The German Shepherd, also known as Alsatian in Great Britain, is a medium to a large dog breed, with a long muzzle, erect, pointy ears, and a square head. These dogs are also pretty muscular. German Shepherds tend to appear aloof, and some people find them intimidating. However, once you get to know this breed, you will find them easy-going, approachable, and loyal to their family.
Generally, female german shepherds are more affectionate with children in a family, whereas male german shepherds are better suited and bond better with a single person. However, it depends on the dog; some owners say that their males are more loving and fun, while females are more standoffish.
If you wonder which GSD gender suits your family best, let’s discuss their personalities in more detail. Males and females have different instincts, which will undoubtedly affect their personalities.
Also, different “lines” have different temperaments. You must consider which line and gender are better suited for your situation.
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German Shepherd Temperament
German Shepherds are exceptionally intelligent, hard-working, and loyal. Many GSD owners praise this breed for its unmatched bravery and devotion to their families.
This dog breed is highly-trainable and excels at anything you train them to do. You will find German Shepherds in assistance and guide work, drug detection, search and rescue, obedience competitions, but mostly they are excellent companion dogs.
With all those great traits, it’s no wonder the German Shepherd is one of the top ten most treasured breeds in the United States.
These dogs can be aloof and suspicious of strangers; this side of their personality, coupled with their high intelligence, makes them excellent watchdogs. If you wish to have a calm dog around all sorts of people and situations, you must socialize them from day one.
The German Shepherd does struggle with separation anxiety, so this is not the breed for you if you plan to travel a lot for long periods. When left alone, they become bored and stressed, which leads them to express this in destructive ways.
German Shepherd Personality Differences
Both male and female German Shepherds are lovable, loyal, and intelligent companions. While there are exceptions to the norm, there are upsides and downsides associated with each gender:
Male GSD Personality Traits
- Larger in size
- More territorial
- More aggressive
- More Dominant
- Tend to mark their territory by urination
- More protective of people and property
- Better as a first dog
Female GSD personality Traits
- Live longer
- Better with children
- Sweeter and friendlier
- Not as possessive or protective
- Less dominant and territorial
- Better with other dogs
- Have a higher tolerance for strangers
- They can be very protective of their litter
Both genders will bark to alert their family of other dogs along their street or in their yards. Both have an intimidating bark and are large, athletic dogs – a feature that tends to scare outsiders.
As you can see from their personality traits, males are more dominant than females, which can heighten the protectiveness of their humans – this makes them better suited for protective roles without children.
On the other hand, female GSDS are friendlier, gentler, and sweeter than their male counterparts; they are not as dominant or as protective as males, but they will bark to alert you to danger.
In addition, females are much more patient with children, so females are a better match for families with children.
The personality of a German Shepherd largely depends upon its breeding line. Some breeders produce working lines of German Shepherds, and these dogs have high-drive natures.
They are intense and dominant. Working lines are ideal for competitive protection canine sports. However, they are not suitable as companion pets for a family.
Other breeders produce show lines, and these dogs conform to show ring standards. Show dogs have softer temperaments than their working counterparts.
Yet they tend to be skittish, hyperactive, and untrainable as show breeders tend to focus on looks more than temperament.
Will German Shepherds Bond With One Person?
Yes, German Shepherds will bond with one person; they are known as “one-man dogs.” German Shepherds are fiercely loyal and loving towards their owners, be they in a family setting or with one caretaker.
This dog will undoubtedly develop a close relationship with all of “his people.”
Consistent training is the only way to ensure your German Shepherd will develop into a well-adjusted, well-mannered dog.
The best type of training is continuous reward-based, positive training. This ensures your dog will bond with you if you live alone or within a family.
Male German Shepherds are better suited to life with a single person, whereas females are ideal companions for families, as they are very gentle and patient with children.
You must ensure that you have the time to raise a German Shepherd dog because they experience severe separation anxiety if left by themselves too often.
What Are The Ways German Shepherd Dogs Show Affection Towards Their Owners?
German Shepherds show affection towards their owners in many non-verbal ways, they probably show you how much they love you a thousand times a day, but as they can’t speak, it may go unnoticed.
Let’s discuss ten ways German Shepherds show their owners how much they care:
Dogs kiss by licking, and they learn this during puppyhood. Young puppies lick their mothers’ on her mouth to indicate hunger. Therefore, they learn pretty early on that licking is a way to signal that they want to be cared for.
As they grow, licking becomes a way of communicating lots of information about their owner and how they feel about you. You may want to establish boundaries with your GSD, but be aware that kissing means they simply love you.
2. They Stay Close To You
German Shepherds are naturally protective, so don’t be shocked if your GSD follows you everywhere you go. When your German Shepherd bonds with you, he feels happiest and safest when he’s as close to you as possible, and they associate your presence with positive feelings.
3. They Lean On You
German Shepherds lean on you for numerous reasons. If your adult GSD does it to you, it can feel quite intense due to its large size.
Leaning can be your dog’s way of telling he wants something that only you can provide. It could also mean he feels insecure.
Typically, it means he just wants to be close to you. Nevertheless, learning indicates that your GSD trusts you, and it’s his way of snuggling up to you.
4. They Let You Hug Them
Some studies reveal that hugging causes anxiety in dogs. While some dogs may not enjoy receiving hugs, some owners attest that their puppies like hugs.
At worst, dogs tolerate hugs from the people they trust. When your GSD lets you hug hum, look for signs of distress.
If you don’t see any, your dog is okay with hugs.
5. They Snuggle With You
German shepherds like to be as close to the people they love as possible; cuddling or snuggling is one of the most apparent signs that your GSD is showing you love.
6. They Ask For Rubs
German Shepherds are not shy about asking for rubs. If you miss their signs, they will demand rubs by pawing at your hand or sitting and looking up at you to ensure they get your attention.
7. They Want To Play With You
Count it as an honor when a German Shepherd selects you as his playmate. It means that they really love you and want to have fun with you.
8. They Are Always Happy To See You
When you form a bond with a German Shepherd, he will get very excited to see you after being apart from you for a while. He may jump on you and lick you to show you how much he missed you.
9. They Look You In The Eyes
When dogs and their humans make eye contact, it releases oxytocin in both parties. This chemical is responsible for feelings of comfort in both humans and dogs.
10. They Raise Their Eyebrows At You
Dogs raise their eyebrows at you to signal they are happy to see you. So, if you see your GSD raise his eyebrow at you, he’s not questioning you but rather showing you affection.
What Creates A Bond Between German Shepherd And Owner?
German Shepherds can create a bond with people at any time of their lives, but the optimum time to bond with a GSD is between the ages of 4 weeks old to 12 weeks old; their exposure to the world at this stage will have a lasting effect on how they relate to their family and strangers.
Creating a firm bind with your GSD requires you to meet his needs and understand his innate behavior.
Consistent positive reinforcement training will ensure your GSD forms a close bond with you. Your dog must respect you and see you as his leader, but you must never punish him or shout at him; always remain calm.
Both male and female German Shepherds are fantastic companion dogs and can readily suit a family or single person. Females may have more patience with children and are automatically a better fit for a family, but either dog can adapt to their given situation with time, patience, and training.