Have you watched the popular Hollywood movie Hachi? The dog named Hachiko in that movie belonged to Akita Breed is very popular in Japan. When I first watched the movie, I was mesmerised by the story and the cuteness of the dog Hachiko impressed me a lot.
Both the breeds of Shiba Inu and Akita are super cute and loyal. And in this article, I am going to Compare the Breeds of Shiba Inu and Akita, so that you can decide which breed would be better suitable for you and your family.
An Akita dog, Hachiko used to wait at the Shibuya Station in Japan for his owner to return from work. One day when his owner died at work, Hachiko waited for nine years at the station before he died as well. It is a really heart touching story of pure love and loyalty of the dog and owner relation.
After that movie released, Akita breed became so popular that everyone including big celebrities wanted to adopt dogs of this breed.
In 2015, a Doge meme took the internet by storm. If you are not familiar with this meme or you have forgotten about this meme, you must have seen this image anywhere on any social media.
This expression of dog was circulated with different kinds of memes. This dog belongs to Shiba Inu breed.
As you see, Both these dogs have a pretty interesting history and are quite popular among the youth.
A Brief Introduction of Akita and Shiba Inu
Both these breeds belong to Japan. Because of the Hachiko legend, People in Japan resonate the Breed Akita with Pure Loyalty and Courage. In their native land, they are considered as a family protector and a symbol of good health, happiness and long life.
Akita is very energetic, wild and was used to guard royal people and palaces. Along with this, they were used to wild boar and deer. Despite the fact that they are wild and energetic, they are affectionate and love human company.
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Once they are trained properly, they are a perfect mixture of a dog of Loyalty, Protection and Love. Here is how an Akita dog looks like:
Shiba Inu is much smaller as compared to Akita and are known for their Cat-like agility and spirited personality. This breed is said to be the most ancient breed of Japan and looks much like a Fox. They are very good human companion dogs as well.
Shiba Inu is known for bold and fiery personality. Shiba Inu is small but very athletic. He is very alert and moves very quickly.
Shiba Inu vs Akita on the basis of Size
One of the most prominent difference between Akita and Shiba Inu is the difference in their Size. The average height of Akita’s is in the range of two and a half (2-2.5) feet and weigh about 60-135 pounds.
Male Akita’s stand at 26-28 inches (2-2.5 feet) tall and weigh 80 to 135 pounds while Female Akita’s stand 24-26 inches (2 feet) tall and weigh 60 to 110 pounds.
Shiba Inu’s weigh about 16-24 pounds and stand at one foot tall. Male dogs stand at 14-16 inches tall and weigh about 24 pounds. Female Shiba Inu’s weigh about 13-15 inches and weigh about 17 pounds.
Akita is not a dog that can fit into your lap and not a breed you can pick him up after he has grown up. They are capable of causing injuries to people and that’s why they have been used for guarding services.
Shiba Inu vs Akita on the basis of Appearance
Akita is a big and bold dog with a powerful appearance. It is a large dog with small eyes and a confident stance. Akita is a natural guardian of the family.
Shiba Inu is small and athletic but has a similar coat like Akita. They have prick ears, squinty eyes and curly tails. Both Akita and Shiba Inu look kind of similar and also share the same stance.
Shiba Inu vs Akita on the basis of Personality
Both Shiba Inu and Akita share a lot of similarities on the basis of Personality and temperament. If I talk about Akita, they are alert, intelligent and courageous.
Akita can get very aggressive at times, especially with the dogs of same-sex. But when it comes to family, they are extremely loyal and loving. They respect every member of the family and do not get aggressive with them.
They love to enjoy family companionship are very helpful. They can carry household items in their mouth. This breed loves exercises and activity and because of the energy they have in them, it is rare that you find any lazy Akita dog.
They need plenty of exercises to prevent them from getting bored and destructive. It is important to train Akita properly as you need to ensure you have them in your control.
If you are a first-time owner, I would not recommend you to get an Akita.
Shiba Inu’s are spirited, spunky and love to mischief. Just like Akita, they are also alert and intelligent. They are more friendly with Kids as compared to an Akita dog.
They have a tendency of chasing a cat or squirrel when spotted. It is important to keep them on a leash as they can run and may even get lost. Training them is not that easy, as they would come to you only when they want to. Early socialization is very important in Shiba Inu’s case.
Akita can get destructive and aggressive if they are handled roughly or improperly by someone. Shiba Inu doesn’t have this tendency in them.
Shiba Inu vs Akita on the basis of Health
Akita’s are generally healthy and energetic, but like all other dog breeds, they are prone to certain health problems as well. They have an inherited health condition called Hip dysplasia in which the thighbone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint.
Some dogs have pain in one or both rear legs. Gastric dilatation-volvulus, which is commonly called bloat, is a life-threatening disease found in an Akita dog. This is caused due to an Akita dog eating a large and heavy meal in the day and then drinking large volumes of water followed by exercising vigorously after eating.
Hypothyroidism is responsible for epilepsy, lethargy and obesity in Akita breed.
Shiba Inu‘s are also prone to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and hypothyroidism. Allergies are also common in Shiba Inu’s. The three types of allergies common in Shiba’s are Food, contact and inhalant allergies.
What’s the Life Expectancy of Akita and Shiba Inu
Shiba Inu’s are more prone to health problems like epilepsy, cancer and chylothorax but they tend to live longer on average as compared to Akita breed.
Shiba Inu’s have an average life of 12-15 years and Akita’s have an average life of 10-12 years.
Shiba Inu vs Akita in Terms of Living Expenses
The cost to look after both Akita and Shiba Inu is very nominal. Both the breeds do not have any cost of grooming and are also available in rescue shelters and pet adoption centres.
Shiba Inu’s are more prone to health problems and you may encounter financial expenses on his health but if you take proper care and pay attention to his health needs since his puppyhood, your Shiba will stay healthy for his lifetime.
Akita’s eat two to eight times in a day and hence will cost you more to look after as compared to Shiba Inu. If you invest in high-quality dry dog food, this cost can add up and have a huge difference between the food cost of each of these breeds.
Shiba Inu vs Akita on the basis of their Diet
As you much have guessed by now, Akita eats a lot and they need a good diet to maintain the energy and activity they have. An Akita dog eats around 3-5 cups of high-quality dry food a day depending on their age and size.
If you want your Akita to guard your factory or shop, then you may need to feed more as the level of activity needed can be more.
Shiba’s eat around 0.5 to 1.5 cup of high-quality dry food a day. This can be divided into two to three meals like feeding 0.5 cups three a day, one in the morning, one in the evening and one at night.
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Shiba Inu vs Akita on the basis of their Training
Both Shiba Inu and Akita are an intelligent breed with a confident and independent personality. But they can be stubborn as well and this fact makes them tricky to train. You notice I used the word “tricky” instead of “difficult”.
But both breeds can even learn advanced commands due to their intelligence and courage. You just need to learn how to train these breeds.
Both of these breeds will respect you and your commands only if you respect them. Be sure to learn How to Become a Pack Leader by which you can train your dog with respect.
In order to train an Akita, you need to gain his trust and respect. It’s a challenging task for even a Professional trainer to train an Akita because of the fact that they can only be trained by their owner, with whom they share a special and unique bond.
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Shiba Inu vs Akita on the Basis of Grooming
When it comes to grooming of Akita and Shiba Inu, the biggest headache of owners is their shedding. Both the breeds shed a lot when they change their coats during summers and winters. They change their coats from winters to summers.
If you have any kind of allergy or are prone to allergies, you may find difficult to bear any of the two breeds during the shedding time. They can fill your house with hair and can cause a mess during shedding time.
But despite their shedding, they are comparatively easier to groom as compared to other pure breeds. Bath them once a month and brush them once a week and you will do just fine.
Conclusion: Which is Better for you?
If you can bear the food cost of an Akita dog and you are not a first-time dog parent, you shall adopt an Akita dog. Especially if your house is in a wild area where there is some kind of danger from wild animals or any thief.
If you stay in an apartment in a city, you can still have an Akita dog if you need a dog with Good height and size. If you are someone who prefers a smaller dog with the same level of cuteness and looks, then Shiba Inu is the perfect choice for you.
This was my personal recommendation, but you can choose any dog based on the topics and parameters I mentioned above. Just be aware of their health problems and with proper care and attention, they both can stay healthy for their lifetime.