They look similar, I believe.
But they have other differences which I found while studying them (Akita vs Shiba) which inspired me to write this article for you.
Well, this isn’t about who is charming or what has attractive coats.
It’s going to be beyond that.
You will learn 11 dissimilarities between them (Akita vs Shiba) with valid reasons.
Okay, I’ll give you an example.
Do you know? Akita Inu is more protective than the Shiba dog.
Because they have a rich history in guarding royalties and obeying their masters in the 17th century.
I hope you got a basic idea from this excerpt.
So without any halt, let’s dive straight into this topic (Akita vs Shiba).
Table of Contents
Breed History: Akita vs Shiba Inu
Before I share their differences one after the other. Let’s learn their brief history.
We recognize a person not by their name but by deeds.
That’s how this world started recognizing Akita after Hachiko’s story.
But they had done enough for the Japanese.
For years, Akita Inu was bred to guard and hunt wild animals.
And they were also bred to protect noble families of Japan.
It was Helen Keller, a writer, and political activist who brought Akita to US soil in 1937 for the first time.
Today, Akita Inu is known for its loyalty and variant coat colors.
The Shiba dog is the ancient one from the 6-spitz family.
Like Akitas, they also originated in Japan and have existed since 300 BC.
The type of breed was used to flush birds and hunt wild boars.
But centuries later, they were close to extinction due to the effect of ‘World War 2’.
Fortunately, the Japanese had taken the necessary measures.
Today, the Shiba Inu can be found in Japan, the USA, and other nations.
Appearance: Akita vs Shiba Dogs
Akita dogs are of two types: American Akita dogs and Akita Japanese dogs.
The one which has a bear-like face is American Akita and the other one has a fox-like face.
Both of them have triangular ears and curvy tails that look adorable!
They have knuckled paws exactly like cats.
And double coats in 7 different colors, including brown, black, fawn, and so on.
Shiba Inu looks like a cousin of the Akita breed (Japanese Akita dog)
They have distinct features like small fur and tail hair to protect themselves from extreme conditions.
Like Akita, they have triangular ears, curvy tails, and double coats in 4 different colors.
Key Takeaway: Akita Inu is larger than Shiba Inu. Their growth rate is also higher than Shiba Inu. That’s why Akita looks giant and sturdy within a year whereas Shiba Inu takes time to look like an adult.
Height: Akita vs Shiba Breeds
There is a huge height difference between these two breeds (Akita vs Shiba).
The Akita height ranges between 25 to 27 Inches while the Shiba Inu height falls between 14 to 17 Inches.
Akitas are large. And of course, they have large bone density.
Due to this, Akita Inu weighs more than Shiba Inu. The Akita weight ranges between 64 to 132 Lbs. Shiba Inu, on the other hand, weighs 18 to 22 Lbs.
Temperament: Akita vs Shiba Inu
Akita dogs are popular for two reasons: Loyalty and temperament issues
They are aggressive to outsiders and similar breeds. Not trained ones…
If anyone tries to be the obstacle, then Akita shows their real avatar – the destructive one!
They mostly enjoy time being with their owners and tend to remain calm indoors.
Shiba Inu is a nature lover dog. They enjoy outdoor activities from their heart.
However, if anyone crosses their limits and tries to provoke the Shiba puppy, they launch their ferocious attack.
I mean the high-pitched scream before biting.
Shiba dogs usually love being around their owners, but they ignore their owners once they are unleashed.
Key Takeaway: When it comes to Akita vs Shiba Inu temperament, the former is angrier than later. In fact, Akita’s tolerance level is also higher than Shiba Inu’s. Also, Akita Inu breeds are way more dominating than Shiba Inu. Although they are loyal and affectionate they get triggered easily when anyone tries to harm them. That’s why it is suggested to implement the right exercise in their routine.
Exercise needs: Akita vs Shiba Dogs
Akita dogs are responsive and have strong endurance.
They are the ones that always seek opportunities for outdoor activities.
But when you fail to implement exercise plans in their early stages, they tend to become notorious dogs.
Akitas require brisk walks, crate training, and ball game sessions in order to burn their pent-up energy.
This lessens the chance of getting agitated by other dogs or unknown faces.
Shiba Inu also has high pent-up energy.
That’s why they don’t get tired sooner when they are outdoors.
But if you don’t channelize their energy, an adorable and calm Shiba Inu can turn into a dangerous dog in an instant.
So it’s imperative to keep Shiba puppy engaged in these 3 exercises.
- Daily walk
- Chew toys
These exercises not only keep them busy but also burn their anger.
Key Takeaway: When we talk about Akita vs Shiba Inu exercise needs, the former requires more physical and mental exercise than later. Akita dogs take time to be ready for outdoor activities. They require a minimum of 12 months. Whereas Shiba Inu start doing outdoor activities such as walking or jogging with his owner within 6 months. Akitas may look giant in months but their learning pace is slower than Shibas.
Training: Akita vs Shiba Inu dogs
First of all, Akita Inu is not a kid-friendly or dog-friendly breed. They don’t belong to novel pet parents either.
In fact, their tolerance level with unknown personalities is so low, that they can even be a threat to others’ lives.
That’s why hardcore training is the only way to keep an Akita dog breed apartment-friendly, sane, and socialized.
Akita training includes:
- Verbal Command: Teach Akita dog when to stand, sit, lie down, and other habits
- Physical exercise: Let them run and jog
- Advanced training: Let Akita play see-saw and long jump
These training activities burn their energy and make them familiar with society.
Shiba Inu may have a small-sized fox appearance. But they are ridiculously stubborn and challenging to train.
They are not apartment-friendly, but exercise and training can bring drastic changes in their demeanor.
They usually learn from others’ actions and catch things immediately if they are bad.
To make them a well-behaved dog, you have to implement the following training:
- Verbal Command: Teach how to sit or lie down
- Obedience training: Teach when not to bark or beg
- Potty training: Teach how to call when they to loo or poop
Key Takeaway: Both breeds (Akita vs Shiba) require training. Akita Inu can be more dangerous than Shiba without training and teaching sessions. They take time to socialize and that’s why they (Akita dogs) are not recommended for novice breeders.
Grooming needs: Akita vs Shiba Inu
Akitas may be known for two reasons: Loyalty and temperament issues.
But they are infamous for one more reason: Shedders.
They shed throughout the year, and profusely in winters.
That’s why they have extensive grooming needs in order to fight against allergens and various types of bacteria.
Akita grooming needs are as follows:
- Nail trimming
- Brushing every day or alternate day
- Ear wiping
- Regular bathing
Shibas do shed but not as much as Akita dogs.
Although they remove dead hair and dirt from their paws, neck, and other parts, they require minimal grooming.
Shiba Inu grooming needs are as follows:
- Ear wiping and nail trimming
- Teeth brushing
- Bathing to remove foul odor
Key Takeaway: When it comes to Akita vs Shiba grooming, both breeds have minimal requirements. These dog breeds have a cat-like ‘licking’ obsession that removes all the dead coats from their body. However, Akita dog owners may need extra hours to remove filth as they are larger than Shiba dogs.
Health: Akita vs Shiba
Akita dogs are rugged and healthy!
But they get affected with several gastrointestinal and other life-threatening diseases in the early stages.
- Bloating: The abdomen disease that expands and twists the stomach in a way that discomfort dogs to excrete.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This impairs the eyesight of dogs and makes them blind in some months.
- Sebaceous Adenitis: This affects sebaceous glands and makes dogs suffer from skin infections.
- Dysplasia: This produces severe pain in joints which leads to Arthritis.
Shiba Inus are prone to several health conditions. But not every Shiba gets ill and is susceptible to deadly diseases.
When we talk about Shiba Inu health, they might get ailments because of these:
- Hypothyroidism: It is a thyroid gland disorder that is responsible for epilepsy, obesity, and other skin problems.
- Patellar Luxation: The disorder in which joint bones dislocate and cause severe knee pain.
- Allergies: There are 3 types of allergies including contact, food, and inhalant allergies which are caused when they intake harmful substances.
- Cancer: It could be any. Mostly it is bone cancer or lymphoma.
- Glaucoma: The eye disease that damages the optic nerve and impairs eyesight.
- Chylothorax: The health condition that accumulates fluid in the chest which results in chest pain.
To know more about Dogs’ vaccination and health, you can check our guide here.
Key Takeaway: Akitas are prone to the abdomen, eyes, and joint inflammation. That’s why Akita lifespan is shorter than Shiba Inu lifespan. Shiba Inu isn’t prone to life-threatening disorders. They might catch the above-mentioned 6 diseases, but, in the rare scenario.
Feeding: Akita vs Shiba Inu
The growth rate of Akita Inu is ridiculously high.
For their growth and development, protein, omega acids, fibers, and other nutrients are essential.
This not only contributes to growth hormones but also enhances the immune system.
The diet of Akita dogs keeps changing as they move to different phases. There are three phases: Puppy, Adult, and Senior.
Suggested: Toxic food for dogs
Let’s see what’s the ideal diet for them:
- Akita Puppy: They require 2-3 bowls of food on a daily basis. The food should have protein, omega acid, and veggies.
- Akita Adult: They need extra fiber and protein as they are likely prone to joint pain. The meal should be given 4-5 times a day.
- Senior: The meal should be given in time and have other components like glucosamine and chondroitin. The carbohydrates should be cut off as they are unlikely to work out.
Shiba Inu requires a balanced diet to live a long and healthy life.
The food items that include wheat or corn harm their digestive system.
So it’s imperative to feed them the right foods which are meat, colorful vegetables like carrots or red bell peppers, eggs, plain yogurt, etc
List of food items Shiba Inu requires:
- Shiba Inu puppy: The meal should be protein-rich and has colorful fruits and vegetables. They should be fed at least one bowl a day.
- Shiba Inu adult: The meal should be given 2-3 times a day that includes eggs, meat, fish-like mackerel, veggies, etc.
- Shiba Inu senior: They should be fed 2 times a day depending on their appetite. Also, the intake of water should be high as they get dehydrated very soon. The diet should be light and full of minerals and vitamins. To know more about senior dog food you can always check our guide.
Key Takeaway: Akita Inu requires more food than the Shiba Inu as they are larger in size. In Akita vs Shiba Inu, the former tend to eat 4-5 times a day, whereas, the latter cannot eat more than 3 times. Packaged foods are not suitable for both breeds.
Lifespan: Akita vs Shiba dog
The average lifespan of Akita is less than Shiba.
Being a large-sized dog, Akita is prone to several health conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy to bloating.
But they can live for 10-12 years if proper food and medication are given.
Shiba, on the other hand, lives over 15 years of age. There are fewer possibilities for Shibas to catch fatal diseases as they are smaller and healthier.
Price: Akita vs Shiba Inu puppy
Japanese or American Akita puppy or Shiba price depends on their coat color, lineage, size, etc.
However, when you buy an Akita puppy from a reputable breeder, it may cost $3,500 (max).
It may take between $1,000 to $1,500 to buy a Shiba puppy. The maximum Shiba puppy price is $3,000
Frequently Asked Questions
Now you know what are the common differences between Akita vs Shiba Inu.
So if you ever get a chance to identify their difference what’s the first thing you would compare?
Let us know by commenting below.
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