A Boy Puppy or Girl Puppy?
In many breeds the sex of a puppy is a very important consideration. This is not the case with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
I have two girls and one boy. All three exhibit the loving, devoted traits that have elevated the breed to a favorite companion dog.
I believe the decision whether to choose a boy or a girl depends on your own personality.
Below, I have listed what you should take under consideration when determining whether to get a boy or a girl puppy.
It is important to recognize that all dogs have their own personalities, with their own quirks and habits, even after they are completely trained. Much like children, each dog is unique. Yet, as a unique being, a dog will share common traits with other dogs from its own breed and others.
Unneutered (intact) males WILL mark their territory. It is a natural instinct to mark their home. Some male dogs can be trained to mark their territory only outside the house or apartment. This is not the case with my dog Riece. While I have been able to reduce the number of areas he marks, I have not been able to completely eliminate the problem. I even caught him ‘marking’ me when we were out on our walk and another male dog approached us. While this was certainly inconvenient – my red boots were wet – I laughed and felt a measure of pride knowing that he loves me and wants to protect me.
Some people believe that male dogs are less affectionate than female dogs, but Cavalier King Charles Spaniel males are equally as cuddly and snuggly as the females. My dog, Riece, is so gentle with me, giving my delicate little kisses, and is intuitively aware when I am upset. If I am ill he comes over to me and eases my pain, while my girls are not as nurturing in this way. Of course this is his personality. He is a gentle being, full of love.
Walking your male dog requires patience as instinct compels him to smell every tree, fire hydrant, pole, and everything else that has been ‘marked’ by another dog. I have had to develop a great deal of patience, as it is my personality to walk fast, get business done, and then relax. This is counter intuitive to the needs of the dog. Their sense of smell is very acute, and they perceive and explore the world through sniffing. It is unfair to rush them through enjoying one of their great pleasures.
If you have chosen not to spay your girl dog then you will have to deal with her semiannual “heat” cycle. The first cycle presents between six and ten month of age. The cycles are accompanied with vaginal discharge so the puppy should be confined to a designated space. Products resembling diapers can be purchased, but I have discovered that the discharge is minimal, and if the puppy is isolated it is manageable. I tried to use diapers, but found that the puppy would slip out of it and then chew on the fabric. It is important that if you have an unneutered (intact) male living with an unspayed female it is essential that you separate them to avoid the possibility of pregnancy. Unfortunately each “heat” cycle lasts for about 3 weeks so keep this in mind.
Since a girl dog’s urinary tract is shorter than a boy’s, she is more likely to suffer from urinary tract infections. This can be identified by monitoring her urinary patterns. If she urinates frequently, and in small amounts, and the urine has a putrid odor, and/or if blood is present in her urine, call your vet immediately. She will need to be tested for bacteria and administered antibiotics.
Walking a girl dog is simpler as they do not have the instinctual need to mark their territory. While they will want to explore the many smells and aromas in your neighborhood, they will not have to visit each tree, pole or fire hydrant.
Girl dogs have a tendency to nurture by ‘grooming’ their owners. They want to lick your skin clean. Their licks are strong, thorough and precise, as if they were cleaning one of their own puppies. This is part of their instinctual nature to keep their family clean.
I believe that the biggest obstacle to making the decision to get a boy or a girl is to ‘know thy self’.
I have learned so much about myself as a puppy mom.
I have discovered the challenge of having a boy dog in my life - he consistently is ‘marking’ areas in my apartment. I have also discovered that I have little patience on our walks. He needs to visit every vertical structure while I am ready to finish our business and get home. But these are my problems not his. He has helped me become more patient and loving.
I have also discovered the challenge of having a girl dog - the complications with her body. The “heat” cycles were not disruptive, but both of my girls have suffered from urinary tract infections. While the diagnosis and treatment are expensive, it is the fact that they cannot tell me when they are sick that is challenging and like any puppy mother, I feel terrible when any of my babies are ill. This has made me a more observant person, better able to recognize behavioral changes, and act on the problems rather than just react to them.
As I have experience with both sexes, I can attest that while there are biological and instinctual needs (and sometimes problems), Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, be it a boy or a girl, will bring joy to your life.