Growing up I had five female dogs and one male dog. I asked my parents why we went so heavily with girl dogs and their response was unmemorable. Something like “I think they’re easier, right?” I had my mind made up that we were getting a female berner for some other unmemorable reason. My husband Trevor and I even had a name picked out already – Winnie. Even though Trevor not-so-secretly wanted a male dog, the best reason he could come up with was “there are better name options.” On a biological level, maybe we felt we would better relate to our own gender.
A berner-owning friend of the family mentioned she thought males were the better choice, saying ”females can be a bit more temperamental.” Now conflicted, I emailed the breeder to get her opinion. Her one liner on the subject was ”I think the females are a bit more needier.” On our visit to the farm when we met the puppies, the recommendations from the breeder, a long-time berner owner, continued to lean male in terms of the type of dog we were looking for. In her opinion, males are more laid back and easier to train. The only con I got out of the conversation was that they can tend to be more aggressive towards other male dogs. To top it off, between the male and female puppy we were considering, the female was the most rambunctious out of the two litters we met. She was a spunky pup, and while we were ready to go hard playing, training and life-altering for this puppy, we gravitated towards the easygoing male.
We were getting a male. It was decided on the car ride back home from the puppy visit. I was bummed to let go of the name Winnie, but my husband and I were able to choose Waylon with relative ease. We’re big Waylon Jennings fans and had tossed around the idea of naming a future son Waylon. Not long after filling in our family, I get this email : “I really like Waylon for a dog; I was not so sure about it for a baby! Love Mom.”