GSDs weren't even on my radar until last year. I'd been a professional pet sitter for a few years and took care of several of them, but they never really made an impression on me. I think from that experience I thought they were kind of low-energy and boring (the ones I took care of were, not sure if it was breeding or what). I have always owned Australian Cattle Dogs and I love the high-energy, challenging nature of that breed. In retrospect I'm not sure why I thought GSDs were low energy, considering their popularity as police and protection dogs, but it wasn't something I'd put too much thought into because I had "my" breed already.
Then about a year ago someone dumped a young, untrained, unsocialized GSD in the desert outside my house. I was living on a ranch near a popular trail head on BLM land; I saw the car speeding out and a few seconds later the dog crested the hill. My heelers ran out and started barking at him and he changed course to come to my farm. I was pretty sure he was dumped, he was in good health but intact and had no idea what to do with himself--not even housebroken, no idea how to interact with other dogs, scared of the world... So I spent about a month looking for owners just in case, but of course no one showed up, so I started looking for a home for him.
I had a lot of trouble doing it. I couldn't find a suitable home no matter what. I finally did find one about 8 miles away from where I lived, and I drove him over there. As soon as they let him out to eliminate, he jumped their 5-foot fence and showed up at my house again a few hours later. Needless to say they didn't want him after that. At the same time, I started really liking him and began to realize that he's one of the coolest dogs I've worked with. The more I read about the breed, too, the more I think he's a fairly typical good example. His temperament is amazing, even with his poor start in life he's become bold and confident, protective in appropriate situations without being reactive (for example, we were running once and he spotted some guys lurking suspiciously in the bushes off the trail up ahead--he immediately stepped in front of me to block my movement in that direction and gave a little warning grump, but once I assessed it and realized they were just homeless and camping out for the night he resumed running beside me, keeping an eye on them but not reacting otherwise). Now we're doing SAR work and he constantly amazes me at how clever he is.
Anyway, he's just an amazing dog. I still love my heelers and I'm undecided about whether I'll get another GSD in the future (though probably), but Hector is such an amazing partner that I want to learn as much about the breed as I can.
So that's a very long story about how one super cool dog attracted me to the breed.