When it comes to comparing an Akita vs German Shepherd, you may be wondering what these two dog breeds have in common and what separates them from one another. There are a number of things that bring these dogs together, but today we are going to address their key differences and what makes them special.
In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about the Akita and the German Shepherd, including their appearances so that you can learn how to tell them apart upon first glance. We will also discuss their ancestries and behaviors in case you are interested in adopting either of these two breeds. Let’s get started now!
Comparing Akita vs German Shepherd
|Size||24-28 inches; 70-130 pounds||22-27 inches tall; 75-90 pounds|
|Appearance||Large and impressive frame with a fluffy, thick coat. Only found in black, white, brown, red, and gray. Erect ears, curled tail, and round face.||Black, white, and brown coat in a coarse and thick appearance; erect and alert ears with long snout and huge paws. Tail is bushy and long, to match their thick coat.|
|Ancestry||Originated in Japan in the 17th century, kept by royalty. Bred for hunting among the rich and elite.||Originated in Germany for herding and workplace activities such as police and service work.|
|Behavior||Alert, wary, and protective of their people. Can be difficult to train and can be naturally suspicious of strangers and other dogs. Eager to work and take care of its pack once they feel comfortable, and makes a great guard dog||Independent and aloof, but incredibly loyal and intelligent; sheds often and may be prone to bouts of separation anxiety. Eager to work and learn a variety of tasks, though can get bored once they have mastered something. Enjoys learning new things often|
|Lifespan||10-14 years||10-14 years|
Interesting Facts About Akita vs German Shepherd
Here are some facts about German shepherds:
- German Shepherds are highly curious and use their noses to explore their surroundings.
- German Shepherds are intelligent and capable of learning a variety of tasks.
- German Shepherd Dogs are naturally protective of their family and loved ones.
- German Shepherds make great companions as they enjoy spending time with their owners.
- German Shepherds have a tendency to use their mouths, especially when playing or teething.
- German Shepherds are known for shedding their fur regularly.
Here are some facts about the akita inu:
- The Akita Inu was historically known as “The Hunting and Protector of the Emperor” in Japan and was later brought to the US by soldiers after World War II.
- Helen Keller had a role in bringing Akita Inus to the US and breeding them, which eventually led to the larger and more muscular American Akita.
- Akita Inus were used for hunting bears in Japan, but in some parts of the US, the American Akita is used for hunting large black and brown/grizzly bears.
- American Akitas are sometimes used in a male and female team to help corner and hold the bears, but hunters ultimately finish the task of taking the bear down.
- Experienced breeders and professional bear hunters in the US do use specialized and trained American Akita hunting teams.
Key Differences Between Akita vs German Shepherd
There are many key differences between Akitas and German Shepherds. Overall, Akitas grow larger than German Shepherds in weight and height, though these figures often overlap. Additionally, the Akita originated in Japan, while the German Shepherd originated in Germany. Finally, the Akita is typically more difficult to train compared to the eager German Shepherd.
Let’s take a closer look at all these differences now.
Akita vs German Shepherd: Size
The sizes of the Akita and a German Shepherd often overlap, making it difficult to tell them apart based on this fact alone. However, the Akita has a higher maximum weight compared to the German Shepherd, regardless of gender. They are also taller than German Shepherds, but let’s take a closer look at the figures in detail now.
The average Akita grows anywhere from 24 to 28 inches tall, while the German Shepherd reaches 22 to 27 inches tall. Additionally, German Shepherds weigh anywhere from 75 to 90 pounds on average, while the Akita reaches 70 to 130 pounds, depending on gender. As you can see, these dogs are very close in terms of their size, but the Akita grows larger overall.
Akita vs German Shepherd: Appearance
Despite their obvious size similarities, there are a number of differences in the appearance of the Akita vs the appearance of the German Shepherd. For example, the Akita comes in more colors compared to the German Shepherd, though both breeds have very specific purebred requirements that must be met.
In addition, the fur of the Akita appears fluffier and appearance compared to the coarse coat of the German Shepherd. Both of these dogs have erect and triangular ears, though the tail of the Akita curls more than the straight tail of the German Shepherd. Finally, the Akita has a much rounder face compared to the long-snouted German Shepherd.
Akita vs German Shepherd: Ancestry and Breeding
In case you didn’t know it already, there are some significant differences between the Akita and the German Shepherd when it comes to their ancestry. For example, the Akita originated sometime during the 17th century and in Japan, while the German Shepherd originated in Germany during the 19th century.
In addition, the German Shepherd was originally bred for herding and a variety of jobs such as military or police work, while the Akita was originally bred for hunting. In fact, the Akita was prized by the wealthy and various royal families for their fantastic hunting abilities, while the German Shepherd was a dog valued by a number of different types of people.
Akita vs German Shepherd: Behavior
There are many similarities in the behaviors of the Akita vs the behaviors of the German Shepherd. Both of these dogs are alert and wary of strangers, making them fantastic guard dogs. They both exhibit stubbornness during training, though the Akita is often more stubborn compared to the eager German Shepherd.
The stubbornness is likely due to the high intelligence of both of these dog breeds, especially with the German Shepherd. While these dogs enjoy working and learning new tasks, the German Shepherd prefers constant stimulation and learning new things compared to the more steadfast Akita. Either way, consistent training and a firm hand will help both of these dogs thrive in a variety of situations.
Akita vs German Shepherd: Lifespan
Given that both of these dogs are similar in size, both the Akita and German Shepherd have nearly identical life spans. For example, both the Akita and a German Shepherd live an average of 10 to 14 years, depending on the individual health of the dog. However, the German Shepherd typically has more health problems compared to the average Akita.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © BIGANDT.COM/Shutterstock.com
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