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I've been researching breeders in my area and am looking into getting a puppy very soon. However, I'm always met with the question "male or female"? The German Shepherds I grew up with were all female, and my fiance has always had female dogs in his family (non-GSD) but I personally do not necessarily have a preference. I have to imagine it has to do with the specific puppy's personality, but I'm wondering why a person prefers one sex over the other. Is there a generalized difference between genders?

also, i'm wondering, if you have/had a preference, what makes you want one over the other?
 

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I've always had male dogs, I've wanted a girl, I've heard stories about how girls will take in children and protect them as their own, but I have never had a female GSD before. I loved all of my males to death. They just as excellent with children, and they are such hams! They always have a goofy grin, or puzzled expression. Boys are bigger than girls though. There's not much of a difference in my opinion.
 

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Prior to Cooper and Ava, I have only had one other dog. That was my childhood pet, a female Doberman that we had for 13 years. With that being said, when we got Cooper I was okay with getting a male but knew in the back of my mind that the next dog I would want a female simply b/c of having such wonderful memories of my female Doberman for so many wonderful years. So, that is really the main reason why I got a female. I did look into getting a male GSD but everyone kept telling me not to get a male GSD since I've never owned a GSD before. And, then when I saw Ava, I knew she was meant to be mine.
 

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Quote: Is there a generalized difference between genders?
Mmmm, beside the obvious?


I can never make up my mind which I like best, so I have one of each..

I don't know why anyone would say not to get a male. We had a wonderful big male when the children were little and he watched over them like a mother hen!

Find a good, responsible breeder and tell him/her what you want then let the breeder guide your choice.

good luck
 

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I honestly think that every dogs personality is different and that gender really doesn't have much to do with it.

My first dog was male.. When he passed and I was ready for a new pup, I thought I'd get another male. I'm not sure why - perhaps I was just afraid of change. But I ended up with a female. I completely fell in love. Her personality was perfect! I'd now always choose a dog based on personality waaaay before gender or looks.
 

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I have a West German Working Lines male and my BF has a female (his sister). He's about 15 months and she's about 5 months. What I've heard is that females tend to be what they call "sharper" (I understand that to mean a dog that reacts quickly to environmental stimuli) which seems to be true at least in our case. Our female is much quicker to bark at unfamilar things, while our male may look but just goes back to what he is doing. I have heard people say that this is why females can make better guard dogs, because they will alert more quickly. Of course I'm sure this is just a generalization and every dog is an individual.

Personally I prefer a male, but I think that has more to do with me, and less to do with the actual dog. My male seems to me to be more of a lovey goofball. Our female is more serious in what she does, she seems a little smarter because she's a little more intense when she learning something. My BF has always had females.

Here's some information from the Leerburg site (http://www.leerburg.com/pickpup.htm) that I read when I was first getting a puppy (we were getting a dog for Schutzhund but I think some of this still applies). I thought it was interesting.

A Male or a Female?

This answer to this question obviously varies. Here are some things to consider:

Females are smaller, they average 60 to 70 pounds, males are 80 to 90 pounds. The females are a little easier to live with as a house dog.


Females never (or very seldom) get dominant.


Females are usually easier for novice trainers and handlers to control. They usually want to please their handlers a little more. So if you have a spouse that is not keen on a big dog in the family, it is probably a better idea to go with a female over a male.


Females come in season 2 times a year. On the other hand a male is going to have real distraction problem every time he smells a bitch in season.


As a general rule males are tougher. Females can do Schutzhund work just fine, but I have only seen 2 or 3 females in my life that could do good police service work. By that I mean patrol work.


If you want to start breeding, you always buy a female, never a male. You can take your female to a top stud dog for the price of a stud fee. This is usually a dog that you would never be able to own for yourself. The odds of buying a male pup that will grow up to be a super stud dog are slim to none.


If you need normal personal protection from a dog a female is just fine, they can be trained to bark at strangers. My feeling is that any intruder that comes into your home uninvited and comes through a barking German Shepherd is a very bad person that will need to be stopped by the police and or a gun.


If you want a patrol dog for service work, buy a male.


If you want to compete at the top level of Schutzhund, buy a male. Very few females make it to the top levels of the sport.


As a general rule, males have a harder temperament than females. This means they can take a firmer correction without going down in drive.


Females do not lift their leg on the shrubs and flower beds in your yard.
 

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Interesting bits from Leerburg, much seems to be the opposite of what I have heard/read about gender generalization.

I hope some folks with much more actual gender experience come along
 

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Quote: Females never (or very seldom) get dominant.
I really disagree there. In fact, right now my 64 lb female dominates my 85lb male, and he was alpha pup in his litter for sure!

Quote:Females are usually easier for novice trainers and handlers to control.
Unless they are unable to deal with the greater size, I'd say the males are easier.

My females have been far more 'independent' and quick to react to surroundings, other dogs etc.. To put it in human terms, my females are more apt to argue with me .

My males have been easier and ready to 'take directions'.

I just know that while my boy's stature impresses people, I'd rather have my female with me in a dark alley.

I still say, find a reputable breeder, tell them what you want, what experience, or lack there of you've had, and what you wish to do with this dog.

Then, listen to the breeder and make your choice on temperament not sex.
 

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if you can't decide male or female...simply choose a puppy based on his/her individual merits. Should make finding the right one easier I would think!
 

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Hi,

I have a female. She is very sweet and loving.

I have noticed she is a bit "territorial". When she is crated in the car, she puts on quite a "show". We went to get gas and she was SHAKING the car. Did I mention she was in her crate? (She was coming in to her first heat cycle.) The attendant mentioned I would never have a problem with anyone trying to get into my car with her in there.

This is the same female that wags her tail so hard when she sees people, I often think her whole back end will fall off. This female also prefers toddlers and small children to adults.

When ever I take her for a walk with the other "small' members of my family, she keeps and eye on them. If one gets ahead of us or behind us - she is always turning to make sure they are ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all of your thoughts! My response to the breeders has been that I don't have a preference, I am more concerned about health, a good fit, and temperment. Although, many breeders have the litter called for before they are born or able to come home. Most of them work on a reservation list by sex. I just can't get myself to say one way or the other... I have an easier time coming up with male names i like than female, but that is NO reason to pick a companion! This is one of the reasons I have been looking at older puppies... I just want to get a great dog and I'm willing to wait to pick on temperment rather than just a gender! I guess i'll have to keep looking to see who comes along
 

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i've always had males. i never wanted to deal with the cycle in females plus the males tend to be larger. you can't go wrong with either.
 

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I sent you a PM
Good luck
 

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Originally Posted By: JKlatsky My male seems to me to be more of a lovey goofball. Our female is more serious in what she does, she seems a little smarter because she's a little more intense when she learning something.
I have had the same experience. Males seem to tend to be "goofy", while females can be more serious. That is probably why I prefer females. I really don't want a dog that acte like a goofy puppy its whole life. I have had 4 male and 3 female GSDS. I get along MUCH better with the females. (Maybe because I am more "serious", rather than silly and "goofy" myself.)
 

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I grew up and lived with males most of my life,,I always loved their goofy, seemingly velcro-y nature..I then got a female quite a few years ago, my life was 'changed" LOL..

She most likely wasn't a dog for just a family pet situation,,to much energy,,demanding,,smart as a whip, I LOVED the challenge and her work/play ethic..

Right now I have 1 male gsd, 1 male aussie and a female aussie, I am hopefully getting a new female puppy (gsd) and I can't wait..

I love my male dogs, find they are a bit 'slower' in maturing, but very easy to live with mine have been easy trainers. The girls tho, in my case,,seem to pick up things much faster, and rule the roost :))) (not in a bad way) maybe a little more independent ?? but again not in a bad way,,

I wouldn't so much go with gender as I would individual temperament. But there is nothing like having a big lug of a male gsd.:))))

Just my experience
diane
 

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I have 2 males, I guess because we always had male dogs growing up. I have never owned a female so I cant compare, but if I was to get another dog and fell in love with a female I would take her home. Personality and how you connect with the dog is what matters. When I went to get my first puppy (Meb) I always tell everyone that he chose me instead of me choosing him. After playing with all the pups for awhile he just crawled up in my lap and seemed to say "yep, I want to go home with you". I had to wait one week to actually pick him up (longest week of my life) and when I finally did he was so happy to see me, he just knew that he was mine. My Mom had him on the leash as I went inside to finish the paperwork and as soon as I came out he ran over to me like "OK, I am ready-lets get out of here". No kidding.
I guess we were meant to be together!!
 

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I always liked male dogs because they're bigger, and honestly 'doofier'.

I have a female that I wasn't even planning on obtaining....and I wouldn't trade her for the world.

My males would jump at the chance to roam....Reich will not leave the yard without me. She's also never lifted her leg to anything in my house. I have had male fosters do that...and HATED IT.

Her other characteristics I believe are directly related to her individual personality, and not to her sex.

One thing you may want to keep in mind, if nothing else is leading you one way or another....it is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper to neuter a dog than to spay a bitch.

I spend less than $200 to neuter, vaccinate and microchip my last dog.
Reich's vet quoted me double that to spay her.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Originally Posted By: Reichsmom

One thing you may want to keep in mind, if nothing else is leading you one way or another....it is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper to neuter a dog than to spay a bitch.
Interesting!

I have heard, too, that males tend to be "goofier" but I don't know anyone with a male GSD to confirm that
 
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