In this article, we’ll be comparing two of the more popular guard dogs in recent times – the german shepherd and Akita. We’ll explore some of their history, similarities & differences between these breeds, and what physical aspects they have that make them good canine companions for your family.
The German Shepherd is one of the most common breeds used as a police dog or army dog around the world. They’re known to be incredibly loyal and intelligent dogs who display excellent problem-solving abilities. This caused them to become one of the most favored breed in several European (especially German) countries by law enforcement agencies such as police departments all over Europe. It’s also one of the top 5 most popular breeds in the US, ranked at #3 (based on AKC registration statistics) back in 2013. These dogs also make great family pets and protectors of your home.
The German Shepherd was originally bred in 1899 by Captain Max von Stephanitz to be a working dog – one that could do all the things farmers and shepherds needed their dogs to do (herding, protecting livestock, and pulling carts full of produce). They were also used as messengers during WWI due to their intelligence and ability to quickly learn tasks/commands. They’re incredibly smart creatures that crave mental stimulation, not just physical exercise or playtime with you. If these needs aren’t met, they may develop behavioral problems such as anxiety or aggression issues.
That’s why you’ll only find the best of the best German Shepherds working with police and military units around the world. They do need to be trained, but they get to use their brains while training. Please note that we’re not saying all German Shepherds will turn out like this – it’s just a chance your dog will have if you don’t put in the effort and time into training them right from an early age onward. Their loyalty and protection instincts are very strong and this makes them great guard dogs and companions for your family.
The Akita is another commonly used breed by military/police agencies for their loyal, protective nature as well as being incredibly smart. And much like German Shepherds, one of their main purposes was to act as a working dog – helping farmers and families. The Akita was bred for the purpose of hunting large game such as boar or bear, which they still do today! They’re also known to be very good with children, but that’s usually the result of proper training and socialization.
This is another breed you should look into if you enjoy spending time outdoors (they love having plenty of room to roam around in). But it’s not just running free through fields they like – these dogs are incredibly curious by nature and may get themselves into trouble if left alone or ignored for too long. Much like German Shepherds, they’re best suited for owners who’ve had at least one dog before.
These dogs are very headstrong and may not respond to training well if you give them an inch, but they’ll do anything to please their owners. Some Akitas aren’t suited for families with kids, while others can get along great with young ones after proper training/socialization has taken place.
It should be noted that both breeds are prone to canine hip dysplasia (CHD). It’s a genetic disease that occurs when the femur is larger than it normally should be and doesn’t fit inside the hip joint properly – if it’s really bad, your dog will have trouble walking and may develop arthritis in the hips as they age. It’s important you find out more about CHD if you’re serious about adopting a German Shepherd or Akita.
Both breeds are also known to be very dominant – which means you need to set the rules from day one, otherwise they’ll think they’re the pack leader and try to take over. This can cause them to get aggressive with other dogs/people in certain situations. It’s not something that will come up 100% of the time, but it’s still important you know about it going into this kind of relationship.
German Shepherds and Akitas make great family pets if given everything they need (mental & physical stimulation) and trained properly right from an early age onward. They’re also both prone to canine hip dysplasia, so keep that in mind when searching for a reputable breeder.
Both dogs will do well with active owners who like the great outdoors, and you should definitely check out their personality/behavioral traits before you make a final decision to adopt one.
There’s something we want to tell you about every breed of dog on this website – if for some reason there isn’t, it means we haven’t found any research or documentation of that specific breed being used by military/police agencies. It’s not because these dogs aren’t smart enough to be of use due to their temperament or behavioral issues – it simply boils down to them either A) not being popular enough among working dog enthusiasts, or B) it had a more common sense for police officers/soldiers to use other breeds instead.
If you’re interested in a certain breed of dog and want to know whether or not they’re used for this kind of work, try sending an email to your local police department. As long as it’s not considered an aggressive breed, there’s a good chance they’ll adopt one or two dogs in the near future. You can also contact different kennel clubs and canine associations and see what their stance on this is – hopefully, it will help answer any questions you might have about specific breeds.
It should be noted that we aren’t against people owning certain breeds just because they aren’t suited for military/police work – everyone has different tastes, so it’s unfair to judge someone who wants to add such a dog into their family due to their own personal reasons.
How do you train a Akita not to bite?
That’s a good question and i’m going to tell you that there is no real way to teach them not to bite.
With puppies, all you can do is simply train it out of them very early. The earlier the better, but at some point it will happen as they try and say “okay this hand goes here” as they are nipping at your hands/feet/clothes etc…it happens pretty much right away with Akita pups so if you have one or want one you’ll have to be prepared for those sharp things attached to their mouth 🙂
Also never use things such as bones, fruits etc… because again they are not designed for an animal’s digestive system therefore afterwards the pieces from the bone may become lodged inside their intestines which could lead to expensive vet bills or even death.
When Akita pups start around 3-4 months of age their adult teeth will come in and this is when things really get bad. I have personally my hands, feet, arms and legs torn up by my Akita pup and that was only 3 months into her life.
I could go on and on about why you shouldn’t scold a dog for biting, but I think the best thing to do is to keep yourself safe now so as to not have problems later. You can not train out of your dog any behaviors such as jumping/nipping/biting etc… so it’s best if you don’t allow them in the first place.
There are some things you can wear though… My favorite is little mittens with elastic around the opening so they stay put. Once she bit me pretty bad through one of these, but after that she realized “oh wait.. these are mine…” so i’ve had no problems since.
There are also these things called “bitter Apple” sprays, but I don’t know how well they work… I’ve tried them before and it might have worked for a couple minutes, but she was still able to nip me pretty bad through the spray so i’m not sure if maybe she just got used to it. My personal favorite is mittens because that way you can’t mess up your fingers 🙂
Also when you’re around your dog or doing anything do not wear long skirts or any sort of loose clothing… Things like jeans etc… will be okay though. If your animal does bite your skirt/dress/loose pants etc… simply yank them away as hard as you can to show her that you do not like that and to let go of whatever she has in her mouth.
Do not scream or show your fear, but give them a serious look and yank away! If things become really bad during play time I personally pick up my animal so they can’t reach me anymore… it might seem extreme, but this usually makes the pup to calm down pretty quickly.
You want to get their attention on something else so their mind isn’t focused on biting you anymore. It takes practice, but there are ways to control your Akita’s bite without yelling (which will only make things worse). For example when my Akita starts nipping at my sleeves/hands etc… i’ll say “” then pull her up into my arms and then she will usually start licking me to make up for it.
This is something that you should do with any animal really, but I think it’s especially important with an Akita because their jaws are so strong that they can really hurt you. They have the ability to break bones not just puncture them, so if your dog starts biting hard enough get them off of you immediately!
Akitas have a very bad reputation for being mean and aggressive animals, but in my opinion these dogs are one of the most loving animals I have ever met. As long as they are properly trained, socialized and loved I believe the Akita is the perfect breed for any family.
Their loyalty to their owner is amazing, but if you decide to educate yourself on this wonderful animal make sure that your training them properly starting from day one! The owners of Akitas are largely at fault for why these dogs get such a bad reputation because they don’t take the time to train them out of nipping/biting etc.. Instead they just send it off into the backyard all day every day until it’s too late.
Please understand that if you do not bond with an Akita early in life she/he will never learn to love you… These animals need affection! If you do not show your love they will become aloof, aggressive and mean! I you bond with an Akita at a young age (6 months old) it is nearly impossible for them to act out aggressively.
An Akita MUST know who the leader of their pack is or else they will take over the position themselves… This is why failure in training an Akita properly can lead to complete disaster… They are very strong animals and if trained incorrectly can be incredibly dangerous! So make sure you educate yourself before adopting one of these beautiful creatures into your family.
Are Akitas smarter than German shepherds?
Akitas and German shepherds are two breeds of dogs that seem to be constantly compared. The Akita is a strong, large breed originally from the mountainous northern regions of Japan and was responsible for pulling carts and guarding property. The first Akitas came to America in 1937 and were first recognized as an official breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1972.
The German shepherd dog originated in 1899 as a herding dog but has since taken on other roles such as guard dog, police K-9, search and rescue worker, military K-9 or companion animal. It too earned AKC recognition around the same time as its Japanese cousin – also in 1972. Both breeds share many traits – both have similar standards for size and appearance, they share a history of being used as working animals and both are intelligent breeds.
The question is: which breed is smarter? Which breed makes a better pet and companion animal?
There have been several studies done over the years in an attempt to determine which breed was smarter, but most individual findings were subjective and not necessarily truly indicative of how smart either breed might actually be. There really wasn’t anything truly scientific until 2009 when Dr. Stanley Coren published his groundbreaking book “The Intelligence of Dogs” which has been followed up by more research from various universities around the world including Harvard, Oxford and Yale.
The results of these studies have been repeatedly consistent. In general, Akitas are smarter than German shepherds when it comes to basic problem-solving skills and more readily learn to solve problems using trial and error. However, they do not live up the breed standard as well as German shepherds in terms of their appearance or demeanour – which might be a disadvantage if you intend on entering your dog in a show.
It’s important to keep in mind that most of these studies were done with modern dogs bred for companionship so they aren’t necessarily representative of working or show dogs from decades ago. For example, one study showed that Chows were smarter than both breeds but today’s Chows are very rarely used for work and many don’t like to be around strangers, which makes them excellent watchdogs but not good for the average family.
Which dog is the smartest?
One thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to intelligence and problem-solving skills, Akitas and German shepherds aren’t the only breeds who would rank ahead of other common pet dog breeds such as Golden retrievers or Labrador retrievers. The smarter dogs in the world (according to this study at least) are Border collies and Poodles although we probably wouldn’t recommend them for first time owners !
What precautions should be needed when keeping Akitas as pet dogs?
Do not use human products on a dog if possible. Products such as teething rings should never be given to a puppy because first off since it is made of plastic it can break and cut the dog as well as introducing human germs into your animals body. If you do use a teething ring that is made for puppies be sure to wash it thoroughly with hot soapy water and if you see any sort of damage throw it away immediately.