspect – none are more important than the other!

When we accept this concept as truth, we devote appropriately equal effort to each aspect, not more on one at the expense of the other and we then arrive at a well-balanced canine!!

If you don’t believe me, lets think about this, or even have a crack at attempting the following scenarios:

Scenario 1 –
Take a well-bred (genetics) dog, leave them locked in a small kennel, from 8 weeks, till adulthood, apply little to no training or socialising, and then try and bring them into a stressful environment – the likely outcome is an animal that panics and shows visible signs of stress and a lack of ability to cope & perform in this situation.

Scenario 2 –
A well or poorly bred dog, poor diet, little to no exercise – attempt to make the dog run a 20km endurance test and it likely they will incur an injury or some type, perhaps minor if good genetics carry them through or potentially major and debilitating in the case of poor genetics – either way, poor diet and exercise regime will impact.

Scenario 3 –
A dog with great or average genetics (specifically bred for a purpose) apply specific training however withhold the socialising and habituation processes – then attempt to have the dog perform the specific task it has been trained for in peculiar, unknown or hostile environments and the likely result is a poor performance of tasks performed very well in a controlled environment.

Hopefully these examples demonstrate the importance of EQUAL consideration for all aspects and influencing factors that can, and will affect the outcome of your dogs’ raising – Negative or Positive is totally up to you, and dependant on your investment.

Myths & Old Wives Tales

Now that we understand several factors that can impact the eventual “raising” outcome of our male or female puppy, I’d like to list some of the “myths” or “ old wives tales” which us breeders are told by puppy buyers from time to time.

Unfortunately, people hear many things and without appropriate research or education, these myths become someone’s reality and it affects their decision-making process when it is time for them to acquire their new family companion or working dog.

Generally, the “family companion” sector seems more susceptible to these myths as opposed the working crowd who generally have access to professional trainers and experts prior to having these discussions with their breeders. Whereas, the general public seem to rely on their best mate, neighbour, mum, dad, brother, sister etc to derive their information for decisions such as puppy buying, and while some of them have great information, the law of averages suggests most do not.

Some of the myths we have heard over the years:

  • Male dogs listen more and respond better than females
  • Females do everything faster than males
  • Females will only do what you ask if there is something in it for them
  • Females will love you more than males
  • Male dogs are more affectionate with you, because females save theirs for their puppies
  • Female dogs can be “moody” and “independent, that’s why they’re called “bitches”
  • Males need more attention than females
  • Females are easier to walk and train
  • Females wont mature till they had a litter
  • Males need to breed so they can be more manly

And…. I’m sure there is heaps more!

If you will note the theme…. people generally anthropomorphosise dogs; in other words, tend to think of dogs and treat them like people… and … dogs are not human!

So, I will discuss and highlight the differences that I have personally seen occur or have experienced in my time being involved with dogs. I am sure there will be scientific evidence which may or may not agree with the content of this article but please remember these are my personal observations and opinions.

The Differences

In order to keep this a simple to understand article and give some structure to the content I will categorise the differences into 2 categories:

  1. Physical
  2. Behavioural

Physical

This category is the easier of the two to observe and analyse & the difference between males and females is generally more obvious to the untrained eye.

  • Size, Strength, Look

Generally, males are larger, stronger and more masculine looking than females.

I use the word “generally” because there are always examples that defy the norm.

My kennel hands will attest to the fact that one of our recently passed females, Seeuferhause RANGER (aka Cleo) was the most difficult dog to move around the kennel due to her size, power, strength and dominant character.

Along with RANGER we have had other females which have had physical features which are out of the norm –

Seeuferhause Zoe, an exceptionally large female with very high levels of resource guarding and food aggression

Similarly, females such as ECHO, MATILDA, OUZIE, ESKY, MYTH, QUINTA, MUCKE and FALKE were large, physically strong females similar in size to males.

  • Sex & Heat Cycles

The obvious physical difference between male and female is the organs that denote biological sex, and the females’ very obvious “heat cycle” which, for the majority of females will commence somewhere between 7 – 12 months and occur twice a year from then on.

Heat Cycles can pose some interesting challenges for the owners, especially if there is a male dog in the household. Managing heat cycles generally results in, to quote some culturally relevant terms (at present) “lock down” or “social distancing” to avoid potential accidental breeding incidents. Some people also resort to use of nappies etc. to avoid the “spotting” that can occur during the early stages of the heat cycle.

What many people don’t understand is that, for most females (there are exceptions) the female will only accept the male breeding partner for approx. 2 days of the heat cycle which normally last approx. 15 days…. Those 2 days are normally about day 11 – 13, but once again some females vary in their cycles, when they “peak” and how long the cycle will last for.

  • Maturity

Both male and females are sexually mature somewhere between 7-10 months old, however, dependant on breed and size, physical maturity may not be fulfilled until 3 years old (sometimes later). This is applicable to Rottweilers.

Maturity relates to both physical and mental.

In my observation, females tend to mature slightly faster than males both physically and mentally. But again, this depends on bloodline, and specific individuals. I have found that males take longer to finally mature in terms of their most significant masculine feature; the head and male expression – this is normally the last thing to “pop” and finish developing.

For females, I have noted that their physical size and overall appearance is the last aspect to develop – some females which I have owned have not finished “growing” in substance/body mass, until somewhere between 3 and 4 yrs. of age – but this is the exception as opposed to the norm.

Behavioural

This segment could be a stand alone article, especially if I attempt to discuss each aspect in detail – but that is not the intent of this article, so I will list them, once again with my observation of which sex aligns closer with the trait.

Males tend to display more dominance / humping type behaviours – whilst I don’t subscribe to the “dominance” theory in terms of dogs seeking to dominate, and specifically related to human interactions, it is descriptive language that most will understand, whereas most don’t really understand what is going on within dog to dog, and dog to human interactions when these behaviours are being displayed.

Not sure if I really understand either for that matter… lol!

Males tend to demonstrate stronger displays of territorial behaviour and are more prone to wandering and being more easily distracted. Some suggest this has something to do with the evolutionary roles of males being the hunters as opposed to females being the mothers, litter raisers and nurturers.

In my experience testosterone fuelled adolescent males can lack trainability and prove a more difficult case to educate, along with being slightly more rebellious and display behaviour(s) which are not socially acceptable.

And finally, males tend to “mark” more often and be slightly more difficult to house train.

Final Thoughts…

There is no right or wrong answer as to which gender is the best choice.

Everyone has their preferences, and these are governed depending on experiences, or who they speak/listen to and what research they have completed.

It really doesn’t come down to gender, it depends on many more factors like, breed, history, age and general personality, and most of all, the work and effort they put into raising their chosen gender from the puppy stage through to adulthood.

And even though my article suggests a complex thought & evaluation process, It can even be a simple as someone having a preference for one or the other without any thought or consideration!

Simples!

Whatever the case may be, have fun, and enjoy your puppies!!!

If you are interested in a Seeuferhause Rottweiler, please take the time to visit our Current Litters Page page where you will find all up to date information of available puppies.