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There are quite a few similarities between the Akita and the German shepherd, but equally, there are quite a few differences. In this video, we’ll go over some of these to help you decide which one is your favourite, and perhaps take you one step closer in deciding which breed is the best for you.

Both the Akita and the German shepherd are quite large, strong and powerful dogs. The Akita, admittedly, is both larger and stronger than the German shepherd, considering the physicality of the two breeds. In height, the difference is not so much, but when it comes to weight, the Akita is much heavier than the slenderer German shepherd. Where one (the Akita) is broad, compact and very muscular with a square body type, the other (German shepherd) is more slender with a longer body, a longer and thinner head and a sloping back.

Their physicality is not the only thing that differs. While both breeds are working dogs and therefore highly intelligent, the German shepherd is more prone to depend on his human while the Akita is more independent in consideration of their human leaders. This means two different approaches when it comes to training and handling the dogs. The Akita requires patience, ingenuity and large portions of motivation, otherwise he’ll be bored and decide to do something else instead. They are, however, highly trainable and some of them have even been employed as military dogs. Compared to the german shepherd, though, they don’t stand a chance when it comes to trainability, or willingness to please their human. The German shepherd loves to work and loves to learn new things. They are easily motivated with food and praise and can be taught the most amazing things.

Both breeds needs early socialization, and the Akita more so than the German shepherd. The Akita is originally a hunting breed, and to be able to socialize with other animals, especially smaller ones, they need to be socialized from an early age. Both breeds has natural guarding skills, but the Akita has more natural guarding instincts and doesn’t need to learn, while the German shepherd can be taught certain guarding skills through training.

When it comes to exercise, the Akita is the breed for you who doesn’t want to spend hours ad hours every day to walk your dog. They are a large breed and their joints should be taken in consideration for their physical exercise. The German shepherd is a large dog as well, but differently from the Akita, they need a lot of exercise to function properly. With both breeds, please take care to not over-exercise them when they are young to prevent damage to their joints. Please discuss how to proceed with your puppy’s breeder, and your vet.

Health-wise, both these breeds suffer from similar issues. Being large, growing fast as puppies, they can develop hip and elbow dysplasia – please make sure the breeder tests parent animals for this, as well bloating which requires immediate medical attention since it is a deadly condition. The Akitas can also suffer from eye and thyroid conditions, while the German shepherds can have degenerative myelopathy. Please educate yourself on the specifics in the breed of your choosing, just in case your dog would get symptoms and need medical care.

Both of these breeds are strong, powerful and headstrong dogs. Both breeds require a strong, but fair and kind leader to guide them through life. Their mentality differs, so the leadership may look a little different and it is recommended that you meet several dogs of each breed before you make a decision for yourself and your family. They are both wonderful dogs, but each breed has its need of a certain human personality, and to share your life with either of these amazing dogs, you need to be equally strong – at least, to be able to control such powerful dogs.

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