Akita Shepherd Dog Breed

Other names:
Akita German Shepherd
German Shepherd Akita
Shepherd Akita

(Pronunciation: Uh-KEE-tuh SHEP-erd)

The Akita Shepherd, also called the Shepkita, is a hybrid that is part Akita, part German Shepherd. They're large-sized with short- to medium-length coats, and are often used as personal protection dogs. Members of this breed are alert, calm, and protective; some can turn aggressive if threatened, but are less likely to do so than their Akita parent breed. These dogs need a moderate to high amount of maintenance. They shed profusely, and will need frequent brushing to remove excess hair; they need a good amount of exercise, and training them may be a bit difficult. Overall, Akita Shepherds are decent family dogs, and are best suited for people looking for a large canine guardian.

Akita Shepherd Breed Details

As a crossbreed, the Akita Shepherd is not an official member of any breed category, though dogs of this breed will certainly fit into the Working group. These large, courageous animals are frequently utilized as personal protection dogs. .

Some Akita Shepherd facts: they're quite large (height at the shoulders is 24-28 inches, and weight is 75-120 pounds), with coats that vary in color, length, and texture; short or medium, soft or harsh, wavy or straight, double-layered, and dense are all coat possibilities for this crossbreed. Life expectancy is 10-13 years. Here are some advantages and drawbacks of owning this breed:


  • Large and imposing
  • Low barking tendency
  • Intelligent
  • Fantastic watch- and guard dog abilities
  • Adapts well to hot or cold climates
  • Playful and affectionate with family members
  • Loyal and courageous
  • Socializes fairly well with other pets


  • Sheds profusely
  • Can be stubborn and willful
  • Not suited for apartment life
  • May be aggressive toward strangers
  • Great deal of socialization with humans and other animals necessary
  • Large size and rambunctiousness may be dangerous to small children
  • Firm, consistent training required
  • Extremely territorial
  • Not good for first-time owners
  • Can be expensive to purchase
10 - 13 yrs.
24 - 28 in.
75 - 120 lbs
OverallFamily FriendlyChild FriendlyPet FriendlyStranger Friendly
Easy to GroomEnergy LevelExercise NeedsHealthShedding Amount
Barks / HowlsEasy to TrainGuard DogPlayfulnessWatch Dog
Apartment DogCan be AloneGood for Busy OwnersGood for New OwnersIntelligence

Akita Shepherd Breed Description

The Akita Shepherd is often considered the "bodyguard" dog breed--both figuratively and literally. These big dogs are normally calm, quiet, and loyal--and will wreak havoc upon anyone or anything they consider a threat. With a temperament that combines the courage and strong will of the Akita with the obedience and intelligence of the German Shepherd, these Shepkitas are pictures of quiet power. Dogs of this breed, depending on how much of the German Shepherd's intelligence they inherit, can be quite intelligent; on the flip side, if they retain a lot of the Akita's stubbornness, they can be difficult to train.

Two things every Akita Shepherd owner will need: a strong leash, and a strong vacuum cleaner. Dogs of this breed are both curious and territorial--and with their strength, they will definitely need to be controlled when in public. A Shepkita will chase other animals (and will be difficult to control while doing so), and a good leash will be absolutely necessary. And unfortunately, these dogs shed heavily, so owners should be prepared to vacuum often.

Akita Shepherds are fairly active, but not overly so. Vigorous games like tug-of-war, Frisbee, or fetch will be good for them, as will a long daily walk (provided the dog is leashed).

Akita Shepherd Temperament

Alert, protective, intelligent, loyal, and sometimes stubborn and even aggressive, the Akita-German Shepherd mix temperament is one of power. Dogs of this breed are affectionate and even-tempered with their human family members, and are willing to please them; they are also courageous and alert, and have very strong protective instincts. Some Shepkitas will naturally behave like their Akita parent breed and be stubborn, independent, and aggressive, so a great deal of socialization is recommended for these dogs (and the earlier in the dog's life, the better) to try and instill good behavior. But according to owners, a well-balanced Akita Shepherd is a joy to have around.

Training a dog of this breed is hard to predict although they truly do want to please you. The dog may take after the German Shepherd and be obedient and quick to learn; it may also retain the Akita's stubborn temperament and be nearly impossible to teach. In any case, canine experts suggest firm, consistent, repetitive training methods where the trainer establishes him- or herself as the absolute "alpha" leader.

One thing the Akita Shepherd will likely need no instruction for: being a watchdog. With their large size, protective natures, and mistrust of strangers, these dogs will instinctively try to neutralize any threat--and they will probably succeed.

Akita Shepherd Health

Akita Shepherds are normally pretty healthy, but a common issue some dogs see is bloat. Others may suffer from dry eye (or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, which is a lack of tear production to lubricate the eyeball) or hip dysplasia. Some Shepkitas are allergic to corn in foods; a veterinarian can determine whether this is the case for individual dogs.

Akita Shepherd Health Concerns

Below are potential health concerns associated with Akita Shepherds.

Hip dysplasia
Dry eye
Corn allergy

About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:May 14, 2017