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Should I get a boy or a girl?

One of the most common questions we are asked here at Trinity Labradors is about the differences in the males and females. Although we do not pretend to have all of the answers for everyone and certainly are not very familiar with other breeds, after almost two decades of living with the Labrador Retriever and based on our years of observing both sexes, we have come to the belief that there is little difference based on the sex alone and very few sex linked personality traits.

For this reason, we encourage every person interested in a Trinity Labrador to keep their options open. We spend time with each individual puppy every day of their lives from the time they are born until the day they leave. Because of our strong desire to place each and every puppy in the ‘right’ home we temperament test each of our puppies and try to place each puppy in the home that they are best suited for. For more information about our puppy placement process please read Temperament Testing.

Of course, there are stereotypes but few are based on fact. Still, there are some very real differences in the sexes and certainly these should be considered. Remember, the personality of a dog can vary (like a human child) and we in no way believe that these differences are carved in stone.

The Girls
They can be, and often are, very affectionate; but it is usually on their terms. They tend to be a bit calculating and more self-serving. Their challenges to your authority tend to be more subtle and indirect than those of most males. They can be amusing and charming companions but will quietly make efforts to have you serve them. When you get a girl you need to decide very early one how far you will let this little ‘princess’ go or you may quickly find yourself under her power. If your girl has a very dominant personality you will need to be the leader of the pack from the beginning. Once they’ve established dominance it is difficult to establish the correct order — you are the boss!

Un-spayed bitches will have heat cycles and may loose their minds and forget everything they’ve ever learned about appropriate behavior. They may also succumb to the intense desire to make babies and have been known to chew right threw chain link fence to get to the man of their dreams. To avoid the messes of blood around your house and the tyranny they can bring during this hormone rage, it is best to have your girl spayed. To read more about what age we at Trinity recommend spaying please see Benefits of Spaying/Neutering Your Dog.

The Boys
Boys generally are more open and direct in their approach (what you see is what you get). Their love and loyalty are outward and obvious and once you have won their hearts you will have it for a lifetime. You may not encounter the same power struggle with a boy as you would a girl but boys are typically more open (and less sly) about it. Still, they have their own complexities. Establish dominance early on so that when your little guy starts to feel the rush of raging hormones there will be little power struggle.

Un-neutered boys can become aggressive toward other dogs, especially when there is a cute girl around. He may also be inclined to late night rendezvous to visit the girl down the street and may ‘mark’ in various places. Once neutered he will be less territorial and you probably will not notice hardly any aggressiveness or ‘marking’. He will also be much more content to stick around the house and just enjoy the company of his human companions. To read more about what age we at Trinity recommend neutering please see Benefits of Spaying/Neutering Your Dog.

Male or female, the Labrador Retriever can be the most wonderful family companion. If you put the time into raising your puppy with love and proper training you will have the most wonderful dog in the world, boy or girl.