German Shepherd vs. the Akita Dog: Get Your Dream Guard Dog
Anything German Shepherd Team
Author: Anything German Shepherd Team
Published date: September 8, 2021
Updated date: August 30, 2022
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German Shepherd vs. the Akita Dog: Get Your Dream Guard Dog

German Shepherds and Akitas are both large and loyal dogs with distinguishing features, that will stop at nothing to protect their families.

Akitas, named after a Northern Japanese province and developed in the 1600s, were originally used to protect Japanese royalty and in hunting expeditions.

The ever-popular German Shepherd, on the other hand, is a newer breed known for its trainability, athleticism, and effectiveness in various kinds of police work.

These two natural guarding dogs would make great additions to the right family, but how do you go about deciding which is best for you?

We’ll go over some similarities and differences between the two breeds that will hopefully help make this decision a little easier for you!


German Shepherd vs Akita: Breed Histories

History of the German Shepherd

German Shepherd dog is one of the famous American dog breeds that originated from Germany around 1899. They were known as Alsatians during the First World War before the name was changed to German Shepherd dog.

German Shepherd dogs are 60-65 centimeters tall for male breeds and 55-60 centimeters tall for female kinds.

According to Wikipedia in the “intelligence of dogs,” German Shepherd dogs are ranked as the third most intelligent dog breed, and this feature has made them suitable for military and police roles. He further stated that they could learn and adapt after five repetitions, and they obey instructions effectively.

Origins of the Akita Dog Breed

Akita is a dog breed that originated in Northern Japan. They are small and triangular. This aggressive species can weigh up to 45-59 kilograms for male breeds and, of course, 32 to 45 kilograms for female Akita.

There are two types of Akita dog breeds, namely Akita Inu, the Japanese version, and Akita or American Akita. They have coats like the German Shepherds, and their bones are quite heavy.

Akita was used as a guard for royal people during the feudal practice in Japan. They were also used for hunting down wild animals like bears, deer, boars, and so forth.

Akita is fearless and relentless, but they are a loyal dog breed. Akita is a very calm and spotless animal. They have no odor and are very easy to clean up.

Also, because of the coat on the body, they can quickly adapt to different weather conditions without it affecting their health. They even live well inside the house.

As a bonus, Akita are smart animals, and they also can understand their owners’ s actions and feelings. They mainly serve as great companions during exercises.

Moreover, Akita dogs have a special love for hiking and taking walks. If you’re a sporty person, Akita is the best bet for you.

Besides, they serve as excellent watchdogs for their owners and their properties. They love to be alone since these help them focus attention on the owner and the tasks given to perform.


The Traits of the German Shepherd

German Shepherd dogs are very energetic breeds and are extremely smart and sensitive to human feelings. If well trained, they can smell and aim at pleasing their owners with this feature.

Furthermore, German Shepherd dogs have exceptional listening abilities, and they can serve as good companions. They also serve as suitable protectors and guard dogs because of their loving and charming personalities.

They are very fearless dogs, and they have strong jaws and powerful biting ability; this makes them suitable as great home guard dogs. Asides from all these traits, German Shepherd dogs are among the most exceptional dog breeds available.

They are long animals with thick coats and pointed ears, plus lush brown eyes with bushy tails. These rare features give the German Shepherd dog its mysterious stature and appearance.

The Health Challenges of the German Shepherd

The dog breed often suffers from lots of health challenges. One of the major diseases for the German Shepherd dog is Hip Dysplasia.

This disease can lead to lameness or arthritis pains in the joints. This is a problem reported by most owners of German Shepherd dogs. Besides, they also have epilepsy and bloating.

The Akita dog has fewer health challenges, and both breeds are hypoallergenic. As a precaution, Akita is known to suffer from Hip Dysplasia, but they suffer from a few other ailments and animal diseases.


The Similarities Between the German Shepherd and the Akita

Akita dogs and German Shepherds shed their coats several times a year. Shedding is a normal process for dogs to remove old or damaged hair. For Akita dogs, they are termed as heavy shedders since they lose hair about three times in a year, while German Shepherds shed twice a year heavily. Furthermore, they both have are clean characteristics with very little to no body odor.

They’re both intelligent and smart dogs that can be easily trained. They’re active and always fearless, which makes them serve as good watchdogs for their owners. Most times, senior citizens and disabled people prefer them because of their special skills and qualities.

Both German Shepherds and Akita dogs have a life expectancy of about 10 to 14 years, and they suffer from the same diseases, for example, hip dysplasia and gastric bloating.

They both make good family dogs and are great companions for children. They can run errands and carry baskets or bags in their mouths too.
Furthermore, they have dense coats, almost the same hair length, and they love to make noises and give scissor bites.

Despite all these similarities, German Shepherds and Akita dogs have many differences. Researchers and veterinarians have compared the two breeds, and you might have a difficult time picking your favorite species.

The Differences Between the German Shepherd and the Akita

A video on YouTube classified the differences between these two dog breeds. First, Akitas are dog breeds that originated from Northern Japan in and around the 17th century.

They were used as guards for royals and nobles in feudal Japan. They were recognized around 1912 by the American Kennel Club.

Unlike the German Shepherd dogs, which are averaged sized and have their origin from Germany around the 19th century, the Akita was used mainly for hunting predators and enemies.

For example, the military used these guard dogs during WWI. They were known during the war as Red Cross dogs. Now, these popular dogs are known as guards.

The Height of the German Shepherd and the Akita

Furthermore, Akita dogs are more cumbersome and taller than German Shepherd Dogs. The average height of an Akita ranges between 66-71 centimeters for male breeds and 69-66 centimeters for beloved female breeds. Also, Akita dogs are members of the Utility Group of Dogs.

On the other hand, German Shepherd dogs are shorter and weightier, with an average height of 61-67 centimeters for males and 55-61 centimeters for females. The average weight is 33-44 kilograms. They belong to the Pastoral group of Dogs.

Their Main Physical Characteristics

Akita dogs are fearless and confident looking dogs with foxlike heads with small almond-colored eyes.

Their colors are black, white, chocolate, with a mixture of colors. Akita dogs have thick triangular ears with a long body, hairy tails, and love to lick their shape just like cats.

What is remarkable about the Akita dog is the furry coats. In centuries past, the ancient Japanese used their fur to create exquisite coverings and fur-like coats, which is quite soft and cuddly to the touch.

Besides, the Akita dogs almost have the appearance of bearlike animals or wild foxes. Every Akita will have a unique feel and touch. Even their coats are prime for sales, and their deluxe hides are waterproof.

While German Shepherds are more gentle looking dogs with large and pointed ears that stand on their own, they have different colors with the medium body coat.

Their coats are primary fuzzy. The owner will take much care in exerting extra effort in grooming the animals. Get prepared to do much clean-up, since both animals shed heavily consistently.


The Ability of the Animals to Be Surrounded by Human Affection

German Shepherds, on the other hand, love exercises, but you’d have to involve them in such an animal.

They have strong jaws that enable them to chew and destroy anything — for instance, you might need to hide your pair of shoes or slippers — and barks more often than Akita dogs.

German Shepherds are more friendly with other animals and especially human children; They like to grumble, make noises, and show much affection.

At times, they love staying inside the house because of aggression with other animals, especially when the opposing animals are of the same sex.

The Guard Dogs Running Capabilities and Bite Force

Akita dogs run between 25 to 30 MPH while German Shepherds run between 20-30 MPH, which makes the Akita breed the faster animal.

Akita dog also jumps higher than German Shepherds with an estimated ½ foot extra of clearance space. The bite force of the Akita species is about 350 pounds in contrast to that of the German Shepherd at 238 pounds of bite force.

The Weight of the Guard Dogs

According to ThePaws, Akitas are large dogs that weigh over 100 pounds, and they shed a lot of coats up to three times in a year because they are a part of the Spitz dogs.

This implies that you’d have some excellent cleaning and packing to do once the shedding starts. Also, Akitas are much more expensive to keep and maintain than German Shepherd Dogs.


German Shepherds are easy to train and passionate around their owners. You can bring them more easily into your home, and they are quite friendly around little ones.

Akita dogs are hilarious, friendly, and highly passionate. By nature, Akita dogs are a dominant, alpha male species.

Their aggressive personality requires an experienced dog owner to handle and train them, unlike the more hospitable German Shepherd breed.

Furthermore, owners must take care to exercise caution when introducing the Akita to toddlers and infants.

Veterinarians don’t recommend a first-time dog owner obtaining an Akita first. It is more suitable for animal lovers to train the German Shepherd to obtain the necessary training experience before moving on to a more aggressive breed.

More so, the trainability of the Akita is moderate, since, the Akita are active dogs that often love exercises and increased mental stimulation.



Both animals are low maintenance, with their coats just shedding a limited number of times per year. Each breed has somewhat similar temperaments and personalities, which is listed below.

German Shepherd

  • Highly Alert
  • Extrovert
  • Aggressive
  • Quiet
  • Turf Protective
  • Intelligent
  • Herd Dog


  • Responsive
  • Courageous
  • Independent
  • Fiercely Loyal
  • Affectionate
  • Work Dog

Special Characteristics

Understand the barking tendencies of the German Shepherd and the Akita. The Akita barks somewhat infrequently, or rarely. The German Shepherd barks more on various occasions. Both dogs are extremely territorial and protective.

Each Breed has an inherent instinct to catch prey by running and chasing after other dog breeds. As a plus, Akita dogs are more suitable for apartment living than German Shepherds, which are great for home-dwelling.

German Shepherds prefer to bite and nibble at objects and people more so than the Akita. However, the curiosity levels are low, and they don’t care to roam around as much as the Akita.

Akita dogs are lustful animals with the potential to wander away from home or just escape their home environment altogether.

As an expense, on average, the German Shepherd is more expensive to obtain with the normal regular animal maintenance and feeding than the Akita.

German Shepherd vs Akita: Closing Thoughts 

German Shepherds and Akita dogs are vital members of society. They can serve as house pets, guard dogs, watch animals, and special protectors to society.

However, no matter how you look at it, you can play games with the animals, dress them up, cuddle and wrap them, and don’t forget to allow them to hide that one pair of shoes — their expression during a lifetime is priceless.

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