MALE VERSUS FEMALE
This is probably the most frequently asked question I get asked as a breeder, should you get a male or a female and the answer is anything but easy.
In Australian Shepherds and Miniature American Shepherds, the FEMALE is the dominant gender. That means she is going to have a little bit more attitude than the boys. If she is the only dog in the home, this probably will make no difference at all. If you plan on introducing her to a dog already in the home or plan to add a second dog later on, then this may be more of an issue to consider. Some blood lines are more dominant than others so some litters will pass this trait on more heavily. If you are bringing a female home you have to understand she will expect to be the top dog in the home. If you currently have a male or submissive dog then you shouldn't have any problem with a girl, she will walk in and be the boss, end of story. If you bring home a female aussie first and plan to bring a boy home later, again probably no issues, she will just tell him how
it's going to be. If however you already have a female aussie at home or a dog who is already dominant, then a female may be a challenging choice of gender.
What you will find is that as a puppy your female is sweet and loving and you will think I am pulling your leg, then as your young lady starts to mature, anywhere from 8 months to 18 months you will notice a change, it could be overnight or it could be gradual. She will start to growl more at the other dog, back them into corners, put herself in between the other dog and anything she perceives as hers and challenge them to pass her. Typically if the other dog is also a female or is dominant they will accept the challenge and you will have a nice dog fight on your hands. Sometimes these fights happen once in a while, other times they are several times a day. It depends on the dogs. Sometimes they will just never get along like the best friends you had hoped. A lot of the outcome depends on how it is handled by humans, I usually recommend professional help so you can defuse the situation and not make it worse accidentally. Some people have had multiple females with little to no issues but others have had more than their fair share of headaches.
Cuddle factor. A general rule of thumb is the females are not the most cuddly. They will jump up and say hi but then tend to have what I call the mother hen personality, they have to go room to room and check on everyone, then they will come back and cuddle for a minute and then off they go to check on things again. They feel it is their duty. While you get the odd female who is more cuddly than others, as a general rule the boys are the huge cuddly sucky gender.
Being reserved with strangers is also more dominantly a female trait. They are the gender that will bark more at strangers and take longer to warm up. Again some blood lines are stronger in this trait than others but within a litter the trait will be 10 times more prominent in the females than it is in the males of the same litter. While this might be annoying for one family, it may be the ideal trait for a person living on their own to warn off strangers.
Training and maturity. It goes without saying that the females mature much faster than the males. This means they focus more, pay attention more and take things more seriously. If you are a serious person and are not looking forward to the goofy bouncy antics of a young dog, you may want to choose a female who will grow out of it sooner. If you like the non serious goofy personality and want it to last, get a boy. They both train equally as easy, the biggest differences are when you say sit the female is very military, will sit very upright, proper and correct and take it as a job, where as the boy will sit but will likely have his tongue hanging out of his mouth, his head tilted to the side and will be sitting to the side in a much more relaxed fashion thinking it's all a game.
Within a litter boys tend to be an inch or two taller than their sisters and more solid in substance and coat.
Of course each litter will have different tendencies based on who the parents are.
Tell me about what you want in a dog, what your lifestyle is like and I will help you choose which gender is better for your family.