Quick, if someone asked you to name the all time greatest German Shepherd Dog in the history of the breed, who would you say? How about if they asked you who the best looking dog of all time was? Want to make a bet that you would name a male dog for both of those questions?
Admit it, when you were a kid and someone would mention the German Shepherd Dog, I bet you would visualize a male dog. I know that I did. I’ve always loved the noble look of this breed. I visualized them as being a masculine, big boned dog with a great big old head. I thought of them as a powerful breed; strong and courageous and willing to defend you with their life! Not once did I ever think of a German Shepherd bitch when I thought about this breed! For some reason, thinking of a German Shepherd brings up a picture in most peoples mind of the majestic male of this breed. Many times if your parents bought a German Shepherd as a pet, nine times out of ten, it was probably a male. They were probably looking for a guardian for their family, but more importantly a powerful protector of their property and valuables.
There’s just something about the noble German Shepherd Dog that makes you think in terms of the males of this breed. On the other hand, if you’re thinking of a lap dog, many times you might think in terms of a female.
When I first started out in this breed, a male is all I ever thought about owning. I wanted a big masculine dog that would turn people’s heads when I walked down the street with him. “That’s right, we’re cool. I got myself a big “bad boy!” I wanted a dog that commanded people’s respect and in my mind, what better way to do this than with a male German Shepherd? That was my mind set then. German Shepherd Dogs equaled male dogs! That was until I was knocked down a few pegs when one of my very first lessons in this breed is when someone told me: “Your kennel is only as good as the bitches you own!” Really? But I loved the males. That might have been true, but unless he was a star, I would be just about the only one that loved him. He would never be used for public stud and would only remain my beloved pet! Boy, that didn’t seem fair at all! I mean after all he had the same bloodlines as his more desirable litter sister! How come it was OK for me to keep her and not him? Seemed like a reasonable question to me at the time.
I was told that if the bitch didn’t turn out for showing, I could always breed her to a top producing stud dog and perhaps get a show quality puppy or two. On the other hand, if I kept her brother and he didn’t turn out, no one would breed to him, except me and that would mean I would have to go out and buy myself a bitch to breed to him. It looked like if I wanted to have any little bit of success in this breed, I’d better learn to follow the advise of those seasoned pros that proved what they were saying was true by keeping mostly bitches in their kennels. However, the few males if any that they owned were all top winning dogs.
I would soon find out the difference in owning males compared to owning bitches! Both sexes certainly have their own unique personalities. I find it very different owning a bitch compared to a male. The majority of German Shepherds that I’ve owned have been bitches; so therefore, the majority of my favorite dogs throughout the years have been females. That said I still miss the males. I find that they are easier to get along with as long as you don’t have females in season! Most of the time they make great house dogs! Very much like the human male, they can be big babies!!! They like to be pampered and loved on and thrive on attention. Most of the time, they're quieter than the bitches.
The female on the other hand has earned her title (and wears it proudly) of being called a bitch and everything that the word may stand for! She is nobility at its best. She may even be the homeliest little thing that was ever born, or even the runt of the litter but don’t tell her that, because she’d never believe it. She’s too into herself strutting around like she owns the place. And if truth be told, she does (well in her own mind anyway)! She rules her domain by either being a showoff looking for endless adoration or ruling with a quiet dignified look to anyone that might challenge or doubt her. With her dark Hershey brown eyes, ears standing strong and centered resting on a fabulous feminine head well there's just nothing more breathtaking!
The bitches are definitely unique in how they view their world. They can be cunning, inquisitive, and sometimes oh so challenging! Living with bitches means there is never a dull moment. There is nothing funnier than when you see a 90 pound male submitting to the 58 pound “Queen Bee” as she steals his favorite toy only to drop it after she gets it. Then she runs over to put her teeth gently but firmly across his mouth to let him know she really didn’t want it at all but to let him know she can have it anytime she pleases! It’s like she’s saying, “I don’t really want it, but I don’t want you to have it either!” Can we say "Diva" here? Hmm…….sounds like some human bitches that I know of!
As far as watchdogs, both sexes of this breed are excellent, but sometimes the bitches can be just a little be nastier than her male housemate! She has to make up for all his bravado so what she may lack in strength, she makes up for in speed! They’re quick and it’s almost like their maternal instincts kick in when defending their human family and property. They’re very purpose driven; not being satisfied until they accomplish what they’ve set out to do. For sheer strength and power, you couldn’t want a more formidable defender than the male German Shepherd. He is not a dog that an intruder wants to find greeting him. But for sheer quickness and agility all the exercise and jogging in the world won’t save the perpetrator from the sheer cunning of the bitch of this breed! If you trespass on this breeds property, their goal is to get you and they’re going to “get you good!”
Living with the male German Shepherd he has learned how to manipulate his humans to get what he wants by surprising them with his “big baby” ways. Those big old brown “cow eyes” that hold you in his stare makes for some “laugh out loud” moments. Few can resist this big macho dog collapsing at your side for a belly rub. The bitch can be more demanding of your attention by moaning, groaning and whining when she feels her needs are not being met. If she were human, this would probably equate to the not so nice label of being called a “nag!” Oh they do keep us on our toes!
So no matter what sex you decide upon, living with a German Shepherd is always an adventure. You never know what your day is going to be like with these guys, but one thing is for certain, it’s never going to be boring. They make sure it’s not. They’re just too darn smart for that!