Male vs Female
Which one makes a better pet? Which one is easier to train? Which one is less maintenance and potentially less expensive to raise?
The truth is, they both make awesome pets, but there are some ups and downs to owning each. I will use this page to go over some of those things.
The environment in which the dog is raised and trained in will be a huge factor that affects the behavior of a dog. Affection, aggression, and confidence are all factors that will be affected based on how the puppy is raised not only with the breeder, but with their new home as well. I do not find behavior to be entirely different with each gender, rather with each dog individually.
Both genders will be able to learn readily, but maturity can affect training as a dog grows. It is common for a female dog to reach maturity faster than a male. Depending on what you are training in, this can be a factor to consider. It does not mean that females are smarter than males, it only means that females may be easier to train than a male of the same age- however it is important to remember that it also comes down to the consistency of the trainer because I have seen males from litters succeed at a faster rate than their sisters with quality training.
An female dog will come into heat approximately every six to eight months, so that will be almost twice a year for some dogs. During their heat cycle, the female dog will bleed out of their vagina for up to two weeks, which can be messy. Then after the bleeding slows is when the fertile and ovulation window actually starts so this is important to continue keeping them away from unaltered males for this 1-3 week window. This can also be a lure for unwanted male dogs, so she will needs to be locked inside during this-cycle with supervised outside sessions for up to 28 days. Because it has been suggested by multiple studies to avoid early spay/neuter, your female puppy will likely go through one to two heat cycles before turning 12 months, which is the minimum age we recommend spaying your puppy.
An intact male dog can sometimes be dominant and high spirited without proper training. As he gets older he will have the urge to mark his "area", which can include the house. This is absolutely trainable, but it is easy to let this get out of hand if it is not trained early. In his first year, he may also have the urge to roam if he smells a female in heat. Because it has been suggested by multiple studies to avoid early spay/neuter, your male puppy will likely go through the stage where he starts to mark on objects around the age of 8- 12 months.
Females will be more expensive to spay, while a male is usually cheaper to neuter due to the surgery differences.
Males are usually bigger in size than females, and will generally grow at a bit of a faster rate.
Both genders tend to have the same amount of energy, and that can be controlled with training and proper physical and mental stimulation.
In golden retrievers, both genders tend to be very companionable and easy to get along with providing training and socialization is provided appropriately. It has been my experience that either gender makes a great family dog or sport dog, it will ultimately come down to what gender you feel will fit your family best.