Male vs. Female German Shepherd: Which Is Better?

Male and female German Shepherds sitting outdoors

Have trouble deciding whether to get a male or female German Shepherd? Well, you’ve just found the perfect article! Although both genders are great security dogs, there are distinctions between them that should be considered.

In general, a male German Shepherd is a better guard dog than a female due to its larger physique. However, it tends to be more dominating and more difficult to train. On the other hand, the female German Shepherd is smaller and lighter. It’s also gentler and easier to teach.

This article will help you choose between a male and a female German Shepherd by exploring their differences from numerous perspectives. So continue reading to meet your future German Shepherd puppy!

Physical Differences

Male and female German Shepherds lying on the grass side by side

Male German Shepherds

German Shepherd Dogs are sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females differ visibly in color, size, shape, and structure, despite being of the same species or type.

Unlike other Shepherd dog breeds, the German Shepherd, also known as GSD, produces large dogs that are longer than tall, making them more adapted to tough fieldwork.

Male German Shepherds are generally bulkier than females and have a well-proportioned form. An adult German Shepherd male may grow to 75 to 95 pounds and stands 24 to 28 inches tall.

My mother’s male 10-year-old German Shepherd, Fury, really projects the self-assured look of a male German Shepherd. In its younger years, Fury has competed in conformation shows and has won in several.

Typical of high-standard male German Shepherds, Fury’s strength and authority stand out because of its large head, penetrating dark eyes, pointed muzzles, and enormous, upright ears. He also features a firm, level back, emphasizing his muscular frame, and a bushy tail that sweeps downward.

Most frequently, medium-length coats are worn by both sexes. They have a straight exterior coat that appears thick and dense. When compared to the overcoat, the undercoat is thicker and more delicate.

Female German Shepherds

A female German Shepherd stands 23 to 26 inches tall and is within the weight range of 75 to 85 pounds, 10 pounds less than an adult male.

In addition, female GSDs are generally leaner and less muscular than their male counterparts, which matches their pleasant personality traits.

Nonetheless, although female GSDs move more delicately and gracefully than German Shepherd males, this does not restrict them from performing well in sports and agility activities.

Furthermore, as previously stated, there is no difference in the general coat color or pattern between these two sexes.

As originally bred as herding dogs, they are recognizable with the double coat pattern of color.

A girl GSD often has a coat that is mostly black with one secondary color that could be cream, red, tan, or silver. Single-color German Shepherds, on the other hand, have a blue, gray, liver, brown, or white coat.

Temperamental Differences

Male German Shepherds

Both genders are renowned for being loyal, brave, intelligent, and confident. Despite this, male and female German Shepherds still have temperamental differences that set them apart from one another.

A male German Shepherd starts acting aggressively between the ages of three and six months, then increases between the ages of six and two years as sexual maturity and hormonal changes set in.

Male German Shepherds are much more aggressive and territorial than female German Shepherd Dogs. As a result, they can become extremely protective of their loved ones and are ready to risk lives to protect them.

They also frequently exhibit dominance and possessiveness toward their owners. Typically, they go to the person who controls, cares for, and spends the most time with them.

Due to these characteristics, they can be trained for personal protection, hunting, and even as K-9s or police dogs or for military operations.

Female German Shepherds

A female German Shepherd is a suitable choice if you are a first-time dog owner.

Females tend to be more friendly and gentle in general. They are less likely to become territorial around strangers than their male counterparts.

They are also more likely to be committed to and protect the entire family rather than just one individual, making them a better choice for family protection.

Their personalities are often more relaxed, cool, and protective. They are less difficult to manage and are not as aggressive as males unless they are guarding their families.

Apart from people, they tolerate other animals or dogs since they are not possessive or dominating, unlike males. Overall, a female German Shepherd is a better choice for new pet owners or households with little children.

Behavior and Training

Male German Shepherd during training

Male German Shepherds

Due to their high level of energy, male German Shepherd Dogs need daily exercise to stay healthy and well-behaved.

If they are unable to engage in physical activity, they will typically express their unhappiness by barking, chewing, and running too much.

However, it’s claimed that neutering will help to improve these behaviors, but it only applies to puppies and not to adult males.

For instance, male puppies that are neutered at a young age are not territorial, extremely aggressive, and aloof compared with unneutered males. They also do not mark territories as frequently as intact males do.

Moreover, male German Shepherds will also learn how to obey commands and create a strong bond with other people and pets. Reputable breeders of the GSD usually apply some level of early socialization and obedience training to their pups to make them easier to transition to their new environment.

Despite being one of the most popular dog breeds in the American Kennel Club known for their intelligence, they are also known for being difficult to train.

Male German Shepherds require more training than female German Shepherds because it’s harder for them to follow commands due to their inherent dominance.

If left alone for longer than eight hours per day, they may get bored and feel anxious since they have possessive dispositions.

To address separation anxiety in male GSDs, train them to be calm when alone. For example, put them in a crate where they will feel safe and relaxed.

Female German Shepherds

On the other hand, a female German Shepherd Dog is considerably easier to train than a male German Shepherd.

A female GSD is considered to be less aggressive and less likely to protect its belongings, including its food, favorite toy, and family members.

It is kind, composed, and seeks its family’s admiration by living up to their expectations. Female GSDs effectively socialize with other family members and pets because of their intelligence.

However, a female German Shepherd might be too moody when it is in heat.

Similar to males, spaying can also affect female behaviors, especially heat cycle-related demeanors. Females tend to behave consistently after getting spayed, despite being prone to irritability due to hormonal changes.

Moreover, they won’t urinate as frequently, have less blood discharge, and will minimize the odds of escaping to look for a male partner if they are spayed.

Although the female GSD is less capable of guarding, it excels in sports and agility events and is better at taking care of children.

Health Differences

Male German Shepherds

A German Shepherd has an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years, but with the right care, nutrition, and environment, it can even reach up to 13 years.

Despite being healthy dogs, both genders have dispositions to certain health issues, such as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) or “bloat,” degenerative myelopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), elbow, and hip dysplasia.

Male GSDs tend to develop more severe health problems, such as infections and prostate gland enlargement. This may lead to prostate cancer, making urinating and bowel movements difficult.

They are also prone to having tumors around the anal area and testicular cancer, which require surgery.

To minimize the occurrence of testicular cancer and prostate disease, you should neuter your male German Shepherd. Moreover, neutering can reduce aggression, tension, and agitation.

Female German Shepherds

Aside from mammary cancer and ovarian cysts, a female German Shepherd is susceptible to a uterine infection called pyometra. If left untreated, the infection will get into the bloodstream and become fatal.

Furthermore, they are more at risk of contracting an incurable blood disease called hemophilia A, which makes blood clotting more difficult.

Including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and degenerative myelopathy, these diseases require health tests to monitor your dog’s condition and plan treatment.

Moreover, spaying is frequently advised for female GSDs who won’t breed to reduce the risk of developing life-threatening illnesses.

However, spayed female GSDs are also believed to be more prone to reproductive cancers such as uterine and mammary cancer.

Thus, it’s recommended to spay your new pup after the first year to avoid complications associated with early spaying and confer with a licensed veterinarian to provide veterinary advice.

With Other Dogs and Pets

Male German Shepherd beside an Australian Shepherd

Male German Shepherds

The main concern with German Shepherds being around other dogs and pets is that males tend to be more aggressive than females.

As a start, the male German Shepherd is quite sensitive and may not be as friendly as the female. However, it’s quite skilled at adapting and can be pretty friendly if given proper dog training from puppyhood.

Obedience training and basic canine manners can boost confidence and decrease the aggression of a male German Shepherd.

Furthermore, exposing a male German Shepherd to various situations, sounds, and places will help in raising a sociable and well-behaved dog.

Female German Shepherds

Even though they are known for being less dominant and lighthearted, female German Shepherds will defend their families if they detect danger.

A female GSD is compelled to chase moving objects, making it unsuitable for a multi-pet household. However, it can get along well with other pets if introduced early and raised together.

Also, a female German Shepherd tends to be more outgoing than a male, and it gets along much better with dogs and other animals with which it was socialized.

It’s excellent at evaluating stranger animals and will rationalize if it needs to attack and defend its families.

However, the female GSD is also inclined to be aggressive and protective. It will display same-gender aggression.

Watch this video to see how a German Shepherd Dog reacts to meeting a Golden Retriever puppy:

German Shepherd Puppy Meets Golden Retriever Puppy for the First Time!

With Children

Male German Shepherds

If not properly socialized, a male German Shepherd will be overprotective. However, if it had been introduced to many people at a young age, a GSD would make a wonderful family pet.

Further, it will learn to appreciate and be friendly with children if it’s trained to care for and respect the young ones. It can be straightforward to want to play with children instead of cuddling with them.

However, children should be taught how to properly handle and interact with male German Shepherds to avoid mishaps.

For example, when children play or become very excited, they might shout and move quickly, which could be misinterpreted by a male German Shepherd as a threat. It’s essential to be nice and calm around this dog.

Female German Shepherds

Since they are kinder and nicer to their families, female German Shepherds make better companions for children than males. Also, they tend to tolerate children more than males do.

A female GSD is easier to instruct and has a less territorial nature. In addition, it’s more sensitive, which makes getting along with the entire family simpler.

A female GSD will more probably lick a sobbing child’s face than a male GSD, who will get a toy to play with the child.

Pros and Cons of Male and Female German Shepherds

Black male and female German Shepherds catching the sunset

Male German Shepherds

People adore male German Shepherds because of their high energy and ability to serve as excellent security dogs. To be able to do tedious tasks easily, they prefer to remain active and engage in regular exercise.

They are also known for being committed and loyal to their owners and families, as they are constantly willing to please and follow their commands.

However, they are more likely to experience separation anxiety because they are afraid of being abandoned or isolated from their owner. Despite this, it tends to be overprotective and mark its territory if not properly guided.

Although they are intelligent, it’s a challenge for them to obey directions. They are slightly difficult to train due to their domineering personality.

Moreover, because they are bigger than female German Shepherds, they consume more food and stay in bigger spaces.

Below is the summary of the pros and cons of owning a male German Shepherd:

Loyal to their owners Prone to separation anxiety
Excellent guard dogsAggressive and overprotective
Highly intelligentHarder to train
Very energeticNeeds regular exercise
Stronger protective instinctsTerritorial and has a domineering personality
Bigger and strongerRequires more food and living space

Female German Shepherds

A female German Shepherd would make a better pet for a first-time pet owner than a male dog because it’s easier to train. However, it can also be irate because of hormonal changes during the heat cycle.

Despite being distant at first, the female GSD is more affectionate and able to develop stronger bonds with both human and animal family members due to its motherly traits.

Moreover, it can also quickly form bonds with other children because of its playful and easygoing nature, so a female GSD is less protective than males but tends to be more jealous. 

Having said that, because of its high energy and size, it might cause accidents when around children, such as leaning or mounting inappropriately and jumping aggressively.

Further, female GSDs have bloody vaginal discharge for over a week during a heat cycle. They will typically roam around in search of a mate, which will also require more cleaning as their blood could stain your carpet or furniture.

Below is a summary of the pros and cons of having a female German Shepherd:

More affectionateAloof with strangers
Easier to train and more sensitive to commandsProne to being moody
Bonds easier with childrenToo playful
EasygoingLess protective
Gets along with pets betterTends to get more jealous
Lives longerMessy discharge during heat cycles

Should You Get a Male or Female German Shepherd?

Choose a male German Shepherd if you want a devoted guard dog to watch over and safeguard your home. Nonetheless, you should know that male dogs prefer to develop a bond with the person who is around them the most.

Due to its territorial marking tendencies, a male GSD is not the best choice for you if you struggle with cleaning and don’t want your home or property to smell.

Meanwhile, if you are a new pet owner looking for a dog to play with your children, a female German Shepherd is a better choice. Compared with males, female GSDs are less possessive and territorial.

Female dogs also have strong bonds with each family member and are tolerant of strangers. Nevertheless, they can also become protective sometimes. This will lead to overreliance and being envious of other pets.

In summary, whatever gender fits your personal preference and lifestyle, they will make excellent pets if properly trained.

Frequently Asked Questions

Male and female Geraman Shepherds playing ball outdoors

Are Male or Female German Shepherds Calmer?

A female German Shepherd is calmer than a male. It’s considered a more suitable family dog because it’s gentler and friendlier. Hence, if you’re looking for a German Shepherd that can be a friend to anyone, choose a female.

Are Male or Female German Shepherds More Affectionate?

Female German Shepherds are clingier, showier, and more affectionate than male German Shepherds. Meanwhile, male GSDs are more assertive and direct than female GSDs.

Are Male or Female German Shepherds Easier to Train?

Female German Shepherds are easier to train than male German Shepherds because they reach the stage of full maturity earlier. Male GSDs are tougher to train since they are more independent and competitive.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article was able to assist you not only in selecting which gender of the German Shepherd best suits your lifestyle and personal interests but also in realizing the best features of each.

German Shepherd puppies are both intelligent and adaptive, but males are more suitable for guarding or police work, and females are excellent family companions.

Therefore, it’s really important to learn canine education to help them blend in perfectly with your household and to decrease the breed’s tendency towards aggressiveness and unsociability.

However, whether it’s a male or female German Shepherd, both need veterinary guidance for their health and well-being. So, if you’ve made your choice, leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

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