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Hi I have been debating on a dog breed and want to make the right choice. I lost my beloved sweet furbaby a Akita/Chow/lab mix in 2009, she was about 13 1/2 years old, she was the most perfect dog and my dream dog. I adopted her when she was a about 9 week puppy and I was 13. She was Beautiful, very smart, very loyal, very protective, playful and loved to talk like chewbacca, she also was very tolerant and gentle with our cats and a wonderful and serious watch dog. She had all the qualities I'd want in a dog. I have been debating on on either to getting a full Akita or full German Shepherd. When I was a toddler we had a white German Shepherd and he was a wonderful boy!! I'm totally confused on which breed to get now, I have gotten many akita books and german shepherd books but still am even more confused now hehe. I want a dog just like my babygirl, I am still having a hard time with her loss! I have heard many things about pure breed Akitas attacking other people pets or that they can't ever be off lead even when they have been well socialized and that concerns me and makes me wonder if a german shepherd would be a better choice instead. I want a large breed that is talkative, very loving, very loyal, very protective, has a sense of humor and that can be around other cats and dogs. Can anyone give me any suggestions? Do any of you guys german shepherds talk or woo woo? Can they be off lead? Do yours get along with other dogs and cats? Do yours get a close bond to one person? Thanks so much for reading my post!!! Any help or info would be really appreciated! Thanks so much! ~Fuzzy~
 

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Fuzzy I am by far a pro but I can tell you my experiences with the GSD as i have grown up with them and now have one of my own. First off the GSD is not a dog for a person who can not invest a lot of time in training, excersizing, socializing them the are a very loving talkative gods who genneraly IMO keeps to their one person but loves their hole family, my dog is part of my family and would protect every one of us but if you have read my posts can be quite a hand full in her young stages so again it falls back to being patient (my wife is not) and putting the time into them to mold them into the dog your looking for. I am very sorry to hear of your loss but please remember every dog no matter the breed is going to have its own personality and you may never have the exact things you had in you passed dog
 

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I think you would be more willing to find those things in a GSD. I have also heard many negative things about modern day Akitas not being too friendly with other animals and roaming. Depending on the lines though, a lot of GSDs do not do well with the same gender dogs outside their pack upon maturity.

I would personally feel more comfortable having a GSD around cats, kids, and dogs. I know there is an exception to every rule, but that is my take on it.

That said, do you know enough about GSDs to know that you want one, and would you be able to fulfil their socialization, training, and exercise needs?
 

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Hi I have been debating on a dog breed and want to make the right choice. I lost my beloved sweet furbaby a Akita/Chow/lab mix in 2009, she was about 13 1/2 years old, she was the most perfect dog and my dream dog. I adopted her when she was a about 9 week puppy and I was 13. She was Beautiful, very smart, very loyal, very protective, playful and loved to talk like chewbacca, she also was very tolerant and gentle with our cats and a wonderful and serious watch dog. She had all the qualities I'd want in a dog. I have been debating on on either to getting a full Akita or full German Shepherd. When I was a toddler we had a white German Shepherd and he was a wonderful boy!! I'm totally confused on which breed to get now, I have gotten many akita books and german shepherd books but still am even more confused now hehe. I want a dog just like my babygirl, I am still having a hard time with her loss! I have heard many things about pure breed Akitas attacking other people pets or that they can't ever be off lead even when they have been well socialized and that concerns me and makes me wonder if a german shepherd would be a better choice instead. I want a large breed that is talkative, very loving, very loyal, very protective, has a sense of humor and that can be around other cats and dogs. Can anyone give me any suggestions? Do any of you guys german shepherds talk or woo woo? Can they be off lead? Do yours get along with other dogs and cats? Do yours get a close bond to one person? Thanks so much for reading my post!!! Any help or info would be really appreciated! Thanks so much! ~Fuzzy~
Gsd's are great dogs. a german shepherd meets all the needs to listed. and i wouldnt suggest an akita if you are looking for a dog who is friendly to other dogs. and i say this with experience(ive had a couple of unpleasant encounters with akitas in a dog park.)
good luck
:)
 

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If you expect the new puppy to "take your other dog's place', I suspect that you will be very disappointed and the new puppy will not be too happy. the new dog will be a completely separate being with her/his own personality.

Not too mention that as the years pass, the old dog will morph into something just short of perfect! At least ours did just that.
 

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If you expect the new puppy to "take your other dog's place', I suspect that you will be very disappointed and the new puppy will not be too happy. the new dog will be a completely separate being with her/his own personality.

Not too mention that as the years pass, the old dog will morph into something just short of perfect! At least ours did just that.
Well said. :)

Even before I lost Gunnar, I knew I would never be able to replace him. I wasn't even sure if I would EVER be ready to get another dog. I'm still in a state of shock over finding a very nice dog so soon.... and even more shocked that his name is almost the same. I've managed to convince myself that "Gunner" is a completely different name than "Gunnar" though. He seems to know his name & like it just fine, so I may as well let him keep it. Calling him "Gunner" isn't as hard I thought it would be. I know he isn't Gunnar, and I don't expect him to be. I'm actually glad that he isn't much like Gunnar at all; I would like to continue to remember Gunnar as the very special and unique dog that he was.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks everyone for the info!!!!! You guys are terrific!!!!! Please don't worry I know a new dog will be totally different in personality and I will love it just the same. Just like people animals are all totally different too. I guess I'm talking about "traits" I'm looking for that most each "breed" would have. Even though then again I know each one is different and theres all exceptions to the rule hehehe. I love all doggies and have been around and cared for different breeds and mixed breeds. Right now I'm leaning towards a GS, since the well socialized and trained pure akita dog aggression concerns me. My girl did not like other dogs but she was polite and would listen when I wanted her to move from them. I think it was the hyper dogs that really she didn't like and I would always watch her closely with small dogs, although she never did anything to them. I would socialize a new puppy and possibly do dog agility. I used to do some agility with my girl but in my back yard and always loved it and I think she did too. I have always loved training dogs. I want a dog that wants to be me with my 24/7. Thank you all so much for the advice!!! You guys are great!!!
 

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personally i would steer clear of akitas but like i said, thats a personal opinion. all the qualities you're looking for in a dog, you, for me, just described a GSD. They're an amazing breed and i cant ever imagine my life without at least one. GSDs are an addiction. Proper training and socialization, you can have the best dog in your world. I wouldnt trade my dogs for anything. i honestly think the best way to know for sure if a GSD is for you, is to meet various dogs, learn about the different lines, talk with owners. They really are great dogs and could fulfill everything you're looking for.
 

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Since you don't know a lot about GSDs yet it might be a good idea to look into your local rescues and foster a GSD maybe you'll end up with a foster failure ;)

You aren't going to learn enough in books or this board, you need to see them in person.
 

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I have experience with Akitas - my grandmother lived next door to a vicious one who frightened me so much I didn't go outside, and the ones we had at the shelter were aggressive, one so severely it had to be put down. The other went to a no pet, no children one person household. I do not recommend them to anyone but the most experienced dog handlers - in fact I do not recommend ANY of the Japanese breeds, as they all tend to be similar in temperament to the Akita.

My GSD is the best dog I have ever owned. He is smart, loyal, affectionate without being needy, tolerant, accepting, fun, eager to please, he's just exceptional. If you are someone with a lot of time to devote to a dog or pup - meaning, you don't work long hours, I don't like pups in crates all day - and you promise fully to train train train and SOCIALIZE early and as much as possible, and you're patient, consistent and maintain a daily schedule, a GSD is right up your alley, I think. You'd have all of the qualities you want. Socializing them is so important though, you really need to get the pup out and about, meeting everyone, so he/she isn't fearful or nervous.

Mine is GREAT with my cats, dogs, ferret, even parrots - he is respectful and gentle and even plays with one of my cats, and the cat ADORES him, he seeks him out every morning to play when the pup wakes up!

They're great off leash dogs - mine is never more than a few feet away, and I used to petsit my neighbor's stunningly handsome GSD, Max, I loved that dog, so elegant and impressive. Even though I was just some little neighbor girl who watched him once in a while, that dog followed beside me all the way to the beach and back every day for fetch in the water, totally off leash. i was petsitting him, but in truth, that dog was watching over ME.

These dogs are a gift, a treasure, mine has been the light in my life I so desperately needed. He's given me a new "leash on life," no pun intended. They're amazing - all it takes is one look into the eyes of a magnificent, noble shepherd and you know right away that he is the king of dogs - a braver, truer friend you will not find! I'm so glad I finally decided to get my dream dog, a GSD, because this breed is absolutely exceptional, and I have owned many breeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thank you so much for your beautiful post, this info is very helpful!!! Your boy sounds wonderful!!!!! I think my girl didn't have the full akita "aggressiveness" because she had the bit of lab mixed in. She did act like a Akita in her aloofness to strangers, strong protectiveness of me and guard dog behavior but she was thankfully never bite aggressive to anyone and accepted my cats and birds well. A lot of times she would stand in front of me when certain people would come over and watch them, I loved that about her. I socialized her very well when she was a puppy and young dog, took her all over the place and let her meet people and other animals. She was good off lead too and I would often do things in the front yard while she was out there with me or take her off the lead at a park. It would be important to me that I could have a dog that I could train to do that also and I've heard pure akitas can never be off lead (I know there is probably some that can though). I taught a lot of tricks too and always had so much fun with her. She was never crazy about being around other dogs though and I was okay with that as long as she was polite to them. She wanted to be the only dog in the house. Are german shepherds like that too? Thanks so much for your post, it was very helpful!! It would probably be another year until I got a dog but I want to be totally prepared and get all my ducks in a line so to speak hehe. ~Hugs~ Fuzzy
 

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Thanks so much everyone for your post and info!! It was healing for me to write and to find out some information that was very helpful. I hope you all have a Happy 2011!! ~Hugs~ Fuzzy
 

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My GSD is fine around other dogs. Every dog is going to be different of course. I think it helped that I introduced him to other dogs as soon as he had enough vaccinations and the vet said it was ok.
 

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I am on my first GSD having had previously a pegidree Australian Cattle Dog ( AMAZING DOG and hard to ever replace him ) and an Australian Working Kelpie ( also an incredible dog ). I went for a GSD almost by accident as you simply cannot get decent dogs here in Cambodia - they are all mutts. I never aspired to owning a GSD or a large breed dog but someone I knew here had a young GSD male and she used to bring him to the bar and parties all the time and I really admired that dog and the way he was with people and kids etc . Then the opportunity came along by surprise to get a good GSD puppy and I uhmed and ahhed and made the leap real quick. I have had my girl Karma for 7 months now and....well....I would never go back to any other breed EVER . In fact - give me more !!. GSDs are just a simply amazing dog full stop and that's not just me being a gushing owner who has never owned or does not like other breeds !! I just know what I expect from a dog and whilst I would hate to get a problematic one and pray Karma stays on the straight an narrow and does not develop any bad traits, thus far....I cannot fault this dog. She is not perfect in every way but she is very affectionate and for her age she is well behaved for the most part and has been a dream too train so far. I mean......A D R E A M. She listens once or twice and just gets it !

I think the most amazingly unexpected thing for me about owning a GSD is the sheer amount of attention they draw. You will get looks and approaches and reactions EVERY time you step out with your dog. Some people gravitate towards them like moths to a flame. Some run in fear, some simply stand still and look mesmerised but everyone watches as you go by. The thing that goes hand in hand with this is that when I walk my dog I feel...its very hard to explain....but I feel kind if famous ! Not famous....maybe proud ? I dunno - does anyone else get that **** STRAIGHT MY DOG IS A GSD !! feeling ??

With dog lovers here in Cambodia , the first few questions are always ;

How old is she?
Where did you get her ?
How much was she ?
Can I have one of her pups !?

I cannot comment on the4 other breeds you mentioned but like everyone says - if you have the time to invest then 100% for sure get a GSD.
 

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You're welcome. :) Your girl sounds equally wonderful, and I know how hard it is to lose your beloved dog, I lost my great dane in August. He was incredibly special to me, and when I got Remi, I think my mind wanted to start seeing my dane in Rem, I noticed similar characteristics, mannerisms, personality traits. Maybe Scout did send me a puppy, or maybe he did come back - but ultimately, I am reconciled with the fact that Scout is gone, and Remi is Remi. I will always love and miss Scout, but now I must focus on my new baby, and discover all of the wonderful things about him as we journey together.

You will never find a replica of your dog's personality, nor should you expect to find it. But you will find a new love that will enter your heart next to the memory of your girl, one that will bring you joy and happiness and a ton of new memories. Good luck in one day finding your next great dog! :D
 

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I know how you feel about your last dog even after all this time. We felt the same way and had the same hopes. But it turned out that our GSD is nothing like our last dog, she is so much smarter, more fun and interesting .... and challenging. Our last dog was a mutt we got as a puppy from the humane society. The GSD we got from a breeder. In both cases we were very lucky to get 'good' dogs. The GSD was very challenging for the first few months but has turned out to be very much worth the time and patience required to help her to mature properly.
 

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Well my in-laws have 3 akita's living next door to them- they are horrible but were never socialized and are down right vicious to the point when we are over I have to knock on the door and ask them to NOT let them out because they try to jump the fence to get to our dogs and kids:( That being said I grew up with an akita living next door and she was the sweetest dog ever with people and children, but was not good with other dogs:( I think if you researched breeders well and put the effort into finding a solid akita it is absolutely possible you could raise a well socialized one:)

GSD's honestly can be just as quirky so it will come down to socialization, training, and genetics. My girl is amazing with my children, cats, and other dogs; but not so keen on strangers. She is my shadow, best friend, and protector. We go everywhere together, she is very chatty and expressive, and is a breeze to train. We go off-leash everywhere and she would NEVER run off, we hike, go swimming, and make trips to the bay- she is my constant companion. However, it comes down to preference of course. Both breeds need a ton of socialization, training, and exercise to become well rounded pets so if you have the time and patience begin spending time with both breeds. Figure out which one really speaks to you:)
 

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I have only known one Akita and that was just briefly, but he was the sweetest, kindest, quietest dog in the world, a true gentle giant. Our trainer used him to socialize other dogs who were unsure. Perhaps he was exceptional for the breed though. When I first read your post, I thought that you really are not ready for another dog, as you are still grieving your dog. But it does sound like you are being realistic. I think a GSD would have just about everything you are looking for in a dog, the bonding, the protectiveness. The only things that would worry me a little from what I have seen: some GSD are fine around other dogs and some are not, and the off-leash thing maybe, maybe not. Those things probably all depend on how you socialize, as well as the genetics of the dog you wind up with. Good luck in your search.
 
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