The answer is—the ONLY time gender truly matters is if you plan to breed your dog. Choosing the best puppy for your family does not have to do with gender; it has to do with the puppy’s individual personality and temperament.
Preference for a female puppy seems to be the most prevalent. Most people assume that a female will be sweet and gentle. This is not necessarily the case. There are some puppies that are sweet and gentle, and there are some that are more dominant and aggressive. These characteristics can apply to both male and female puppies and dogs, depending on individual personality and temperament.
Males and females both can be independent, stubborn, and territorial. They can both develop unwanted behaviors if not trained properly. We do our best to assure that our puppies have been trained not to be overly aggressive or territorial. We do not allow the puppies to bite us, even in play. The main influence, however, will be what takes place when the puppy joins your family. The first year is absolutely essential for proper training. I would advise you to take your new puppy to a training class (PetSmart has reasonable prices—check around with other trainers). Be consistent with your new puppy, and do not allow any bad behavior to develop, even if it seems “cute” at the time.
I find that there are generally more negative behaviors displayed in fully grown female dogs. I believe this is from the tendency to “coddle” your “little girl.” Coddling an animal when she is afraid or shows aggression toward other dogs is a sure way to cause the dog to become even more aggressive and territorial. Please learn more about training your dog properly to avoid having this happen. I highly recommend Cesar Milan’s book about dog training, as this shows more about the individual personality traits dogs tend to exhibit.
If you wish to avoid typical male problems of “spraying” or “marking” and female problems of moodiness twice a year during heats, I highly recommend getting your puppy neutered or spayed early—before 6 months of age. Contact your vet for more information.
If a dog is trained properly, he or she should be affectionate, attentive, and eager to please. Some are more playful, and some are cuddlier—this depends on personality and temperament. There are low energy dogs and high energy dogs, and everything in between. These personalities start to show around 4-6 weeks of age. We play with our puppies, so we are able to determine what type of personality each puppy has. We will do our best to match up the puppy that is best for you, based on personality and temperament.