Akita German Shepherd Mix: Info, Pictures, Traits & Facts

Akita German Shepherd with a harness during morning walk
Image credit: cairo_lita42317 / Instagram

The Akita German Shepherd mix, also known as the Akita Shepherd, is a unique breed that combines two of the most amazing dog breeds in the canine arena.

However, some fur parents find this mixed breed dog intimidating because of the brave and protective reputations of both parent breeds, the German Shepherd and Akita Inu.

In this blog post, we will dive deep into the essential information you need to know about the Akita German Shepherd mix. From appearance, personality, and health to prices, we got it covered!

Breed Overview

Height:22 – 25 inches
Weight: 60 – 85 pounds
Lifespan: 10 – 13 years 
Coat Colors:Black, red, tan, white, sable, gray
Temperament:Loyal, independent, playful
Suitable for: Active singles; families without small children; being a guard dog

What Is an Akita German Shepherd Mix?

Akita German Shepherd tongue out sitting on concrete
Image credit: myluckystar108 / Instagram

The Akita German Shepherd mix, also called Shepkita or Akita Shepherd, is a hybrid that results from breeding the Japanese or American Akita and the German Shepherd. Akita Shepherds are noted for being fiercely independent, devoted, and protective. They need a considerable amount of care and physical activity.

This mix may get some of the best qualities from both parent breeds, including being brave, loyal, and hardworking.

As large dogs, these cute mutts are better suited to homes with more room. Akita Shepherds also make terrific apartment pups for energetic city people.

In addition to being great watchdogs for families and singles, this mix is docile and vigilant. An Akita Shepherd is a calm, devoted companion and is always on the lookout for threats and never barks until necessary.

Akita German Shepherd Mix Origin and History

Shepkita with harness sitting on a snow covered pathway
Image credit: lola_theakita / Instagram

While the origin of the Akita Shepherd is not well documented, it could help to go back to the parent breed’s origin. Akita Inus is a Japanese national treasure and was developed in Japan.

This dog was originally bred for hunting bears until they were used as royal guards. This breed was first brought to the United States in the 1920s and was known as a top-tier canine favorite.

During world war II, many Akita Inus were killed for their fur and lack of food, while some were crossbred with the German Shepherds.

Meanwhile, it was in Germany in the late 19th century that German Shepherds first appeared. The breed was created by a man named Max von Stephanitz.

This German Shepherd dog was used by the German military as a courier dog when the world war broke out. They were called German Shepherds, and up to this day, this breed is known for being alert, smart, and loyal.

On the other hand, there are rumors that the German Shepherd and Akita have been crossed since the early 1900s. Breeders wanted to combine the breed characteristics of these two great dogs.

The Akita Inu parent brought to the breed the qualities of stoicism and guard dogness, while the German Shepherd contributed the traits of loyalty and devotion.

Akita German Shepherd Mix Appearance

Akita Shepherd mix with mouth harness standing on a wooden bridge
Image credit: myluckystar108 / Instagram

The Akita Shepherd has the body of a German Shepherd and the face of an Akita. However, this mixed-breed dog may have the fox-like face of an Akita Inu or the bear-like face of an American Akita.

This mixed breed usually has medium-sized, erect ears, dark triangular eyes, and a scissor-bite muzzle. It may also have a curly tail, a trait popular with Akitas and other Spitz breeds.

The Akita German Shepherd’s dense coat is generally medium-length and comes in several colors like brindle, black, gray, white, red, silver, brown, fawn, and sable.

Shepkita dogs that take after the German Shepherd heritage will also most likely inherit faint or strong dark markings around the face and muzzle.

Akita German Shepherd Mix Size and Weight

Akita Shepherds are medium to large breed dogs that weigh between 60 and 85 pounds and have a height between 22 and 25 inches. However, some may only weigh 50 to 60 pounds.

A male Akita Shepherd is typically larger and heavier than a female. The average adult male measures 20 to 25 inches in height and weighs 65 to 85 pounds.

Meanwhile, the average adult female Shepkita measures 22 to 24 inches in height and weighs 60 to 80 pounds.

Akita German Shepherd Mix Temperament and Behavior

Akita Shepherd mix standing outdoors
Image credit: lola_theakita / Instagram

Akita Shepherds, much like German Shepherds and Akitas, are exceptionally bright. Furthermore, it is due to the parent breed’s wit that this cross was created.

Since this hybrid easily and quickly picks up new information, it is highly trainable. Using a variety of methods, you can quickly and easily train a Shepkita to obey commands.

Bear in mind, though, that this hybrid can be incredibly headstrong at times. Therefore, you need to gain its respect to command obedience.

During watch time, Akita Shepherds are solemn and reserved, but when it’s time for playtime, these dogs are silly and carefree. They are devoted pets that will make sure the whole family is safe.

Also, these mixed breed dogs are peaceful when there is no threat but turn aggressive when these large dogs perceive one. These mixes have a reputation for honesty and faithfulness.

Just like other pets, the Akita Shepherd dog breed is capable of forming deep bonds with its owners and, at times, can be excessively protective of them.

They are incredibly loyal and affectionate but tend to be cold and reserved around strangers. These guard dogs may not also like it when there are other dogs in the house.

This is because Akita Shepherds can be jealous. Meanwhile, Shepkita puppies can learn to get along with other pets when socialized at a young age.

Akita German Shepherd Mix Lifespan and Health Issues

The average lifespan of a German Shepherd Akita mix is between 10 and 13 years. However, it can also live to be 15 or older with the right care.

One must also keep in mind that the lifespan of this wonderful dog is also affected by factors like diet, veterinary care, and hereditary diseases.

The German Shepherd Akita also tends to be healthier than other purebred dogs like the Akita Inu and German Shepherd. Nonetheless, this breed still faces health issues.

The genetic inheritance of this breed puts it at risk for a variety of illnesses. Below are some examples of illnesses that are more commonly seen in an Akita Shepherd than in other dogs:

  • Canine Hip Dysplasia: An Akita Shepherd with hip dysplasia has hips that don’t align properly and cause painful rubbing and grinding as opposed to effortless gliding. Over time, hip dysplasia causes the joint to deteriorate and stop working altogether.
  • Bloating: Unfortunately, Akita Shepherds are particularly susceptible to gastric dilatation-volvulus or bloating, a condition that can be fatal if not treated. In GDV, the stomach twists as it fills with gas, food, or fluid, causing the dog to bloat. The symptoms of GDV appear suddenly and can advance rapidly. Nothing ever happens unless it’s an emergency.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: Von Willebrand’s disease is a genetic condition commonly seen in an Akita Shepherd wherein the body lacks the protein necessary for normal blood clotting in response to a wound. The name “von Willebrand factor” describes the protein that is missing.

Knowing the different signs and symptoms of these diseases will allow you to detect them early. Regular visits to the vet will also go a long way in prolonging the lifespan of your beloved Akita Shepherd.

How to Take Care of Your Akita Shepherd

Shepkita with mouth leash standing in the snow
Image credit: myluckystar108 / Instagram

To ensure the health and happiness of Akita Shepherds, these guard dogs require regular grooming and exercise. A healthy diet, regular exercise and grooming, and lots of love are essential for this breed.

If you want to give your Akita Shepherd the best possible care, make use of the helpful resources provided below.

Food and Diet

An Akita Shepherd puppy, just like other dogs, needs only healthy food. As a whole, this Akita mixed with the German Shepherd breed will benefit from a diet rich in protein, vitamins, and other nutrients.

To round out the nutrition of your Akita mix, try giving this designer dog some home-cooked treats in addition to high-quality kibbles. Steamed or fresh vegetables and fruits are great options for a healthy snack.

Additionally, it is always important to keep a bowl of fresh water always accessible for this hybrid breed. Also, you should keep a close eye on what your dog is eating and feed it at consistent intervals.

Cleaning and Grooming

Unlike other dogs, an Akita Shepherd requires significantly more time and effort to maintain. This breed’s coat will need to be brushed daily with a slicker brush to achieve the desired sleek appearance.

Also, Akita Shepherds are not hypoallergenic. That’s why proper grooming is needed since this dog’s coat will shed and will be blown easily.

You may also bathe this dog when it gets dirty during playtime, but otherwise, tooth brushing its teeth daily and weekly ear cleaning should be enough.

Training and Exercise

Akita Shepherds are bright and highly alert dogs. By providing it with appropriate activities, this breed can make an excellent herding and guard dog.

Due to the extensive time and proper training required to make this pooch obedient, it may not be the best dog for first-time dog owners.

You should start early socialization and consistent training with your Shepkita puppy at about seven weeks old if you want to raise a well-behaved adult dog.

Meanwhile, the exercise requirements Akita Shepherds need are plenty. Just like this hybrid’s purebred parents, these hybrids are high-energy working and herding dogs.

They can also benefit from agility training because it challenges their minds and bodies and helps them stay fit and alert. But it’s important to keep in mind that not all dogs thrive with agility training.

How Much Does an Akita German Shepherd Mix Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses

An Akita Shepherd dog may cost around $600 to $1,200. It may be difficult to locate dedicated breeders for this dog because there are only a few in the industry.

If the puppy was bred with security in mind, you could expect to pay even more for it. Meanwhile, aside from the puppy price, there are other expenses associated with owning an Akita Shepherd.

The table below will give you an overview of other things you need to buy when taking home this dog. These expenses include food, microchip, toys, and other things your pooch will need.

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$80 – $150
Bowls$15 – $40
Toys$30 – $100
Beds$50 – $300
Collars and Leashes$15 – $50
Crates and Carriers$60 – $500
Grooming Essentials$50 – $250
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $500
Initial Vaccine Shots$50 – $300
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$40 – $300
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Microchipping$40 – $60
Dog License$10 – $20
Other Essentials$30 – $80
Total Initial Cost$620 – $3,150

These expenses may still lessen if you are not a new dog owner and you already have the other supplies needed. It is also important that you set aside money in case of medical emergencies.

Places to Find Akita German Shepherd Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Akita Shepherd with mouth leash sitting in the snow
Image credit: myluckystar108 / Instagram

The Akita Shepherd mix, in contrast to more established hybrid breeds, is a newer addition to the canine world. As a result, it can be difficult to locate a reputable Akita Shepherd breeder.

To begin your search for a place to adopt or a breeder to bring home this hybrid dog, you can begin with the resources provided below.

You can find an Akita Shepherd mix puppy for sale at one of the following breeders or pet stores:

  • Lancaster Puppies – When it comes to pet-related advertisements, this website ranks among the very best in the United States. Hundreds of reliable breeders offer their pets for sale here. Check Lancaster Puppies’ site occasionally to see if Akita Shepherd mixes are available.
  • Greenfield Puppies – This website sends a representative to the breeders to check on the Akita Shepherd puppies and look for any signs of neglect or abuse. If a breeder is found to be engaging in poor breeding practices, they will be banned from using the website to promote their puppies.
  • Petfinder – Petfinder facilitates the adoption process by connecting people with suitable animals, including the Akita German Shepherd mix. They work together with Purina to ensure adopted pets and their new families have a happy and healthy life together by providing post-adoption support and resources.

However, despite the lovable traits of this great dog, some still end up in shelters. Below is a list of rescuers and other organizations where you might be able to adopt an Akita Shepherd:

  • Sedona Shepherd Sanctuary – German Shepherds and their mixes, like the Shepkita, are saved by the Sedona Shepherd Sanctuary through a foster and boarding-based program from shelters where they face a high risk of being euthanized.
  • All Shepherd Rescue – Their goal is to find good homes for rescued German Shepherds and their mixes like the Akita Shepherd. They also educate the public about the importance of regular veterinary care, training, and spaying/neutering for pets.
  • Midwest Akita Rescue Society – This local animal shelter seeks out Akitas and their mixes that have been abandoned or surrendered. They also work with schools to teach children about the responsible, safe, and humane treatment of dogs and mentor current and prospective Akita owners.

Regardless of whether you buy or adopt, you should comprehensively research the behavior and needs of the dog you are adopting to ensure that no dog will be surrendered or abandoned due to indecisiveness.

Pros and Cons of Owning an Akita Shepherd

Bringing an Akita Shepherd into your home is a big decision that requires a lot of planning. Here are the benefits and drawbacks of owning this hybrid that you can consider in case you are still on the fence about taking in one.

  • Loyal and protective dogs: Because they are so devoted to their owners and family, Akita Shepherds are superb watchdogs and protectors.
  • Intelligence: These dogs are highly intelligent and easily trainable, which enables them to pick up new skills quickly.
  • Affectionate: Akita Shepherds are a breed of dog that is known for their warmth and desire to spend time with their owners.
  • Great family pets and companions: Because of their high level of activity and boundless amount of energy, these dogs are fantastic companions for outdoor pursuits like running and hiking.

The disadvantages of owning a Yorkie-Pitbull mix are as follows.

  • Needs training: Given their intelligence and stubbornness, Akita Shepherds may demand a competent trainer and owner. This breed has a tendency toward dominance if not educated and socialized appropriately from puppyhood.
  • Needs plenty of room to play: Because of their high energy levels and the demand for a large amount of outdoor area, Akita Shepherds may not be suited for apartment living.
  • Aggression: If not properly socialized, this breed may be hostile to other dogs and people.

You must consider these factors while deciding whether or not an Akita German Shepherd mix is the ideal dog for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Akita Shepherd basking in the sun
Image credit: lola_theakita / Instagram

Are Akita Shepherd Mixes Good Dogs?

Generally, Akita Shepherd mixes are good dogs and can make good pets if they are given early socialization, trained, and exercised appropriately. However, this will still depend on the individual dog.

Akita Shepherds can be extremely loyal to their humans and have a high prey drive. Although this dog is not dangerous, obedience training will help mold good behavior in this pooch.

Do Akita Shepherds Shed a Lot?

The Akita Shepherd is a breed known for shedding excessively. This hybrid also sheds heavily twice a year due to its thick double coat.

Maintaining a regular brushing routine can reduce the quantity of shedding, but it can never be fully eliminated. To keep up with the fur’s constant shedding, Akita Shepherd owners should expect to do a lot of vacuuming.

Are Akita Shepherds Hypoallergenic?

The Akita Shepherd is not hypoallergenic, unfortunately. These dogs are not hypoallergenic because of their double coat’s thickness and propensity to shed.

The Akita Shepherd may not be the greatest choice for someone allergic to dogs or particularly sensitive to pet hair.

Do Akita Shepherds Bark a Lot?

While not a particularly vocal breed, Akita Shepherds are not completely silent either. They might bark for the same reasons that any dog would: when they are threatened, want attention, are bored, or anxious.

Also, some barking may be unavoidable depending on the personality of the individual dog. When getting this mix, it’s best to think about how much noise it might make if you live in a condo or apartment building.

Final Thoughts

A Shepkita is not recognized by the American Kennel Club roster. However, dog fanciers are still attracted by this German Shepherd and Japanese Akita or American Akita mix for many good reasons.

As established in the previous sections, the Shepkita is a very loyal and fun-to-have hybrid dog.

However, this mix has natural guarding tendencies and a high prey drive which can make them chase small dogs and other animals. It’s important to keep them on a leash during walks.

Do you have experience in taking care of an Akita Shepherd mix? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!

Leave a Comment

You may also like