Akita vs German Shepherd

Compare the Akita to the German Shepherd. Use the tool below to compare temperament, size, personality, maintenance requirements, and everything else between Akitas and German Shepherds.

Quick Summary

Below are a few quick comparisons between the two breeds.
  • Owner Experience - Both the German Shepherd and the Akita are good for new owners, but the German Shepherd is a slightly better choice.
  • Children - The German Shepherd is child friendly. The Akita is not child-friendly and is not recommended for families with young children.
  • Grooming - Both the Akita or German Shepherd have high grooming requirements.
  • Barking - The German Shepherd bark/howls frequently. The Akita has a low tendency to bark.
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Akita vs German Shepherd
Akita Dog Breed
German Shepherd Dog Breed
Breed NameAkitaGerman Shepherd
General Details
Breed TypePurebredPurebred
Is Hypo­allergenicNoNo
Lifespan10-12 yrs.10-14 yrs.
Height24-28 in.22-26 in.
Weight70-130 lb75-95 lb
IntelligenceAverageHigh
History
Origin CountryJapanGermany
Origin Year1600 AD1899 AD
Temperament
Overall FriendlinessBelow AverageGood
Family FriendlyVery GoodVery Good
Kid FriendlyPoorGood
Pet FriendlyPoorVery Good
Stranger FriendlyBelow AverageBelow Average
Personality
  • Aggressive
  • Stubborn
  • Affectionate
  • Loving
  • Does Not Like Being Alone
  • Willing To Please
Living Environment
ApartmentNoYes
IndoorYesYes
Small YardYesYes
Medium YardYesYes
Large YardYesYes
Temperature Tolerance ¹30°F to 75°F40°F to 85°F
Barks/HowlsBelow AverageVery Often
Exercise Needs
Energy LevelMediumHigh
Exercise RequiredMediumHigh
Top Running Speed25 mph30 mph
StrengthVery HighHigh
Grooming Needs
Coat Main­tenanceMediumMedium-High
SheddingMediumHigh
DanderMediumHigh
Drool AmountNoneMedium

¹This is estimated min/max temperature range for a healthy adult dog. Dogs that live indoors, puppies, seniors, unwell dogs, and/or dogs with improperly groomed coats may overheat sooner and get cold more quickly.
Instincts & Behavior Comparison
Breed NameAkitaGerman Shepherd
Breed Mentality
Dominant/AlphaYesNo
Family/PackNoYes
IndependentNoNo
Breed Focus
Distracted EasilyYesNo
AverageNoNo
Focused & PatientNoYes
Breed Instincts
AggressionAverageAverage
Burrow/DiggingBelow AverageBelow Average
ChasingBelow AverageBelow Average
Follow CommandsBelow AverageHigh
FightingAverageBelow Average
GuardingHighHigh
HerdingVery LowHigh
HuntingAverageHigh
ProtectionHighHigh
Remove VerminBelow AverageBelow Average
SleddingBelow AverageBelow Average
WatchAverageHigh
Health Comparison
Breed NameAkitaGerman Shepherd
Lifespan
Lifespan10-12 yrs.10-14 yrs.
Common Health Issues
AllergiesNoYes
BlindnessNoYes
BloatYesYes
CancerNoYes
CataractsNoYes
Cherry EyeNoYes
Chronic DiarrheaNoYes
Cruciate Ligament RuptureNoYes
Cushing's SyndromeNoYes
Degenerative MyelopathyNoYes
Demodectic MangeNoYes
DiabetesNoYes
Digestive ProblemsNoYes
Elbow DysplasiaNoYes
EpilepsyNoYes
Exocrine Pancreatic InsufficiencyNoYes
Heart DiseaseNoYes
Hemophilia ANoYes
Hemophilia BNoYes
Hip DysplasiaYesYes
Hypertrophic OsteodystrophyNoYes
HypothyroidismYesNo
Lens LuxationNoYes
LupusNoYes
MegaesophagusNoYes
Myasthenia GravisNoYes
Nail Bed DiseaseNoYes
OsteochondrosisNoYes
PannusNoYes
PanosteitisNoYes
ParalysisNoYes
Perianal FistulaNoYes
Progressive Retinal AtrophyYesYes
Retinal DysplasiaNoYes
Sebaceous AdenitisYesNo
SeborrheaNoYes
VitiligoNoYes
Von Willebrand's DiseaseNoYes
Wobbler's SyndromeNoYes
Appearance Comparison
Breed NameAkitaGerman Shepherd
Coat
FurYesYes
Coat Type
Double CoatYesYes
Coat Texture
StraightYesYes
Coat Length(s)
MediumYesYes
ShortNoYes
Coat Color(s)
BlackYesYes
Black BrindleYesNo
BrownYesNo
Brown BrindleYesNo
FawnYesNo
Fawn BrindleYesNo
RedYesNo
Red BrindleYesNo
SilverYesNo
Silver BrindleYesNo
WhiteYesYes
Bi-colorNoYes
Black & TanNoYes
Black & CreamNoYes
Black & RedNoYes
Black & SilverNoYes
BlueNoYes
GrayNoYes
LiverNoYes
SableNoYes