Cocker Specific Discussion > General Cocker Spaniel Discussion

Male 'v' Female ???

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Hi everyone,

I posted a question many months age about whether to go for a cocker spaniel or a cavalier.  I had great advice, many thanks.  Since then I have decided on a cocker spaniel, and will be ready of my new little friend from the end of may onward, (Finishing last)!!  My new dilema now however is which sex to go for.  I have already decided on a blue roan, (I think), but not sure if I should have a dog or a bitch.  I read somewhere that some bitches can be more dominant, and that generally males are more amiable.  Is this the case?  I have always thought of having a bitch as I naturally assumed they would be less aggressive, which is very important as I have a 4 yr old daughter.  Am I wrong?
Many thanks,

Me again,
Just read through previous thread and discovered the answer to my question.  That is, there is no answer...all are individuals.  Just have to use intuition I suppose, i.e.. which bounds toward me first etc.
Many thanks,

Hi Claire, if it's only the dominance issue that is affecting your decision regarding which sex of puppy would be best, some breeders are now carrying out temperement tests on their pups. This is where a behaviourist assesses how the pups react to certain situations eg being restrained. They then give them a score from say 1(being very dominant) to 5(being very submissive). This can then help the breeder ascertain which homes to sell the pups to. Of course, some breeders may well have a general idea regarding temperament anyway without the tests. I would think that a home with a  young child should have a puppy somewhere in the middle. In Vegas's litter, there was clearly 2 dominant pups and 1 very submissive pup - and even I could see that so a breeder should have no problems. ;D Enjoy searching come May :D                    

Jane S:
I've read about temperament testing but as yet haven't heard of any Cocker breeder who uses it - it's not really an idea that has taken off, although I can see it might be useful for a first-time breeder but then again, remembering our first litter, I think it was fairly easy to spot the different characters each pup had.

I think Gill is right though - an experienced breeder is able to tell prospective owners which pup is likely to end up "bossy" & which is more easy going, although this isn't a guarantee as to a pup's eventual temperament as so much depends on other factors like training, socialisation etc eg even an apparently submissive pup can end up ruling the roost if they have an owner who can't say No :)                    

It really depends on your preference.  I personally prefer cocker dogs to bitches - probably because I grew up with dogs.  Both dogs and bitches have their advantages and disadvantages, but again, those tend to be individual specific.  Bitches can be fairly dominant but it tends to mean dominance over other dogs and bitches, rather than dominance as far as their owner or other humans are concerned.

On the temperament testing issue, my parent's first puppy was nervous and shy compared to his litter brothers and was nervous of various things for years (especially small children).  However, as he grew older he got and remained dominant as far as other dogs were concerned.  However, dominance over other dogs did not mean he attempted to be dominant where humans were concerned - I don't think he so much as growled at a human in his life.                    


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