Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Akita Shepherd (German Shepherd & Akita Inu Mix) Info, Pics, Facts

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Akita Shepherd (German Shepherd & Akita Inu Mix)

Height: 26–28 inches
Weight: 75–120 pounds
Lifespan: 10–13 years
Colors: Black, black and tan, brindle, brown, golden, merle, sable, white
Suitable for: Families with older children, couples, individuals
Temperament: Loyal & loving, independent, protective

The Akita Shepherd is an independent, proud, and stoic mix breed pup. Taking their traits from their parent breeds, the Akita Inu and the German Shepherd, these large and loyal guardians require a moderate amount of exercise and maintenance. They can develop deep bonds with their owners.

While they’re a hybrid breed, they aren’t widely bred. Therefore, they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club roster of breeds.

If you’re seeking a fantastic designer dog that will provide you with over a decade of love and support, an Akita German Shepherd mix could be right for you.Divider 1

Akita Shepherd Puppies

Akita Shepherd mixed adorable puppy
Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

Akita Shepherd puppies are super daring and alert dogs. Bred from two outstanding working breeds, these dogs thrive when they have a job to do.

If you’re thinking about getting one as a puppy, it’s of the utmost importance to find a reputable and honest breeder. Some experts state that this breed is prone to behavioral issues, such as aggression, due to poor-quality breeding.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Akita Shepherd

1. The Akita Shepherd is also known as the Shepkita.

2. The Akita Shepherd originated in the 1800s as a sheepherder and was used as a courier dog by the German Military during World War I and World War II.

3. Before Akitas has an official breed name, they were simply referred to as “snow country dogs” since they hailed from the snowy, rural mountains of Japan.

The parent breeds of Akita Shepherd
Image Credit: Left – Inu (uadrienn, Pixabay); Right – (MasatoTsuda, Pixabay)

Divider 1

Temperament & Intelligence of the Akita Shepherd 🧠

Considered a “bodyguard dog” breed, Akita Shepherds are truly courageous dogs and often used as personal protection companions. Their stout and muscular build only add to their brawny reputation.

Despite their aggressive appearance, Akita Shepherds are actually extremely affectionate and loving dogs. While quiet, they are constantly on the alert and always prepared to protect their pack. If properly trained while they are still puppies, Akita Shepherds can be extremely obedient. Very intelligent, this high-strung hybrid needs firm and consistent training or he may overpower you. It is also crucial to socialize these dogs starting at a young age in order for them to be well-adjusted.

Since they are working dogs, Akita Shepherds are also very active and playful and would do best in an active household.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

At their core, Akita Shepherds are guard dogs. They can become aggressive if they feel threatened or are unsure about themselves. For this reason, Akita Shepherds do best in families with older children. They are also great for couples and individuals.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

If acclimated to other dogs and pets from a young age, Akita Shepherds can get along with their other canine companions just fine.


Divider 3

Things to Know When Owning an Akita Shepherd

This extremely large dog has a great work ethic and enjoys any task given to him. They can effortlessly spend an hour or more running in cold climates. Since they are an adventurous breed, Akita Shepherds are much more suitable for suburban or rural locations because they get a lot more exposure and stimulation from the large expanses of land to explore and run.

Here’s everything you need to know about keeping your Akita Shepherd happy and healthy throughout the entire course of its lifetime.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

In times past, Akita Shepherds were fed sea plants, fish, and rice. Now, many supplements can be given to them along with nutritious dry dog food to ensure they’re getting the vitamins and minerals they need.

For the first four months or so, puppy food should be fed for them along with natural food. Always avoid feeding them foods that contain preservatives. The best source of protein for Akita Shepherds is meat. However, veggies can also be included in their diet to ensure they are getting vital nutrients.

An adult Akita Shepherd should be fed five to six cups of high-quality dry dog food that can be broken up into two meals per day.

Exercise 🐕

Akita Shepherds are very adventurous and active dogs. However, they can enjoy a long nap and a cuddle on the couch after playtime is over. Allow your Akita Shepherd to accompany you on long walks or jogs a couple of times a day. You can also keep him happy by tossing a ball in the backyard or challenging him to a game of tugs-of-war inside of the house. A minimum exercise time of 60 minutes per day will do.

Additionally, these smart dogs also need mental stimulation. There are a couple of ways to challenge your Akita Shepherd’s mind, including:

  • Working on a new trick: Engage your Akita Shepherd in a thorough training session. If he already understands basic commands, check out the Internet or books for more advanced tricks.
  • Interactive toys: There are tons of toys that will stimulate your pet’s mind, including canine puzzles and board games. Give your Akita Shepherd a toy that contains a hidden treat and they’ll be engaged for hours trying to figure out how to get it out.
  • Give him a job to do: Akita Shepherds are herding dogs. Help him fulfill these duties by rounding up your slippers and bringing them to you.

Training 🦮

The moment you bring your new Akita Shepherd pup home; you should start to train him. They work best with firm yet positive training methods. If your pooch has more German Shepherd genes, the faster they will pick up on new tricks.

These dogs can be stubborn at times. As his trainer, you must act strong and take the lead to establish your dominance.

Grooming ✂️

Weekly grooming is required for your Akita Shepherd to keep their full coat in tip-top condition. You can use a grooming brush to keep your dog’s coat tangle-free. You should also bear in mind that Akita Shepherds will shed a lot during the spring and summer months, so grooming during this period is essential.

Other grooming necessities include trimming their nails and cleaning their ears once a week.

Health & Conditions ❤️

While Akita Shepherds are typically healthier than purebreds, they aren’t without their health issues. Here are some of the minor and major health conditions your dog could experience over his lifespan:

Minor Conditions
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Exocrine pancreatic
  • Insufficiency
  • Hemophilia
  • Panosteitis
  • Pannus
  • Pemphigus
  • Perianal Fistulas
  • Sebaceous adenitis
Serious Conditions
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Bloat
  • Canine hip dysplasia
  • Congenital heart defect
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease

Male vs. Female

A male Akita Shepherd will typically be larger than a female Akita Shepherd by two inches and weigh 20 to 30 pounds more. While both genders make great guard dogs, the males will have more tendencies to be aggressive.

Divider 3

Final Thoughts

The Akita Shepherd is a great mixed breed dog to have for anyone who wants a protective, loyal companion. This dog needs a lot of exercise and would love to run and play in a backyard or an empty field.

While Akita Shepherds can be overbearing sometimes, firm and positively reinforced training is highly encouraged. Also, these dogs would not make suitable pets for families with small children.

If you’re seeking an incredible dog breed, consider getting an Akita Shepherd puppy!

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database