Both the Shiba Inu and the Akita are beloved breeds from Japan. Both of these breeds are treasured for their more independent personalities and were once prized as hunting companions. Even though they share a common homeland and ancestry, they are both descended from the Japanese wolf; there are differences between the two breeds.
Which breed is best for you: Akita vs Shiba Inu?
With regards to which one is better, there really isn’t a simple answer. Read on to learn which one may be a better fit for you.
The Shiba Inu is a medium-sized dog with a curly tail and weighs about 18-24 lbs. One of the first pros for many is that the Shiba a dog that is on the smaller side, but it, not a toy-sized dog. This makes them good for small spaces including apartments. The Shiba also does not bark but can make a distinct yodeling sound when pleased.
Shiba Inu Pros
- These dogs are easy to house train and are said to have a cat-like personality when it comes to keeping themselves clean. They have cat-like traits of grooming themselves and enjoying sunbathing.
- Shiba Inu is a low-maintenance dog breed with an easy-care coat and they shed less than many breeds making them a better choice for allergy suffers. The owner can easily brush the coat him or herself and they tend to smell less doggy than some other breeds.
- Shiba Inu are intelligent and are highly sensitive. They are loyal to their owners to a fault and love to get attention. In fact, Shiba Inu get the hang of house training rather quickly and can be trained to do tricks.
- This breed tends to be fairly healthy and lives an average lifespan of 12-15 years. They tend to fall under the more primitive dog category making them hearty and strong dogs that have few health problems.
Shiba Inu Cons
- One of the biggest cons is that this dog can be rather independent. Some dogs stick to their owner’s sides like Velcro; however, the Shiba is different. They are more aloof than many dogs and are not overly affectionate with their owners. They do enjoy attention and affection, just more on their time and terms.
- The Shiba can also be stubborn. They prefer to have a reward and a “what’s in it for me?” attitude when it comes to training. This can make it more difficult to obedience train for example, and they especially tend to have difficulty with the recall command. Shiba owners have to have a lot of time and patience for training.
- Shiba has a small prey drive as they were once used as hunting dogs. This can make them a risk towards small animals. They also tend to wander and should be kept on a lead when not in an enclosed area.
- Shiba Inu are emotionally sensitive and can emit something that is akin to a scream. Many are wary of new people and situations and they are vocal if they are unhappy or scared.
- Lastly, this breed does not do well with other animals or other dogs. They tend to do best in a single-pet household and can have some aggression issues, especially among dogs of the same sex. They do tend to guard.
The Akita is an ancient and beautiful breed of dog developed in Japan hundreds of years ago. If you are looking for loyalty, this dog ranks among the top. One of the most famous stories of dog loyalty revolves around Hachiko, an Akita so loyal it waited years at a train station for his owner to return after the owner died. They are highly devoted to their owners and tend to become strongly attached to one person in general.
- Akita loves to walk and need exercise, but not an excessive amount. The Akita does well with casual exercise such as brisk walking but can also handle some heavier exercise such as jogging. The Akita tends to adjust his or her exercise needs that of their owner.
- Akita tends to be quiet dogs and is not heavy barkers. They will bark if they feel a threat or alert, but they are quiet. They are gentle and calm with those people they have known and accepted.
- Akita is easy to house train as they are naturally clean dogs. In many ways, they have cat-like tendencies in which they hate getting dirty. Akita does not have a strong dog odor and will often groom themselves.
- Akita can be good guard dogs and will protect both their owners and their property. They are large dogs and their size alone can serve as a deterrent.
- One of the biggest cons is that Akita tends to be aggressive towards other dogs and animals. Akita can get into fights with other dogs, especially those of the same sex (males that are not neutered tend to fight the worst). They were originally bred as a hunting dog, so they do have a strong prey drive and can even kill small animals. They are not the best choice for households with small children. They do best as being the only pet.
- Akita has a lot of furs and shed. They shed all-year-round and will most likely blow out during the fall and summer months. Their fur will end up all over the furniture, floor, and car. These dogs are not considered good for allergy suffers.
- Akita is aloof and reserved and is not overly affectionate with their owners. They tend to give affection on their own terms and tend to want to be near their owners rather than on their lap. They are guarded and reserved towards strangers and may growl or bark.
- They can be independent and stubborn making any type of obedience training a challenge. The idea Akita owner has owned dogs before and is confident in his or her ability to control a demanding dog that can lean towards dominance.
How to Choose
What is the Difference?
The main difference between the Akita and Shiba Inu lies in their temperaments. The Shiba Inu tends to be more family-oriented and has more even-temper than the Akita. The Akita has many protection and guardian instincts and may not take well to rough handling.
The Akita tends to tolerate children less well than the Shiba Inu. The Akita is a much larger dog than the Shiba and does not do well in apartments and tends to be a one-person dog.
Shiba Inus tend to cost more because the breed has become so much more popular in recent years.
Which Makes a Better Family Pet?
Overall, for families with small children and other pets, the Shiba Inu is the best fit.
The Shiba is smaller in size and can fit in closer living quarters such as apartments. Shiba also is a quiet and clean dog that is fairly independent but does enjoy the attention and making his or her family laugh. The Akita is unsuitable for young children not only because of its high prey drive but because it is a highly muscular dog and can accidentally knock over small children. The Akita may kill other animals and maybe aggressive with other dogs.
Overall, most families would do better with a Shiba Inu.
Whichever breed you choose, you need to make sure you go to a reputable breeder.
-  ^ YouTube video: Japan’s Most Faithful Dogs The Akita Inu