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What Is The Difference Between Shiba Inu and Akita Inu?

Are you one of those people who can’t make the difference between Shiba Inu and Akita Inu? Well, even though they look quite similar at first glance, they also have many diversities. Both Shiba and Akita belong to Japanese native breeds whose appearance reminds of foxes.

What do Shiba Inus and Akita Inus have in common?

They are both Spitz breeds and have a facial appearance similar to foxes. Besides Shiba Inu and Akita Inu, the following breeds are also part of Japanese Spitz dogs:

  • Kai
  • Hokkaido
  • Shikoku
  • Tosa

The name Shiba Inu can literally be translated as ‘brushwood dog’, while Akitas were named after the capital city. At first glance, Shibas and Akitas might look the same, but Akitas are slightly bigger. According to the AKC, Shiba Inus are also more popular with pet owners, probably because of the size. Besides, they are also an older breed.

Akita Inus are still used for hunting and tracking dogs. Just like Shibas, they are highly energetic, quite stubborn, and very intelligent. They’re born to be the leaders so they would not be a good pick for inexperienced dog owners. Their owners should have a lot of experience in dog training and know how to outwit their minds.

The personality difference between Shiba Inu and Akita Inu

They’re not friendly toward strangers

Even though we can tell that Shibas are quite independent and behave quite reservedly towards strangers, they’re actually more friendly than Akitas. Akita Inus don’t love strangers, other dogs, cats, and kids, and also act possessively toward their stuff. At the same time, the personality of Akita Inu can be well-tailored if you provide him/her with the right training lessons. The behavior of an Akita Inu will depend only on the owner’s ability to teach it certain behavior.

Great hunting abilities

Both Shibas and Akita Inus are great hunters. They were trained to hunt small prey such as rabbits, birds, and mice. This feature also makes them highly active, so they won’t be a good pick for lazy or too busy owners. Shiba Inus and Akita Inus love to spend plenty of time outdoors playing, running, jumping, and hiking. It’s the best way to spend their pent-up energies and make them less prone to destructive behavior.

They don’t like to spend time alone

This is another feature these two breeds share. They don’t like to spend time alone because their personalities require constant interaction. In case you need to leave your dog home alone, it’s essential to do it gradually. You should daily practice leaving your Shiba Ken alone. In the first few days, leave him/her alone for about 5-15 min. During the time of your absence, your pet should have toys to play with. They will help him/her stay distracted while you’re not in his/her vicinity.  By gradually increasing the time your Shiba Inu or Akita Inu spends alone, you’ll prevent him/her from suffering from separation anxiety.

Stubborn nature

Both breeds are difficult to train due to their stubborn natures. That’s why we can often hear that Shiba Inus and Akita Inus will not be a good pick for first-time dog owners. A dog owner who wants to live with one of these two breeds should have a lot of experience in dog training. You can encourage positive behavior in your dog by using reinforcement in teaching. Use treats, toys, and show your dog affection for every well done command.

shiba inu and akita inu

Physical traits between Shiba Inu and Akita Inu

Akita Inus are one of the largest dogs in terms of Japanese dog breeds, while Shibas belong to the smallest ones. When we talk about their height, Akitas also take the lead. The males are between 64-70 cm tall while females can grow between 58-64 cm. Akita Inus weight can vary between 32-39 kg in males and 23-29 kg in females.

On the other hand, Shiba Inu males can weight between 8-11 kg and females between 6.8-9 kg. Male height goes between 35-43 cm, while females’ goes between 33-41 cm.

Shiba Inu and Akita Inu popularity and life expectancy

Shiba Inus have achieved great popularity in the past few years. Since they are smaller in size, they’re a common choice of people living in apartments and smaller houses. Unlike Akitas, they don’t need so much space to run, chase and roam. However, they’re still quite active, so you have to take them to long walks or running sessions every day.

When we talk about life expectancy, Shibas also take the leading positions. They live between 12-15 years, while Akita Inus live between 10-12 years.

shiba inu and akita inu

Shiba Inu and Akita Inu coats

Both Shibas and Akitas have rich coats. They’re fluffy and belong to moderate shedders. However, during the shedding season, you’ll need to brush their coats at least twice a week.

The outer coat of a Shiba is stiff and straight, while the inner coat seems silky, thick, and soft. Unlike Akitas, Shiba Inu coat colors are available in 6 varieties. Akita Inu coat comes in ‘only’ 4 colors and also has double coats like Shibas.

The best way to maintain Shiba’s and Akita’s coats is to perform vacuum ‘cleaning’. Since their hair I slightly long, it’s the best way to keep your environment clean, especially during the shedding season. Use a brush with metal pins that have a gentle coating on the top and grooming gloves to clean arpmits and other spots that are hard to comb.

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