My female is very velcroey with strong pack drive. No i dependence with her! Also, nobody can come near our front door without her knowing and letting them know she is there. She hasn't had to protect me, so don't know about that. I suspect in the house, maybe; outside, she would likely turn tail and run. She's very dog reactive, peoe, not so much. Although her presence one keeps peie on their toes.
Never had male shepherd, but other breeds that were male. She seems a little more dominant and demanding than my other dogs.
I like both sexes, although I like the looks of the male. This was my first feme in many years, i forgot how spunky they are, but because of the way she is with other dogs, I'd likely get a male if I added another one.