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Akita Inu vs Shiba Inu: 9 Key Differences You Need to Know

Akita Inu vs Shiba Inu

Introduction:

akita dog breed

If you are a fan of Japanese dog breeds, you may have heard of the Akita Inu and the Shiba Inu. These two breeds are among the most popular and iconic dogs from Japan, and they share some similarities in appearance, origin, and loyalty. However, they also differ in many aspects such as size, temperament, health, and care. Comparing the Akita Inu and the Shiba Inu can help you decide which breed is more suitable for your lifestyle, preferences, and expectations.

In this article, we will provide a detailed comparison of the Akita Inu vs Shiba Inu, covering their physical appearance, temperament and personality, health and care, and more. We will also provide some recommendations and suggestions for potential or current owners of either breed. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the differences and similarities between these two Japanese dog breeds.

Physical Appearance

One of the most obvious differences between the Akita Inu and the Shiba Inu is their size and weight. The Akita Inu is much larger than the Shiba Inu, and can grow up to 28 inches tall and weigh up to 130 pounds. The Shiba Inu is only 17 inches tall and weighs up to 22 pounds. The size difference is due to their different breeding purposes: the Akita Inu was bred to hunt large game such as deer and wild boar, while the Shiba Inu was bred to hunt small game such as rabbits and birds.

 

Size and Weight

    • Akita Inus are much larger than Shiba Inus.
    • Akita Inus can grow up to 28 inches tall and weigh up to 130 pounds.
    • Shiba Inus can grow up to 17 inches tall and weigh up to 22 pounds.

Both breeds have thick double coats that shed heavily twice a year, usually in spring and fall. They need regular brushing to remove loose hair and keep their coats healthy and clean. The Akita Inu has more coat colors than the Shiba Inu, such as white, brindle, pinto, red, fawn, sesame, and black. The Shiba Inu has four standard coat colors, which are red, black and tan, sesame, and cream. Both breeds have a distinctive feature called “urajiro”, which means white markings on the underside of their body.

Coat and Color

    • Both breeds have thick double coats that shed heavily twice a year.
    • Akita Inus have more coat colors than Shiba Inus, such as white, brindle, pinto, red, fawn, sesame, and black.
    • Shiba Inus have four standard coat colors, which are red, black and tan, sesame, and cream.
    • Both breeds have a distinctive feature called “urajiro”, which means white markings on the underside of their body.

Both breeds also have fox-like heads, small pointed ears, and curled tails. However, there are some subtle differences in their facial features. The Akita Inu has a broader head and a shorter muzzle than the Shiba Inu. The Shiba Inu has a more triangular face and a longer snout than the Akita Inu. The eyes of both breeds are almond-shaped and dark brown in color. The nose of both breeds is black or brown depending on the coat color.

Distinctive Features

    • Both breeds have fox-like heads, small pointed ears, and curled tails.
    • Akita Inus have a broader head and a shorter muzzle than Shiba Inus.
    • Shiba Inus have a more triangular face and a longer snout than Akita Inus.
    • The eyes of both breeds are almond-shaped and dark brown in color.
    • The nose of both breeds is black or brown depending on the coat color.

Temperament and Personality

Another difference between the Akita Inu and the Shiba Inu is their temperament and personality. Both breeds are intelligent and loyal, but they have different traits such as independence, protectiveness, and sociability. These traits are influenced by their breeding history and their environment.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Intelligence
    • Both breeds are intelligent and can learn commands quickly.
    • The Akita Inu is more trainable than the Shiba Inu because it is more eager to please its owner.
    • The Shiba Inu is more independent than the Akita Inu and may ignore commands if it is not interested or motivated.
  • Loyalty
    • Both breeds are loyal and devoted to their owners and family members.
    • The Akita Inu is more loyal than the Shiba Inu and may form a strong bond with one person in particular.
    • The Shiba Inu is more loyal than most small dogs, but it may not be as attached to its owner as the Akita Inu.
  • Independence
    • Both breeds are independent and can be stubborn at times.
    • The Akita Inu is more dependent on its owner than the Shiba Inu and may suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.
    • The Shiba Inu is more self-reliant than the Akita Inu and may prefer to do its own thing rather than follow its owner around.
  • Protectiveness
    • Both breeds are protective of their owners and their territory.
    • The Akita Inu is more aggressive than the Shiba Inu and may not get along well with other dogs or strangers.
    • The Shiba Inu is more alert than the Akita Inu and may bark or growl at anything suspicious or unfamiliar.
  • Sociability
    • Both breeds are affectionate and playful with their owners and family members.
    • The Akita Inu is more sociable than the Shiba Inu and may enjoy meeting new people and animals if properly socialized from a young age.
    • The Shiba Inu is more reserved than the Akita Inu and may be wary or aloof with strangers or other pets if not well socialized from a young age.

Health and Care

The last difference between the Akita Inu and the Shiba Inu is their health and care. Both breeds have a relatively long lifespan for their size, but they also have some common health issues that may affect their quality of life. They also have different grooming, exercise, and dietary needs that owners should be aware of.

  • Lifespan
    • Both breeds have a relatively long lifespan for their size.
    • The Akita Inu has an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years.
    • The Shiba Inu has an average lifespan of 13 to 16 years.
  • Common Health Issues
    • Both breeds are prone to some genetic health problems that may affect their quality of life.
    • The Akita Inu is more likely to suffer from hip dysplasia, bloat, hypothyroidism, eye disorders, skin allergies, and autoimmune diseases.
    • The Shiba Inu is more likely to suffer from patellar luxation, glaucoma, cataracts, allergies, and dental problems.
  • Grooming Needs
    • Both breeds require regular grooming to keep their coats healthy and clean.
    • The Akita Inu needs more grooming than the Shiba Inu because it has a longer and thicker coat that sheds heavily twice a year.
    • The Shiba Inu needs less grooming than the Akita Inu because it has a shorter and finer coat that sheds moderately throughout the year.
  • Exercise Requirements
    • Both breeds need daily exercise to keep them fit and happy.
    • The Akita Inu needs more exercise than the Shiba Inu because it is larger and more energetic dog that enjoys running, hiking, swimming, or playing fetch.
    • The Shiba Inu needs less exercise than the Akita Inu because it is smaller and more adaptable dog that can be satisfied with a walk, a game, or some indoor activities.
  • Dietary Needs
    • Both breeds need a high-quality diet that meets their nutritional needs and prevents obesity or other health problems.
    • The Akita Inu needs more food than the Shiba Inu because it has a higher metabolism and a larger body mass that requires more calories and protein.
    • The Shiba Inu needs less food than the Akita Inu because it has a lower metabolism and a smaller body mass that requires fewer calories and protein.

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