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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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?!
 

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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 ;)
 

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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! :D 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. :D

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. :(
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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. ;)
 

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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.
 

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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! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone! Great answers, very helpful, keep 'em coming! :) There are a lot of Ontarians here, eh? :)
 

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I'd say it absolutely depends on the dog itself. Some males are dependent, some independent, some girls aloof, some clingy, some independent, 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.
I agree 100% -- and accept the offer.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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.
Hi ... thanks, I sent you a message. :)
 

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I have had males all my life, my current eldest is 12, my youngest 18 months they have always been energetic but gentle boys.

6 months ago I got my first *****, she is a madam to say the least but she is so much more loving and effectionate than the boys.

There are pro's and con's to both I'd say and every dog is an individual despite their sex.

Whatever you end up with ENJOY!
 

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Welcome from yet another Ontario member! Whereabouts are you?

I have two males, one neutered, one intact (he's only 6 months old) and I have to tell you, I've never owned a female, but I seriously doubt I ever will now. I LOVE my goober boys!!!! :D
 

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If I could only have one dog, it would be a male. I love my boys. My girls are bitches in every sense of the word. My boys adore me and I them. Both of my boys are intact and they do well together. They play all the time and have never had a disagreement.

I just like the pure silliness of the boys. Jakey cracks me up daily. He is such a googball, I can't imagine my life without him.
 

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I love my boys! I worked as a vet tech for 10 years and for only one reason that I can think of ...I always gravitated towards the boys. The one reason?...they adore you! Girls are smart, loyal etc...etc. but only boys worship the ground you walk on. And I don't know about you but I certainly don't get that anywhere else in my life.
They can be boisterous, mischevious, sexy,bratty and sometimes downright stupid but when they look at you with that full adoration...I just melt.
 

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My boy is definitely clumsier, but he is much bigger than my girl, and also 2 1/2 years younger so he doesn't have age and wisdom on his side. He's only just 3 so really almost still a puppy by labrador standards. He's an absolute sweetheart, way more affectionate than my girl and so very eager to please. I wish we'd had him first, because he would have been way easier to train first up than our girl who is quite stubborn. He was not nearly as destructive as her during his puppy days. He has plenty of energy but has always been more laid back than our girl was at his age. He is still intact, we have thus far seen no need to neuter (other than he seems to attract other dogs at the park to hump him).

Having said all that, our girl is more affectionate with our toddler (who has grown up with both dogs), but both of them are great with her and let her climb over them and pat them. The boy has more of a tendency to get up and walk away, while our girl is a bit more interactive and likes to nudge and lick in return for pats. It's funny because they're both completely the opposite with adults.
 

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Welcome from the next Ontario member!

I have a female (almost 6 years) and a male (14 months). They both have their own personalities.
Jenica, the female, is a lot more independent, to the point where she tolerates petting but would prefer to be left alone. She is also fairly stubborn and does a lot of creative thinking, which usually gets her into trouble. She is an alert dog (barks when things are unusual). On the other hand she is learning things much quicker.
Diesel, the male, is our little love bug. He is happiest when he is sitting on your lap and gets cuddled. He is slower in learning things, but at the same time he seems to be a bit more reliable once he gets them. He just wants to make you happy and hates to be in trouble (unless temptation is too high) and is overall a pretty soft dog.
So they fit into some of the typical comments you hear about males an females, but mostly it is just their personalities.

Good luck!
 
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