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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a search and didn't find anything. I am thinking of getting a golden this summer, but I am having trouble deciding between a male or female. I had a female golden years ago, she was loving at times but fairly independent. I have been told that females are sometimes easier to work in the field and handle, is this true? I know it probably depends on the breeding, personality, and how you raise and train the dog, just wanted to get others opinions. Thanks.
 

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Yes, you are right that it depends on the breeding and all of the other factors that you listed. Find out what the bitch is like in the litter that you are considering. Was she easy to train, learn quickly, like birds, team player, good marker etc. If you can go meet her and decide if you like her and if you want a female like her get a female. If the bitch is independent, excellent marker, great water courage , tenacious and super confident, but not as much of a team player but you would like one like that, because you think that you can mold her then go for it. The females can be more of a challenge, but they can be spectacular. I think in general the males are easier to train.
I really think that you need to pick the litter where you can find out as much as possible about the parents natural abilities, then decide you like what both parents bring to the table and not worry as much about male or female. unless you have other intact dogs to consider. If you are going to have an intact female there is always the heat cycle.
Colleen
 

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WIth our golden pup being a little over 4 months in age, the verdict is still out on the handling in the field. But, from what I've seen so far, I think it is going to work out.

Here's an example of what I mean. Robins. Now that spring is here, there are tons of them hopping around. They call to the pup. They tease her. She can hear it. She doesn't like it and takes it personally when the things are in her backyard. She's quite good at getting rid of them. One time she was on a full speed backyard perimeter sweep. She had just forced one airborne and adjusted her arc and turned back toward me to to go after a second robin. As the bird took off, the pup was about 35 yards away. I said, "Sassy...SIT!" In that instant, she put her lil' fanny on the ground, turned and focused on me. Understand, this is my daughter's critter. She's been working on remote sit with marker training. That day, my daughter was at a school function. It was just me. I had no liver treats. The dog was not on a rope. She was in full pursuit of a bird when I decided to see what would happen. Pass.

Yes, these were robins and not pheasants. But, seeing this in a young pup is pretty good sign that she'll be pretty easy to work with in the field.

I've had both males and female hunting dogs. There are personality differences. This is our first golden. What I've noticed about this female golden pup is that she's well...calculating. That's the best way that I can describe it. She is absolutely independent and is able to figure out how independent she can be with each person. Once she knows that you know that she knows that she knows, then you're good. Easy, right? ;-)

The pup seems to become whatever each person wants her to be. She interacts with each member of the family differently. In the morning, she'll follow my daughter around like duckling imprinted on her mother. From her, the pup gets her food, water and toys and most of her training. In the morning when my son comes downstairs, the pup will give him what-for and bark, jump and play bark until he wrestles with her. He's the only one who gets this reaction. When our kids leave for school, the pup will quietly sit near my wife's feet as she prepares her lunch for work.

My preconceptions of the softness of the golden were absolutely wrong. I think it is funny that my big tough 85 pound drahthaar will pass at going a backyard to relieve himself with it is raining. Tonight, the golden pup wandered over to our back door and "told" us that she needed to go out. It was pouring down rain. Every single one of my pervious dogs would have changed its mind about going out. Every one. The golden pup calmly stepped outside, walked over to her usual spot and did what she needed to do. She then turned and walked slowly back to the door and I let her in. Softness my fanny!

We chose female because we have a male drahthaar. I am really happy with the choice. The independence is there. I love it!
 

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Nice post by Brian, my first Golden was female as well. That was back in 79, way before I knew anything about hunt test or field trials, but she was a spectacular dog, great balance between high drive and tractability. Since then I have gotten into hunt test and field trials and have only had males. Like you I was getting my first field bred Golden and didn't know how to decide between male or female, so I asked the breeder, Jackie Mertens. She pointed out that though there have been many very good titled Golden bitches, the numbers are much higher for the males. Female can be hormonal, tend to be a little softer which is more of an issue with a pro trained dog, and they always seem to pick the worst possible time to come into season. That said over the past year I have trained a lot with two very nice Golden bitches, Carol Snodgrasse's Ruby and Jean Grammer's Tee. I would take either dog in a heartbeat. Also as good as my old retired Yoda was, Open win, two Qual wins at 2 1/2, his littermate sister Paws was much better with 35 or so all age points and an AFC.

I guess it's a personal decision, I just decided to play the odds and have been very happy with my males.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
would yall say one gender is usually calmer than the other? I know females can be moody, but I have seen a few fire breathing males that I dont think I can handle. I guess this also depends on the factors I listed in my first post, just wondering what yall thought.
 

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would yall say one gender is usually calmer than the other? I know females can be moody, but I have seen a few fire breathing males that I dont think I can handle. I guess this also depends on the factors I listed in my first post, just wondering what yall thought.
A "fire-breather" at work can also be a pussycat at home. So, you may not see the whole picture just by watching a dog "at work."

Some Goldens may be "sensitive", but not necessarily "soft." Some are neither soft nor sensitive :)
 

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Hoo knew there were both kinds????

Thought they just morphed to fill the role regards

Bubba
 

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In Labradors, I prefer females but in the "softer" breeds (Goldens & Springers) I like males. I've had a couple females that were a little "sneaky" & tended to try avoidance behavior while the males were more likely to accept a correction then give a better response.

Additionally, I think male Goldens are often quite a lot better looking. There is no prettier sight than a beautiful male Golden flushing a rooster on a crisp sunny day.

Whatever you decide, the most important thing is to do your homework before you ever go "look" at a litter. Nobody has ever just "looked" at a litter of Golden puppies w/out one of them picking you.
 

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I've had a couple females that were a little "sneaky" & tended to try avoidance behavior while the males were more likely to accept a correction then give a better response.

A friend who was a kindergarten teacher once told me she'd rather have a whole room full of boys than girls :) for that very same reason you just mentioned.

Additionally, I think male Goldens are often quite a lot better looking.
Hope you have your flame suit on, Dave.

Whatever you decide, the most important thing is to do your homework before you ever go "look" at a litter. Nobody has ever just "looked" at a litter of Golden puppies w/out one of them picking you.
How right you are!!
---------------
 

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Calmer is not a male or female thing.
If you want calmer, you need to pick the correct litter for that trait. Ask the questions about the parents of the breeding, again see if you can meet them. Then do all your research about the dogs in the pedigree. A knowlegeable breeder will know the dogs in the pedigree.

Colleen
 

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About calmer ... if you are looking for a field work, even hunting, I think you should expect a puppy who is kind of "full of beans". Eager, bold, curious, energetic. Then you channel those traits with your training. If they are also intelligent, they should respond well to your training.
 

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A note about independence and "sneaky-ness". Don't find it to be sex related. I think it's more dominance/submissive related within a litter. I have a 2.5 year old male Golden who is as independent and sneaky as all get out. He was the DOMINANT male of a litter of 3 pups. He is also the dominant male at my doggie daycare. He's not aggressive, just makes sure everyone knows he's the king of the universe. He is young, but was born an old soul who clearly takes life seriously and knows what he wants. This was very apparent at 7.5 weeks of age.

In contrast, I now have an 11 week old female Golden pup who was of a litter of nine females!! Luckily, the breeder I chose knows her stuff and could help me choose a middle of the road personality as I requested. I wanted a pup that wanted to work with me, but wasn't going to melt or make her own decisions. I had the opportunity to pick from 6 of the 9 female pups and could see that some were very independent and some on the demure side, whereas there were a couple right in the middle - bold, confident, but loved to make eye contact and walk with us wherever we walked.

She has been with us for 3.5 weeks now and I feel like we totally scored! But it wasn't all luck- we chose a fantastic pedigree and breeder. And we asked successful Golden people what to look for in a pup. A well bred field pup who is smart and takes a moment to observe what it's humans and other pack members are doing, will learn to settle down in the house. We started clicker training this pup at 7.5 weeks, just to spark the brain into training mode and she is a great member of the household, always looking to learn or offer the right behavior.

Good luck and if you don't already have a preference for girl or boy, go with a well bred litter and pick the level of dominance or submission that you want in a house member. The rest is moot. But what an exciting journey!!

Jennifer
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I will be meeting the female within the next two weeks. They owners kept a male from their last litter with he same parents, so I will be able to meet him also. I plan to talk to them about what I am looking for in a dog and see what they advise.
 

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I train with people that have males and people that have females. It is clear that there are significant differences between males and females. Females come into season one or two times a year preventing you from running them in trials. Males, on the other hand, have a definite need to mark everything, including holding blinds, other peoples tires, etc. As for any other generalizations about the differences between sexes, I think that they are mostly a figment of peoples imaginations.
 

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I forgot to mention that males sometimes have a problem distinguishing between a female dog and someone's leg. Females, on the other hand, provide a male dog handlers a convient excuse for why a their dog failed the first series.

In all seriousness, 40% of the qualifiers for the National Amateur are female while 60% are male. Since females cannot be run from 6 - 12% of the time (depending on whether they come into heat 1 or 2 times per year) their sucess while running is more or less equal to the males.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Are intact males more prone to dominance issues or is that a factor of breeding/training as well? My friend has a intact male black lab that is a fire breathing SOB. He is very intelligent and knows who is who and what he can get away with when he is around different people. It is like he looks at you, sizes you up, and then pushes your limits with everyone he meets. It is almost like you have to prove you are the alpha male daily with him or he will not mind at all. I will admit, he is definitely what I would call a handler's dog, but he is owned by someone more fit for a companion dog. He does not get worked enough imo. His owner doesn't want to get him fixed, but I feel like that might help the situation.
 

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He may be a fire breather but the owner usually is at fault for
A. Not knowing what type of dog he/she CAN handle
B. allowing nasty stupid behavior to continue.
This is also true for the person that allows their male dog to be a pig.
My boys don't pee all over anything and won't think of humping in- appropriate objects.:rolleyes:
Sue
 
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