When you think of the personality traits of a good dog, you want one that is loyal, protective, and downright adorable.
There are a few that meet these traits as well as the Akita Shiba mix, and it takes the best parts of these popular breeds and joins them together to make a truly amazing dog.
The Akita Shiba mix is a mix of the Shiba Inu and the Akita, and they have many names they go by, including Shakita and Akiba. If you’re looking for your next pet and want one that’s loved by so many around the world, they make an excellent choice.
What does an Akita Shiba mix dog have to offer?
These dogs are known as protectors, loyal family dogs, and determined, so as long as you can keep them busy you’ll be rewarded with an astounding pet. The Shiba Inu and the Akita breed of dogs are closely related and popular choices for dogs, but the mixture of them together is quickly becoming just as common for people to have.
If you’ve always wanted to know more about this intriguing dog breed, we’ve got all of your questions answered. We’ll look at the personality traits, temperament, health, and appearance of the Akita Shiba dog breed to find out if it’s the perfect fit for your home and family.
What is an Akita Shiba Mix?
The Akita Shiba dog is a mixed breed, made up of the Shiba Uni and the Akita Uni breeds that are both native to Japan, and both closely related to each other.
DNA studies on these dogs show that they are two of the oldest breeds of domesticated dogs in the world with evidence showing that they were around as long as 12,000 years ago, working alongside humans.
The Shiba Inu was originally bred as a hunting dog and their strong build and big size made them ideal for targeting larger game.
During World War II, the Shiba Inu almost went extinct, but a breeding program was introduced to bring them back, which bred two different types of Shiba together. One was a stockier shape and the other thin and leggy, and when they were bred, they made the common Shiba Inu that we know today.
The Akita is another Japanese dog that was also used for hunting large game, including deer and bears. Over the years they’ve been used for all kinds of things including being hunters and protectors, and when compared to the Shiba Inu, they stand a lot taller and wider in stature.
The breeding of Akitas and Shibas together has only been done in the last 20 or so years, so it’s still hard to gauge what we need to know about the breed. So far, they appear to combine the best parts of these breeds and turn them into more of a fluffy but protective family dog, which has only furthered their popularity.
The Personality Traits and Temperament of the Akita Shiba
As a relatively new breed, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact personality of the Akita Shiba mix. To get the best idea of what your new pup might act like, you can look to the parents to hear about their temperament, and this will be the biggest clue.
In general, though, the Akita Shiba is known as a strong dog breed and with a playful and alert personality. Because both sides of these breeds have a history as being hunting dogs, you’re likely to find that their prey drive instincts are strong. As protectors and guard dogs, they do exceptionally well, but will still be kind and gentle with those that they know.
If you plan on having your Akita Shiba around other animals, you should take the time to introduce them slowly and allow them to get used to them on their terms. Even if you don’t live with other dogs, it’s important to start early socializing them so that when you’re walking them or playing around others, they won’t do anything dangerous or predatory.
For those living in loud households or where they’re young and noisy children around, your Akita Shiba might seek solace to have some alone time, and this helps to calm them and recharge their batteries. Otherwise, this breed is affectionate and will go out of its way to seek cuddles or attention from their owners, so you’ll never feel alone.
This is a breed that likes to stay with the pack, so if you work long hours or your home is usually without people in it for long periods, it’s not the ideal choice. If they’re left alone for a while, they become bored and destructive, and might also develop separation anxiety wondering where the rest of their pack has gone.
Training Your Akita Shiba
The Akita Shiba is known as a determined breed, which can be great once they have been trained, but unruly if they’re not disciplined. Due to their intelligence, you might find they are especially hard to train at first until you come up with a method and process that works for both of you.
This breed of dog will want to maintain their alpha position so it’s up to you to become the higher-ranking dog. Their short attention spans mean that training will be better done over short sessions rather than spending too long on one thing, so break it up into 10-minute parts throughout the day.
With their natural prey drive, they will want to go after smaller animals but can be trained not to do so if you start at a younger age. To make them easier to manage, regular exercise is required, and you’ll find them much less destructive at home when they’re worn out and happy with their daily workout.
Growth and Age Expectancy of the Breed
The Akita Shiba mix will weigh around 30 to 45 pounds when fully grown, and is considered a medium-sized breed, with a stocky and strong body. Depending on their heritage, they may be a little smaller or larger, as the Shiba part of them is known as being a far more compact type of dog.
With the proper care and regular exercise, an Akita Shiba dog can live to be up to 12 years, and sometimes longer. Due to their newer status as a dog breed, getting an average age is harder to do, but they share a similar life expectancy as most other dogs this size.
Appearance and Grooming
The Akita and Shiba breeds on their own are instantly recognizable, and they both have beautiful features that are common in the Spitz family that they hail from, being short and strong dogs.
They have upright triangular ears, thick and luxurious coats, almond shaped eyes, and a delightful tail that curls up over their backs.
With light-colored fur that is luxurious and soft to touch, they are very fluffy to cuddle up to and stroke. Their thick coats require some extra attention though, both to keep the dog healthy and comfortable, but also to prevent your home from being covered in fur.
Regular brushing is required and you’ll need to bathe them as frequently as possible, to keep them happy and clean, and stop excessive malting. There’s no need to protect them from colder temperatures in winter as they’ll have a winter coat that’s warm enough, and during the summer some of this will shed to keep them comfortable.
Good Health and How to Care For Your Akita Shiba
This is not a dog breed that you can exercise infrequently, and even missing just one day of walks will lead to catastrophe at home.
The Akita Shiba prefers to walk fast and for long periods of time, so set aside at least half an hour a day to keep them happy. Some dogs might even require a walk twice a day, but it will depend on the temperament your pooch has.
The best place to walk your Akita Shiba is away from others, as their loyalty to you and your family means they can sometimes get too defensive. People with large backyards and open spaces that allow their dogs to run around would be better suited to this breed as they quickly and easily become bored being stuck in the house.
When it comes to their diet and other care requirements, you’ll need to match their high energy personality as much as possible. A protein that’s rich in diet and regular exercise is the best thing for the Akita Shiba, and you might find that they eat more than other dogs their size. Give them a balanced diet that features a range of dog-suitable foods and speak with a vet about health supplements that suit this breed.
There are a few health issues to be cautious of with the Akita Shibu, but regular check-ups with the vet should help you stay on top of them. Hip dysplasia is common with dogs of this size, and an issue for both the Shiba Inu and Akita Inu breeds, as is retinal atrophy, which can lead to blindness in some dogs, and needs to be taken seriously.
The Akita Shiba mix is a popular choice of dog for people who want a breed that is fiercely loyal but lovable to be around.
If you’ve always wanted to know more about the breed and other related types of dogs, we’ve answered some FAQs that can help you out.
Can Akita and Shibu Dogs Live Together?
If you have an Akita and a Shiba Inu and plan on having them live together, you’ll need to spend some time socializing them first.
Both breeds are known as being cautious around other dogs at first but will be able to tolerate them eventually, so make sure you take the introductions slowly.
Are Akitas Dangerous Dogs?
The Akita breed is known as being a large and powerful breed that has a protective nature. However, as a family dog, they are not known to be aggressive unnecessarily.
Any dog that has been mistreated or is not trained has the potential to lash out and be dangerous though, so you should always be cautious around them.