Some of our Akitas currently looking for new homes.

Akita Behaviour & Temperament - Page 30



Many people depend on their Akitas for personal protection. Until very recently, I had both German Shepherds and Akitas, and I have found many differences in how they respond to strangers in the house and outside the yard. First, the Shepherds (and the other guard-type dogs, such as Rottweilers and Dobermans) are much better area guards, especially if the owner is in a situation where he needs or wants outsiders to be aware that dogs are on the premises. Why? The other breeds bark more. Like the old joke, that's the good and the bad news.

I love being able to have dogs without offending my neighbors. All twelve of my dogs bark less than the one dog that lives next door. For eleven years, two joggers came past our house every morning, and for eleven years, my German Shepherd barked at them while the Akitas just watched, a much more sensible response.

However, now that I have only Akitas, our yardmen have no trouble coming in the backyard so long as my children are not outside. The Shepherds wouldn't let anyone inside the fence, no matter how many times a week they showed up. We have back-door garbage pickup, which means the garbage men have to come inside the gates. Some of my Akitas will allow them in and station themselves in front of the door, watching. Of course, the Shepherds wouldn't let them in at all.

Do I think anyone could harm my daughters with an Akita present? Definitely not! They are less concerned with me and even less with my husband, probably because we are the dominant people. Maybe they figure we can look out for ourselves most of the time. I'm fairly confident that their attitude would change if they sensed we were frightened or suspicious ourselves.

Guarding is a primary duty of the European guard dogs commonly seen in Schutzhund work--Rottweilers, Shepherds, and Bouviers. The Akita's basic temperament, shaped for different purposes, gives it a different approach to life. Protectiveness is definitely there but takes a backseat to other facets of the dog's personality.

If our Akita's bark in the night, we know they have a good reason. They know people don't skulk around after dark. On the other hand, if Akitas were great protection dogs, they'd be working in police departments everywhere, and some of us would be in Schutzhund trials. I remember an interview with a policeman who trained his Akita for K-9 work. He said the dog was a good worker but not a breed he would select again for that particular job.



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