Difference Between Shiba Inu and Akita Inu
By Andrew Parker - February 7, 2023

Akita Inus and Shiba Inus originated in Japan and have some similarities, but there are significant variances between the two.

Chart Summary
  1. A small to medium-sized dog
A large guard dog
  1. It costs between $2000 and $4000
It costs much less than Shiba Inu
Japanese pet shiba inu

Getty images/Moment/ feng xu


The Shiba Inu is a Japanese hunting dog breed. The Shiba Inu is a tiny, alert, and agile dog that does well in hilly areas and on hiking routes. It was initially intended to hunt small animals like rabbits. Shiba Inu translates to “small dog” or “brushwood dog.”

The Akita Inu is a huge dog breed that originated in the mountains of northern Japan. Akita comes in two varieties: a pure Japanese breed is known as Akita-ken and a hybrid American variety that is often bigger. The Akita is a strong, independent, dominating breed that is reserved among strangers yet friendly and devoted to its family. Akitas are a resilient breed in general. Historically, they were utilized as guard dogs, fighting dogs, and bear hunters.

Shiba Inu vs Akita Inu

The most noticeable difference between Akitas and Shiba Inus is their size, with Akitas reaching over 100 pounds and Shibas seldom exceeding 22 pounds. As a result, the Akita was developed and trained to hunt large game, such as deer and wild boar, while the Shiba Inu was raised and trained to hunt tiny animals, such as rabbits and cats. The Akita has a double coat that consists of a dense and fluffy undercoat and a short topcoat. The Shiba Inu is double-coated, but its undercoat is softer and thicker than the Akita. The exterior coat of the Shiba Inu is firm and straight. In general, grooming the Akita isn’t difficult; yet, the Akita sheds a lot.

Though the Shiba and Akita have similar appearances, the Shiba Inu has a foxier appearance. It features a tapered nose, short triangular ears that are upright, and dark triangle-shaped eyes with black rims. Shiba Inus are independent thinkers who are intelligent yet obstinate and are not well-known for their trainability. Akita Inus are intelligent dogs who are considerably simpler to teach if you appreciate and praise them.