Use the right tool for the job. If the dog will be in cold water and swimming, get a water dog. I have a lab and a GSP, and the earlier post is correct. GSPs swim, but they look like a paddlewheel compared to labs, chessies, etc. And I think it is cruel and unusual punishment to put a “shorthaired” dog, with no undercoat into freezing situations. They are made to run, so keep them in the upland fields when it is cold.
As for the male vs female thing, I simply prefer the females. I think they are a little mellower and easier to handle. As for drive, I have never had a dog, male or female, lose drive or give up. I am done, waaaaay before they are. In fact, a separate post that would be interesting would be to find out how many relatively severe injuries have occurred to dogs that were not discovered until the hunt was over because the dogs just don’t slow or give up. Dogs are amazing creatures.
And heat cycles and leg humping can be cured by your vet for both males and females, and if we are honest with ourselves, we have no business breeding dogs anyway.