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 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?

Read the detailed differences below:

Akita vs. Shiba Size

The Akita is one of the large Japanese dog breeds, standing between 24-48 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing anywhere between 70-130 pounds.

The Shiba, on the other hand, is one of Japan’s small dog breeds, weighing only between 17-23 pounds, and standing 13.5-16.5 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.

Akita vs. Shiba Inu Temperament

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 is more likely than the Akita to be friendly with others.

The Akita is not friendly towards a child, strangers or other dogs while the Shiba is slightly more tolerant.

In terms of adaptability and living space, the Shiba is much more suited and adaptable to apartment living than the Akita.

While the Akita can adapt to apartment living, they tend to thrive more when they have more space to run and roam.

The 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.

Life Expectancy:

When 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.

Trainability:

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.

Related:  “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 leader if they wish to gain control over the dog.

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

Why?

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

Exercise/Health/Grooming Needs:

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.

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

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

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.

Differences Between Akita Inu And Shiba Inu Infographic

Differences between akita inu and shiba inu Infographic

Conclusion:

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

The main difference between these two dog breeds is 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.

Related Question:

What Are The  Similarities Between The Akita Inu And The Shiba Inu?

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.

Keep in mind, however, that the Akita Inu should not be confused with the American Akita (though it often is).

When it comes to the Akita vs. American Akita, they are two distinct breeds. The American Akita is often larger, and often bear a distinct “facial mask”. Akita Inus usually don’t have this trait.

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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