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Akita Shiba Mix: Pictures, Care, Temperament & Traits

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

akita shiba mix puppy dog

When it comes to the canine world, there are a wide variety of breeds and crossbreeds in existence. Most have been bred for specific reasons, whether for hunting or as companions. Some are bred for their looks and others for their demeanor. One interesting type of dog that is worth learning more about is the Akita Shiba mix. Here’s what you should know.

Height: 16–24 inches
Weight: 30–45 pounds
Lifespan: 10–12+ years
Colors: Red, black and tan, sesame, cream, brindle
Suitable for: Active families, singles, houses with fenced yards
Temperament: Loyal, smart, energetic, inquisitive, family oriented, protective, determined

The Akita Shiba mix is a designer crossbred dog that tends to take on a balanced number of traits from their parent breeds, the Akita and Shiba Inu. Both parent breeds come from Japan, where they are popularly known for their intelligence, loyalty, protectiveness, and sociability. The Akita is larger than the Shiba Inu, so together, they create a typically medium to large-sized dog that is between 30 and 45 pounds and 16 to 24 inches tall when fully grown. Both parent breeds come from the spitz family, so their offspring tend to be well-rounded with temperaments that are fairly easy to predict.

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Akita Shiba Mix Characteristics


Akita Shiba Mix Puppies

akita shiba inu puppy mixed breed dog walking on the grass
Image Credit: Katinka Bakos, Shutterstock

The puppies are extremely adorable, as they tend to be super fluffy and a bit clumsy. However, they do grow quickly, so puppyhood should be filled with all kinds of adventures, social experiences, and obedience training sessions. These dogs can get along well with kids, especially during playtime and naptime. While puppies, these dogs require plenty of exercise and stimulation to keep their bodies and minds busy. Outdoor walks and games of fetch, along with indoor activities like training, puzzle toys, and hide-and-seek, are all great interactive options to prioritize as your pup grows up.

Parent breeds of Akita Shiba Mix
Image Credit: Left – Aleix Plana, Pexels | Right – Mátyás Varga, Pexels

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Akita Shiba Mix 🧠

The Akita Shiba mix is extremely intelligent and loyal to their closest companions. They take to training well and tend to be patient with people and other animals. These dogs can get along in various social settings, though if they are not socialized as puppies, they may become aloof to strangers and canines at the dog park. Akita Shiba mix puppies are generally more rambunctious than their adult counterparts, but they mellow out as they age. So, you cannot count on their disposition as puppies to determine how they will act and behave as adults.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Akita Shiba mix can get along well in family environments, even when young children are involved. However, their excitedness and rambunctiousness can result in accidental injuries, so it’s always a good idea to make sure supervision is a priority until your dog reaches adult age and the kids are old enough to know how to manage the dog through obedience commands.

These dogs enjoy spending time outside and are happy to accompany their companions on camping and hiking trips. Some like to swim in pools, oceans, and lakes. Others just enjoy spending time in a fenced yard playing fetch or running through the sprinklers. These are happy-go-lucky dogs when spending time in their home environment, but they are protective when strangers come around and/or in social settings.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

This designer crossbreed can get along well with other household pets, but if they are not socialized from a young age, the process of introducing them to new pets can be stressful and time consuming. Even if you do not have other pets in the household, it is a good idea to introduce your Akita Shiba mix to other dogs and even cats while they are puppies. This will help ease the process of introducing them to new pets that you might decide to get in the future.

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Things to Know When Owning an Akita Shiba Mix

If you are interested in acquiring an Akita Shiba mix as a household pet, you should know things like what to feed them, how to exercise them, when to train them, and what kind of grooming you’ll be responsible for. Here’s the lowdown.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Akita Shiba mix is an energetic and athletic dog, so they require high-quality food that is made up primarily of healthy proteins like chicken, beef, and even fish. It’s always a good idea to get diet and feeding recommendations from your veterinarian. The average Akita can eat between 2 and 4 cups of dry commercial food each day, split into at least two different meals. As for snacks and treats, simple things like carrot sticks and berries are usually satisfactory for this breed. However, they will never turn down a dog “cookie” that you make from peanut butter and oatmeal or prepackaged treats that you can find at the store.

Exercise 🐕

Every Akita Sibu mix should get at least 1 hour of exercise each day to stay happy and healthy as they age. This exercise can be split into a couple of sessions a day if necessary. Leisurely walks around the neighborhood, playing fetch in the yard, and taking trips to the dog park are all types of exercise that this crossbreed tends to enjoy. They can go on moderate hikes, they like walking along the beach, and they don’t usually have a problem camping for the weekend with their family members. All of these things offer the enrichment and exercise that they need for good health and high quality of life.

Training 🎾

Like all dogs, the Akita Shiba mix should receive obedience training for the sake of everyone involved. Training helps make the pup feel more confident and ensures that they behave as you expect them to, whether at home or in a social setting. Training should begin as early as 8 weeks old, when they are most susceptible to your input. Your Akita Shiba mix should know how to come, sit, and stay on command at the very least by the time that they begin socializing in public settings. These little athletic dogs can also be good at agility training. This is not only good for the body and mind, but it also serves as a form of exercise and helps get rid of pent-up energy.

Grooming ✂️

The Akita Shiba mx has a thick double coat that can get matted if not brushed regularly. You should brush your dog at least twice a week to keep shedding to a minimum and avoid mats from forming. They can be bathed once a month or so, but any more than that, and their skin is likely to get dry and itchy. Their nails should be trimmed monthly, as should their ears with cotton balls or clean, soft towels. These dogs take pride in caring for their own grooming needs, which makes things easier.

Health and Conditions ❤️

There are a few health conditions that this crossbreed is prone to, and anyone considering taking care of an Akita Shiba mix should know about them. Here are the most common conditions that you and your veterinarian should keep an eye out for:

Minor Conditions
  • Dysplasia
  • Skin allergies
  • Atopy
  • Patellar luxation
  • Cataracts
  • Hypothyroidism
Serious Conditions
  • Bloat
  • Thyroid problems
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune disease

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Male vs. Female

There are small differences that you might notice between the male and female Akita Shiba mix, such as the fact that the females tend to be a bit easier to potty train than the males. However, as a whole, both sexes are smart, loyal, protective, and good in family environments. If your dog is spayed or neutered, you should notice few, if any, sex-specific behavioral problems.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Akita Shiba Mix

1. They Have Many Nicknames

These beautiful dogs are lovingly referred to by a variety of different nicknames by their owners and admirers. Popular ones include Akitshu, Shibukita, Akitashibu, AkiShu, and Akitinu, and new nicknames seem to keep popping up for this cute crossbreed!

2. Both Parent Breeds Belong to the Same Family

Both the Akita and Shiba Inu belong to the spitz family, so they do not have many differences to begin with. Therefore, their crossbred offspring is more balanced in terms of traits than most other mixed breeds that come from parents that are not of the same family line.

3. They Can Be Destructive

If the Akita Shiba mix is not properly exercised and spends too much time alone, they can become destructive toward household items, including furniture, books, clothes, and even flooring. Making sure your dog gets outside each day for long walks and has plenty of time to spend with family members can help mitigate destructive behavior.

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Final Thoughts

The Akita Shiba mix is a cute yet agile dog that is loving and protective of their family members. These dogs require discipline, training, and socialization to be their best selves. These are great dogs for families and singles. They do best in houses with fenced yards but can even do well in apartments if they get out a few times a day for exercise and potty breaks.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Steve Bruckmann, Shutterstock

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