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Akita Inu vs Shiba Inu: How to Tell the Difference Between These Breeds

These two breeds are so similar that they are often confused. However, the difference between Akita Inu and Shiba Inu is there, and it's not just one. We will explain how to tell the difference between these two furry dogs!

Akita Inu vs Shiba Inu - Two Fascinating Breeds

Difference Between Akita and Shiba

Both breeds come from Japan and are among the oldest domestic dogs in existence. But differentiating an Akita Inu from a Shiba Inu is really complicated if you don't have some information. Especially if it is a puppy, whose distinctive features fade a lot.

Let's see what the main differences are between the two breeds.

1. The size

If there is an obvious difference between the Akita and the Shiba Inu, it is the size of the dog as an adult. The Akita is larger than the Shiba Inu.

The Akita can reach 25–27 inches and weigh around 60–90 pounds. Nothing more and nothing less. However, the Shiba remains somewhat smaller when it reaches adulthood; it usually does not exceed 17 inches, and its weight ranges between 11 and 26 pounds. Quite different, isn't it?

In addition to size, the Akita has a more athletic body and a larger head and needs a daily dose of exercise with moderate intensity.

difference between akita and shiba

2. One is more restless than the other

Yes, another difference between the Akita Inu and the Shiba Inu is that the former is a bit more restless. The Shiba Inu tends to be a bit calmer and sleepier... although they both like to rest on their feet!

3. Life expectancy

Although it will depend a lot on the care they receive throughout their lives, one of these two breeds tends to have a slightly longer life expectancy than the other.

The Shiba Inu's life expectancy is around 12–15 years and the Akita Inu's is around 10–12 years.

4. Amount of shedding

Both dogs have a dense coat, but the difference between the Akita Inu and the Shiba Inu in this aspect is that the Shiba Inu's coat is a little shorter and, in addition, it sheds much more when it moults.

5. Changes in routine

It can be said that both are furry with marked routines.

They are very observant and anything new puts them on alert. For this reason, they do not usually get along well, and it is difficult for them to change their habits. However, the difference between them is that the Shiba Inu has less trouble adapting to changes.

difference between akita and shiba

6. One is better at training

In both cases, training should start from puppyhood, but this is more relevant for the Shiba Inu.

This dog is a born leader, so the sooner it knows what orders to obey, the better. In addition, it is very independent and intelligent, so if it has not been educated as a puppy, as an adult it will choose which commands to obey and which not to obey.

See Also: Bichon Frise vs Maltese

So, which breed is right for you? If you're looking for a loyal and intelligent dog who can be independent, the Akita Inu may be the right choice. If you're looking for a playful and loving dog who is great with children, the Shiba Inu may be the better choice.