Well, this subject has come up enough recently for me to start getting paranoid on the subject of people choosing males vs. females. I guess I should explain what I mean.
Okay, for the longest time, owners were preferring males over females, maybe on a two to one ratio. The males always went first and the females hung around an extra week or two. Not a really big deal, as they always went to great homes and the people who really wanted a female got what they wanted. I kind of accepted it as the ratio.
Now, in the past few months, I have seen a near reversal of that trend. Now, maybe it’s just coincidence, but maybe there’s something to this. But three out of four calls or inquiries are about females.
Look, don’t get me wrong, I love female Rottweilers. I don’t think there’s a darn thing wrong with owning a female and as a matter of fact (and quite obvious), that is almost exclusively what I have owned as a breeder and dog handler.
But, that doesn’t mean that males suck, either.
Here’s an excerpt from an email I received from a potential owner a month or so ago:
“I had another breeder advise me that I should get a female rather than a male because of temperament issues. I have a 5 yr old and a 2 yr old and they seemed to think that a female would be better. I grew up with a male and that is what I had in mind. What do you think?”
Here was my answer:
First off, (and I may sound too harsh here, but here we go anyway………) I think that the ‘breeder’ who told you that a male is more prone to temperament issues is actually full of crap and does not remotely understand the Rottweiler breed and dogs in general. Try to avoid both them and their puppies if possible. I guess if you have a breeding program that produces skittish dogs with thin nerves or horrible temperaments to begin with, there might be a concern with males coming out of that kennel. The truth is, all things being equal, dogs of either gender are as reliable as they are properly socialized early in life and given proper obedience training.
Although genetics does play a part in the offspring (and a skittish or unusually aggressive dog of any breed is not a reliable choice, especially for a family with children) the gender of the dog is not the main issue here. It is the individual dog’s temperament, including his nerves. Dogs are individuals, just like people and an outgoing, well bred pup, with solid nerves at eight weeks of age is a blank slate that simply needs to be imprinted (socialized, and trained) by its new owner. If you keep the dog in a closet he will grow up to be an idiot and not be very good socially. Male or female doesn’t really matter. I have sold a good number of males to families with children of all ages, including newborns, and have heard not one word from any one of them regarding any issue stemming from some supposed temperament flaw with their male pup. Now, you said you grew up with a male in your household. Did you have any problems with his temperament? Case closed.
So, I thought this was an isolated situation and didn’t think much else about it until the other day, when another prospective owner called me and said the EXACT SAME THING, almost word for word. Now, again, I am not one to push the conspiracy thing, but I think that the same idiot who has been telling people that there is such a thing as an ‘American’ and a ‘German’ Rottweiler is also telling people that male Rottweilers make bad pets.
I think that you should choose a male or female based on your own preference, what you are comfortable with and what best suits your living arrangements. The particular sex of the dog is not something that a breeder should be spending a lot of time influencing you about. The only thing I would say is, if you aren’t planning on doing obedience training or socializing your dog, then you shouldn’t be getting a Rottweiler at all, male or female! Try a goldfish.
Okay, so what am I getting at? Here is my true or false list. Decide for yourself.
1. Males are more aggressive than females -
This is not really true. I guess these faux breeders have never seen two females get aggressive and start fighting with each other when one is in heat, or something like that. Not a pretty sight. Again, it is more the individual dog’s mental makeup, his nerves and his personality. Aggression has nothing to do with testosterone. It has to do with learned behavior and the situation the dog is involved in. The bottom line on aggression is that the dog has to be taught what is appropriate and what is inappropriate behavior from a young age. If you are not willing to do this, then don’t get a dog.
2. Females bond to their owners better than males do -
I would have to say false to this one as well. What data does anyone have that proves this? Nobody has any data, period. I have sold males to single men with no families and they bond well. I have sold males to families and they bond with everyone right away. Males are just as protective and territorial as females when it comes to the household. The only thing I can think of that comes close to this is that I have seen females sometimes bond better with male humans and male Rotties bond with female humans, but this is not something that I have statistics on and can say, ‘Yes, of course, females make better family pets and companions because blah blah blah.’. Nope I cannot.
3. If you have small children, only get a female -
False. Again, do you think the female is going to baby sit your kids while the male Rottweiler is going to go out drinking with his pals? Nope. Refer to my answer to the nice lady’s email.
4. If you are a dishonest breeder and are having trouble selling your females, tell buyers that females are better than males -
Sure, I think this one is true. Self explanatory.
5. Males mark their territory in the house -
Yes, this is sometimes true but is not always the case. This mostly occurs when you have other males in the house or when you allow other males to visit. Jake, my son’s Rottweiler, doesn’t pee in the house at all and he is intact and five years old. Of course, he is the only male in the house (except for my son!!)
6. Males will take longer to train than females-
False. If the dog is not too bright, then I would say that would be the reason for longer than normal training times. Or, if the handler is not real bright, that could account for the same issue.
That should do it.