HOME EUROPE Germany Male vs Female GSD

Male Versus Female German Shepherd: Their Differences

So you have decided to welcome a German Shepherd into your life.

What a great decision!

But which one should you choose between Male versus Female German Shepherd?


There are quite a few differences regarding gender and you should consider them before becoming the proud owner of this intelligent and beautiful dog.


Let’s look at all the differences between male and female German Shepherds so you can make an informed and educated choice in deciding which sex, male or female, is best suited for your lifestyle and needs.

Let’s dive in.

Differences Between the Male and Female German Shepherd

Size & Appearance

Male vs female german shepherd height and weight comparison
  • Males are slighty larger, taller, heavier, more muscular and look more intimidating than the females. They have a bigger head and broader body. On average a male will measure 24-26 inches in height while a female will measure 22-24 inches in height. If you wish to warn off intruders or trespassers of a human or animal kind, a male will appear more imposing and fierce than a female.
  • On average a male will weigh 66–88 pounds and a female will weigh 49–73 pounds.


german shepherd on the lawn
  • The nature of the male and female German Shepherd is noticeably different and is probably one of the major considerations to take on board when looking at their differences.
  • Usually female German Shepherds are more friendly and gentle towards their owner and other people compared to males.
  • In comparison males will be more dominant, proud and territorial. You might see (or smell) a male urinating to mark its territory, while a female won’t be concerned as much with territory. Also, according to a study, aggression is more prevalent in males than in females.
  • Female German Shepherds tend to watch over a whole family unit including the owner while a male German Shepherd will be more devoted to the owner or handler who takes care of him without as much focus on other family members compared to a female.
  • Since their natural concern is more on their owner or master, females can tend to develop jealousy issues and become possessive.
  • A male will also be territorial over its house, land and property, people living there and anything it considers to be valuable such as it’s sleeping area, toys and feeding bowls. To avoid this becoming too pronounced it’s important to address the issue during training, as a puppy preferably. It is a natural way for a male to act due to its breeding but has to be kept in balance. A puppy will learn it doesn’t need to be threatened if someone is near it’s bed or water bowl just as it will learn to bark fiercely if a stranger walks onto the property.


german shepherd training
  • Females are easier to train than males. Males tend to be more strong-minded and difficult to train due to their more dominant nature. They are sometimes favored by police and law enforcement agencies due to their absolute willingness and skill to apprehend criminals.
  • Females mature faster than males which is another reason they are easier to train.
  • Also female German Shepherds are more fast and agile. For this reason they do especially well when competing in dog shows and competitions and can be expected to collect more winning ribbons and awards than males.

Spaying and Neutering:

german shepherd on leash and owner

 A female dog is spayed by removing its reproductive organs (ovaries and usually uterus).

A male is neutered by removing its reproductive organs (testicles).

After the procedures a female dog won’t go into heat and a male will be less likely to urinate on its territory and hump other dogs or roam looking for a mate.

When females are in heat it can be a difficult time to train them. A female will be in heat about twice a year and lasts for 2-4 weeks starting from the age of 6 – 12 months old.

If you don’t intend to breed them it is recommended to have them spayed. The advantages of this is they won’t be bleeding which happens when they are in heat (which usually lasts for a week).

Although it doesn’t happen so often it is very messy and creates a lot of cleaning up to do for the owner or carer of the female dog.

For males they can easily be distracted from the work they should be doing if a female in heat is around them.

german shepherd close up photo

Males can be very determined to get to their potential mate so you have to make sure they are not given an opportunity to get loose and disappear.

An un-neutered male will also eagerly hump another dog which might not be appreciated by your neighbors or a stranger in the park if you are out exercising your dog.

These potentially embarrassing moments can come along with owning a male German Shepherd. (Dogs hump for sexual reasons and also sometimes when they are excited, stressed or trying to show dominance over another dog.)

For the male if you have it spayed it won’t urinate on its territory which can be unpleasant.

3 german shepherds sitting in the park

If you live on a large property or farm this won’t be noticed so much, but if you live in a smaller space or allow your German Shepherd inside it can create a very annoying and smelly problem.

Remember the longer you wait to neuter your dog, the harder it will be to train them not to make their stinky territorial mark inside your house.

Once they mark something it’s hard to remove the smell and the dog can detect it so will be likely to repeat the action even if it is on your expensive sofa.

Neutering the male will lower the testosterone levels and make it calmer and less aggressive towards people as well as other dogs.

Usually spaying will cost a little more than neutering since the operation is more complicated.


german shepherd dogs average lifespan

Bigger dog breeds tend to have shorter lifespans than small dogs. On average German Shepherds live for about a decade.

Studies show females usually live about a year and a half longer than males. The median longevity of females is 11.1 years versus males 9.7 years. So, if your priority is a longer-lived pet then female is the right choice.

Although it’s always sad to say goodbye to an loved, elderly dog a year won’t make a difference to many people when it comes to deciding if a male or female is a better choice.

This is one difference between male and female German Shepherds than isn’t really relevant when it comes to choosing which sex of dog to buy or adopt.

See the differences?

Why You Might Be Suited To Having A Female German Shepherd 

female german shepherd on the beach
  • If you want this dog purely for a pet a female might be better due to her gentle nature.
  • If you have children also a female might fit more easily into family life, especially if your children are young. Male German Shepherds can be fine around children if they are trained properly and used to them growing up but tend to be more rough and playful with children and need to be watched closely for safety reasons.
  • If you want a guard dog for yourself and your family members you might be better suited to getting a female German Shepherd because they will protect people more fiercely than a male.
  • Also if you are away from home a lot and want to know your family is being protected from danger by your German Shepherd on guard duty a female will look after all members of the family including the owner. You can have peace of mind knowing a female will fiercely protect every person she considers is part of the family unit including staff as well as actual family members.
  • If this is your first time to own a German Shepherd you might opt for a female one since they are easier to train and handle. They do grow into big, sturdy dogs and need a strong hold on the leash when you go out for walks or runs.
  •  If you are a person of small build or not especially strong, you might do better with a female German Shepherd which is less dominant and not as strong as the male.
  • If you are mindful with your money a female will cost less to feed since it is smaller than the male dog. Regardless, this dog will still need a lot of food to fuel it’s boundless energy levels and active lifestyle and will eat a decent-sized meal twice a day. So you can expect to spend a reasonable amount on its food bill every month. But over a lifetime you could save some dollars from having a female who will consume less food compared to a male.

Why You Might Be Suited To Having A Male German Shepherd 

male german shepherd sitting on the lawn
  • If you want a guard dog for your property (rather than yourself personally) you might be better suited to getting a male German Shepherd because they will protect their property more fiercely than a female.  They will also look more intimidating so as a form of prevention males serve well due to their appearance.
  • If you are planning to use the dog in the police force or any enforcement type of work you will likely prefer a male German Shepherd to be on the job. The added aggressiveness and strong-minded drive of a male is well suited to this kind of physically demanding work.
  • If you are experienced with owning and handling or training German Shepherds you will probably be well-equipped to train a male German Shepherd to reach its full potential, especially if its needed as a working dog.
  • Under the right guidance and training routine a male will excel and contribute to its work with a strong determination that makes it so well-known on an international level.

Training Is Important For Both Genders

 german shepherd being trained by owner

German Shepherds do require a lot of training and socialization from the time they are a puppy and right into adulthood.

They also are big dogs with a lot of life and energy so need regular and brisk exercise.  So while you can see these differences between male and female German Shepherds and might decide one is better than another for you personally, you still need to remember how important training is.

They need a nice, but firm hand to know who is the boss (that’s you – the owner) and then they will know the rules and follow them with respect.

Owner Comments on Female vs Male German Shepherd: Their Differences

German shepherds.com forum image

I love my male gsd’s,,mine have been as you describe, plus, kinda doofy, (in a good way), mature slower, more velcroey, easy trainers, biddable.

My females are both affectionate, I do see more independence, but as in, more daring, ready to try anything without hesitation, matured faster, more possessive of myself.

JakodaCD OA


My male is VERY affectionate, however has a ton of energy and can be a handful in lots of situations. Some issues are environmental for many reasons but still the same. He is smart and VERY driven.

My female is not nearly as affectionate. She is much more laid back in EVERY situation. And extremely independent. She is driven, but not as much as my male, but still very smart and enjoys working.


*Check Out More Forum Comments Here

Final Considerations Before Deciding Between a Male or Female German Shepherd

male versus female german shepherd question image

When it comes to male vs female German Shepherds and their differences the information in this article is generally true.

It should be noted that there can be exceptions.

For example:

  • you might come across a particularly large female German Shepherd that outweighs the average male counterpart.
  • Or you might find an especially affectionate and soft-natured male German Shepherd.

If you can get your German Shepherd as a wee puppy it will be ideal so you can train it from a young age.

Socialization is so important as well as firm and consistent training.

2 German shepherd puppies playing

If your male or female German Shepherd is well-socialized and trained from a puppy through to adulthood, then the traits and differences highlighted in this article will be nurtured and evident in the most positive ways possible.

If you are very specific on the reasons you are buying or adopting a German Shepherd in relation to particular traits you should discuss this with the breeder so you get the dog that is truly a best fit for your needs and expectations.

A breeder will be able to confirm the differences of a male vs female German Shepherd and help you make the best choice as you welcome your new furry friend into your life.

If you have the chance to spend some time with some German Shepherds, both male and female, it might be a great opportunity to help you make a final decision.

Other Tips:

German shepherd taking a walk with owner during winter
  • Do you have a friend who owns a German Shepherd? Offer to dog sit, take a dog for a walk or contact a breeder for an observation visit.
  • Chat with other owners if you cross paths at the park during exercise sessions.
  • Consider consulting with your local veterinarian who will surely be able to give you some more insight to the issue of male vs female German Shepherds.

The decision when it comes down to male versus female German Shepherds and their differences might come down to a personal preference or subtle feeling of what is best for you.

[ Read More German Shepherd Pros and Cons Here ]


german shepherd and owner in the green grass

The German Shepherd (male or female) is a herding breed that has many endearing qualities including being brave, loyal and protective.

They have strong instincts and are useful in many areas including guarding and protection, police and military work, search and rescue services and guide dogs for the blind and vision-impaired.

It is a much-loved and very recognized breed all around the world due to its usefulness and versatility in many industries.

And of course German Shepherds make wonderful companions and beloved family pets.

Many families that have a German Shepherd find it truly does become a precious part of the family.

 german shepherd with lady owner

The loving, calm and devoted nature of German Shepherds combined with their instinct to be protective over the family is a valuable and appreciated combination for many people.

It is a breed of dog that requires quite a lot of care and attention including exercise, training, grooming and companionship, but it repays all of this many times over by being a really great pet.

If you are contemplating on becoming an owner of a beautiful German Shepherd you might consider what are the differences between a male vs female German Shepherd outline above.

GSD at the backyard


When it comes to the male versus female German Shepherd choice, there are some important considerations to keep in mind.

Note the differences and consider your lifestyle and needs before making a final decision.

When it comes to choosing a dog you will surely have a loyal, devoted and loving animal by your side if you buy or adopt a German Shepherd.

You will be a great owner and trainer to your new dog and your life will be better with the fine company of a German Shepherd for sure.

CHECK OUT THIS WEIRD ARTICLE: Dogs That Look Like German Shepherds

dog paw prints


About the author: Driven by his lifelong passion for dogs and an insatiable curiosity about their diverse breeds, Pablo Pascua founded dogbreedsfaq.com. Through this website, he seeks to expand his knowledge and share his findings with fellow dog enthusiasts. Having owned several dogs throughout his life, Pablo’s experiences have fueled his interest in learning more about these beloved animals. His mission is to provide accurate and comprehensive information to help pet owners make informed decisions about their furry companion.