Akita Shepherd Overview

Parent Breeds:
Akita & German Shepherd
Breed Nickname:
Akita Shepherd
24 to 28 inches
75 to 120 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 13 years
Coat Colors:
Brindle, silver, white, gray, red, sable, black, and brown

Akita Shepherd Characteristics

Good for First-Time Owners
Good with Children
Easy to Train
Exercise Requirements
Ease of Grooming
Amount of Shedding
Amount of Drooling
Tendency to Bark

About The Akita Shepherd

What Is An Akita German Shepherd Mix called?

The offspring between an Akita and a German Shepherd is called an Akita Shepherd. It is also commonly referred to as a Shepkita, which is certainly a fun name for this serious breed.

Akita Shepherds are stoic, hard-working, and loyal to their owners, making them the ideal pet for a specific type of owner. Is this you? Is the Akita Shepherd the breed you have been looking to welcome into your home?

Let’s find out with our ultimate breed guide.

Akita Shepherd Breed History

  • First bred in the 1950s.

  • Bred to combine the loyalty and protective nature of the parent breeds.

  • Demand around the US quickly rose.

It’s possible that Akita Shepherds have been bred naturally for centuries, but they were first intentionally bred during the 1950s. This was when the Akita first came to the US from Japan.

Before this, Japan would not allow Akitas to leave the country.

While the intentions of the breeders are unknown, it’s believed that they wanted to create a hybrid that combined the loyalty of a German Shepherd with the stoic protectiveness of the Akita.

With both parents being so intelligent and loyal to their owners, it’s no surprise that the popularity of the Akita Shepherd quickly grew.

And, as demand for the dog rose, so did the necessity for more breeders to jump on the bandwagon and start breeding them, too.

You’ll still find the Akita Shepherd around the United States, but the breed hasn’t traveled too far overseas yet.

Akita Shepherd Personality & Temperament

  • Mostly serious, but can be aloof at times.

  • Headstrong and domineering.

  • Not the best for large families with young children.

Akita Shepherds are most well-known for their seriousness, but owners often are pleasantly surprised thanks to their silly streak. This goofiness is often only reserved for their owners, and strangers won’t see this side of them.

Strangers will see the protective, strong side of the Akita Shepherd.

They’re not as attention-seeking as other smaller dogs, and they like spending time by themselves. However, they don’t like being left alone for too long.

They are bred to protect, and that is what they’ll do – if you leave them alone, they might fret when they don’t know where you are.

These dogs are incredibly headstrong. They’ll suit a household of one or two people rather than a big family. They’re assertive and large, making them not the best around children.

They’ll also prefer to be the only pet in the household, although you can teach them to cohabit with another dog through early socialization.

Akita Shepherd Health

  • Prone to bloating and allergies.

  • Joint issues might also cause the Akita Shepherd pain.

  • Life expectancy of 10 to 13 years.

The Akita Shepherd is prone to a few health conditions inherited from its parent breeds, but there’s no guarantee it will suffer from any of these. In fact, mixing two breeds together minimizes the risk of many inherited illnesses.

We’ve listed the potential health issues you might see as an Akita Shepherd owner here, for your peace of mind:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Dry Eye
  • Bloating
  • Allergies
  • Elbow Dysplasia

Allergies and bloating should be manageable through how you feed your Akita Shepherd (more on this later), but the other health issues are more difficult to prevent. Talk to your vet if you see any symptoms to be safe.

Regular vet checkups should also be attended, as this can prevent any symptoms from developing into more dangerous concerns.

Akita Shepherd Training

  • Teach them who’s the top dog from an early age.

  • Only use positive reinforcement.

  • Be patient - training will get easier as you progress.

Akita Shepherds are intelligent dogs, which makes people think that they’ll be easy to train. Quite the contrary, in fact, their intelligence and size make them believe that they know best.

You will need to make sure that they know you are the alpha in the household from an early age if you want to train them successfully.

Despite this, don’t use any other technique other than positive reinforcement. Punishment will lead to stubbornness and a rift in your bond, so you need to shower them with plenty of love and treats during training.

While they might be harder to train than you originally thought, Akita Shepherds love learning new things and pick up on them quickly. Once you learn how to work together, you might just be unstoppable.

Akita Shepherd Exercise Requirements

  • Teach them who’s the top dog from an early age.

  • Only use positive reinforcement.

  • Be patient - training will get easier as you progress.

Akita Shepherds are high-energy dogs, so they need at least one hour of exercise every day. Ideally, though, they’ll be happy with more than this.

This dog will appreciate an owner who can get outside as much as possible throughout the day, so you need to be active and able to keep up with them to own an Akita Shepherd!

These dogs are also very intelligent, so they enjoy structured workouts. Head to the dog park and set up an obstacle course for them to learn and run – they’ll love it! They are also good at agility courses.

Akita Shepherds are adventurous, so they are best suited to rural homes with plenty of outside space to run around in. Indoor games might satisfy their physical and mental stimulation needs, but outside is always better.

Akita Shepherd Diet & Feeding

  • Offer food with high protein and healthy fats.

  • Their diet can lead to health issues, so pay attention to what they’re eating.

Akita Shepherds need food formulated for large dogs with high energy needs. This can be kibble, although some dog owners are now turning to the raw food diet.

This is composed of raw meats, without any filler ingredients or unhealthy components.

Talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions about the raw diet.

Akita Shepherds need plenty of protein and healthy fats to keep up with their exercise level. As these dogs can suffer from bloating and allergies, keep an eye on their food intake and how it influences these ailments.

Offer smaller portions throughout the day to help with bloating, and remove allergens from their diet to determine what’s the problem. If in doubt, contact your vet!

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Akita Shepherd Cost

  • Costs $500 to $2,000.

  • Always choose a reputable breeder with experience.

The price of an Akita Shepherd can range anywhere from $500 to $2,000. This is because the Akita is an incredibly expensive dog, so their offspring get the same treatment.

The price might be lower for an Akita Shepherd as it is a mix, but they’re still expensive.

Do your research and find a reputable breeder to buy this puppy from. Backyard breeders might offer you a better price, but this opens you up to a number of health issues for your dog.