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Akita vs. Shiba Inu — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 17, 2024
Akitas are large, powerful dogs originally bred for guarding in Japan, known for their loyalty. Shiba Inus are smaller, agile dogs also from Japan, famous for their fox-like appearance and spirited personality.
Akita vs. Shiba Inu — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Akita and Shiba Inu


Key Differences

The Akita is a large breed, known for its strong, muscular build, making it an effective guard dog. The Shiba Inu is significantly smaller, with a compact, agile body, well-suited to its original purpose of hunting in mountainous terrain.
Akitas have a dignified and reserved personality, often showing unwavering loyalty to their family. Shiba Inus, in contrast, are known for their spirited and bold nature, often described as having a cat-like personality.
The coat of an Akita is thick and can come in a variety of colors, including white, brindle, and pinto. The Shiba Inu also has a thick double coat, typically in colors like red, sesame, and black and tan, often noted for its 'urajiro' (cream to white) markings.
Akitas require consistent training and socialization due to their strong-willed nature. Shiba Inus, while also needing early socialization, are known for their independence and can be more challenging to train due to their stubborn streak.
The Akita is known for its quiet, calm demeanor, rarely barking without cause. The Shiba Inu, though also not overly vocal, is more alert and can be more prone to barking, especially when they perceive a threat or are playing.

Comparison Chart


Large, with a strong, muscular build
Smaller, compact, and agile


Dignified, reserved, and loyal
Spirited, bold, and independent

Coat Colors

White, brindle, pinto, etc.
Red, sesame, black and tan, with urajiro

Training and Socialization

Requires consistent training; strong-willed
Independent, can be stubborn; needs early socialization

Barking Tendency

Quiet, barks rarely
More alert, can be prone to barking

Compare with Definitions


Large Japanese dog breed
The Akita stood guard at the front door.

Shiba Inu

Spirited and bold
The Shiba Inu was full of energy and curiosity.


Loyal and protective
The family's Akita was fiercely loyal.

Shiba Inu

Distinct coat colors
The red Shiba Inu stood out with its bright coat.


The Akita's thick coat kept it warm in winter.

Shiba Inu

Agile and compact
Their Shiba Inu excelled in agility courses.


Strong and muscular
Their Akita was known for its powerful physique.

Shiba Inu

Independent nature
Their Shiba Inu enjoyed its alone time.


Reserved personality
Despite its size, their Akita was quite reserved.

Shiba Inu

Small Japanese dog breed
The Shiba Inu darted playfully in the park.


A dog of a large breed developed in Japan for hunting, having small erect ears, a curled tail carried over the back, and a thick coat of various colors.

Common Curiosities

What is a Shiba Inu?

The Shiba Inu is a small, agile dog breed from Japan, known for its spirited personality.

What is an Akita?

The Akita is a large, powerful dog breed from Japan, known for its loyalty.

Do Akitas require a lot of exercise?

Yes, Akitas need regular exercise to maintain their health and happiness.

How big do Akitas get?

Akitas can weigh between 70-130 pounds, standing around 24-28 inches tall.

Are Shiba Inus good family pets?

Shiba Inus can be good family pets but are best with families who understand their independent nature.

How much grooming does a Shiba Inu need?

Shiba Inus require regular grooming due to their thick double coat.

Are Akitas good with children?

Akitas can be good with children if properly socialized and trained, but supervision is always recommended.

Are Shiba Inus good for first-time dog owners?

Shiba Inus may not be ideal for first-time owners due to their independent and strong-willed nature.

What is unique about a Shiba Inu's appearance?

Shiba Inus are known for their fox-like appearance and 'urajiro' markings.

Are Shiba Inus easy to train?

Shiba Inus can be challenging to train due to their independent and stubborn nature.

What is the lifespan of an Akita?

Akitas typically live between 10-15 years.

Can Akitas live in apartments?

Akitas can live in apartments if they get enough exercise, but they prefer larger spaces.

How are Akitas with other pets?

Akitas can be aggressive towards other animals if not properly socialized.

Do Shiba Inus bark a lot?

Shiba Inus are not excessively vocal, but they will bark when necessary.

Is it true that Akitas are very loyal to their owners?

Yes, Akitas are known for their deep loyalty to their family.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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