Difference Between Akita Inu and Shiba Inu in tabular form

Akita inu and Shiba inu are breeds of dog that have their origin in Japan . They both share many traits and characteristics and have certain similarities in their colors and temperament. This makes it more difficult to know the difference between Akita inu and Shiba inu. Akita vs Shiba Inu

Origin of akita inu and shiba inu

Akita Vs Shiba Inu Comparative chart

Akita Shiba Inu
Akita is the largest Japanese breed. Shiba Inu is the smallest Japanese breed.
Akita has an average size of around 25 to 28 inches. Shiba Inu has an average size of around 15 to 17 inches.
Akita has an average weight of around 70 to 120 pounds. Shiba Inu have an average weight of around 17 to 23 pounds.
Life expectancy rate
Akita has a life expectancy of around 10 to 12 years. Shiba Inu have a life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years.
Love with family of teachers
Akita singles out a person from the master’s family and loves that person more. Shiba Inu loves all members of the family equally.
Coat colors
Akitas are black, brown, red, or white in color. Shiba Inus are black, tan, red, or white in color.
Rarely Occasionally

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Akita Inu Akita vs Shiba Inu

This Japanese dog breed is the largest, in addition, it is recognized as one of the oldest in the world. The place of origin of this breed is a colder region, so they naturally have dense, thick, water-repellent fur. Due to their large size, they have been used for centuries for hunting and protection purposes.

As mentioned above, they are quite adapted to the colder region, thus barely surviving in warmer regions like Africa or Asia. They are said to have qualities like loyalty, bravery, and enthusiasm, and this is why they prove to be excellent watchdogs.


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Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu is the smallest Japanese breed at 15-17 inches in height. Due to their small size and the dense fur they sport, they look quite a bit cuter. Besides that, they have many talents and abilities to protect, hunt and track.

They are about half the size of the Akita and average between 15 and 17 inches tall. Although their weight is low since they are not even wider than Akita, they weigh between 17 and 23 pounds. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years .

Dogs of this breed are also well adapted to colder regions. The Shiba Inu is also a loyal dog that bonds equally with all members of the family.

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Akita Inu vs Shiba InuDifference Between Akita Inu and Shiba Inu Akita vs Shiba Inu

One difference between Akita Inu and Shiba Inu is that the Akita is the largest Japanese breed in size while the Shiba Inu is the smallest Japanese breed. The former have an average size of around 25-28 inches, while Shiba Inu have an average size of around 15-17 inches. Akita vs Shiba Inu

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Thanks to that size difference, Akitas average around 70 to 120 pounds , while Shiba Inu average around 17 to 23 pounds .

Akitas have a life expectancy of around 10 to 12 years, while Shiba Inu can last 12 to 15 years.

One notable feature is that the Akita selects one person from the family of masters and loves that person the most. Unlike this, the Shiba Inu loves all members of the family equally.

Akitas are mostly brown, red, or white in color, while Shiba Inus are black, tan, red, or white. This is another notable difference between Akita Inu and Shiba Inu. Akita vs Shiba Inu

The Akita Inu breed is known for being protective, dominant and aggressive dogs with other canines. The Shiba Inu breed are independent dogs and very reserved with strangers.

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The shiba inu and the akita inu are similar not only in appearance but also in personality. Both are very cute, companions and very independent. Faithful, but also stubborn, the owner needs to be firm and at the same time patient to deal with these breeds.

Both shiba and akita have Japan as their country of origin. The breeds are very popular there and considered national treasures. They also enter the category of oldest dogs in Japan together. The shiba is even affectionately called “little akita”.

For you to get to know these furry ones better, in this article we will tell you a little about the characteristics, personality and health of each one. Learn all about the shiba and the akita!

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Differences and similarities between the shiba inu and the akita inu


akita in the grass
akita inuSuggested Difference: Difference between fleas and mosquitoes
shiba inu akita inu
size It is a small dog . Males measure between 33 and 41 centimeters, while females are between 33 and 41 centimeters. The weight ranges from 9 to 14 kilos. It is considered a medium-sized dog . The height of males is from 58 to 66 centimeters, while females measure from 63 to 71 centimeters. The weight varies between 29 to 58 kilos.
coat His coat is short and soft, he has an undercoat, which makes him more resistant to the cold. Abundant coat, composed of a double layer of hair, ideal for cold or temperate climates.
Colors Black with brown, reddish brown, gold and white. White, gold, sesame and brindle.

Personality and energy level

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shiba inu with stick in the snow
shiba inu
shiba inu akita inu
It is faithful, companion and always alert, but it is also very independent and individualistic, it can be stubborn and territorial . He has a hunter’s instinct , is reserved with strangers and therefore a great guard dog. Brave, reserved and extremely faithful. His loyalty to tutors is very strong, making him very dominant and territorial. He is suspicious of strangers and has a guard dog instinct .

Training and activities

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full body akita inu
akita inu
shiba inu akita inu
Due to its independence, it needs a firm tutor, who shows who the leader is. It is not very hectic or destructive, but it needs daily physical activities, as it has a lot of energy to spend. Socialization should be done from an early age, but his training can be difficult because of his stubbornness. Likes to be stimulated mentally and physically, as a sedentary lifestyle causes stress and this can lead to aggressive behavior .

Health Akita vs Shiba Inu

shiba inu in the snow
shiba inu
shiba inu akita inu
It is a healthy and hygienic dog that likes to clean itself, like felines, so it doesn’t need frequent baths. Brushing the coat should always be up to date, especially during coat changes. Has a predisposition to glaucoma, patellar dislocation and hip dysplasia. It is healthy, strong and resistant, but some diseases that can affect it are: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, sebaceous adenitis, gastric torsion, patellar luxation and immune system deficiency.

Shiba inu or akita inu: which one to choose?

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akita inu lying down
shiba inu

When choosing between shiba and akita, everything will depend on the interest of the tutor. After all, dogs have very similar characteristics. Both are of Japanese origin, have a strong temperament at the time of training and are very healthy dogs.

Tutors can take into account their own lifestyle and the space available to make this decision. For those who have a more hectic routine and live in apartments, the ideal is the shiba, as the breed is small, very hygienic and independent. For those looking for a strong bond with a dog and have a larger space, the akita may be the most suitable. Even with its more independent personality, the akita is devoted and loyal to its owner until the end of its life.

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Origin of akita inu and shiba inuOrigin of akita inu and shiba inu

Both the akita inu and the shiba inu are dogs of Japanese origin and are believed to have an ancient origin . The genetic basis for both breeds comes from spitz-type dogs that were brought to Japan possibly from Korea. Regarding the shiba inu, excavations have found bones dating back about 2,500 years. In contrast, evidence of the akita inu is more recent, from the mid-17th century.

Both dogs participated in hunting activities, but with some differences. The akita started out as a fighting dog , used to fight other dogs. When, fortunately, this activity was reduced, it was used for big game hunting . On the other hand, the shiba inu was a hunter from the beginning, but small game . Both dogs are currently companion animals, although the akita Inu also performs security-related roles. Akita vs Shiba Inu

Both the shiba inu and the akita inu are very popular in their home country . The shiba inu is believed to be the most widespread indigenous breed, and both have become well known outside Japan as well, in places like Australia, Europe and North America. However, this was not always the case, as in the 20th century, specifically in the 1930s, the akita inu was on the verge of extinction . Thanks to the work of people dedicated to the conservation of Japanese breeds, the recovery was possible, and today their conservation is considered guaranteed.



  • The most famous Akita was Hachiko , who was known to wait for many years for the return of his deceased owner;
  • The price of an Akita can vary from 2,000 reais to 10,000 reais;
  • Akita dogs are very fond of snow; Akita vs Shiba Inu
  • Akita and Shiba enjoy daily physical and mental exercise. He needs a long space to run and also take long walks;
  • Training a Shiba and Akita requires skills and a little patience, but it’s not as difficult as some might think;
  • Research reveals that onions end up causing changes in Akitas’ blood cells;
  • Shiba Inu are prone to skin diseases;
  • The Akita and Shiba are territorial;
  • There is a famous trained Shiba Inu in a tobacco shop called Shibamada in Tokyo;

Physical characteristics of akita inu and shiba inu

In this section, we review the most relevant characteristics related to the physical appearance of the two dogs, highlighting the differences that allow us to identify each of them:

  • Size : The shiba inu is a small, spitz-type dog. Individuals of this breed usually weigh between 8-10 kg and measure around 35-41 cm. In fact, the shiba inu is the smallest among Japanese breeds . This represents a clear difference from the akita inu, which is the largest Japanese breed and far exceeds the shiba’s height and weight. Thus, the akita inu has a height at the withers between 60 and 71 cm and weighs between 34 and 50 kg.
  • Head : the akita inu’s head is impressive for its size, not resembling the shiba inu’s at all. What they are similar in the two dogs are the eyes, small and triangular in shape. The ears are also similar, being triangular and set vertically. On the other hand, on the snout it is possible to observe some differences. The shiba inu’s snout is pointed and ends in a black nose, while the akita inu’s is wider at the base and tapers towards the tip, also with a black nose, although it is not pointed like the shiba inu’s.
  • Body : The shiba inu’s body is elegant, robust and proportionate. The akita inu’s is, to use just one word, imposing. They are very strong and powerful dogs. Both breeds carry the elbows close to the body and both the shiba inu and the akita inu stand out for having the tail bent over the croup . The difference is that the akita’s tail is robust, a little longer and very hairy. Akita vs Shiba Inu
  • Coat : The coat of both breeds is accepted in a variety of colors and has two coats , which allows these dogs to adapt to colder climates. Akita inu are considered suitable for living outdoors thanks to the density of their undercoat.


Akita inu and shiba inu personality

In addition to the physical characteristics that allow us to differentiate an akita inu from a shiba inu, in terms of personality there are also very important points to consider that show us that they are very different dogs:

  • Living with children : the shiba inu is a playful dog, ideal for living with children. The akita inu, on the other hand, has a very different temperament and is not the best breed to be with the little ones. Your particular personality can sometimes frighten you.
  • Shows of affection : While the shiba inu is an affectionate but independent dog, the akita inu can adore its owner while maintaining a distant attitude and being little given to displays of affection. He is a dog that seems indifferent.
  • Living with other dogs : as with children, the shiba inu is also suitable for living with other dogs, unlike the akita inu, especially in the case of males. It is not uncommon for them to get into fights.
  • Experience : Both breeds are recommended for owners with previous experience, not only in the handling of dogs but also in their education, as both require constant and patient teaching. This aspect is important in the shiba inu and essential in the akita inu, who may need professional help. This is a fundamental pillar to make any of them an excellent company.
  • Guardian Instinct : The shiba inu is a good guardian dog, although, as with the basenji , it is difficult to hear him bark, as he prefers to emit a few specific squeals. Can be a little shy with strangers. The akita inu shares this guardian instinct, but in addition to being shy, it is very suspicious of strangers.


Akita inu and shiba inu care

In addition to the education that we have already mentioned, within the basic care that shiba inu and akita inu need, there are some differences in aspects such as activities or hygiene. Thus, the shiba inu is an active dog that will need opportunities to exercise and burn off its energy . Otherwise, you may come across an overly nervous specimen, who would end up manifesting behavior problems. It is recommended to do at least three walks a day of half an hour each. Akita vs Shiba Inu

In turn, the akita inu also needs physical activity, but instead of strenuous exercise, he prefers to take long walks . Of your three daily outings, at least one must last more than an hour. As long as they are given physical and mental stimulation, both races can adapt to apartment living.

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As for hygiene, just brush the shiba inu from time to time so that its coat is perfect, and baths can be reserved for cases where it is truly dirty. In the case of the akita inu, although its coat is not long, its characteristics make it necessary to take the time to brush it regularly , if possible, every day.

Finally, it must not be forgotten that the akita inu is one of the breeds considered potentially dangerous . This implies the fulfillment of certain requirements for their responsible ownership, such as the obligation to always go out with a guide and a muzzle.

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Akita inu and shiba inu health

In general, both breeds can enjoy good health, especially if they have all their care taken care of, receive quality food, deworming, vaccination, etc. In any case, the akita inu has a slightly shorter life expectancy , at around 10-12 years, than the estimated shiba inu, at around 12-13 years. Akita vs Shiba Inu

In addition, because it is a large dog, the akita inu is more likely to suffer from some diseases , such as osteoarthritis or gastric torsion . You can also suffer from heart problems. Finally, it is advisable to pay attention to its weight, as it is a breed with a tendency to put on weight.

Now that you know the main differences between the akita inu and the shiba inu, you will surely be interested in the following video in which we present 10 Japanese dog breeds.

Key differences

  1. Akita is the largest Japanese breed, while Shiba Inu is the smallest Japanese breed.
  2. Akita has an average size of around 25 to 28 inches, while Shiba Inu has an average size of around 15 to 17 inches.
  3. Akita has an average weight of around 70 to 120 pounds, while Shiba Inu has an average weight of around 17 to 23 pounds.
  4. Akita has a life expectancy of around 10 to 12 years, while Shiba Inu has a life expectancy of around 12 to 15 years.
  5. Akita singles out a person from the master’s family and loves that person more, while Shiba Inu loves all family members equally.
  6. Akitas are black, brown, red, or white in color, while Shiba Inus are black, tan, red, or white.

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Why They Are Different Dogs: The History of the Shiba Inu and Akita Inu Breeds

Both species are among the 14 oldest breeds in Japan. The story of its origin goes back to the 3rd century BC.

Akita and Shiba hail from Japan’s main island of Honshu, known for its cold winters. The breeds were bred to hunt large animals – bear, wild boar, deer. Akita vs Shiba Inu

The difference in size determined the further development of the breeds:

  • Shiba Inu came to predominantly inhabit Buddhist monasteries as a companion dog;
  • Akita continued to be used for hunting and later for dog fighting.

These two breeds were badly damaged during World War II.

Thanks to their boundless love for dogs and the developed culture of dog breeding, the Japanese managed to preserve both breeds.

After the end of hostilities, it took several years for the complete restoration of the races. Starting in 1948, Akita and Shiba began to spread rapidly around the world.

Shiba and Akita are very popular all over the world and have since been considered elite breeds. Akita vs Shiba Inu

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Difference in appearance of Shiba Inu and Akita Inu

Photo reviews will not help you to see the difference in appearance between Akita Inu and Shiba Inu. But when comparing dogs, it’s not hard to see the difference. It’s all about the size of the breeds: Akita is almost twice the size of the Shiba.

At the same time, dogs maintain all proportions:

  • Slightly elongated muzzle;
  • Triangular ears;
  • Typically narrow, almost triangular eyes.
  • Well-developed bones and muscles, the physique is proportionate.
  • Akita has a thicker coat, it is divided into three layers, Shiba has only two.

Another clear difference in appearance is coloring . In Akita, fawn, sesame, brindle, and white colors are allowed.

Shiba Inu have: red, black, brown and white. The black color of the Akita is considered a defect of the breed and a sign of disqualification in competitions, deviations that reduce the price of a puppy at least in half. Akita vs Shiba Inu

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Which breed is more obedient?

Training these breeds does not require a lot of time and effort. Compared to the Akita, the Shiba Inu is more obedient.

An adult dog will perfectly execute all commands and learn new ones.

Which breed gets along best with children?

The Shiba Inu is calm and balanced, without a doubt it is a great breed that gets along well with children.

The Akita Inu is not dangerous for children. They get along well with children, but they don’t tolerate brute force and can scare them away. Akita vs Shiba Inu

Which breed protects more between the Shiba Inu and Akita Inu?

The Akita Inu will never leave its master in trouble, even if his life is at risk. The Shiba Inu, on the other hand, signals a potential threat well, but the most this dog can do is bite the threat’s leg.

Differences in maintenance and care

There are no special differences in dog breeding, they can live both in a city apartment and on the street.

Akita Inu is more adapted to harsh winters, it can be left outside. Shiba is easier to keep in an apartment, it will take up much less space.

The main task of grooming is to keep the coat clean. At the same time, the owner will have fewer problems with the Shiba, as the breed is smaller.

But both dogs need to be combed no more than once a week and only bathed 2-3 times a year.

It is necessary to trim the nails at least once a month, while walking the dogs should be regular. Akita loves to walk about an hour and a half, for Siba it takes 40 minutes to walk.

Breeds rarely suffer from genetic or acquired diseases. The average life expectancy of Akita is 12 years, Shiba is 13 years.

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