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I'm still in the "researching" stage of pet ownerships so I hope I'm not talking about a "hot topic" in the pet owner community.

Anyways, I've been reading many books about selecting the right dog and I keep on getting conflicting information about gender and age of the ideal dog. One book tells me that females are easier for first time owners because they are less challenging than males. Another book claims that there is no difference between a male and a female and I should be open to either.

I'm also in a similar situation with puppy verses older dog. Some books say that puppies are "clean slates" and are perfect for first time owners because they generally don't carry a lot of baggage. Another book claims that puppies are extremely exhuausting to take care of and that an older dog is better choice.

I'm getting very confused with all of these answers to two very simple questions. Could you guys please help me sort through them all?
 

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It's great that you're reading and researching, but you can get easily lost in all that information, as you've discovered.

My advice would be to take what you've found out and use it as a general guideline. Since each dog, no matter what the breed, age or gender is as individual as you and I it is difficult to say that all females are this way and all males are that way.

Puppies are hard work. It's just like having a newborn infant in the house. You have to get up every few hours to take puppy out. You have to feed puppy 3 or 4 times a day. You have to teach puppy everything. They are not born knowing how to behave or what you want from them.

If you're not ready for that... skip the puppy for now.

Adults are somewhat less work, in that most - not all- but most are housebroken already. You will still have to teach the dog what you want it to know and how you want it to behave.

Training is not an option for either adult or puppy. Training is a must. A dog needs guidance and it's your job as the owner to provide that guidance.


I hope this helped some.
 

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Some books say that puppies are "clean slates" and are perfect for first time owners because they generally don't carry a lot of baggage. Another book claims that puppies are extremely exhuausting to take care of and that an older dog is better choice.
That's my personal opinion. Of course, people will argue that point for hours, but I find puppies to be exhausting, and, unless the adult dog has been abused or some other awful thing happened, the whole "clean slate" thing is overrated. I prefer to adopt adult dogs.

As for the male/female thing, I find females to be "sharper" i.e. they tend to take themselves more seriously. Males tend to be goofier, more clownish. But of course most personality traits are an individual thing. I'd recommend chhosing your dog according to personality and don't worry about gender.
 

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You can consider getting an "inbetween". Not a young puppy, but not quite an adult yet. Depending on the breed as well...larger pups tend to "become adults" when they're 9 to 12 months or even older (correct me on this), and smaller breed tend to mature faster.

I didn't care what gender my dog was when I was doing the search for my dog at shelters. I fell in love with Stardust the moment I saw her. I didn't care how old she was, what gender she was, or breed. After acquiring her, (she was 4 1/2 months when I got her), in a way, I'm glad I didn't get a male dog. I would go to dog parks and I find every SINGLE male there was marking everything...even my water bottle, humping other dogs, humping the females, etc...so I would be feeling really embarrassed and not know what to do.
It doesn't mean I will *never* get a male dog...it just means that now I know what training is like, so I'll be used to it.

Go to shelters and stuff, and you'll be surprised how different the books say. As for puppies...I think the younger puppies are more work than the older ones (6 to 12 months). They can hold longer, they're more easier to train, etc. Good luck!
 

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First you have to figure out what YOU want and how much time and effort YOU will put into training ect.You really have to be honest with yourself.Then you see what dog meets your requirements.

I really don't see much of a difference in pet quality dogs (male verse female) when looking at a pet quality dog it is more the individual dog and there personality and requirements that matter and this goes for a pup or an adult.

If you are looking to adopt your pet there is a pretty good book out there it's called Succesful Dog Adoption by Sue Sternberg
I really love this book for shelter or rescue dogs and the guides they give for interperting body lauguage is great for all dog owners.
 

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I've never owned a female dog. Not sure why, I just never have. I can't speak to the difference between males and females. I've had puppies and they're a pain in the neck IMO. Not only do they know absolutely nothing, but they also have very little self-control. A pup knows it has to pee for approx 30 secs before it absolutely has to go. At least it seems that way to me. At least if an adult dog isn't housebroken he or she has some self-control and you get some warning of what's going to happen usually.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that all adult or young adult dogs have serious behavior issues. That's just not the case. Even if you get one that does (which I would not recommend for a first time owner) know that all puppies have serious behavior issues. It's part of being a puppy.
 

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I have only had female dogs...so I can't help you there.

But IMO, puppies are harder and easier at the same time. They are hard because you have to teach them everything...the don'ts: not potty inside, not chew stuff up, not to jump on people, not to etc etc etc..and a lot of how to's: how to potty outside, how to sit, how to heel, how to wait, how to come, etc etc.

But they are easier IMO because puppies are like sponges...you can teach them basically anything...whereas older dogs you may have more challenges with training them to how you want them to behave.

But either way....male/female, older/younger....any dog is great :)
 

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Hi!

I have had both males and females, and in my experience, they are both VERY different, but equally wonderful.

Here's the main differences I see. Of course, these are generalities...there are CERTAINLY many exceptions.

Males tend to be more lovey-dovey, cuddly sorts. Of course, there are pro's and con's to this...They can be in your face, never leave you alone, but they can also be those sweet, adorable, gentle things we all love.

Females, on the other hand are very independent beings. While playing, they would more likely play with other dogs than they would you. Again, pro's and con's. Pro's, it's SO much fun to watch your dog have fun, and often when they're too attached they won't enjoy themselves while playing with dogs, even when you're standing right there. Con's, even though they ABSOLUTELY love you, they don't show those "emotions" as often as boy's do.

Personally, I like boy's better; I've often heard that guy's work better with girl dogs and girls work better with guy dogs. In my situation that's true.

Another, irrelevant but perhaps enlightening differences I often notice, is this.

When I feed dogs, they must sit and wait before I release them to eat. Every single time, without exception, when I am feeding a MALE dog he is looking at me, waiting for me to release him. When I am feeding a FEMALE dog, however, she will ALWAYS be looking at the bowl while waiting for me to release her. Perhaps this doesn't show much, but I think it demonstrates the main difference between the genders.
 

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I've only ever owned female dogs, so I can't comment on the gender issue.

As for puppies and adults... I think it depends entirely on your lifestyle. Personally I would say the minute you are working full-time out of the home, a puppy is immediately a less viable option. Puppies need to be fed 4 times a day, taken out to pee every two or three hours, brought to new places very regularly for vital socialisation... they need to be taught how to do anything and everything, they need to be watched almost constantly so they don't get away with chewing and peeing on stuff or inculcate any other bad habits. Plus they go through that annoying adolescent stage around 1 year of age where they pretty much forget everything you've ever taught them.

If you CAN provide the kind of lifestyle that raising a puppy demands, then I'd say go right ahead. You get to watch your dog grow up, you get to teach it anything you want from day one, you get to socialise it the way you wish to... and let's face it, they are pretty darn cute.

Having said that, adults have a huge number of advantages too. You already know what their personalities are like; they usually come housebroken, trained not to chew furniture and perhaps with some basic obedience. They're past that "I don't care what you think" teenage phase. They are far more able to spend half a day alone in their crate than puppies are. Generally, they are a whole lot less work.
 

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But IMO, puppies are harder and easier at the same time. They are hard because you have to teach them everything...the don'ts: not potty inside, not chew stuff up, not to jump on people, not to etc etc etc..and a lot of how to's: how to potty outside, how to sit, how to heel, how to wait, how to come, etc etc.

But they are easier IMO because puppies are like sponges...you can teach them basically anything...whereas older dogs you may have more challenges with training them to how you want them to behave.
Well said.

I would only add that raising a puppy from 8 weeks old is a terrific experience. They grow and mature incredibly fast. Its a special thing to see them evolve from a helpless little uncoordinated untrained pup to a full grown athletic and trained dog in a year. Yeah, the first month is some extra work (and its not THAT bad, they sleep alot!). But its worth the trouble 1,000 times over IMHO. The pictures alone make it worth it. LOL. Good luck.
 

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You're finding a lot of conflicting information because it's all based on opinion. Same goes for every answer you'll get here. It all really boils down to your own lifestyle, personality, and what YOU want.

Both puppy and adult will require time and energy. How much time and energy depends on the dog. I got Coal when he was 9 weeks old and he was your typical puppy; had accidents on the floor, woke me up in the middle of the night, slept a lot at first and eventually was bouncing off the walls, and chewed on anything he could get his paws on. I got Linkin when he was 8 months old and he was 10 times worse than Coal was as at that age (or even as a young puppy!) because he has endless energy and had zero training.

Breed makes a difference. Genetics makes a difference. Previous experiences makes a difference.

The only difference I've found between males and females (trying not to factor in individual personalities) is that males are more "sucky" than females. All the males I've had vs. females have been much more attached to me and wanting to cuddle much more. Also, neutering is cheaper than spaying ;) Other than that, it all depends on personality and the factors I listed above.

You have to decide what you want out of a dog and what you're willing to give in return. That's how you'll figure out what's best for you.
 

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Males and females can vary by breed, too. I HUGELY prefer male corgis (I have no desire to ever own another female corgi, but I will have another (male) Cardi someday.) but I really prefer female collies. And other breeds (retrievers in general) I'm neutral about. With adults, I'd not worry so much about sex overall but look at the individual dogs. If you're getting a puppy, talk to folks in the breed; join your breed mailing lists and lurk and get to know folks- you'll probably find some common threads for that breed. And if you're going to a breeder who is worth their salt, they'll also be able to steer you to the right puppy for you in the litter. So I'd worry less about sex and more about your other two important criteria- age, and to a lesser extent where to get a dog (I'm assuming that you haven't decided on a breed yet, but that's a whole new can of worms, so I'm ignoring that one for now.)

Puppies
-don't have any bad habits that they come with. You get to create your own.
-can't hold it for long and have to be housebroken.
-are luckily too cute to murder
-chew, bark, poop, and generally cannot be unsupervised at all unless they're crated or you have a really barren house that's easy to puppy proof.
-unpredictable. While getting a well-bred puppy from carefully bred and selected parents gives you a pretty good guess as to what you'll get, you never do really know- and how you raise your pup is going to play a MAJOR role in the dog he or she grows up to be. Plus, there's a lot of stuff you can't predict- that 5 pound 'beagle' mix that you adopted at 8 weeks may turn out to be a 90 pound hound/dane cross when he grows up, when you expected a medium sized dog.

Adults
-may not come housebroken, but are generally faster to pick up on it than puppies.
-may come with bad habits, but conversely frequently come with good stuff (bite inhibition, not barking, not chewing on furniture) already in place as well.
-are WYSIWYG- especially with mixed breeds where you just don't know what a puppy will grow into. Behavior's not concrete, but physical traits like shedding, energy level, and size ARE set in adults.

Both have advantages. I've done both. A lot just depends on the amount of energy you have to devote to having a dog in general. If you want a dog but don't want to invest a ton of time and energy in training but would prefer to just jump into having a well-trained dog? Look for a retired show dog from a conformation breeder, look at retired racing greyhounds, or select a rescue group (CAREFULLY) that does a lot of pre-adoption training. If you don't care so much about that, puppy or rescued adult is going to be fine. The most important thing about WHERE you get a dog is that you get one from a responsible source. You don't buy one from a pet store or a broker, or a re$cue group that exists to resell adult animals in the name of 'saving' them without providing standard medical care, enforcing spay/neuter agreements, or anything else that makes a rescue group responsible.
 

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Puppies are as challenging to raise as children. they need constant supervision, and honestly i'm shocked so many dogs turn out ok (and kids for that matter) because of how much of a commitment they are.
We have a 9 week old borzoi in our home. potty training is going very well, he's 1/2 way to heeling on a loose leash consistently and only having 2-3 accidents in the house a day and they are just pee. BUT He's alone for no more than 3 hours at a time and that's been a rarity.
My boyfriend has never had a puppy, and he thinks puppies are more difficult than human children because they are mobile while still in those real adolescent years. His quote "you can put a baby in a swing, where the puppy, all you have is their crate and that only works if you wear them out first"
Unless you have linoleum throughout your house and more people to pitch in the art of raising a puppy, I really recommend an adult dog.
And don't feel like you have to "rescue" a dog because you want an adult. While yes, it's humanitarian of you to "rescue" a dog, many times you are getting someone else's first time puppy mistake that is in need of some serious reprogramming. Many show dogs or retired bitches need homes too. When looking for my pup i encountered several dogs under 2 years that had been "titled" and now were in need of a loving home.

Best of luck to you! a new dog is a tough decision. I waited 6 years after my first to decide on what breed for my second... i'm very glad i waited.
 

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I agree with DogeGoneGood. What you're reading in this thread and hearing elsewhere are people's opinions.

To me, it's a LOT easier to raise a puppy than to bond with an adult. I fostered several adult dogs in the hopes of adopting them and it just didn't happen for me. I couldn't see them as "my" dogs.

And to me, it's a lot easier to raise two at a time than one at a time. They keep each other company and occupied, demanding less of my time and attention.

I would suggest you contact the local humane society or rescue organization and see if you can foster an adult and then later a puppy (unless you decide to keep the adult) and see what you discover about your own preferences. There's "good" and "bad" in both puppies and adults. But for me, I will never have anything but puppies.

It's the same with gender. I have 3 females and one male. I prefer my male. But is it because of his breed, his personality, or is it just because he's a male? I don't know. Gender doesn't make that much difference to me. :) But it might to you.

Congratulations on doing the research and joining a dog board before you get the dog! And good luck on your decision. And be sure you hang around and let us know when you get your new addition.
 

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I agree with DogeGoneGood. What you're reading in this thread and hearing elsewhere are people's opinions.

To me, it's a LOT easier to raise a puppy than to bond with an adult. I fostered several adult dogs in the hopes of adopting them and it just didn't happen for me. I couldn't see them as "my" dogs.

And to me, it's a lot easier to raise two at a time than one at a time. They keep each other company and occupied, demanding less of my time and attention.

I would suggest you contact the local humane society or rescue organization and see if you can foster an adult and then later a puppy (unless you decide to keep the adult) and see what you discover about your own preferences. There's "good" and "bad" in both puppies and adults. But for me, I will never have anything but puppies.
This where a saying some college friends of mine used to say comes in. "Opinions are like cowboy hats. Everyone has them and they all stink." To this day I don't know why substituted cowboy hats for the more colorful descriptor, but we did.

Anyway, I disagree with pretty much all of this. I don't find it hard to bond with an adult dog at all. They live in my house, they eat my food, I train them and they do what I say. They're my dog. A puppy belongs to someone else before you get them too. I don't get what the difference is myself though I have heard this argument from other people in the past.

I would not recommend a first time owner take on two dogs at the same time unless you are certain that both are very well behaved. If you have one dog who digs up your yard because he's bored and you toss in another dog thinking that will solve your problem, you'll end up with two dogs tearing up your yard. My dogs don't tend to occupy each other very much. They will hang out on completely separate sides of the yard. They don't fight or bicker or anything, they just don't choose to spend time with each other. Some dogs are like that.

Now, the idea of fostering both an adult and a puppy is a great idea. You're helping out a dog and you get a chance to see exactly what dog ownership is all about without having to make a 10 yr or more commitment to a particular dog right off the bat. This is one thing we agree on.
 

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I would not recommend a first time owner take on two dogs at the same time unless you are certain that both are very well behaved.
Just for clarity, I was talking about puppies. Raising puppies. And I was not making a recommendation. I was simply giving my opinion, as you were.

I thought that was pretty clear I was giving my opinion since I bolded to me... :)

Your cowboy hat stinks as much as mine does. LOL :p
 

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Well just to throw my hat in the ring :p

I'm not sure that gender matters much at all. When I was first looking to get a dog I wanted a female because I thought males would hump more and I hate it when the red rocket makes an appearance. All that flew out the window when I saw Max. And it turns out he's not a humper, he hasn't humped a single thing since I got him. My mom's female puppy on the other hand will hump anything. And the red rocket really hasn't been a big deal.

I adopted Max as an adult and he came fully house broken and with good house and care manners. On the other hand he has some pretty big socialization issues and pulled like a devil on the leash. Still, not having to clean up excrement was a huge bonus.

So for me an adult rescue dog is the way to go and gender matters much less than size, energy level, personality and grooming requirements.
 

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Just for clarity, I was talking about puppies. Raising puppies. And I was not making a recommendation. I was simply giving my opinion, as you were.

I thought that was pretty clear I was giving my opinion since I bolded to me... :)

Your cowboy hat stinks as much as mine does. LOL :p
Hey!! My cowboy hat does not smell!!!! LOL.

Anyway, by dogs I was including puppies as well. I would not recommend adopting two puppies simultaneously. That's my cowboy hat though. You can take it for what it's worth.
 

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Well just to throw my hat in the ring :p
LOL Good one! Just make sure it doesn't stink. :D

When I was first looking to get a dog I wanted a female because I thought males would hump more and I hate it when the red rocket makes an appearance.
I had these same thoughts. Imagine my surprise when my female humped her sister! And it happened to be while we were visiting friends! And you'll notice my male has long hair... :eek:

... gender matters much less than size, energy level, personality and grooming requirements.
Excellent point!
 
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