HOME ASIA Japanese Dog Breeds Akita vs. Shiba Differences

What Are The Differences Between Akita Inu And Shiba Inu?

Can you tell the differences between an Akita Inu and a Shiba Inu?

While the two have DNA in common(the two breeds are closely related and are both Spitz dog breeds from Japan), there are still several differences between them.

After much research about the breeds,

I want to share with you the differences that I have found.

So what are the differences between an Akita Inu and a Shiba Inu?

Start Watching or Continue Reading:

Akita vs. Shiba Size And Weight

Akita Inu vs Shiba Inu size and weight differences

The Akita is one of the large Japanese dog breeds, standing between 24-28 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing anywhere between 70-110 pounds.

On the other hand, the Shiba Inu is one of Japan’s small dog breeds, weighing only 17-24 pounds and standing 13.5-16 inches tall.

Aside from their size, the Shiba and the Akita look very similar, and both are said to have facial features like that of a fox.

Akita Inu vs. Shiba Inu Temperament

akita vs shiba inu temperament difference

The Akita and the Shiba Inu have quite a few differences in temperament. Though they are both very affectionate with their families, the:

  • Shiba Inu is more likely than the Akita to be friendly with others.
  • Akita is not naturally friendly towards cats, children, strangers, and other dogs, while the Shiba is slightly more tolerant.
  • Shiba is much more suited and adaptable to apartment living than Akita’s adaptability and living space. While the Akita can adapt to apartment living, they tend to thrive more when they have more room to run and roam.
  • Akitas are also more sensitive than the Shibas and don’t like being left alone.
  • Shibas, on the other hand, have a moderate sensitivity level, are independent, and don’t mind being left alone while their owners are at work.

Akita vs. Shiba Inu Life Expectancy:

shiba being hugged by ownerWhen buying a Shiba Inu puppy or an Akita puppy, life expectancy is something you may want to consider.

Though it varies from dog to dog, the Shiba Inu is generally expected to live longer than the Akita.

The average life expectancy of a Shiba is 12-16 years, while the life expectancy of the Akita is only 10-12 years.

Shiba Inu vs. Akita Trainability:

shiba and owner near the lake

When asking about the differences between an Akita Inu and a Shiba Inu, trainability is also something you might want to consider.

But here is the truth: neither the Shibas nor the Akitas are recommended for first-time pet owners.

Really? “Are Shiba Inus Good For First-Time Dog Owners?”

While they are both very intelligent breeds of dogs, they are also very stubborn and independent.

This means that even though they can pick up on commands easily, they might not choose to do so out of stubbornness.

They need a strong trainer who can prove themselves as pack leaders if they wish to control the dog.

With that being said, the Shiba may be considered the easier of the two.


They are more intelligent and have a lesser tendency to bark, howl, wander, or run after prey.

Shiba vs. Akita Health and Grooming

Akita Inu and lady owner running in the bush

Regarding the upkeep of a breed, the Shiba is the easier of the two to care for.

Both dogs have long fur and shed heavily, and the Shiba’s fur loss will be easier to manage because they are smaller.

A Shiba Inu will shed just as much as an Akita Inu but less because of their smaller size.

Because Akita Inus are more hesitant of strangers, they may be more challenging to groom.

Another thing- the Shiba doesn’t drool, whereas the Akita tends to drool a lot.

Akita Inu resting on white background

If you don’t want drool marks all over your clothes, then the Akita isn’t the right choice.

The Shiba is also considered to be the healthier of the two breeds. Akitas are prone to conditions like Hip Dysplasia and Hypothyroidism more often.

The Akita tends to be the more playful of the two breeds and needs more room to run because of their size.

Shiba Inu Price vs. Akita Price

Akita & shiba Inu price in dollar illustration

If you searched for a Shiba Inu for sale, you would find that they are more expensive than an Akita Inu.

The average Shiba Inu ranges between $1400 to $2200. If you would like them registered, they can cost anywhere tween $2000 to $3500.

Other things to consider include transportation costs and veterinarian bills.

Take note: The average Akita price is like that of the Samoyed dog breed. Akita vs. Samoyed cost less than the Shiba Inu, averaging $750 to $2000.

Again, this price may be higher if:

  • you wish to register the dog
  • it would be best if you had transportation or other factors
Shiba Inu

Having said this, while the Shiba Inu costs more upfront than an Akita, an Akita may become more of a financial expense over the long term.

Because Akitas are much larger than the Shibas, they need more food, which costs more money.

We also mentioned that Akita have more health concerns than the Shiba.

Both of these breeds are considered relatively healthy, but, generally speaking, the health concerns that do arise for Akita’s are likely to be more expensive than those that occur for the Shiba’s.

So, the long-term expenses will be higher than that of a Shiba.

Akita Vs. Shiba Inu Differences Chart

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shiba and owner in the forest

So what are the differences between an Akita Inu and a Shiba Inu?

The main difference between these two dog breeds is their size.

The Akita Inu is one of the largest Japanese dog breeds, while the Shiba Inu is one of the smallest.

But aside from this, there are several other differences between the dogs.

The breed also has differences in the following:

  • personality and temperament,
  • life expectancy
  • trainability
  • needs

While both breeds are affectionate and independent, they each have distinct personalities.

Like humans, these personalities will also differ from dog to dog. Much of a dog’s personality depends on the commitment and personality of the owner, so none of the traits listed above are set in stone.

Do your research if you are considering getting a Shiba Inu or an Akita Inu.

These breeds can make excellent pets, but they might not be the best choice for first-time owners.

With their high intelligence levels and need for independence, Shibas and Akitas can be stubborn and require an owner who can be firm, consistent, and loving towards them.

Check Out More Asian dog breeds HERE

dog paw prints

About the author: Driven by his lifelong passion for dogs and an insatiable curiosity about their diverse breeds, Pablo Pascua founded dogbreedsfaq.com. Through this website, he seeks to expand his knowledge and share his findings with fellow dog enthusiasts. Having owned several dogs throughout his life, Pablo’s experiences have fueled his interest in learning more about these beloved animals. His mission is to provide accurate and comprehensive information to help pet owners make informed decisions about their furry companion.

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