Many people believe that female dogs make better pets. Female preference seems to be ingrained in these people. Most calls for pet dogs have people wanting a 'sweet girl'. They don't think females display alpha behaviors like 'marking' and/or 'humping'. They believe that they are more docile and attentive and do not participate in fighting over dominance. This is not true and you might be surprised to hear this, but they don't call them 'bitches' for nothing!
In the dog pack makeup, females usually rule the roost, determine pecking order, and compete to maintain and/or alter that order. The females are, as a result, more independent, stubborn, and territorial than their male counterparts. The females are much more intent upon exercising their dominance by participating in alpha behaviors such as 'humping'. There IS a reason people utilize the technical dog term of 'bitch' in a negative way and it refers directly to the behaviors exhibited by the females of the dog world. Most fights will usually break out between 2 females.
Males, on the other hand, are usually more affectionate, exuberant, attentive, and more demanding of attention. They are very attached to "their people". They also tend to be more steadfast, reliable, and less moody. They are more outgoing, more accepting of other pets, and take quicker to children. Most boys are easily motivated by food (how true!!) and praise, plus, they are so eager to please that training is easy. However, males can be more easily distracted during training, as males like to play so often. And no matter what age, he is more likely to act silly and more puppy-like, always wanting to play games. Boys are fun loving until the day they die. Females tend to be more reserved or dignified as they age. Witness the human equivalent of the twinkling eyed Grandpa still playing catch at age 70, while Grandma quietly observes from the porch.
Boys do get bigger than girls, but only by an average of 1-2 inches and 3-5 pounds in the medium sized dogs such as a Cocker Spaniel. In the Toy Poodle, a variety of sizes can be found regardless of sex. There are a lot of self claimed 'Miniatures' in any breed out there, but those breeders are not breeding to the standard as it is written for each breed. The difference between sizes and sexes is minimal, if bred correctly, and for improving the breed according to the standard. Neutered males rarely exhibit secondary sexual behavior such as 'humping', or 'marking' and lifting of legs. Once the testosterone levels recede after neutering, most of these behaviors (if they ever existed) will disappear. Boys who were neutered early (by 5 months of age) usually don't ever raise their leg to urinate.
And while the female will usually come to you for attention, waiting for your attention and near at hand, they are usually less distracted during training, as she is more eager to get it over with, and get back to her comfy spot on the couch. The female is less likely to wage a dominance battle with YOU, but she can be cunning and resourceful in getting her own way. Being spoiled also suits her just fine! She is much more prone to mood swings. One day she may be sweet and affectionate and the next day reserved and withdrawn or even grumpy. The female also has periods of being 'in heat' unless she is spayed. Seasonal heats can be a month long nightmare - not just for the female, but you and every male dog in the neighborhood. If you are not breeding, you'd be best off to have her spayed, since during this time she can leave a bloody discharge on carpets, couches, or anywhere she goes. She will be particularly moody and emotional during this time. A walk outside during this period can become hazardous if male dogs are in the vicinity, and she will leave a 'scent' for wandering intact males to follow right to your yard, where they will hang out, and 'wait' for days.
Either sex makes good pets, but it is a good idea to know a little about each and how each react differently before choosing your boy or girl. Also before deciding on male or female, give consideration to any other dogs that may be in or around your home. No matter which you choose, PLEASE be very sure you will be able to care for and nurture your puppy. Puppies are like babies and they need you. They depend on you for everything such as food, water, play time, potty time, veterinarian care which includes their age appropriate vaccinations, dewormings, and rabies vaccinations. This also includes yearly visits to their vet.
Remember.........Everything they will ever learn will come from you! The huge responsibility of owning a pet is not to be taken lightly. It is a long term commitment that, with proper care and a healthy puppy, should last 12 to 15+ years! You will become your puppy's idol if you give them the attention and affection they so deserve! They will worship you! The thing they most desire is the love and nurturing that you give them! Please continue to love your new puppy like we did! We loved them first!