Q: Male or Female Puppy?

Dear Gunner, I’m about to invest in my first gundog. I grew up with male dogs in the field but now that it’s my turn to do the choosing I’m thinking female. Is there is a difference between male and female? Is one sex usually more trainable than the other? Does one typically have more drive? Am I overthinking this too much? Any insight welcome.

First Time Gundog Owner

A: It’s All About Preference.

I’ve gotten this question a lot over the years and personally, I don’t prefer one over another. The short of it is: there’s very little difference in male and female in terms of their drive, their style and their personality. Period.

You’re obviously weighing about the pros and cons, so I’ll try to give you something to think about. With a female, they come in season (or heat) twice a year – and during that time, they’re going to act up on you. I’m sitting here with one of our females right now and she’s just a little bit off, not receptive to commands as she would be – but by next week, she’ll be back running again.

The male, on the other hand, will mark his territory everywhere he goes. May be good to think about which one of those characteristics you personally don’t care to deal with.

Outside of that, don’t worry too much about the sex, there’s more important aspects to think on when choosing a good retriever (ex: pedigree and breeder).  

– Bill Gibson, Mossy Oak Kennels

Dedicated to breeding and training A Hunter’s Best Friend for Life, Mossy Oak’s GameKeeper Kennels specializes in breeding and training British Labradors for hunting and outdoor companionship.

Bill Gibson of Mossy Oak Kennels

What is the “Ask Gunner” Series?

The “Ask Gunner” series is our own take on a monthly advice column, with Gunner ambassadors acting as the advisers. You ask the questions, our Pack gives the answers.

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Photo by Mossy Oak Kennels

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