Akita vs Shiba Inu – What breed is best for you?

Both the Shiba Inu and the Akita Inu dog breeds have grown in popularity in recent years, and while there are some similarities between the two, there are also many distinctions. Despite the fact that both breeds are descended from Japanese dog lines that can be traced back to ancient Japan, due to advancements in transportation, both breeds have managed to gain solid popularity all over the world, with more and more people looking to potentially add one of the breeds to their family.

This is where we want to step in and assist any of our readers who are thinking of adding an Akita Inu or a Shiba Inu to their families. Because we are receiving an increasing number of requests for a specific Shiba Inu versus Akita Inu comparison post, we have chosen to make this the focus of today’s blog. We hope to be able to assist any of our readers who are contemplating either of the breeds in selecting the best breed for them and their situation.

Throughout this Shiba Inu vs Akita Inu comparison, we will look at the major variables to consider in order to ensure that you acquire the ideal breed for your needs and that your new dog has a long and happy life. We see many people go with larger dogs, such as the Akita, when they live in smaller flats, and the dog is frequently unhappy, when a Shiba Inu may have been a better choice. In addition, we will discuss the activity and grooming requirements of both dog breeds, as well as their suggested food, to give you a fair sense of what to anticipate.

The Dog Breeds’ Appearance

When it comes to looks, the two breeds share a lot of similarities, such as their thick coat, curled tail, face shape, and coloration. The biggest difference between the two breeds is their height, with the Akita being the bigger of the two, at roughly 27 inches tall for males and 25 inches tall for females. The Akita weighs between 100 and 130 pounds for a male and 70 to 100 pounds for a female. On the other hand, the Shiba Inu is generally approximately 16 inches tall for males and 14 inches tall for females, with males weighing around 23 pounds and females weighing around 18 pounds.’

The Akita’s bigger size and heavier weight over the Shiba Inu should be considered before adopting any of these dog breeds to your household. If you live in a tiny apartment or have a petite frame with little strength, the Shiba Inu is typically a better choice because the Akita may pull on walks if not well taught, necessitating some muscle to keep the dog under control. However, if you are ready to be consistent, training an Akita is easier than many people believe, especially if you utilize the principles in a reliable dog training book to train your dog as fast and effectively as possible.

The Akita can have pinto, brindle, white, black, red, and sesame in its coat, however various nations may limit the colors of the breed’s coat to be classified as a purebred Akita. Japan has the most stringent coat requirements, with its kennel association only recognizing red, fawn, sesame, brindle, and white coats in purebred Akitas. However, North American and European kennel organizations typically recognize Akitas of various hues as purebred if both parents are registered purebred Akitas.

Shiba Inus have coat colors that range from red to orange to yellow to black, tan, sesame, black, and cream. However, some Shiba Inus can have white in their coat, although the majority of recognized kennel clubs would frequently discourage Shiba Inus with white in their hair from being show dogs, with some not classifying them as purebreds and refusing to provide the necessary papers for breeding programs.

Moving on to the coats of the breeds, both have a thick double coat that is shed in modest amounts year-round, with two seasonal shedding spikes each year. This may be a problem for any prospective owner of either breed if they or someone in their home is allergic to dogs. However, with a deshedding brush designed for double-coated dogs and a decent deshedding shampoo or conditioner, it is quite easy to keep both the Akita and the Shiba Inu’s shedding under control. Bathing once a week with a decent shampoo or conditioner and grooming once to three times a week for five to ten minutes can do you wonders.

Due to the fact that they are both Spitz breeds, their tails generally curl up. Although they are Asian Spitz families, they also fulfill the criteria of Northern Spitz breeds. It is also essential to note that the curled tail in these breeds is caused by a vertebral abnormality and is completely natural. However, there are some health problems that might lead a purebred of any of the breeds to lack a tail curl, albeit this is uncommon and not a major problem.

Dog Food Recommendation

Both breeds fare well on both dry and wet meals, with their actual daily calorie intake requirements varying according on their size, age, structure, metabolism, and activity levels. Because different dog diets have varying calorie densities, we always recommend that our readers read the labels on their dog food of choice and provide the proper quantity for the size of their dog. On the package of all dog meals, there will be a recommendation per dog weight, allowing you to feed your dog a correct food quantity.

However, when comparing the Akita versus Shiba Inus, the Akita has a greater activity level of the two breeds, and depending on what your Akita is up to each day, may require an additional ten to thirty percent of the necessary food portions by weight. If you use your Akita as a working dog or take it on long walks every day and let it run about, a high protein dog food is definitely the best option to help fuel your dog’s busy lifestyle.

If your dog is active and receives lots of exercise, Purina Pro Plan Sport is a fantastic food choice. It contains a macronutrient breakdown of 30% protein, 20% fat, which helps to maintain an active lifestyle and keep your dog as healthy as possible. The meal has a great reputation in the community, and dogs appear to enjoy the flavor, with many dog owners posting their own independent reviews of the food, which you may read if you choose.

The Dog Breeds’ Temperament

Moving on to the temperaments of both dog breeds, we’d like to point you that not all dogs within a breed will necessarily have the same temperaments, and a well-trained dog will most likely be alright. We only use the American Kennel Club’s official temperament notes for each breed because they have some of the most in-depth data available and include these points in their own recommendations for each breed.

When it comes to Akitas, they may be territorial and protective of their property, as well as cautious towards strangers. If your Akita is not well trained and socialized, they might be hostile to strangers in your house, but most dogs can be taught out of this behavior. Akitas are fine with youngsters they are familiar with, but they can get protective of them, even to the child’s own parents, and because to their huge size and sheer force, we would not recommend an Akita for a first-time dog owner. Some nations have issued breed-specific regulations, classifying it as a potentially hazardous dog.

Shiba Inus have an independent and inquisitive temperament, and they frequently find themselves into problems as a result of their inquisitiveness. There are several YouTube videos showing Shiba Inus examining a new object in their house, only to do something amusing or foolish as their curiosity gets the best of them. Shiba Inus are also a very fastidious breed that will clean their own coat and paws, with many Shiba Inu puppies essentially house training themselves owing to their need to be clean all of the time.

Although Shiba Inus are excellent family dogs and get along well with most youngsters, they can be hostile to other dogs, particularly if you have an intact male. Furthermore, because Shiba Inus are hunting dogs, their desire to chase smaller animals may make them difficult to walk without a leash, with some jurisdictions fining you if you are found with a Shiba Inu off the leash. Due to the dog’s strong drive to pursue, this habit is sometimes difficult to teach out of them, and their great eyesight might enable your dog to chase a squirrel or tiny dog in the distance that you can’t even see, prompting it to dash right into roadways into traffic.

When it comes to the Akita vs Shiba Inu comparison, we believe the Shiba Inu is a little superior breed for a first-time dog owner, but there are undoubtedly better breeds available. Although Akitas have a terrible reputation, there are several YouTube videos showing the breed being giant softies with newborns and other animals, thus their more dominant and possibly violent inclination is simpler to teach out of them than the Shiba Inus instinct to pursue smaller animals.

The Importance of Physical Activity

Both the Shiba Inu and Akita will most likely require regular exercise to avoid growing irritated and perhaps destructive to objects in your home. Both breeds will most likely require an hour-long stroll, with the Shiba Inu sometimes being content with a thirty-minute walk. Both breeds benefit from daily exercise supplemented with fun in your house, garden, or yard, and if space allows, both breeds love playing with an interactive dog toy to help exercise them while also engaging their brains.

If you are a runner or jogger, the Akita is unquestionably the superior breed for quicker and longer jogs or runs. On top of that, we’ve heard from a lot of female runners and joggers who say they choose the Akita breed since the places they live and work aren’t suitable for a single female runner. The Akita is not only capable of keeping up with the speed of your run or job, but it is also large, strong, and frightening enough to keep problems away from the owner when they are out on a run or jog.

Common Health Problems

Both breeds have a life expectancy of up to fifteen years, however both have a number of health problems that might arise and reduce their predicted life duration. Allergies, glaucoma, cataracts, hip dysplasia, entropion, and luxating patella are all common health concerns for Shiba Inus, with annual joint checks advised until the age of two and regular eye tests throughout the dog’s life.

When it comes to the Akita Inus, the dog breed can suffer from a variety of autoimmune illnesses as well as less frequent difficulties such as gastric dilatation, microphthalmia, primary glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, Von Willebrand’s disease, and Cushing’s Syndrome. However, while there are additional health concerns that might afflict the Akita Inu as a dog breed, outside of autoimmune illnesses, the other issues are infrequent.

Hachiko, is she a Shiba Inu or an Akita?

We regularly see people inquiring about the dog breed of Hachiko whenever we see the Akita or Shiba Inu addressed, so we just wanted to briefly include it. Hachiko was an Akita Inu, although she was frequently misidentified as a Shiba Inu since the Shiba Inu and Akita appear so similar to most people. The majority of people are aware that Hachiko is a Japanese Dog breed and frequently guess one of the most popular Japanese breeds.


That concludes our comparison of the Shiba Inu and Akita Inu, and we hope you found our post useful and gained some insight into the differences between the two breeds. We’ve lost count of how many times we’ve received a request for a Shiba Inu versus Akita comparison post, so we decided to just write one to aid as many of our readers as possible who are thinking about adding either breed to their home. Depending on your circumstances, either breed may be a fantastic addition to your family, but both have the concerns that we have mentioned at various points in the text that should be considered before purchasing the dog.