Male vs Female
As a general rule, there are no major personality differences between male and female Labradors. This is an awesome breed, with a friendly termperament, friendly nature, and happy go lucky personality. Both males and females make great companions and family dogs. There are, however, subtle differences in day-to-day interaction: to sum it up:
****A female tends to say “love me” and a male says “I love you”.****
Males tend to be a little bigger that the girls, both in overall size and in substance, but only about 1 to 2 inches in height and 5-15 lbs. heavier. Also, it's not always true, there are also sometimes smaller males and larger females.
Subtle Differences in Personality:
As long as I can remember, I was told that a female dog is the way to go. Folks often say that the girls are “sweeter” than boys, they do not have any bad habits and they just make better family pets. While I was growing up we always had female pets, and often paid more for them. It was not until we were given our first male that I realized the price difference was TOTALLY WRONG.
From personal experience and from speaking with families that have purchased puppies from us, I can honestly say most people are happy with either gender as pets. They become a part of your soul when you allow them to be a part of your family. It's easy to love them all!
Now let's look at the differences...
First, you should note that many of the dogs' personality traits are influenced by their male and female hormones. By spaying and neutering, you will lessen this influence and the differences become less pronounced.
When you neuter your male puppy before he reaches maturity (around 2 years old) he will not develop those “bad” traits that give the male dog a bad rap. For instance, he will not feel the need to hike his leg, hump or mark his territory. In fact most all males when neutered as puppies will squat just like their opposites. He also will not feel the need to chase females in heat while he is out for his daily walk.
A female puppy when spayed will loose a lot of her “bad” traits too. Once you spay her she will not have a heat cycle every 6 months and bring the mess that comes along with it. A female in heat can be very moody & you will not have to deal with this once she is spayed.
Now as far as attitudes go both are very loving and always ready to please, just as a Labrador should be. The females tend to be a bit more demanding, and besides wanting to please you, they expect you to please them in return. They've often got their own agendas, and will let you know what they want.
The boys seem to be content to lie by your feet and simply enjoy your company.
For those who hunt, I can honestly say that both make great hunters. Take the time to work with them, introduce them to birds and distant shot as they grow up, and teach them what you want from them. They'll LOVE to show you just how fun a day in the duck blind can be with a good hunting partner!
After raising Labradors and having both males and females I have found a difference in their demeanor. The above comments about the girls wanting the love and the boys loving you does seem to be true most of the time.
A few pros or cons of each sex depending on how you look at it:
Females: Tend to be more independent, can be more stubborn and more territorial. They can also be a little more reserved with mood changes. However, because they mature faster they tend to learn as a puppy a bit faster than their brothers. The girls from the same litter tend to be a bit ahead of their brothers in training classes and in housetraining as well. However, in the same token females can be more prone to UTI (urinary infections) because they are crouching down to pee everytime and therefore exposing themselves to bacteria.
Males: Tend to be a bit more affectionate, but are also more exuberant throughout life. They also tend to be a bit more food motived (although they are labs so all of them love food!). Males can be a bit more attentive but can also be a bit more protective over their things (while neutering often helps this it is still in the males nature to protect the pack)
A couple of other things to consider is the cost of neutering is usually lower than spaying because the surgery is usually considered to be an easier procedure with a quicker recovery time. Spaying a female is a little more extensive because they are removing the uterus, this is why the cost is usually more & the female does not bounce back quite as fast as the male.
These were just a few thoughts on the subject and if you had your mind set on a puppy of a certain sex only, hopefully this has opened your eyes that maybe the opposite sex puppy just might be what your looking for. Keep an open mind when selecting your puppy, don’t close the door on a puppy because of preconceived notions of its gender, because you may be missing out on the best companion that you could have ever had. Either way you go male or female, if it is a Labrador Retriever you can’t go wrong. Just keep in mind every dog, male or female has it’s own personality & is unique in every way. The differences that you see should not be based on the gender, male or female. The differences that you should be looking at should be based on the litter as a whole.
Also of note here is to those looking to add another dog to their home. We often recommend that you add a dog of the opposite sex of what you have. However if you have more then 2, it really depends on the dogs. Females can tend to be more territorial than males so two males would likely be better than two females. Please keep this in mind when looking at sexes and feel free to ask questions as well as share your experiences of your current dog(s) with us as well.
When looking at the litter you may see one puppy in a litter that is more outgoing, the 1st one to check out a new situation & the 1st one to figure things out. Then in the same litter you may see one that may be a bit more reserved & tends to be more cautious when checking out a new situation. Sometimes this is very hard for a common person to look at the litter & be able to tell the personality developing, that is where the breeder comes in, it is very important to accept any advise that the breeder is giving you & weigh all aspects. Lets face it, who knows the puppies best besides their mother, YES it’s the breeder!
We spend lots of time with our dogs, each getting individual as well as group attention. We know what each one of the dogs like & what they do not like. Every one of them has a unique and special personality, some may be very similar but each one is different. When we have a litter of pups, the whole family spends many, many hours each day with the puppies. We spend hours taking notes of special milestones (who is the 1st pup to notice when mom hops back in, who gets to the milk bar 1st, whose eyes open 1st, who walks 1st, who notices noises 1st, who climbs out of the box 1st. Then as they get older and more playful, who is the most adventurous, who needs some encouragement, who is okay with being alone, who prefers to have the comfort of siblings or mom around. All of this plays a big part in our decision, along with the Volhard aptitude test that we do to pick the best puppy for you and your family! Hopefully this information will help you in being open to the best puppy for you! We love these pups and they are our pride and joy and we are thrilled to be able to hand them over to you, knowing they will soon become your pride and joy! We look forward to working with all of you and if you have any questions concerning this or any other matters feel free to email us! Thanks again!