Japanese Akita vs Shiba Inu: The Ultimate Comparison Guide


by Emily Wolfe


There are a lot of different dog breeds out there, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. If you’re considering a Japanese Akita or Shiba Inu, you’ve probably already done some research and know that these are two very popular breeds. But which one is the best fit for you and your lifestyle?

In this ultimate comparison guide, we’ll take a closer look at the Japanese Akita and Shiba Inu to help you decide which breed is right for you.

We will also answer some common questions about owning either of these breeds, such as how much they cost, what kind of grooming they need, and how easy or difficult they are to train.

Similarities and differences between Japanese Akitas and Shiba Inus

1. Japanese Akitas Vs Shiba Inus: Appearance 

Appearance of both

Both Japanese Akitas and Shiba Inus are considered to be spitz-type dogs, meaning they share certain physical characteristics such as pointed ears, a thick coat of fur, and a bushy tail. However, there are also some notable differences in their appearance. For instance, Shiba Inus have a more fox-like appearance, with a narrower muzzle and longer legs, while Japanese Akitas apppear like a bear.

One of the most distinctive differences between these two breeds is their coat color. Shiba Inus are typically red, black, tan, or cream-colored, while Japanese Akitas can be white, red, brindle, or pinto.

2. Japanese Akitas Vs Shiba Inus: Size

Sizes of both Dogs

Akitas are typically much larger than Shiba Inus, with males weighing anywhere from 70 to 130 pounds and females averaging 60 to 100 pounds. Shiba Inus, on the other hand, only weigh between 15 and 30 pounds.

3. Japanese Akitas Vs Shiba Inus: Temperament 


Both Japanese Akitas and Shiba Inus are known for being loyal, intelligent, and independent dogs. However, they can also have quite different personalities. Akitas are typically much calmer and reserved than Shiba Inus, who is often described as being energetic and outgoing.

Moreover, Akitas are typically more tolerant of other animals and children, while Shiba Inus can be quite territorial and may not do well around other pets or small children.

4. Japanese Akitas Vs Shiba Inus: History 

Both Japanese Akitas and Shiba Inus originate from Japan, but they have different histories. The Akita is a much older breed that was originally used for hunting in the mountains of Japan. The Shiba Inu, on the other hand, is a relatively new breed that was developed in the 1930s as a companion dog.

5. Japanese Akitas Vs Shiba Inus: Cost 

Japanese Akitas and Shiba Inus both have similar costs associated with them. For instance, both breeds typically cost between $500 and $1,000 to purchase from a breeder. Additionally, both breeds will need regular vet care, including vaccinations, routine check-ups, and occasional teeth cleanings. Furthermore, both Akitas and Shiba Inus will need a high-quality dog food diet, which can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 per month.

6. Japanese Akitas Vs Shiba Inus: Grooming

Both Japanese Akitas and Shiba Inus will need to be brushed several times per week to remove tangles and mats from their fur. Additionally, both breeds will need to be bathed on weekly basis. Additionally, both Akitas and Shiba Inus will need their nails trimmed regularly. However, Akitas may also need to have their fur trimmed around their eyes and anus to prevent irritation.

7. Japanese Akitas Vs Shiba Inus: Training and Exercise 

Japanese Akitas and Shiba Inus can both be challenging to train. Akitas are often described as being stubborn and independent, which can make them resistant to training. Shiba Inus, on the other hand, are often quite intelligent and quick learners, but they can also be very headstrong.

However, both breeds will need plenty of exercise, including daily walks or runs. Akitas may also enjoy additional activities, such as hiking or swimming. As a result, it is important to find a trainer who is experienced with working with either of these breeds specifically.

8. Japanese Akitas Vs Shiba Inus: Housing Requirements 

Both Japanese Akitas and Shiba Inus do best in homes with plenty of space for them to run and play. Additionally, both breeds may benefit from having a fenced-in yard to help prevent them from roaming. Akitas may also benefit from having a swimming pool or access to water, as they enjoy swimming.

9. Japanese Akitas Vs Shiba Inus: Health

Japanese Akitas and Shiba Inus are both generally healthy breeds. However, Akitas are more prone to developing certain health conditions, such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia,  while Shiba Inus are more likely to develop allergies or eye problems. Additionally, Akitas typically have a lifespan of 10-12 years, while Shiba Inus can live up to 15 years.

10. Japanese Akitas Vs Shiba Inus: Barking and Shedding

Japanese Akitas and Shiba Inus both bark relatively little compared to other breeds. However, Akitas may bark more than Shiba Inus. Additionally, both breeds shed a moderate amount, with Akitas typically shedding more than Shiba Inus.

11. Japanese Akitas Vs Shiba Inus: Separation Anxiety

Japanese Akitas and Shiba Inus are both relatively independent breeds and are not prone to suffering from separation anxiety. However, both breeds may become anxious or destructive if left alone for long periods. Additionally, both breeds will benefit from having another pet or person in the home to keep them company.

12. Japanese Akitas Vs Shiba Inus: Destructive Chewing or Digging

Destructive chewing is a common problem with both Japanese Akitas and Shiba Inus. Both breeds may chew on furniture, clothing, or shoes when left alone. It’s also not uncommon for them to dig holes in yards and gardens when left alone.

Additionally, both breeds will benefit from plenty of exercises and mental stimulation to help prevent boredom and destructive chewing or digging. Further, There may be benefits for both breeds from obedience training to help teach them what is appropriate to chew on and dig.

Japanese Akitas vs Shiba Inus – Which is the better breed for you?

There is no clear answer as to which breed is better, as it depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for a large, loyal, and protective dog and a watchful protector, then the Akita might be the better choice.

However, if you prefer a smaller dog with lots of energy and personality or a dog who will always be up for a game of fetch or a hike, then the Shiba Inu might be a better fit.

Ultimately, the best way to decide which breed is right for you is to meet both types of dogs and see which one you connect with more and best fits your individual needs and lifestyle.

Final Thoughts

The final thought regarding all that has been stated so far in this article is that although there are many similarities between the two breeds, both breeds are very versatile. Akitas are usually used as hunting dogs, while Shiba Inus are used as pets and companions.

There is no clear winner between the two breeds as the best dog breed. It all depends on your individual needs and preferences. They are both friendly, intelligent, loyal, and energetic breeds.

The best thing about them is that they love to be around people. However, some Akitas are known to be aggressive. You may need to be aware of this. Both breeds are active dogs that need plenty of exercise and playtime.

They also require good grooming and a proper diet. Shiba Inus are very affectionate. Some owners report that they are more loving than their Akita counterparts. Both breeds make great family members.

Do you have any questions or thoughts about the difference between Akitas and Shiba Inus? Let us know in the comment section below!


Which breed is better for my family Akita or Shiba Inu?

Both the Akita and Shiba Inu are loyal, loving, and make great family pets. However, the Akita is a much larger breed and may not be the best choice if you have small children or live in a small space. The Shiba Inu is a smaller breed and is less likely to accidentally knock over a child or piece of furniture.
If you are looking for a laid back dog that will still protect your family, the Shiba Inu may be the better choice. However, if you are looking for a large, loyal guard dog, the Akita is the breed for you.

Akitas vs Shiba Inus: which is the better guard dog?

In general, Akitas are considered to be better guard dogs than Shiba Inus. Akitas are larger and more imposing, and their hunting instincts make them more watchful and protective. They are also bred specifically for guarding, whereas Shiba Inus are not.

Who is better for obedience training among Akitas and Shiba Inus

Some Akitas may be more obedient than some Shiba Inus and vice versa. Ultimately, it is important to choose a training method and style that works best for your dog and you as the owner.

Do both breeds (Akita and Shiba Inu) bark a lot?

No, neither Akitas or Shiba Inus bark excessively. Both breeds are relatively quiet compared to other dogs. Akitas may howl on occasion, but this is not considered excessive barking. Shiba Inus are even less likely to bark than Akitas. If you are looking for a quiet dog, either of these breeds would be a good choice.
Emily Wolfe

Emily is a lifelong animal lover and the founder of PETS CRAZIES. She started this blog after realizing the great need for quality pet information on the internet. Emily has two dogs, a cat, and two rabbits of her own.

She has a B.S. in Animal Science from Cornell University and is a professional writer specializing in the pet industry. Learn More About Our Team!