This is one of the most commonly asked questions that we encounter as breeders. Which is better for a family? With children? Which is more protective? Or easier to train?
Choosing between a male or female dog is strictly a matter of preference. From our experience, I will say that males are more protective of their surrounding area, while females are more protective of their family (your family).
Here are two scenarios to illustrate two main differences between males and females:
1.) Let's say that you have a husband and wife laying in bed. The husband gets up at 3 in the morning, looks out the window, sees a car parked down at the end of the driveway. His first response is going to be to look around, listen for movement, etc. Then, he may reach over into his bedside table, grab his gun, wake up his wife and tell her to call the police. After that, he is likely to go through the house, check on the kids, and then wait for the police.
Now, let's say we reverse the roles - the wife gets up in the mdidle of the night and sees the car. First thing she does is yell, "Honey, get up! There is someone in the driveway!" This doesn't have anything to do with the wife's self confidence level. She may be VERY self confident, this is simply the way most females respond.
The same is true for shepherds. The male might look out the window, see a strange car turning around in the driveway, and do nothing more than a slight rumble in his throat (As long as the strangers do not enter his territory). The female will see the car start to pull in the driveway and immediately start barking. This does not mean the female is less secure, it is just how they tend to handle things.
2.) The other difference that I see in males and females is their social behavior. Let's say that you have a husband and wife who a re going to the airport to meet their friends that they haven't seen since high school graduation. The wife sees her friend and says, "Hey girl! How are you?! You look great! How long has it been? 8-9 years? How are the kids? They have to be 5 and 6 now aren't they? Goodness how time flies! How is your new job going? Do you like it? .......blah, blah, blah..........blah,blah......"
The husband sees his friend and says, "Hey man, how ya doin? It's been a while."
Now translate this to shepherds. The male shepherd is generally lower keyed. They greet you, they love attention but they come for petting and will continue to sit with you, but when you say "that is enough", they generally will go and find something to entertain themselves. When you come in and sit down to watch TV, they come to get some attention and then generally will go and sit down on their bed.
The female shepherd will also greet you with excitement and enthusiasm and when you say "that is enough", instead of going over and laying on their bed, they want to get up on the couch with you. They seem to be more touchy-feely. They are like a wife when you are trying to watch a championship football game, "I missed you today! Let's talk!"
Now, keep in mind, those are some general differencees that we have noticed, but it ultimately comes down to individual temperent and personality AND how that temperment is developed in their new home environment.
The German Shepherd Male
Generally, the German shepherd male is larger in size and more masculine in structure
The size and the masculinity of the male, most often is intimidating to strangers.
German shepherd males are generally more territorial of their home and property. The marking of the territory can be a problem. How-ever, if trained properly, the problem can be controlled (Neutering may help lighten this problem).
They will go further to explore their territory.
Tend to be more independent, which sometimes leads to exploring, or "wandering off", as some call it.
The German Shepherd Female
The female German shepherd should be smaller in size and feminine in structure. You should be able to recognize her gender from a distance.
The female may be smaller in size, but the size can be of advantage in her working ability and agility.
Female German shepherd have the "pack" instinct. They will be protective of their family more so then males. This instinct will sometimes cause her to be jealous among the other dogs in the household.
The female dog is Ideal for a family, will protect her family (her pack)with a much stronger desire then the male.
- Can often be easier to train.