Akita Shepherd Breed Card
Akita Shepherd Breed Overview
Mixed Breed Dogs
22-25 inches tall
Country of Origin
Independent, Loyal, Courageous
10 to 13 years
Akita Shepherd History
The Akita Shepherd (also known as Shepkita) is a mix between the German Shepherd and the Akita Inu. It is a powerful and large dog that carries traits from both parent breeds.
The Akita German Shepherd mix is a working dog and loves being physically and mentally with tasks such as agility or obedience competitions. It also makes an excellent herding dog and watchdog. However, modern Shepkitas are most popular for being family pets.
Most kennel clubs recognize the Akita Shepherd as a semi-official breed, but the AKC does not recognize this mixed breed dog.
Low End: $600
High End: $800
Akita Shepherd Physical Traits
Akita Shepherd dogs are a large, strong, and powerful breed. They resemble both the Japanese Akita and the German Shepherd. The hallmarks of the breed are prominent cheek muscles and almond-shaped eyes.
The Akita Shepherd is a large dog with a compact body, broad head, and strong jaws. The eyes are slightly slanted, almond-shaped, and distinctively colored (brown or amber), and their ears are erect, triangular, and moderately long. Their tail is set high but carried low when relaxed.
Akita Shepherds have relatively short legs that are heavily boned but muscular; they should be straight when viewed from the front or back of the dog’s body. The paws are round with thick pads, so they can easily walk on rough terrain without getting injured or worn out.
The coat is short to medium-length and glossy, with a thick undercoat that helps them stay warm in cooler climates. They come in all shades of red, from light to dark; some have white markings on their chest or legs, but this isn’t considered a fault.
Size & Weight ❤️
Height: 23-25 inches
Weight: 65-85 pounds
Height: 22-24 inches
Weight: 60-80 pounds
Coat & Color
Brindle, white, silver, fawn, black, red, brown, sable, gray
Akita Shepherd Temperament and Personality
Akita Shepherds are noble, regal, and loyal dogs. They are courageous, intelligent, and independent. However, they are aggressive and territorial and will protect their family if the need arises.
The Akita Shepherd has excellent hearing and vision and a keen sense of smell, making it an excellent guard dog. Akita Shepherds are very alert but also calm enough to make good companions for children who will enjoy their playful nature and affectionate behavior.
Akita Shepherds do not like to be alone for too long and can suffer from separation anxiety if left by themselves too much.
GOOD WITH KIDS
Yes, with proper socialization, the Akita Shepherd is kid-friendly.
The Akita Shepherd is a strong and powerful dog, but the breed is known to be gentle with small children. They will protect kids from strangers who come onto the property unannounced or who may appear threatening in any way.
However, the Akita has a high prey drive, which means that it may chase after other animals or small pets. This can make it dangerous around kids who are unsupervised in the yard or when visiting friends.
Good with Other Pets?
GOOD WITH PETS
Yes, the Akita Shepherd can be good with other pets as long as they have been raised together from a young age.
However, if your Akita Shepherd was not raised with other animals, it may not accept them later in life. It is important for you to train your Akita Shepherd early on to ensure that it does not develop any bad habits when it comes to interacting with other pets in your household or dog park.
Barks a Lot?
No, the Akita Shepherd does not bark much. Like most dogs, the Akita Shepherd will bark to alert you when someone is approaching your home or if any suspicious activity is happening.
However, this breed does not usually bark excessively unless there is a reason. For example, if your Akita Shepherd senses someone is up to no good, then they may bark continuously until you come to investigate what’s going on.
Can Be Left Alone?
Likes Being Alone
No, the Akita Shepherd cannot be left alone for long periods.
It is a working dog that needs to be kept active and busy. If you are considering getting an Akita Shepherd, ensure you have time for the dog. Otherwise, your Akita Shepherd is likely to develop separation anxiety followed by destructive behavior.
Akita Shepherd Training
Akita Shepherds are a loyal and intelligent breed. They have been bred as working dogs, so they are very good at following commands and learning new things. However, the breed is independent and stubborn, meaning Akita Shepherd owners need to take the right approach toward training.
When training an Akita shepherd, you need to be firm and gentle not to damage your relationship with your dog. Consistent training and positive reinforcement are the most important factors.
The first step in training an Akita Shepherd is establishing yourself as the pack’s leader. Once you have established yourself as leader of the pack, it’s time for basic obedience training.
Basic obedience includes teaching commands such as sit, stay, lay down, come when called, and walking on a leash without pulling on it too hard. You mustn’t skip over any steps because they will make it easier for you when you get to the more advanced training. If you do not know how to train your Akita German Shepherd dog, it is best to hire a dog trainer.
Akita Shepherd Needs
The Akita Shepherd needs a lot of physical activity and mental stimulation to be happy. They will get bored if left alone for long periods, so it’s important that you give them something to do when you are not at home.
This breed also needs sufficient socialization and training from an early age. This means that it should never be left alone with young children unsupervised and should be trained regularly throughout its life.
The average adult Akita Shepherd eats around 5 cups of dog food daily, which equals around 750 calories. This amount will vary depending on how much exercise they get each day and other factors such as age or health problems they may have developed over time.
More importantly, talk with your vet about which foods best suit your dog’s age and health condition. In general, with this breed, you should look for dog food formulated for large breeds.
Exercise & Activity Levels
Akita Shepherds are extremely active, high-energy dogs and require plenty of physical activities to stay happy and healthy. They enjoy playing games such as tug of war or fetch and would love a regular walk.
However, these dogs love people and will also cuddle up next to you on the couch or bed when you have time for some petting and scratching behind their ears.
The Akita Shepherd has a medium-length coat that’s soft and silky. This breed sheds moderately throughout the year, but the shedding is more noticeable during spring and fall.
The Akita Shepherd requires brushing weekly to keep its double coat healthy and shiny. You can use a pin brush or slicker brush to remove loose hair from your dog’s coat while stimulating the skin and promoting blood circulation.
Trimming your dog’s nails every month is also important for maintaining health. Bathing your Akita Shepherd once every two months is enough to keep it clean, although you may need to wash them more often if they spend time outdoors or get into the dirt when playing with other dogs or children in the home.
Akita Shepherd Average Lifespan
The average lifespan of an Akita Shepherd is between 10 and 13 years. However, some dogs may live longer than this.
Commom Health Problems
- Hip Dysplasia: This is a painful condition that occurs when the hip joint does not form properly and does not allow the thigh bone to fit snugly into the hip. This can lead to lameness, arthritis, and other problems as the dog ages.
- Elbow Dysplasia: Similarly, this is a joint problem affecting the elbow. It consists of several elbow joint abnormalities that result in pain, lameness, and early arthritis.
- Osteochondritis Dissecans: Also known as OCD, it is an inflammation of a small piece of cartilage that connects bone to bone inside the shoulder joint.
- Degenerative Myelopathy: This is a progressive disease affecting the spinal cord and is more common among older dogs.
- Autoimmune Thyroiditis: This is a genetic condition (common in the Akita parent) in which the dog’s immune system misidentifies the thyroid tissue and basically attacks the thyroid gland.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease: A blood clotting disorder in which the dog is missing a clotting factor, resulting in uncontrolled bleeding.
- Bloat: Also known as gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), bloat is a potentially life-threatening condition in which the dog’s stomach twists on itself and bloats.
- Eye Problems: This breed is prone to eye issues such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and glaucoma. If left untreated, these issues can result in blindness.
Recommended Health Tests
- Eye examination
- Hip & elbow evaluation
- Thyroid tests
Tips for New Akita Shepherd Owners
Here are some helpful tips for first-time Akita Shepherd owners:
Find a Reputable Breeder: When looking for a puppy, it’s important to find the best dog breeder. Make sure the breeder is open about their breeding practices — don’t be afraid to ask questions about how they care for their puppies or what kind of temperament the puppy has inherited from its parents.
Get Puppy/Dog Products in Advance: If you’re planning to get a puppy or dog, then it is important that you have all the necessary supplies ready before the day comes. These products include food bowls, leashes, collars, and beds.
Start Training Early: Akita Shepherds are energetic dogs who need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation daily to stay happy and healthy. If you don’t start training soon after bringing home your puppy, he’ll get bored and may become destructive or bark incessantly because he has nothing else to do.
Akita Shepherd Similar Breeds
– Shiba Inu
– Siberian Husky
Akita Shepherd Supplies You Need
High-quality leashes and dog collars or harnesses are all essential for this breed as it enjoys long walks. Collars aren’t just for looks; they also help keep your pup safe by allowing you to identify them easily in case you get separated during an outing.
An Akita Shepherd also needs bowls — one for dry food and one for water. The bowls should be sturdy enough to withstand chewing, as the breed is prone to destructiveness when bored.
Additionally, you will need a dog crate, dog toys, and grooming supplies, such as a brush, shampoo, and nail clippers. First-aid supplies and supplements (eye and joint health) are also recommended to have in hand.
Best Dog Beds for Akita Shepherds
Best Dog Food for Akita Shepherds
Akita Shepherd Fun Facts
If considering an Akita Shepherd mix dog, read these fun facts about its parent breeds:
Fun Fact 1
The Akita is one of only three breeds recognized as a national monument by their respective governments (the others are the Basenjis from Congo and the Samoyeds from Russia).
Fun Fact 2
It is believed that Helen Keller brought the first Akita Inu dogs from Japan to America during World War II.
Fun Fact 3
Because of their easy trainability, German Shepherds worked alongside soldiers during both WWI and WWII.
Fun Fact 4
After WWII, the popularity of German Shepherds declined, and the breed’s name was changed to Alsatian Wolf Dog in Europe and Shepherd Dog in the USA.
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