Akita Shepherd

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60-80 lbs
German Shepherd

Akita Shepherds take after their stoic parent breeds, the German Shepherd and Akita Inu, and are known for being independent, loyal, and protective pets. When full grown, these large dogs can weigh up to 85 pounds and grow to be 25 inches tall. They require a fair amount of maintenance and exercise. Akita Shepherds form strong bonds with their owners and can be great dogs for families, couples, and individual owners who are looking to invest a lot of time and energy into rearing a well-adjusted dog. Not surprisingly, Akita Shepherds are not your typical hybrid; they are not widely bred, and they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club roster of purebred dogs.

Companionship, Hunting, Herding, Guarding
Date of Origin
Mid 1900s
Akita, German Shepherd

Akita Shepherd Health

Average Size
Male Akita Shepherd size stats
Height: 23-25 inches Weight: 65-85 lbs
Female Akita Shepherd size stats
Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 60-80 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Von Willebrand's Disease
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Congenital Heart Defect
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Minor Concerns
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Panosteitis
  • Pemphigus
  • Sebaceous Adenitis
  • Pannus
  • Perianal Fistulas
  • Hemophilia
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
Occasional Diagnoses
  • None Known
Occasional Tests
  • Cardiac
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Blood
  • Dna For Vwd
  • Internal Imaging (x-ray, CT scan, MRI, etc.)
  • Full Body Physical Examination

Akita Shepherd Breed History

The German Shepherd and Akita Inu were bred together to create this hybrid breed. The Akita Shepherd’s German Shepherd parent originated in the 1800s and was bred in Germany as a sheep herder. The Germans quickly recognized the breed’s intelligence and employed it as a courier dog in the German military in both World War I and II. German Shepherds were further refined in Germany under the guidance of the Verein fur Deutsche Scharferhunde SV, which was established in 1899 specifically to shape the development of the breed. During the 20th century, German Shepherds grew in popularity not only in their native country, but also in North America as a working and guard dog, as well as loyal pet. The American Kennel Club recognized the German Shepherd in 1908 and it remains a popular dog in the United States and Europe – especially Germany – to this day. The other parent, the Akita Inu, is an ancient breed from the Odate region of Japan. In the mid-1900s, Akitas Inus were declared a national treasure of Japan. Even today, Akitas Inus are considered spiritual symbols of protection, health, happiness, and longevity in the country. Akita Inus were first bred to hunt animals large and medium sized game, such as elk, boars, and small bears. The American historical figure, Helen Keller, became enamored with the breed in the mid-20th century and brought the first Akita to North America. Afterwards, the Akita population grew steadily in the United States and it was recognized by the AKC in 1972. The combination of these two parent breeds has resulted in the stoic and devoted Akita Shepherd breed. This hybrid may have been bred as early as the mid-1900s due to its parent breeds' history in the same geographical areas. Nonetheless, it has not caught on in popularity and it is not recognized by the AKC.

Akita Shepherd Breed Appearance

The Akita Shepherd has the body of a German Shepherd and the face and tail of an Akita Inu. Keep in mind, however, that because this breed is not stabilized, it can inherit any combination of physical traits from its parent breeds. Nonetheless, Akita Shepherds will generally have medium-sized, erect ears, dark triangular eyes, and a scissor bite muzzle. They will also have the characteristically Spitz tail, which curls upwards and has a full, plush coating. Their bodies are muscular and strong, with the sloping back of a German Shepherd. The Akita Shepherd’s dense coat is generally medium-length and comes in several colors that are common to both parent breeds. Dogs that take after their Shepherd heritage will also inherit faint or strong dark markings around the face and muzzle.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Akita Shepherd eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Akita Shepherd nose
brown Akita Shepherd nose
Coat Color Possibilities
brindle Akita Shepherd coat
white Akita Shepherd coat
silver Akita Shepherd coat
fawn Akita Shepherd coat
black Akita Shepherd coat
red Akita Shepherd coat
brown Akita Shepherd coat
sable Akita Shepherd coat
gray Akita Shepherd coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Akita Shepherd straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Akita Shepherd Breed Maintenance

Akita Shepherds are not hypoallergenic and not suitable for pet owners with allergies. Their coats shed moderately and require weekly (at least) brushing to stay clean, shiny, and neat. Owners can use a variety of tools including a slicker or pin brush for grooming depending on how long their pets coat is (pin brushes are for longer coats). Beyond this, Akita Shepherds are fairly easy to maintain; they only need occasional baths and monthly to bi-monthly nail clippings. The most strenuous part of maintaining an Akita Shepherd is checking its coat and ears regularly for debris and brushing its teeth on a daily basis.

Brushes for Akita Shepherd
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Akita Shepherd requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Akita Shepherd Temperament

The Akita Shepherd is a very serious breed; it is reserved and aloof like both of its parents. It has a natural inclination to guard and protect, and its personality reflects this impulse in most situations. When it is comfortable, however, Akita Shepherds can be very energetic and playful. Still, these dogs are not great with strangers, other animals, or young children. Though they are loyal and kind to loved ones, they can be aggressive if they feel threatened or are unsure of themselves. As pets, Akita Shepherds require firm and consistent training; otherwise, this high-strung breed will overpower those around them. For the same reason, early socialization is very important for raising a well-adjusted Akita Shepherd. Beyond this, Alaskan Shepherds are quite intelligent and can be trained to respond to relatively complex commands and tasks. They value their independence, but will happily relax alongside their owners at the end of an (ideally) active day.

Akita Shepherd Activity Requirements

Herding and Spitz breeds are known for their fortitude and work ethic; the Akita Shepherd is no exception. Ideally, Akita Shepherds will spend at least 60 minutes a day exercising in a cool climate. They enjoy having a task laid out in front of them. As such, these dogs will follow their owners on hikes, runs, or other expeditions eagerly. Because they are so adventurous, Akita Shepherds do best in rural or suburban areas where they have access to large expanses of land to explore and run around in. Akita Shepherds are also very smart and require some level of mental stimulation. Indoor activities and games may satisfy this need.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Akita Shepherd Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.5 - $1.9
Monthly Cost
$39 - $52

Akita Shepherd Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Akita Shepherd size stats at six months
Height: 14 inches Weight: 30 lbs
Female Akita Shepherd size stats at six months
Height: 11 inches Weight: 30 lbs
12 Months
Male Akita Shepherd size stats at 12 months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 60 lbs
Female Akita Shepherd size stats at 12 months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 50 lbs
18 Months
Male Akita Shepherd size stats at 18 months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 75 lbs
Female Akita Shepherd size stats at 18 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 70 lbs

Akita Shepherd Owner Experiences

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Sketch of smiling australian shepherd