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male or female puppy

male or female puppy

Postby Novice123 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:35 pm

I have a reservation for a French Brittany puppy to pick up approximately June 1. I have always had female dogs. It has been 45 years since I had a dog. I never had my English Pointer or GSP spade but I did not have either very long as I sold them. Right now I have a reservation for a female pup. I read that I should wait until the dog is about 23 months before having it spade. Lately I read that a tubal litigation is better than removing the ovaries as removing the ovaries greatly increases risk of mammary cancer and other health problems. That seems like a solution since I want a hunting dog and am not interesting in breeding my dog. The reason for having my female dog sterilized would be so that the dog will not be in heat during hunting season or accidently become pregnant. Do you know if tubal litigation is practical? Is it done on a routine basis? Is it a lot more expensive than removal of ovaries? What about a male dog? The reason I was staying away from a male is that I plan to have my dog inside at night and don't want any issues of 'marking' or 'spraying' to mark territory inside our home. How would you contrast a male versus a female strictly for hunting, not for breeding? I might still be able to change my puppy request to a male, depending on what I learn on this forum.
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby Urban_Redneck » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:45 am

When I looked into the the procedure a couple of years ago, I was able to find a vet through www.parsemus.org

We spoke on the phone and I learned my pup was a poor candidate because she has false pregnancies. The vet explained that despite the uterus and cervix removal, the dog still "cycles" to some extent, thus my dog would continue to have false pregnancies as long as the ovaries were present. I'll spare you our continuing saga, but I'll attest, it doesn't take much ovarian material to continue produce the hormones that trigger the reproductive cycle in a bitch that has false pregnancies. I don't think you need to wait 2 years, but, at least wait until after the second cycle for any type of spay.

As for male v. female, I don't know anyone that has problems with their dog "marking" in the house. I have heard for some folks it comes down to killing the flowers and shrubs vs brown spots on the lawn. :lol:
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby shags » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:33 am

IME you have it backwards, spaying helps to prevent breast cancer because it removes the source of the hormones. I've had 6-7 spayed females over the years ( all spayed at a year old or younger) and not one developed mammary tumors. We acquired an older unspayed female from the kennel of a guy who died, and that dog was loaded with tumors. Despite a couple of surgeries to remove any mammary tissue, she ultimately died because of breast cancer.

Unless the ovaries are removed, the female will still have estrus cycles. With an intact uterus, there's a risk of pyometria.

Male dogs marking is an issue about proper housebreaking, nothing more. We've had 3 intact males in the house at the same time and no problems with marking.
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby cjhills » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:39 am

According to almost every vet I have talked to, Spaying a female before the first period virtually eliminates mammary cancer. In my female GSP puppies that generally occurs around 14 months. In a FB puppy I would expect it earlier. Nothing gained by waiting. I have a female GSP who lives in the house wearing a diaper right now at 10 months.
I am not familiar with tubal litigation at all. Every bitch I have seen that has false pregnancies has gotten mammary cancer eventually. I like taking everything you can out early.
A female will likely be the better choice for you. But, as Shags stated marking is a training issue. If your male dog marks ,you likely have other dominance issues.
Has for hunting, gender does not make any difference and is just a matter of personal preference...…..Cj
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby Novice123 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:50 am

This is what is so awesome about the Gun Dog Forum. I can read false narratives on the internet by people that may or may not have credibility. Then I check with the experienced trainers on GDF and get information that I can trust. CJ, why does the 10 month female wear a diaper in the house? Is that an incontinence issue?
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male or female puppy

Postby slistoe » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:00 am

I would assume the diaper is because of the heat cycle


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Re: male or female puppy

Postby birddogger2 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:21 am

Novice -

The only downside I have observed with spayed females is the tendency of some(not all) to pick up and retain extra weight. There are a LOT of upsides to spaying a working female which you have no intention of breeding and chief among them is the absence of heats during hunting season.

My understanding is also that the standard spaying procedure, a hysterectomy, is extremely effective in eliminating the incidence of mammary cancers and of course pyometra. I have had a dog with mammary cancer and a couple with pyometra. The dog with mammary cancer recovered and lived a full life. Neither dog with pyometra survived. Not a good way to see them go. Broke my heart.

I understand that there is a body of evidence suggesting that spaying after first heat is acceptable for females. My personal preference, for a few reasons, is to wait until the dog is more fully developed, physically, like 18-24 months, but that is just me.

If it is a male puppy, I am aware of no abiding health reason to neuter. Period. However, if one does wish to neuter a male, I believe it is best to wait a full two years or more so that the dog can fully develop its bones and musculature. It is my understanding that early neutering short circuits this development and can lead to serious locomotion issues in the future.

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Re: male or female puppy

Postby Dakotazeb » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:29 am

My last 3 dogs have been females. The first two I had spayed just before or just after their first heat cycle. When I got my current female I did a lot of reading about the pros and cons of spaying. I also visited with several difference vets. While spaying can virtually eliminate mammary cancers it can also increase the risk of other cancers and health issues. A couple of those are Cushings Disease and hemangiosarcoma. My first female passed just before she turned 12 of Cushings. My second I had to put down a week after she turned 8 due to hemangiosarcoma on her spine. Some really bad luck on my part. That's why I was so concerned with my current dog. But I had no intention of breeding her and didn't want her cycles to interfere with hunting and field trials. After much thought and advice I had her spayed just before she turned two. I think whether you have the dog spayed or not when it comes to cancer and other health issues it's just a roll of the dice.
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby cjhills » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:37 am

slistoe wrote:I would assume the diaper is because of the heat cycle


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Your assumption is, of course right.....Cj

PS; Pyometra is probably the most common health issue in unspayed females if not treated soon enough is almost always fatal, mammary cancer may be the second. If you can eliminate these two plus unwanted and false pregnancies you are way ahead of the game. Most of the gain with mammary cancer is if you to it before the first heat. There Is no proven advantage to waiting longer.
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby birddogger2 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:44 am

I did a little searching and found this:

For female dogs, the situation is more complex. The number of health benefits associated with spaying may
exceed the associated health problems in some (not all) cases. On balance, whether spaying improves the
odds of overall good health or degrades them probably depends on the age of the female dog and the
relative risk of various diseases in the different breeds.
On the positive side, spaying female dogs
• if done before 2.5 years of age, greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors, the most common
malignant tumors in female dogs
• nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra, which otherwise would affect about 23% of intact female
dogs; pyometra kills about 1% of intact female dogs
• reduces the risk of perianal fistulas
• removes the very small risk (0.5%) from uterine, cervical, and ovarian tumors
On the negative side, spaying female dogs
• if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer); this is a
common cancer in larger breeds with a poor prognosis
• increases the risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 2.2 and cardiac hemangiosarcoma by
a factor of >5; this is a common cancer and major cause of death in some breeds
• triples the risk of hypothyroidism
• increases the risk of obesity by a factor of 1.6-2, a common health problem in dogs with many
associated health problems
• causes urinary “spay incontinence” in 4-20% of female dogs
• increases the risk of persistent or recurring urinary tract infections by a factor of 3-4
• increases the risk of recessed vulva, vaginal dermatitis, and vaginitis, especially for female dogs
spayed before puberty
• doubles the small risk (<1%) of urinary tract tumors
• increases the risk of orthopedic disorders
• increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations
One thing is clear – much of the spay/neuter information that is available to the public is unbalanced and
contains claims that are exaggerated or unsupported by evidence.

There was more, but it certainly gives some valid reasons to consider waiting to spay.

In terms of intact female dogs, the risk of developing all types of mammary tumors(benign and cancerous) is on the order of 20-25%, by age 8, on average. About half the tumors detected are cancerous so the risk of mammary cancer in unsprayed females is on the order of 10% or so, by age 8. If left untreated, it will progress to lung cancer in about 1-2 years, again on average.

So, doing nothing for a dog with cancerous mammary tumors will(on average) result in the dog's demise at around the age of 9 or 10. Prompt action, once tumors are detected, can result in the dog living a full normal life. But of course, there is always the risk associated with any surgery.

Each person needs to educate themselves on the situation and make their decisions accordingly. It is not nearly as cut and dry as it first may appear.

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Re: male or female puppy

Postby Steve007 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:15 pm

Novice123 wrote:I What about a male dog? The reason I was staying away from a male is that I plan to have my dog inside at night and don't want any issues of 'marking' or 'spraying' to mark territory inside our home. How would you contrast a male versus a female strictly for hunting, not for breeding? I might still be able to change my puppy request to a male, depending on what I learn on this forum.



Unrelated to the posts about females, your perception of males doing this is incorrect. A housetrained male is every bit as trustworthy as a female. My current entire male goes to the office with me every day and sleeps loose in the bedroom at night In his own bed, as have his male predecessors. I'm sure many others here can say the same.

Choice of sex is up to you. I have and have had both. But if you're a sensible careful owner, this is not a reason to avoid a male. And if you're not sensible or careful, you'll have trouble with any dog.
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby Sharon » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:46 pm

Novice123 wrote:This is what is so awesome about the Gun Dog Forum. I can read false narratives on the internet by people that may or may not have credibility. Then I check with the experienced trainers on GDF and get information that I can trust..............


Exactly !
The experience and respect( normally :) ) for other people experiences shown on here is tremendous!
I've had 2 female setters, one female GSP, one male GSP , 10 beagles of various sexes and no problems or much difference at all . Now if you are talking about JRTs' gender :roll:
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby birddogger2 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:55 pm

Novice123 wrote: What about a male dog? The reason I was staying away from a male is that I plan to have my dog inside at night and don't want any issues of 'marking' or 'spraying' to mark territory inside our home. How would you contrast a male versus a female strictly for hunting, not for breeding? I might still be able to change my puppy request to a male, depending on what I learn on this forum.


I only had one dog that was an inside dog and that was back when I lived at home. For some reason or other my mom allowed us to bring Jack, an intact pointer/setter mix male into the house. For about three years, Jack was an outside dog, in a kennel in the backyard. We brought him in, put a dog bed(a hunk of foam cushion material with a cloth cover) in the basement and ...that was pretty much it. Jack was inside the house for the rest of his life and he lived in the basement. He had ZERO house training. I think he knew he had hit the lottery and he was not about to screw that up. In all the years(about 13-14) he was inside the house, he messed up exactly twice... and both times he had not been let out for about 24 hours, due to missed communications between my dad and I. The steps from the basement led to the kitchen and beyond, but Jack almost never ventured past the kitchen door, unless he was encouraged to do so even though the door was never closed. He was a good soul and he knew what was expected of him.

At suppertime, he would walk up the steps and stand on the steps by the doorway. All you could see was the tip of his black nose in the doorway. He would wait...patiently...until my Mom gave him the OK. if my Dad or I called him in...he would not move. Darn smart dog. In the mornings, he and I would share a cup of coffee. He like it light and sweet, same as I did.

I hope folks didn't mind taking a trip down memory lane with me. Fifty years later...Oh well.

As far as hunting is concerned, I have had a lot of dogs that did not know the meaning of the word "quit". I run pointers with the hottest field trial blood I can get. Not for the faint of heart, but it is what trips my trigger.

The flat out toughest bird dog I ever owned was a female. No contest. Next toughest was a male out of very similar breeding. Both would chew their way through chain link fencing to get out to hunt. They had the galvanized zinc silver colored back teeth to prove it.

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Re: male or female puppy

Postby Max2 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:25 pm

I wouldn't hesitate on taking a male dog. I have had dog's my whole life .As a kid the family dogs and later in life as I got my own dogs. Any male we ever had never had issue with marking in the house. Some were neutered and some were not. I think if you bring a strange dog into your house or your dog into someone else's house marking may be an issue. One shot deal :D pun intended :D

Ray G I appreciated the walk down memory lane as earlier this evening while sitting in a quiet house here on the coach with the basement door open enough for a dog to fit through to let the heat from the wood stove radiate . I smiled as I saw My last basement dweller come up and look out in my direction as he did so many times before making an entrance. I really miss the little guy . That's where Max bunked also.
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby cjhills » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:52 pm

Novice
I don't think the Choice of sex makes a lot of difference. I do generally recommend females for first dogs. We sell the males quicker than the females.
The research on spaying and neutering is generally slanted one way or the other. Your best bet is to talk with the vet you plan to use. I recommend my buyers spay females at 12 to 14 months and neuter males at 18 months to two years. But there are millions of very healthy dogs walking around without testicles or uteruses since they were six months old, that live happy, healthy, long lives. Females that are not used for breeding should definitely be spayed. The health benefits far outweigh the risks. We spay all of our females when they leave or breeding program. It is a tradeoff but you need to be more concerned about the common issues. Most of the other stuff mentioned never happens.....Cj
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby birddogger2 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:46 pm

cjhills wrote:Novice
I don't think the Choice of sex makes a lot of difference. I do generally recommend females for first dogs. We sell the males quicker than the females.
The research on spaying and neutering is generally slanted one way or the other. Your best bet is to talk with the vet you plan to use. I recommend my buyers spay females at 12 to 14 months and neuter males at 18 months to two years. But there are millions of very healthy dogs walking around without testicles or uteruses since they were six months old, that live happy, healthy, long lives. Females that are not used for breeding should definitely be spayed. The health benefits far outweigh the risks. We spay all of our females when they leave or breeding program. It is a tradeoff but you need to be more concerned about the common issues. Most of the other stuff mentioned never happens.....Cj


I agree with some of this but disagree with some. I believe the best course of action for any hunting dog owner is to do their own due diligence on the subject. There is plenty of good info on the net.

It is a fact that some pet owners and veterinarians in some locales are under pressure to spay or neuter everything in sight...regardless. in addition, not every veterinary practice has significant experience with hard working field dogs and this affects their evaluative process. I would say that the majority of veterinary practices in urban and heavily suburban areas have very little experience with field dogs and their needs, simply because there are not that many upland hunters in those areas and they just do not see that kind of animal.

As mentioned above spaying a female that you do not wish to breed is pretty much a no-brainer, based on the available information. However the timing of that spay is , IMO, very much a matter for careful consideration.

What a breeder recommends be done with the dogs they sell may have a lot to do with their desire to limit the availability of dogs with similar genetics from competing sellers. To limit the competition is just good business. That is undoubtedly why bitches that are sold from many breeding kennels are spayed before the sale. Business... not health...Business.

As I mentioned previously...there is absolutely no medical benefit to neutering a healthy male and, depending on the age of the procedure, there can be significant negative consequences. That is so well documented that it is not even a matter for discussion.

As far as female spaying is concerned...as I said...there is considerable evidence that the timing of the spay can have an influence on the long term health of the dog.

I can't and won't tell an owner that it is better for them to spay their female prior to its first heat cycle because even though it does virtually eliminate mammary cancers (0.5% incidence , as I recall), and pyometra that is not the whole story. Spaying at that early age does indeed measurably increase the risk of several other horrible diseases, which ARE extremely rare in the absence of early spaying. It is also a fact that a portion of dogs that have been spayed, develop urinary tract issues, such as leakage, as a byproduct of the surgical procedure. It happens, and if the dog is an inside dog...that ain't gonna be fun to deal with.
Each person needs to do their homework and decide what is best for them and their situation.

Each person needs to do their homework and decide what is best for them and their situation.

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Re: male or female puppy

Postby CDN_Cocker » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:53 am

Novice123 wrote:How would you contrast a male versus a female strictly for hunting, not for breeding? I might still be able to change my puppy request to a male, depending on what I learn on this forum.


Gender has zero effect on hunting ability or capability. If it did, everyone would only buy males or only buy females. Get what you prefer. I generally prefer males as I find they are easier to get along with and more affectionate. But I've owned more females than males over my life. If I chose a litter my first choice would be a male. If all were spoken for, this guy would be getting a female. Don't overthink it - what's between their legs has no bearing on how great of a dog they are.
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby cjhills » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:17 am

cjhills wrote:Novice
I don't think the Choice of sex makes a lot of difference. I do generally recommend females for first dogs. We sell the males quicker than the females.
The research on spaying and neutering is generally slanted one way or the other. Your best bet is to talk with the vet you plan to use. I recommend my buyers spay females at 12 to 14 months and neuter males at 18 months to two years. But there are millions of very healthy dogs walking around without testicles or uteruses since they were six months old, that live happy, healthy, long lives. Females that are not used for breeding should definitely be spayed. The health benefits far outweigh the risks. We spay all of our females when they leave or breeding program. It is a tradeoff but you need to be more concerned about the common issues. Most of the other stuff mentioned never happens.....Cj

Sorry, I should have said "for people who want to neuter their pups". we recommend the ages above. We do not recommend neutering or not neutering. that is a question for you and your vet to decide. By far most of our buyers neuter. Going through the heat period with my pup in the house,right now I can not see why anybody would do that with a dog they did not intend to breed. Also as R said some local governments require it.
Of course you need to do your due diligence. I believe that is the reason for you posting on the Forum. Again the problem is the research is on a very limited number of dogs and mostly aim at proving one side or the other. There is a lot of research about the health risks of vaccinations, but I think most reasonable people give there dogs rabies shots. I do think we give the dogs shots they don't need. But who knows.
No matter which way you go, your dog will very likely have a long happy. My last female spayed at six months lived to be nineteen years old. None of my unspayed females have lived that long. Most of my males intact or not lived about 12 to 14 years. That is above average for a GSP Most got some form of cancer. But there are no gaurantees. Be confidant you made the right choice and be happy with your puppy.
Don't ask about what to feed your dog on this forum......Cj
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby Novice123 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:59 am

Everyone, thanks for all the information, it is priceless. I will stick with my choice of female pup and have it spade after 12 months or so. Also, I got to thinking that it would have been unfair to the breeder to ask for a pup of a different sex so late in the game when most or all of his litters are probably reserved with choice of sex reserved in the puppies. I do tend to over think issues or to put a positive spin, to get the most information. Funny comment about asking what kind of dog food to feed! I won't be asking that question! I got to thinking last night that if I am careful, I should be able to hunt my pup Sept. 15- Oct. 15 (Sharptail season) this coming fall when it will be expected to have the first heat cycle. I won't hunt with other dogs and will hunt in isolated areas where I will presume that no other dogs are present to cause an unwanted pregnancy. I hunted my GSP back in 1971 and 1972 when it was in heat as a youngster and never had any problems as I hunted private farms in pheasant country. This was back at a time in central Illinois when pheasants were abundant, due to 'soil bank'. I remember how much fun that was and my dog would mostly point the roosters, but sometimes the roosters would run.
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby Max2 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:16 am

Just an add on and just my observations I don't think your breeder would care if you asked to make a change and get a male. If they could they would say yes and if they could not they would say it's to late .Most folks always seem to want a female . I think. I bet for breeders it is easier finding homes for females at the top of the breed chain. Again ~ JMHO

Most importantly Enjoy your new pup !! & be sure to post up some pic's as they come available.
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby birddogger2 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:41 pm

Novice123 -

45 years without a dog is waaaaaay too long, but at least you are going to remedy the situation. Good for you.

Brittanys are fun dogs to be around and I understand that FB's can be even more dialed in to their human partners than the American version.

Have fun together.

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Re: male or female puppy

Postby Steve007 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:33 am

Novice123 wrote: I will stick with my choice of female pup and have it spade after 12 months or so.



Dog vernacular. The word is "spay". Thus, you'll have your bitch "spayed". Spelling it the way you have is incorrect.
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby Featherfinder » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:47 pm

I am not a breeder nor do I consider myself knowledgeable enough to make a comment from my personal experience on this subject. However, I DO stay in touch with respected breeders of bird dogs that refer my services. They have ALL migrated to exactly what RayG stated.
There are Doctors of Veterinary Medicine and there are DVMs. I'm sure more than one of us has had a visit where the attending DVM asks, "Don't you feed this dog?" Might I add that it was a short visit.
The breeders I am in contact with want to ensure the dog is reasonably mature (20-24 months I think?) but the decision remains with the new owners - again as RayG suggested. Every household has it's dynamics which can include a myriad of reasons for spaying/neutering, or not. For example, at what age is the dog acquired or the buyers may have an existing intact male or female in their home right now.
I have owned a number of males and females. Sometimes, when an exceptional breeding comes along or simply one you have a real hankering for becomes available, the choice of male or female is not the priority ie. - all of the one sex are withheld, already sold, or the litter only produced the one sex. If this is the case, take what you can get. This particular breeding may be one you regret not having.
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby Warrior372 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:18 pm

I am not sure if I would use marking in the house as a reason for not getting a male. I have a 2.5 year old male French Brittany and he learned very quickly that marking in the house is not acceptable. Our other dog is an intact female and he marked 2x in our house in the first 6 months and has not since. We are routinely at my in-laws who have 2 dogs and anywhere from 2-9 at their house at any given time if we all bring our dogs over. 3 of the other males actively mark in the house - none of them were ever trained and are not reprimanded when caught in the act of marking - and ours will not over mark. With that said, we did get him neutered at 12 months which some people say helps reduce the urge.
Last edited by Warrior372 on Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: male or female puppy

Postby TruckMan66 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:32 pm

I have 3 male English Pointers that all live in the house. Just like any dog you have to work with them to potty train them. Most of the time it's the owner that needs to be trained. We have to aware of the puppy and how often they need to go potty. I can't say "I would never" own another female but from my perspective males are easier to raise.
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