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We feel the individual temperament is most important. The basic differences are that the girls love you and the boys are in love with you. Boys tend to follow you around more, the girls are a little more independent. The girls tend to like to sit on your lap more than the boys, yet the boys want to be near you at all times. Both are wonderful, so the bottom line, one of each is perfect! Actually, the best way to choose is to go with whichever individual temperament suits you best. This is far more important than sex although if you already have a dog of one sex, it is generally best to get the opposite sex. Opposites typically get along better.
It is better to get one first, then add another once the first one is trained. The first will help train the second. Littermates are not recommended. Training two pups at once can be very challenging. Two are great if they are spaced apart. Click here to read an excellent article on it.
We do not ship puppies, however, we are more than happy to meet you at the airport. We don't feel it is safe to ship in cargo, since once they are out of your hands, they are out of your control. It is possible that they can have a bad experience that could affect their temperament. I know some breeders say they carefully ship, unfortunately, it isn't possible to control that. The other concern is climate control in cargo, there have been tragic incidences of pets dying in transit. The only safe way for them to travel is in an airline bag at your feet. If you don't live close to us and it isn't possible to come, I would be more than happy to recommend another reputable breeder for you.
No, Cotons need their people around. They are a very dependent breed, that is both their greatest strength and greatest weakness. Because they are bred for companionship, they are very attached to their people. They can not be well adjusted if left alone all day. If trained to be alone, they can be left a maximum of 3 to 4 hours. Young puppies can't be left that long. If you work all day, this is not the breed for you, unless they can go to a good, safe doggy daycare.
Yes, we typically do. It is of benefit that the pups meet a lot of different people in order to be well adjusted. We just ask that our visitors wear clean clothes and not visit any dogs or dog parks before visiting. It isn't healthy for the pups to never experience the outside world as well. A totally secluded sterile environment hurts their natural immunity, just like children.
We take socialization very seriously. We make sure puppies have a lot of visitors, typically the 'in town' families come once a week for a visit. We borrow our friend's children and make sure they meet a variety of men, women and children of all age groups. I also take them on a few field trips to help get them used to the car and going out. We provide them with a variety of toys, including tunnels. We make sure we expose them to different sounds. I make an attempt at being noisy, which is always a little tricky since I'm fairly quiet, ;-D. I also make sure they experience different types of surfaces, eat out of different containers, etc. I would say socialization would be one of our greatest strengths.
Allergies are a tough one. They are considered hypoallergenic, however, I find a lot of people are still allergic. I always test out allergies before going ahead, just to be on the safe side.
Cotons typically live for 13 to 15 years.