Should you get a male or a female? Which makes the better pet? How do you decide?
When people talk about gender variations, generally they are talking about intact dogs. In the Havanese, many people find intact males easier to live with than intact females as the males are generally more easygoing, mellow and laid back as well as gentler, calmer, and more patient than their intact female counterparts. Some people find males to be better with children as they may also be more tolerant, affectionate and playful. Some males also have a higher will to please which in turn may make them easier to train. On the other hand, males may also exhibit sexual behaviours such as wanderlust, arousal, mounting, and marking. While these tend to be more of an issue if there are females in season nearby, it is important to note that in some dogs, these behaviours persist all the time. Though many people think that sexual behaviour is exclusively male domain, in reality, intact females often mount and mark much more than the males do. Intact females are generally more moody and emotional than the males, and also more dominant and demanding of time and attention but they can also be quick-witted and sassy with a quirky sense of humour which some individuals find very endearing. In intact females, heat cycles will be a regular issue to deal with. Fluctuating hormone levels contribute to mood swings and emotional ups and downs following heat cycles, breeding, pregnancies, or whelping. These same hormone fluctuations can cause significant coat loss so the females at these times may not appear their best. Some show enthusiasts prefer intact males as they are always in-coat and more predictably even tempered (unless one of the lovelies nearby is in season). Size wise, both are about the same though males may be slightly larger and sturdier built than females.
If your Havanese is to be a family pet or companion dog then in all likelihood it will be spayed or neutered which removes many of the above behaviours associated with hormones in both genders. In Altered Havanese, the differences tend to be much less pronounced. Spayed and neutered Havanese make the best family companions. Overall, whether altered or not, Havanese males may be more loving and easy going while females may be more demanding and temperamental. This is not to say that one makes a better pet than the other but simply that this is a generality and something to keep in mind when evaluating puppies for a suitable family companion, particularly if children are involved. Of course, individual differences within a litter or between breedlines may also contribute to temperament variations in both sexes. Some people have a personal preference and gravitate towards one sex over the other for assorted reasons. If you have a preference, by all means discuss it with your breeder. Havanese are all very sweet but also very individual. Each is precious and wonderful and deserves the best home possible.