I like a dog that is strong, alert, fun loving, great sense of humor, trainable but not push button. I like a dog that "thinks" by itself. (though sometimes I wonder why?) I like a dog that is tolerant, forgiving, honest and likes to work. I pretty much get that in my breed of choice. That said, I know what the OP means. I do think it is a female/male thing. I just loved my old girl so much and there will be no comparison with my boys. I think they will always be loved but they will never be her. No matter what kind of dog I get, I will never have my girl back. I will however, if I am lucky, open my heart up to other dogs and appreciate them for who THEY are as individuals.