Monday, February 22, 2010

Male vs. Female

At an Upland Idaho dinner last week I asked a few of the chukar hunters their opinion on male vs. female dogs. As in the field, I was definitely out numbered. Everyone there was a female dog owner. Almost all of my hunting partners own female dogs also. When you look at ads in the paper for hunting dogs, usually the females are going for more than the males. I have only owned two female hunting dogs. A Brittany when I was very young, who died of a colon issue, and a shorthair that I acquired from the dog pound for my 16 year old son for hunting. Although it was my son's dog, she spent most of her time with me, since Doug found girls more fun to chase than a dog. Both dogs were good dogs, but I found them to be my little sweethearts.
Obviously I'm a male dog lover. The only reasons I can come up with is that I always figured males as being tougher than females. I guess when it comes to the dog world I'm a chauvinist. I hunt hard and I expect my dogs to do the same. I don't think I would push a female dog as hard as I do the males. I think a male will work harder for me because he is as stubborn as I am. Because most males are hard headed, they can put up with my B.S. better. Female dogs are just softer in my eyes.
Now, you know why I like males. I'd love to get some input from others why they prefer one or the other. The male thing is just my ego because I've seen some really great female dogs. So far, Ive been told that males pee on everything. I have to agree. Get more than one male in a park, and every tree gets marked at least five times. Another reason is that the males are more aggressive. I don't agree with that one. In fourteen years Tucker got in one fight at the age of 6 months, and that was with another 6 month old male. The reason, no one knew. He snapped at several dogs to let them know he was the alpha dog around me but never even showed any ill temper no matter what dog was in the field with him. I can't say that about the female dogs because I have seen several altercations in the past twenty  years. But that is not a fair assessment since all my hunting partners have females. I would like to hear others comments on that.
Are there more health issues with females than males? I know that twice a year that girl time comes around. I would rather have my dog marking his territory than having to baby sit my little girl at those times. The cure for that is to have them fixed, which I do. But, almost every female dog owner I know wants to have at least one litter from their little girl. I have to agree, that it is fun watching the puppies grow.
More fun though, is watching them bound through the fields learning what they were bred for. That's where my true love begins. Not always, but it seems like it's usually the bold male that ventures out first to test the environment. That's the one I want. Sure we'll butt heads once in a while, but that's what chukar hunting is all about. There's nothing easy about getting to the top of the mountain. Get the dog that will make you get there.
Just my opinion. Any comments to help other chukar hunters make a choice are appreciated.


Karl said...

Good stuff Larry. I would ask if the drive you see in males is just the breeding or because they are males?

As far as the aggressive thing...I used to think males were more aggressive but I've been around a lot of dogs in the last five years and can't say that one sex is more aggressive than the other anymore.

larry szurgot said...

I can't answer honestly on that Karl. I've always seen the parents before I chose my pup and made sure they were hard hunters. Had I chose a female pup there is a chance they would be hard runners also.