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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 would like to share with you the differences that I have found.

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

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Akita vs. Shiba Size (Infographic)

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.

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

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

[ Check Out the Akita Pitbull Mix Breed ]

Akita Inu vs. Shiba Inu Temperament

akita vs shiba inu temperament difference

When it comes to temperament, the Akita and the Shiba Inu actually have quite a few differences. 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 a cat, child, strangers, and other dogs while the Shiba is slightly more tolerant.
  • Shiba is much more suited and adaptable to apartment living than the Akita in terms of adaptability and living space. While the Akita can adapt to apartment living, they tend to thrive more when they have more space 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 looking to buy a Shiba Inu puppy or an Akita puppy, life expectancy is something that 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, if you are a first-time pet owner, neither the Shibas nor the Akitas are recommended.

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

While they are both very intelligent breeds of dog, 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 gain control over 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 Needs:

Akita Inu and lady owner running in the bush

When it comes to the upkeep of a breed, the Shiba is definitely the easier of the two to care for.

Both dogs have long fur and shed heavily, 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 will be less because of their smaller size.

Because Akita Inus are more hesitant of strangers, they may also be more difficult 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 for you.

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, because of their size, needs more room to run.

Shiba Inu Price vs. Akita Price

Akita & shiba Inu price in dollar illustration

If you were to search 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. Both Akita vs. Samoyed, cost less than the Shiba Inu, averaging between $750 to $2000.

Again, this price may be higher if:

  • you wish to register the dog
  • you need 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 so much larger than the Shibas, they need more food, which costs more money.

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

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

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


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 as well.

The breed also has differences in:

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

While both of these breeds are affectionate and independent, they each have their own 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.

If you are considering getting a Shiba Inu or an Akita Inu, do your research first.

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

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

dog paw prints

Is Shiba Inu Same As Akita?

No. They are not the same.

As I mentioned earlier, both are spitz breeds that are native to Japan and closely related to one another.

Both said to have facial features similar to that of a fox.
According to DNA evidence, these are two of the oldest domesticated dogs in the area.

Archaeologists have skeletal evidence to suggest that these breeds date back at least 9,500 years, but suspected of being over 12,000 years old.

Both of these breeds are popular in Japan, and both have been listed as a protected species since the 1930s.

They are also imported around the world, so it’s not uncommon to see a Shiba Inu or an Akita Inu in the United States.

Other similarities between the Shiba Inu and the Akita Inu include the fact that they are both independent breeds that have a predatory instinct to hunt smaller prey like a cat.

Also, they are dogs who like to clean themselves much like cats. They also have a thick coat of fur, with erect ears, and a tail that curls in.

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About the author: Pablo Pascua created dogbreedsfaq.com because of his interest in all the different breeds, and his desire to learn more. His inspiration comes from the many dogs he has owned throughout his life.

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