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View Full Version : Need pros & cons of having two females instead male & female



GraciesMom
20th May 2011, 04:23 PM
Some of you know that we have been looking for a male Cavvie to complete our family... preferably one that is at least age 1 and not really a puppy. We are honest that doing the puppy thing again at this time might kill us! :-D

Anyway, we have had some leads on male dogs that have not work out great, but there is one option still a possibility. However, we just learned of another female dog age 3.5 that will need to be rehomed due to family issues. She is from a great breeder and health checks will be done. The cost is also very reasonable.

So I would love to hear the challenges of getting another female as a playmate versus a male. What are we likely dealing with so that I can decide if we need to keep waiting to find a male.

sunshinekisses
20th May 2011, 04:47 PM
With this breed you really don't find a problem housing multiple same sex. They usually get along great. In another breed I might try to steer you away from owning same sex dogs or at least having an age difference far enough apart that one won't challenge the other. But cavalier temperament just doesn't have that issue.

My problem would be which girl wears the pink bow and which wears the pink poke-a-dot bow. :)

Cathy T
20th May 2011, 04:59 PM
My problem would be which girl wears the pink bow and which wears the pink poke-a-dot bow. :)


LOL

There shouldn't be any problems having two females.

GraciesMom
20th May 2011, 05:04 PM
That is just toooooo funny about the bows. My hubby will not let me put any bows on Gracie anyway, but collars and leashes could be trouble.

Brian M
20th May 2011, 05:08 PM
Hi Deb

As you probably know all my four are girls .The intention was after my ginger cat passed on to get a puppy so we had to decide between a Pug ,Westie or Cavalier so fortunately Dawn pushed us towards the Cavaliers horraaaaaay :rolleyes:, after a short search with absolutely no knowledge of health issues Poppy joined us then six months later Daisy then after another six months Rosie and all as puppies .Summer of 2009 I finally persuaded Dawn to allow a fourth, and of course it had to be a B & T to complete the set, and now being fully aware of all their problems and with help and guidance from Margaret C I found a breeder near Glasgow who had a B & T female from two A Grade parents and with all the necessary health papers ,so after upping my price offer a few times Lily came to join us aged 11 months .After the initial cold shoulder from the others she has fitted in perfect as all Cavaliers do and of course each has their own independent character and each of them act and behave as TopGirl, especially our Daisy .:D

GraciesMom
20th May 2011, 05:16 PM
I was hoping you would weigh in! I am contacting the person who has the dog to see she is still available.

Jasper and Holly
21st May 2011, 02:13 AM
Look forward to photos soon of whatever you get and I'm sure they will love each other no matter what sex they are.

SuzRN
21st May 2011, 05:28 AM
There is 3 years difference in my girls. I think it took a little longer than some for them to get close. Vivian is definatly the dominant at home, but they are a bonded pair now, sleeping close and grooming each other. No problems here, go for it.

anniemac
21st May 2011, 07:02 AM
Hi Deb

As you probably know all my four are girls .The intention was after my ginger cat passed on to get a puppy so we had to decide between a Pug ,Westie or Cavalier so fortunately Dawn pushed us towards the Cavaliers horraaaaaay :rolleyes:, after a short search with absolutely no knowledge of health issues Poppy joined us then six months later Daisy then after another six months Rosie and all as puppies .Summer of 2009 I finally persuaded Dawn to allow a fourth, and of course it had to be a B & T to complete the set, and now being fully aware of all their problems and with help and guidance from Margaret C I found a breeder near Glasgow who had a B & T female from two A Grade parents and with all the necessary health papers ,so after upping my price offer a few times Lily came to join us aged 11 months .After the initial cold shoulder from the others she has fitted in perfect as all Cavaliers do and of course each has their own independent character and each of them act and behave as TopGirl, especially our Daisy .:D

Brian,

Daisy always makes me smile. Deb and I were talking about you and your beautiful girls. You take amazing photos or maybe its just who is in the picture :) I love hearing about them and their personalities.

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Karlin
21st May 2011, 07:45 PM
Cavaliers do tend to get along whatever the sex, but having only females does tend to be a risk for them having issues and is increased by each female added in. Part of the issue of same sex dogs is that problems tend to come up when they are around adolescence and then may not resurface til they are a lot older, 7 or 8 for example. With any same sex pair, one is the more dominant but as the dominant one gets older and weaker, fights can start as the second dog starts to challenge. So problems no one is seeing when their dogs are age 2 or 4 may become difficult to manage issues a few years on.

The chances of these issues are hugely minimised by having a pair of opposite sex. As others have said, the breed does have the advantage of getting along well so more often then would happen with many breeds, there are no or few issues. But most of us with two of the same sex WILL deal with some fights and issues around the dogs challenging each other. Trainers will note these confrontations are most typically between some unneutered males, and between females generally, neutered or not. I know people in rescue who will not home a second female dog to a home with a single female, for this reason.

Amongst my five, I've never had any issues with the girls, but the boys, who are close in age, have spats and these have become more frequent with age. That adds a management problem of understanding what sets a pair off -- almost always there is a context. I've no doubt with mine,part of the problem is they are very close in age.

I homed opposite sexes by preference and would tend to split apart same sex pairs and home separately which often helps bring out the personality of one of the same sex pair as often one ends up being quite subdued in same sex pairs.

Overall I wouldn't worry a huge amount if you feel you want this female as risk of serious issues is low, but you do need to be aware that while all dogs are different, there is a good reason that trainers widely advise the second dog be of the opposite sex (and as breeders and trainers say, there's a good reason why 'bitch' has a pejorative meaning).

GraciesMom
21st May 2011, 08:07 PM
As it turns out, the female dog we had a chance to get is not an option anymore. Another male has surfaced that we are investigating... so the search continues for new family member.

sunshinekisses
22nd May 2011, 03:59 PM
I am so sorry...it is hard to go through ups and downs of finding a new pet for your family. Good luck with your continued journey.

Love my Cavaliers
22nd May 2011, 05:43 PM
Just to throw another opinion in - my two girls are like velcro. They are half sisters, thirteen months apart, 7.5 and 8.5 years old. The two that fight are Madison, the younger female and Oz, the younger male, and it is always right after breakfast if it's going to happen at all. I stay in the kitchen with them while they eat and separate Madison and Oz so that if there is a real fight I can break it up immediately. Madison lays in wait for Oz to finish his food and if he walks by her, she attacks him. He just blows it off and doesn't engage with her at all. He has learned now though not to walk by her, but to just finish his food and hop up into the closest chair without crossing her path. She sometimes looks very disappointed that she doesn't get her daily aggression out on him. Other than that one time though, they all seem to get along.

Karlin
22nd May 2011, 06:08 PM
I honestly wouldn't prioritise this issue, but it is good to have it be part of a consideration. All else being equal though, I would go for adding a male for the reasons I noted before. However, the issue is really going to be whether the individual dogs get along, and whether you find you like having two rather than one as there's more work and cost (speaking as one who paid two vet bills in one week for unexpected situations!). I don't think there is any real pro and con to having males as opposed to females. I personally prefer males for general and minor personality reasons but each individual is different and it isn't that big of a deal.

I'd also keep in mind that trainers generally feel a second dog shouldn't be added till the existing dog is mature, 18-24 months and well trained. That IMHO is a far more critical part of the decision than male or female with cavaliers. Many breeders won't home a puppy into a home where the existing dog is younger than 18 months.

I can say from experience that I added a second dog too early. Jaspar was about 9-10 months and really deserved and needed another 8-12 months just as a solo dog. I was too impatient and that ended up not being fair on either dog for many reasons. I am sorry I didn't give Jaspar that time, and that Leo (about the same age as jaspar) got a lot less time as I was still trying to also work with Jaspar.

GraciesMom
22nd May 2011, 07:13 PM
So Gracie would be about age 14 months. I agree with Karlin that the key is that they get along... we have an agreement that we can test this out for several weeks to see how it goes. This woman is one of the best regarded breeders and actually has MRIed her dogs. This male has been shown but does not enjoy the frequent travel of a show dog. He is 3 years old and also has started carrying his tail too high (which cracks me up not being a show dog person... I like the high tails!)

Gracie has completed all four training courses (4-6 classes each) and done very well. But like all dogs, more training is good!

I do understand the financial issues too. The breeder has already shared all of his medical information and his vet has permission to talk to me as well. He has not had any illnesses, but did get treated for a scrape a year ago.

This are all things we are considering...so will see how it goes. We will not meet him for at least 3 weeks and then it would be several more before we would get him as he is already in 3 more shows.

anniemac
23rd May 2011, 01:35 AM
So Gracie would be about age 14 months. I agree with Karlin that the key is that they get along... we have an agreement that we can test this out for several weeks to see how it goes.

I am glad that you can test it out and not commit. Think about all the opportunities that have come, there will be others so the most important thing is to use this time and be honest with yourself and the breeder. One reason people come to you is because they know you will make a good home and personally I know how much you care for gracie. I would want to live with you :)

On the serious side, forget financial issues, it was tough for me to get used to walking 2 dogs this weekend. I know that's small but I really don't know how brian does it. When I would keep kennedy, it was tough with feeding etc. Just tell her and I'm sure she will understand BUT be firm that you really just want to see how it goes and what's best. Your opinion, thoughts, research are most important.


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GraciesMom
23rd May 2011, 01:57 PM
I have will have to continue to be clear about this being a test... so we will see what happens. I agree that other options may come up too that may be an even better fit. I do think a slightly younger male would be better! :p

waldor
23rd May 2011, 03:19 PM
FWIW, when we added a second dog to our family, 20+ years ago, I was advised to get the opposite gender of the existing family dog. This avoids any dominance issues (although that is no guarantee if both are type-A dogs). It worked for us.

Our Sophie is quite the diva/princess, and she does not like our son & DIL's female dog. I've never seen Sophie growl and snarl, except when Belle is over here and gets too physically close to Sophie (like butt-sniffing or wanting to engage in rowdy play).

It might be that Belle is a large dog, 55-lbs, but I also think it's a dominance/jealously issue, even though their pup is very sweet, submissive and respectful of Sophie. (Their Belle is the only large dog allowed to play with the smaller dogs at doggie-daycare)

We always praise our Sophie when she is kind to Belle, but Sophie can be a real b!tch, has her boundaries and is quite firm about them. Yet she is sweet as a truckload of sugar to people. I can't help but think that things might be easier if the kids had gotten a male dog.

Sophie is not keen on other dogs anyway, as they don't pet and hug her, so she mostly ignores them despite being socialized with dogs in the neighborhood. She is definitely a "people" dog. If we added a second dog, it would definitely be a male.

Brian M
23rd May 2011, 03:43 PM
Hi Annie

Brian manages walking all four with no problem at all .Firstly because we have double leads for when they are on lead I take Lily and Rosie and Luke has Poppy and Daisy but most important of all Brian manages because he drags Luke (who will be 16 on 29th August ) with him on each and every walk ,so if any do a runner I just shout Lukeeeeeeeee go get her .And as Luke doesn't read this I can also say he hasn't had his head turned yet by the fairer sex but when that happens I suppose I will just about cope and have done on a few occasions but I know I will struggle so for now his head is occupied with his exams ,his revision and his video games to relax and his Shotokan for exercise and to block out all else.:D

Love my Cavaliers
23rd May 2011, 06:02 PM
I, on the other hand, do not have a Luke at home and end up taking my dogs for walks two by two. It just seems easier that way. I get to train them more easily and
I get more exercise - although sometimes I am bone tired. I take the two most difficult ones together - Oz and Maddie - because they need the same type of work. Riley and Oliver are a dream to walk. I've tried every combination and you might think that the easy ones would wear off on the difficult ones, but no way. They're learning though. It only takes about three steps out the front door now before they settle down and we can have a quiet walk.

anniemac
23rd May 2011, 06:07 PM
I, on the other hand, do not have a Luke at home and end up taking my dogs for walks two by two. It just seems easier that way. I get to train them more easily and
I get more exercise - although sometimes I am bone tired. I take the two most difficult ones together - Oz and Maddie - because they need the same type of work. Riley and Oliver are a dream to walk. I've tried every combination and you might think that the easy ones would wear off on the difficult ones, but no way. They're learning though. It only takes about three steps out the front door now before they settle down and we can have a quiet walk.

Well I'm glad its not just me. Tangled leashes plus you know boys and peeing! Walks would take forever. I'm sure it takes practice and it did get easier but I was embarrassed walking two this weekend. I must have looked like an idiot.

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anniemac
23rd May 2011, 06:09 PM
I would add, towards the end it would have been harder with ella and another. I moved because she would just stop. Sometimes I would carry her and it would be impossible for me to handle her SM days and another. That's just me.

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