Breeder Perceptions of Male vs. Female Personalities

by Joyce Johanson

"You know," I commented to friend and fellow "Lhasa person," "I've been tallying the calls I've been getting for puppies over the last couple years. Guess which sex most callers who want a pet puppy are interested in?" "Females," was her immediate response. (She'd been doing some tallying of her own!)

I commented that I found it strange that people were so adamant about buying girls, especially when they planned to spay them. I also found it strange that most callers have no specific reasons for wanting a female. They just want one. My friend indicated she'd had the same experiences. Then I confessed that I tend to "fall in love" with the males in my litters and actually prefer their personalities. "You're kidding!" was her response, "That always happens to me too."

Now, don't misunderstand me; I love my female Lhasas. They are playful, adorable, loving, cuddly, and all those other wonderful things. BUT, over the past 35-plus years, I have come to know that, as sweet as the female Lhasas are, the boys are sweeter. As my friend and I continued our conversation, we found that our experiences had been the same.

This conversation led to my taking an unofficial poll. I informally questioned Lhasa breeders of at least 10 years because I felt that, having known numerous individuals of both sexes over time, their responses would be more objective. I discovered they all felt as my friend and I felt: that the boys tend to be "sweeter" than the girls. All said they often tended to keep a male whether they "needed him or not" because of his personality and more than once had had to "talk themselves out" of keeping a new male puppy because they already had too many. (By the way, that word "sweeter" was a commonly used adjective by all breeders polled.)

While these breeders have favorite individuals of both sexes, they did make some interesting generalizations about the differences in personalities between the sexes. Breeders pointed out that, in general, female Lhasas seem to have stronger personalities; they tend to take over; they are a little more stubborn, a little more independent, a little more bossy. During my conversations with people, I heard more than one story about a young (under 6 months) female going into a new home where a male Lhasa was already in residence and "taking over" immediately.

Concerning males, I heard that the boys tend to "roll with the punches;" they are more content, more mellow, and more eager to please. (Of course, we all know that if there's a bitch in season, the boys all have sex on their minds and behave accordingly.)

While this unofficial poll carries no earthshaking news for most of you reading this, I think it's interesting to note that so many of us Lhasa breeders agree. That information alone might be put to good use the next time someone you calls to inquire about buying a female puppy and all you have left in the litter are boys!

Please note: Permission to reproduce and/or circulate information in this article is granted. However, the article must be disseminated in its entirety and credit must be given to Joyce Johanson, Joyslyn's Lhasa Apsos. Thanks!

Return to Articles Menu