While this may seem like an obvious question, in some cases the answer to "Is it a boy or a girl?" may not be so easy when it comes to some puppies. Within the canine species, as with almost any other type of animal, there are sometimes genetic mix-ups that result in congenital problems in sexual differentiation.
This condition, known as hermaphrodism, occurs when an animal is born with both male and female sexual organs. They may not be functional in the sense that the organs may not allow the dog to reproduce, but they can be present. Often hermaphrodism results in sterility in the dog and typically vets recommend both spaying and neutering to prevent any further complications that can occur in the rare case that the dog may conceive. Since hermaphrodism is a genetic mistake, there is a good chance that the puppy will also have other congenital conditions that may develop later. [...]