Are male labs really that much more boisterous and disorderly than female labs?
I really want a male lab this time around. My female was wonderful and amazing, but when we got her we were aiming for a male and she jumped out at us and we had to have her. Its not so much that I prefer male dogs to female dogs, because I've had both (only one was a lab though) but I really have my heart set on a male. However if we end up with a female again I will be just as thrilled.
Everything I read says that males are a little tougher to train and tend to be more hyper than a female. I'm willing and planning to put in the time training, and we have a lifestyle suitable for a high energy dog (why else would we be choosing another labrador retriever - lol) but I'd like to hear from actual dog owners about their dogs. The pros and cons of males vs. females.
I've heard that males tend to be a Mama's boy which is fine by me, because I work from home and therefore will be the primary caregiver. I've heard females are better with children because they are calmer and quieter and have the tendancy to be nuturing. I have three children (ages 7, 5 and 1.5). My grandparents had a male black lab and although I was fairly young (11 or so) I don't recall him being any more hard to train or hyper than my female was.
So what are your thoughts? Pros, cons, ideas?!
Bali was very easy to train, but does have so much energy and some small issues (like growling) which I feel are more dominance related. He is totally a mama's boy, and I feel like he is a little more thick skulled than Jaida. Now, with that said, we didn't have Jaida since she was a pup like Bali, as we rescued her. So it is hard for me to say whether those differences come from puppihood or manhood.
I know many people state there are not necessarily differences between the two sexes, and I agree to some extent...I think it is possible to get a stubborn and energetic female with dominance issues just as it is to get a male who is a passive cuddler. But I have noticed a trend among the labs I have worked with in rescue and amongst friends and family members, and females tend to be a little more docile and affectionate IMHO. The thing that I love about males though, is that they are SO full of life. I describe Bali as exuberant. He is a great reminder that life is for living, and while we have had more issues with him in destructive and dominant behavior problems, they really are minimal which is the result of good obedience training from a young age.
I think the best way for you to answer this question, is to get a male lab. I have no doubt that you will not have any regrets, as long as you love labs for the exuberant dogs they are
Cadey, mama to Jaida and Bali
My boy wasn't boisterous. Playful yes but not over the top. He was a definite Mummy's boy. Everywhere Mum went, he was right behind her.
I took him to obedience classes as soon as I got him. He was a dream to train & highly intelligent. During his lifetime, he shared the house with 5 other dogs - all non Labs & not once assumed the alpha position in fact he was the opposite. The smaller dogs ruled him! He ALWAYS had a toy of some kind in his mouth & the very odd occasions he didn't, I used to tell him he looked naked.
As far as kids went, He never lived with any but one day Mum was out walking him & she said a kid aged about 3 or 4 broke away from its mother, ran up to him & put her arms around his neck & hugged him. Mum said he just stood there wagging his tail. The Mother made some comment like "that's typical of a Lab."
I haven't had a female Lab to compare with but my female GSD who I adopted after he died, is so much like him in some ways it's like I see him in her. Both the same docile nature, same dog SOH & fiercely loyal.
I don't care if my next Lab is male, female or what colour. I just want another one but until one of my present 2 dies, I can't & I don't want that happening any time soon either.
For every independent female there is an independent male, so it is hard to lump all male and female dogs into displaying particular characteristics. More than anything temperament is down the the individual dog, for better or for worse.
The only thing that sticks out quite distictively in my mind is that males tend to be more sex oriented than females.
A well respected breeder once told me the best dog you can have is a neutered male
I'd say it absolutely depends on the dog itself. Some males are dependant, some independant, some girls aloof, some clingy, some independant, some total mushballs.
Buy your dog from a great breeder, and then let him/her know exactly what you are after, there's always a quiet and a boisterous in a litter. And from my limited experience, that holds true as they age.
If you are searching for an ON breeder, let me know, I can help.
'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
~ Michelle Held
Rhys, Ruby and Nola
Hullo to a fellow Ontarian! (for what it's worth, totally take her^ up on her offer, you'll be glad you did!)
I have a male lab, after only having female dogs my whole life (not labs, though). So, I'm really not one to comment on the male vs. female thing, because it could just be a generic "lab" thing. BUT, he has absolutely zero issues, really. Great with dogs of varying sizes, ages and personalities, great with people, great with all other animals (I take him to the barn and he's awesome with the horses) not overly clingy or bull-headed. I know I'm biased, but he is honestly the most temperamentally sound dog I have ever come across.
He's boisterous for sure, but no more so than any of the female labs I've met, less so than many of them.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
My female is definitely more "refined" than my male, who is exhuberant to say the least! However, that may in part be due to the fact that she's younger and smaller, and he's been known to bulldoze right over her occasionally (most of the time, however, she more than holds her own). That said, she is definitely more toy- and play-oriented than he is, and they are both snugglers. He usually picks up new things faster (commands, agility equipment), but is also more likely to get in trouble by doing things he knows are forbidden (eating the house, failing to come when called). She HATES being scolded and rarely makes the same mistake twice, he's sorry when he gets yelled at but is more likely to be a repeat offender. I'd say they're equally stubborn and equally eager to please - but in different ways, if that makes sense?
So, although they sort of fit your model of male/female differences, I think it has more to do with differences in temperament from breeding (or lack thereof) than with gender.
Well Abbey is a big baby and is definitely a momma's girl. Always has been and always will!
Toby is my friend's Lab who is living with us for a while and he's a little more "out there" and thinks he can do whatever he wants, regardless of what I say.
They are both great dogs, so I can't really say for sure whether I prefer males or females. I like them all!
Clancey - neutered male - mellow yellow.
Oh and welcome from another Ontario member