Ah the boys, the lovable boys! Ask any Weim owner and they will tell you, the boys are categorically oh so sweet, forget those manipulative bitches, the boys are their heart dogs.
So let’s talk about those boys this time. (Read companion piece, Living with Bitches.) One of the main reasons people want girls is because of their smaller size; deterrents cited are usually male marking and leg lifting as well as “boy” behaviors (mounting, aggression, etc).
Leg lifting usually starts some time at around five to eight months old and can be dealt with the same way you did when you house broke him. He sees marking as different from eliminating, but still needs to understand that it is not permitted inside the house. Be vigilant so you can catch it the first time he tries, and punish the behavior. It bears repeating — catch this the very first time he tries it, and you will be miles ahead of the game. A house with marked scents (his own from previous instances or from other dogs) will attract more of the same and make marking harder to break.
If you have chronic problems with your young male lifting his leg in the house, keep him in a crate when you can’t supervise him, and a belly band for those times you want him loose in the house and might not be able to keep a strict eye on him. Properly managed, an intact male can be just as clean in the house as a female, including when living with other intact males.
Yes it’s true, early neutering will sometimes keep a boy from ever lifting his leg, but it doesn’t guarantee the absence of leg-lifting either. Most learn this behavior from watching other boys anyway.
What about mounting and humping behavior? Or fighting and aggression? Turns out, these aren’t really gender specific problems in our experience. Girls can be just as territorial, and as the old wives tale goes, a bitch fight is much much worse than a dog fight. The bitches may do it less frequently but mean business more so than dogs. Males will roam when he smells a bitch in heat blocks away, and this is something that both neutered and intact males will do, with intact males being more motivated to find his lady friend.
Living with intact male dogs is generally not any more of a challenge than living with bitches. And if you want the sweet goofy lovable doof, boys are for you.
Health problems with intact boys usually involve urinary tract infections and prostate enlargement or infections. Accidents in the house with otherwise house broken males should send you to the vet.
Bottom line, both males and females have their pluses and minuses. Why not get one of each gender so you can experience both? 😉
Photo courtesy of SaraRenee Photography & Design.