Choosing the Dog’s Gender and Name

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.”



3 thoughts on “Choosing the Dog’s Gender and Name

  1. We had always had females (can’t use the correct term anymore). When Em was 3 we decided to take the plunge after a couple of years of doglessness and called the rescue people. They had a puppy but the woman couldn’t quite remember if it was male or female when I had suggested we would want a female. Of course we went to meet and immediately fall in love with our Sam. Never another humph about the gender of a family dog, he was the best, the most loyal, the most trustworthy of all our dogs and I still miss him dreadfully.

  2. I think Dad always said they were more faithful and easier to train. Admittedly Sam was neutered so maybe that helped with him. I would imagine you will want to breed from Waylon though as he is so gorgeous. We have a beautiful black lab next door called Henry (you’ll meet him) we’ve known him since he was born. He is not neutered and has a lovely disposition, again he should be bred from to continue that line and character. We have him here often with his lovely Mum, Tess and like our Sam, he is the one that is more affectionate and people oriented. Tess is a wonderful, even tempered dog but she is very self sufficient and quite happy in the garden on her own. Henry wants to be with people, which I see as a good trait in a family dog. So now I would advise that people look at the individual puppy and their disposition rather than the sex. I also think that males bond with a female owner and females with a male owner more easily, strange but true with our own dogs.

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