Have you ever wondered why designer dogs are highly popular and demandable these days? In the past, people preferred to domesticate purebred dogs like German Shepherds and Poodles for their elegance, delicacy, and appearance. However, choices among dog lovers have certainly evolved as people are moving from purebred dogs to hybrid designer dogs that offer them the best of both worlds. There are scores of mixed dog breeds in the canine world, including Bullypit, Borderdoodle, Yorkipoo, Shepadoodle, and Pitbull Mastiff.
Akita German Shepherd mix is one of the many successful designer breeds people opt for nowadays. If you’re also planning to get an Akita German Shepherd mix, this article will help you understand what you can expect from the designer breed and if it is a perfect fit for you and your family.
Akita German Shepherd mix combines two famous breeds with similar backgrounds, appearances, and personality traits. They offer loyalty, guarding, and intelligence.
Let’s have a brief look at the parent breeds before taking an in-depth look at this mix.
Akita German Shepherd Mix Parent Breeds
Akita German Shepherd mix, also known as Shepkita or Akita Shepherd, is a mix between two popular breeds—German Shepherd and Akita. Where German Shepherd is one of the most popular German dog Breeds, Akita is a spiritual symbol in Japan. German Shepherds are not only popular in Germany but also the second most popular dog in the United States. Given their popularity, they have been mixed with many other dog breeds. You can find many mixes of German Shepherds such as Doberman German Shepherd Mix, German Shepherd Great Dane Mix, Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix, German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix, to name a few.
Height: 24 to 28 inches
Weight: 70 to 130 pounds
Lifespan: 10 to 14 years
Color: Black, fawn, red, white, brown brindle, red black overlay, silver black overlay, brown-black overlay, fawn black overlay
Temperament: Highly courageous, vigilant, protective, loyal, aloof
Suitable for: Families with children, single pet households, outgoing dog parents, guard dog
Height: 22 to 26 inches
Weight: 50 to 90 pounds
Lifespan: 7 to 10 years
Color: Black, black and cream, black and red, black and silver, black and tan, gray, sable, white, liver, blue, bi-color
Temperament: Gentle, obedient, confident, loyal, watchful
Suitable for: Families with children, outgoing dog parents, watchdog
Akita German Shepherd Mix
This breed is an ideal choice for people who prefer guard dogs that are highly responsible and loving at the same time. You’d often see them in a serious mood when they are on watch, but they will be equally playful in their fun time.
Akita German Shepherd Mix
Height: 20 to 25 inches
Weight: 55 to 120 pounds
Lifespan: 10 to 13 years
Color: White, silver, brindle, sable, gray, red, brown, black
Temperament: Highly intelligent, devoted, obedient, protective, energetic
Suitable for: Families looking for a friendly watchdog, outgoing parents
This designer breed is strong and intelligent and is always eager to impress its owners. They will need extra effort from their owners as both their parents are pretty active and athletic. They are intriguing work dogs and devoted family companions too. Petting a Shepkita is sort of a part-time job, so make your decision carefully after familiarizing yourself with the dog breed.
Akita German Shepherd Mix History
It is widely believed that the Akita Shepherd breed was created during the 1950s after Akita dogs came to America from their homeland—Japan. But many suspects that the mix breed may have existed naturally since the early 1900s.
The purpose of the crossbreeding of Akita Inu with German Shepherds was to get a mixed breed with the best features from both of its parents. Akita German Shepherds inherited the stoic and protective nature of their Japanese parent—Akita—and the loyalty and devotion of its German parent—German Shepherd.
Both parent breeds are highly intelligent, vigilant, and active, so the resulting Akita Shepherds are loyal, smart, protective of their parents, and highly energetic dogs. The mixed-breed has become quite popular in the United States, but they are still not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Akita German Shepherd Mix Physical Appearance
Akita Shepherd is a wonderful dog breed. Generally, Akita Shepherds have a short and narrow muzzle with a black nose. Their eyes are usually brown and have a small-sized head (like a German Shepherd) with pointed ears.
They are strong, muscular dogs that have a broad chest with large-sized paws. Their tail is slightly curved and has a thick coat like its parents—German Shepherd and Akita. Their bodies are robust and well-balanced.
Akita German Shepherd Mix Size
Usually, Akita Shepherds are large-sized dogs weighing around 75 to 120 pounds and standing tall at around 23 to 25 inches. But some of the Akita German Shepherd puppies are medium-sized dogs, weighing only 50 to 60 pounds.
Shepkitas are Mystery Presents!By looking at a Shepkita puppy, you cannot tell if it would grow up to be a large-sized dog or a medium-sized dog. So bringing home a Shepkita puppy is sort of getting a mystery present that only time can unravel.
That said, just like their parents, Akita Shepherd males are larger in size and weight as compared to their female counterparts. In general, fully grown male Shepkitas (large-sized) are 23 – 25 inches tall and weigh 75 to 120 pounds, and female Shepkitas grow about 22 – 24 inches tall and weigh 70 to 100 pounds.
Akita German Shepherd Mix Coat
Akita Shepherds have thick double coats that shed moderately. Therefore, this dog is not a suitable choice for people susceptible to pet allergies. Their coat is of medium length and requires frequent grooming. The color of the Akita Shepherd’s coat can only be predicted if the coat color of its parents is known. Just like their appearance, there is variation in their colors, but the most common coat colors in this breed are black, red, stable, tan, golden brown, white, spotted, and stippled. While some of the Akita German Shepherd Puppies have a solid color coat, others may have a combination of different colors.
Akita German Shepherd Mix Grooming
As Akita Shepherds are non-hypoallergenic dogs, they require daily brushing. Their coats are prone to blowing and shedding, so you will have to maintain them well. Grooming an Akita Shepherd is a full-time job and will require a lot more of your time than other dogs. You will have to brush their coat several times to get a nice sleek look. You can bathe them whenever you feel they are dirty; otherwise, they are good to go but make sure you brush their teeth daily and clean their ears weekly. Their double-coated hair needs a moderate amount of brushing to remove all the dirt from their fur. In short, the Akita Shepherd is a high-maintenance dog in terms of grooming.
Akita Shepherds are not a hypoallergenic dog breed as they shed a lot, requiring regular brushing—at least once or twice a week. Their coats are prone to blowing and shedding, so you will have to maintain them well. For enhancing the coat brushing experiencing of your Shepkita pup, owners are advised to use different types of dog brushes.
If their canine buddy has long hair, a pin brush should be used; otherwise, a slicker brush would work just fine. In addition to regular coat brushing, Shepkitas teeth also need to be brushed daily using dog toothpaste (don’t use human toothpaste). Lastly, their ears need to be checked weekly.
Beyond regular brushing—coat, teeth, and checking their ears—maintaining Akita Shepherds is a pretty easy task. They only need to be bathed only once a month, and if their coat gets dirty while playing outside, you can bathe them twice a month accordingly. Similarly, their nails only need to be clipped once a month.
Akita German Shepherd Mix Temperament
Like German Shepherds and Akita, Akita Shepherds are highly intelligent. Besides, their intelligence is the reason why this cross was designed in the first place. Akita Shepherds are quick learners, which makes them highly trainable. You can easily teach them basic obedience commands as well as advanced tricks such as how to roll over, using different dog training techniques.
But keep in mind, Akita Shepherds can be very stubborn at times. Therefore, to make them obedient, you need to earn their respect. They are serious and reserved during their watch time and playful and goofy during their playtime. They are also very loyal dogs who would do anything to guard and protect you and your family.
At the same time, you will see aggression in them when they observe any threat. Akita Shepherd is known for its loyalty and sincerity. They develop a strong bond with their owners and can be overprotective at times.
Akita Shepherds are loving and affectionate towards their family members, but they are not so welcoming of strangers. Moreover, they are not great fans of other pets in the house as they get jealous when they watch another dog sitting in their parents’ lap. However, if introduced with a puppy at an early age, they can learn to get along.
Akita German Shepherd Mix Exercise Requirements
Given that both of the Shepkitas parents are highly energetic and working or herding dogs, Akita Shepherds are also one of the high-energy dog breeds. Thus they require a lot of exercise and physical activities to keep themselves busy and expend their pent-up energy. They have to exert their energy productively, or they will end up chewing your furniture, and others develop behavioral issues like excessive barking, leaving you wondering why is my dog barking at nothing.
Therefore, you must give them a vigorous amount of activity for at least half an hour every day. Physical exhaustion is not the only concern when it comes to Akita Shepherds.
You need to get them mentally relaxed and active as well by introducing them to interactive dog toys and food puzzles that require lots of mental activity. When offering physical exercises, make sure to avoid rigorous high-impact activities as Akita Shepherds are prone to back injury.
Because of its large size and high energy levels, the Akita Shepherd is a more suitable choice for those with large yards and big homes and ample time to play interactive games with their dog and take them out for long walks.
Akita German Shepherd Mix Training
It is very important to train an Akita Shepherd to enjoy its angelic version. And training isn’t simply possible without socialization. Because these dogs have natural guarding instincts, proper socialization is required to keep their protectiveness and aggression in hand. These dogs are super intelligent, which makes their training easier.
They are smart and love to learn. They can make great herding and watchdogs who love challenges, so provide them with relevant activities. These dogs are not good for first-time dog owners as they demand a lot of time and professional training to become obedient. If you want your Akita Shepherd puppy to grow into a well-behaved dog, you will have to start their dog training and socialization at an early stage—around 7 weeks of age. You should never take them out with a leash; it is important to leash train them and get them a durable and comfy dog collar like Martingale dog collars.
Akita German Shepherd Mix Health Problems
As with other hybrid breeds, Shepkitas are healthier than their purebred parents but certainly do have some health problems that need to be dealt with. They are prone to different health conditions inherited by their parents. Akita and German Shepherds have a lot of health conditions in common. Some of the health conditions that Shepkitas are prone to are mentioned below.
Common health issues in Akita Shepherds
|Major Health Issues||Minor Health Issues|
|Hip Dysplasia||Sebaceous Adenitis|
|Von Willebrand’s Disease||Hemophilia|
|Progressive Retinal Atrophy||Perianal Fistulas|
|Degenerative Myelopathy||Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency|
|Congenital heart defect||Pemphigus|
Hip Dysplasia is very common in large-sized dog breeds. It is the condition where the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit or develop properly. This condition causes the ball and socket of the hip joint to rub and grind against each other instead of sliding effortlessly. It leads to complete loss of function and paralysis. If you have a large dog breed who is moving into senior years, or your dog has been experiencing symptoms of hip dysplasia, you should add glucosamine and chondroitin supplements to their diet as per your vet’s recommendations.
Bloating is another common disease amongst large-sized canine dogs. It is also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus complex. This disease can be fatal if not treated on time. In this condition, the dog’s stomach gets filled with air, building pressure and cutting off the blood between the heart, legs, and abdomen. It ends up making a blood pool that can send your dog into a shock that can affect the functioning of the heart.us complex. This disease can be fatal if not treated on time. In this condition, the dog’s stomach gets filled with air, building pressure and cutting off the blood between the heart, legs, and abdomen. It ends up making a blood pool that can send your dog into a shock that can affect the heart.
Von Willebrand’s Disease
This is an inherited blood disorder in which blood’s ability to clot in the incidence of a cut or injury is compromised due to the deficiency of a protein. The deficient protein is known as the Von Willebrand factor.
Shepkitas inherit autoimmune thyroiditis from their Akita parents. It occurs when the immune system of our canine friend does not think of its thyroid gland as a helping tissue and attack it. It is usually manifested by hypothyroidism.
How long Do Akita German Shepherd Mix Live?
Where German Shepherds have an average life span of 7 to 10 years and Akita has an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years, Akita German Shepherd Mix has an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years. That said, if kept with great care, Akita Shepherds can live well up to 15 years of age and beyond.
The average lifespan of Shepkitas depends not only on the quality of their diet, veterinary care, and inherited diseases but also on their size. As discussed earlier, some of the Akita Shepherd puppies grow up to be small dogs. These small dogs tend to have a comparatively longer lifespan as large dogs trade longevity for their bigger size.
Where Can You Get an Akita Shepherd Mix?
There are not many dedicated Akita Shepherd breeders, so one might think that it would be pretty hard to find an Akita German Shepherd Mix. But fortunately, it is not the case. Unfortunately, you can easily find an Akita Shepherd in your nearby dog shelter and breed-specific rescues. If you do spend some time on the road and visit a few dog shelters, you will get lucky and bring home an Akita Shepherd just by paying for the paperwork.
Adopting would not only save you money but would also find a deserving pup a happy home and loving family. So, always adopt! Not Shop! Shopping is what’s keeping inhumane puppy mills in business.
Things to Consider Before Getting an Akita Shepherd Mix
Akita Shepherd Facts
- Akita Shepherds are also known as Shepkitas. This moniker is recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).
- Akita puppies vary in size—while most are large dogs weighing up to 120 pounds, some are medium size weigh only up to 60 pounds.
- Akita Shepherds are stoic—they can be eerily quiet at times. Instead of making boisterous barks, they tend to quietly assess the situation before making unleashing a boisterous bark.