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Both with fox-like features, fluffy, and adorable, Shiba Inu and Akita are one of the most popular dog breeds in Japan and many parts of the world. But did you know they are as different as night and day? Our Shiba Inu VS Akita comparison will show you why!

While they are both in AKC’s top 50 most popular canines, Shiba Inu is a smidge higher in rank than Akita. But Akita wins the loyalty award, at least in the movies, as Hachiko the Akita captivated film-goers’ hearts. After all, this pup is just a massive cuddle bug that is highly devoted to its owner!

If you’re seriously considering bringing home a tail-wagger and can’t decide between a Shiba and an Akita, our Shiba Inu VS Akita breed comparison can help you out.

14. Breed Origins And History

At first glance, Shiba Inu and Akita do seem to look alike, which leaves some people wondering – Are Akitas related to Shiba Inu? Although these breeds both originated in Japan, the Shiba Inu has been around since 300 BC and helped people hunt birds, wild boar, and other game.

On the other hand, the first Akita came out in the 17th century. Because of this breed’s imposing size, these dogs were trained to hunt larger game including deer and bears.

13. Appearance: Coat Color Variety

Akitas and Shibas have dense and fluffy double coats. They have similarities with coat color but one has more color options than the other.

Shibas usually come in four colors only – red sesame, red, cream, and a combination of black and tan. As for Akitas, they have a few more color options such as silver, red, black, fawn, and a black coat with white facial mask.

12. Price

As both of these dogs are popular, you can expect to pay a higher price to own one. They are not exactly rare, but these breeds are also not very common.

Their starting price is usually at $1,200 for both the Akita and the Shiba. Buying them from a reputable breeder is key to ensure a healthy pup. You can also bring the cost down by adopting either of these breeds from an animal shelter

11. Lifespan

Generally, the larger the dog, the shorter the lifespan. This is another Shiba VS Akita difference that you want to take note of when bringing a dog into your life.

Shibas live a bit longer than the Akita. For instance, healthy Shibas live between 12 to 15 years. On the other hand, Akitas live up to 13 years. But in comparison with other giant breeds, Akitas have a longer lifespan.

10. Drooling Tendency

We’ll be upfront here – the Akita has a drooling tendency unlike a Shiba Inu. In fact, these big guys are famous for being droolers, and it’s absolutely a normal condition.

So, if you plan on owning an Akita, be prepared to wipe some slobber spots off of your clothes or furniture. This unintentional flow of saliva out of the mouth is just a natural tendency of this breed. But if it gets any worse, it is important to consult a vet regarding it.

SPOTLIGHT: Check out your dog’s weight at with our very own puppy weight chart right here.

9. Energy Level

Shibas and Akitas love to play, that’s for sure. However, the Akita has a lower energy level simply because they are larger. They are not as agile and nimble as Shibas.

However, Akitas require ample exercise to keep them healthy. Daily walks for a couple of hours should suffice, as well as some quality play sessions with these dogs.

8. Meme Coin Popularity

For folks who keep up with cryptocurrency news, it is no surprise that the Shiba and Akita are among the meme coins that came out in 2021. In fact, Dogecoin has the highest market cap as of June 2, 2021 with a whopping $48 billion.

The Shiba Inu meme coin has been noted as the Dogecoin Killer because of its significant weekly gains. As for the Akita Inu coin, it is a growing cryptocurrency project with a large community base and has over 11,000 coin holders as of April 2021 – and the numbers continue to grow.

7. Dietary Needs: Cups Of Food Per Day

When it comes to feeding, size matters. The bigger the dog, the more food it consumes. So, for folks looking to reduce their monthly food bill, Shiba Inus are more preferred because they eat less than the massive Akita.

Shibas only need about 2 cups of dog food per day. But for Akitas, expect to double that amount. They need about 3 to 5 cups of quality dog food to support their nutritional needs.

6. Health Issue: Patellar Luxation

Both are generally healthy dogs but with some minor health concerns. Patellar luxation is a condition that impacts the kneecap, leading to its abnormal formation.

The Shiba Inu is more predisposed to this condition compared to an Akita. This is why there are certain care requirements and management to help your Shiba cope with this condition.

5. Health Issue: von Willebrand’s Disease

Von Willebrand is a hereditary bleeding disorder in dogs. Some breeds are more likely to suffer from this condition than others.

Between the Shiba Inu and Akita, the latter is more at risk of this disease. When it occurs, your dog is unable to form blood clots normally. This leads to more blood loss. Certain medications should assist your Akita that suffers from this disease.

SPOTLIGHT: Check out your dog’s weight at with our very own puppy weight chart right here.

4. Appearance: Height

Size is the most obvious difference between a Shiba and an Akita. In fact, the Shiba is among the smaller Japanese dog breeds while the Akita is one of the largest.

Akitas can grow as tall as 48 inches, which puts them in the category of giant dogs. However, there are smaller ones that are up to 24 inches tall. But Shibas are significantly smaller with an average height of 17 inches.

3. Appearance: Weight

Because Akitas are taller, it is only expected that they are heavier. Not to mention the fact that they consume more food in a day than Shiba Inus!

For instance, Akitas have an average weight of 70 lbs to as heavy as 130 lbs. On the other hand, Shiba Inus are lighter at around 23 lbs. This also allows them to be more agile and with quicker movement than an Akita.

2. Temperament: Loyalty

Hachiko is a famous dog movie that featured a dog’s loyalty to its owner even until death. The star of the movie was Hachiko, a Japanese Akita that was extremely loyal to his owner. He was so loyal that he continued to wait for his return even 9 years after his beloved owner’s death.

Shiba Inus are also loyal but they are more independent by nature. They do things according to their own schedule and training is important to help them develop positive habits.

1. Popularity

As we have mentioned earlier, both dogs are popular, according to the AKC. Yet, one breed ranks higher than the other, at this time of writing.

The Shiba Inu is currently at the 44th rank in the AKC’s most popular dog breeds. The Akita is not so far behind at the 47th rank.

Related Questions

What Is The Difference Between An American Akita And A Japanese Akita? There are a number of differences, two of which are mentioned here. American Akitas are larger than Japanese Akitas, which makes the former more imposing and more intimidating. In addition, the Japanese variety also has only three color options while the American Akitas have more coat colors.

Why Is Akita Banned? Many cities in the United States have banned Akitas because of their reputation as aggressive dogs. Among the US states where Akitas are banned include the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland.

Is A Shiba Inu A Good First Dog? Because Shibas are smart and obedient dogs, they are good for first time owners. They may not be as easy to train as when training a Golden Retriever or Labrador but they are definitely suitable for novice dog owners once these dogs are well-socialized and properly trained.

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