Shakita, Akiba, or are they Shibakita?
When you blend Shiba Inu adorability with Akita power, then add the legendary loyalty and intelligence in both breeds, you may find the mix irresistible, whatever the name.
A Match Made In Tengoku
Hachiko, the faithful Akita who met his late master’s train for nine years, defines his breed.
Intelligent, protective and powerful, Akitas are faithful and loving companions, but their size and needs can prove too much for many dog lovers.
Fortunately, Japan has also given us the Shiba Inu, with all the loyalty and energy of its bigger cousin, in a smaller, friendly, foxy package.
Shiba Inu Akita Mix - Appearance
Both breeds come from the beautiful Spitz family, featuring upright triangular ears, almond shaped eyes, and luxuriantly thick, soft coats.
They’re compactly built and strong, and carry their tails in a graceful curl over their backs.
At the large end of the Spitz family tree, Akitas can weigh over 100 pounds, too much for small spaces, and expensive to care for.
Shiba Inus are much smaller, averaging 20 pounds and standing just about a foot and a half tall.
While they’re easier to manage, there’s no doubt the Akita provides better protection, if a guard dog is what you need.
However, a mixture of both of them will produce a medium-sized dog of 30-45 pounds guaranteed by both parents to have a wolf-like beauty and intelligent, alert expression.
Left: Beagle, Right: Shiba Inu
Shiba Inu Akita Mix - Temperament
Thanks to the many statues and movies made to honor Hachiko, the Akita family has had the last word on loyalty.
Your Shibakita will have this trait from both parents: strongly attached “his” people, and not always friendly to strangers.
Intelligence is another gift both breeds share, whether in training or participating in agility class, and so your mix will learn quickly.
Hachiko’s persistence would not have lasted nine years, however, without an astounding degree of stubbornness, and this is an issue that often arises in any Akita mix.
Firm, consistent discipline is key.
The Shiba Inu Akita Mix At Home
Your dog’s keen intelligence is a double-edged sword in other ways. Intelligent dogs with nothing to do because they’re trapped inside, or because their family is away during the day, can quickly become bored.
Bored dogs are often depressed, destructive, difficult, and unhappy. Single-human homes with long working hours may not be the best home for this particular mix.
Likewise, those soft, lusciously thick coats are a delight to cuddle, but they shed, sometimes profusely.
Consider your furniture, clothes, car, and available time for housework and grooming.
Then, consider the time left for exercise. Alertness and playfulness are the positive points in a high-energy dog.
The dark side means that yours will need room to run, and a high fence to prevent climbing or jumping to escape, because wandering is common in both Akitas and Shiba Inus.
Walks will be long, fast, and frequent, but not to the dog park, as your mix may not play well with others: that’s just the downside to his wonderful loyalty to family.
Shiba Inu Akita Mix - Health and Wellness
Power and energy like this require a high-protein diet and lots of exercise, and with these, your friend will likely live a happy 10 to 12 years.
Sadly, hip dysplasia is a problem common to both parents’ breeds, so researching breeders and bloodlines is essential.
Eye problems are also common, especially progressive retinal atrophy, which can leave a dog blind.
As with any pet, regular vet visits and healthy practices at home will alert you to any issues early, and hopefully, prevent many others.
Conclusion - The Shiba Inu Akita Mix - A Tougher Shiba Or a Softer Akita?
In softening the tough-guy appeal of the Akita, or beefing up the cuddly cuteness of the Shiba, a Shibakita is smart enough, strong enough, and friendly enough, to give the right home a truly amazing canine companion.
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