A Guide to the Akita Shepherd…
The Akita Shepherd is actually a mix between a German Shepherd and an Akita and the hybrid is currently not recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club).
Dog owners often choose to purchase a mongrel or mutt over a mixed breed as pure breeds can sometimes be over bred, in bred or suffer from genetic problems and abnormalities. However, with mixed breeds although the offspring can take positive genetic traits from both the mother and father i.e. from two separate breeds it also works the other way round i.e. with negative traits also equally inherited by the offspring.
The Akita is also considered by some people to be aggressive at times. Consequently to counteract the aggressiveness breeders started cross breeding the breed with the German Shepherd. By mixing the genes The Akita Inu will inherit some of the genes associated with a German Shepherd i.e. their excellent Watch Dog skills and the fact that they are also excellent dogs to have around the family.
There are some size differences between the Akita and the German Shepherd – for example the Akita Inu can weigh up to one hundred and fifty pounds but the German Shepherd normally only reaches a weight of about eighty pounds maximum.
This breed is also one of the best breeds to own if you are looking for a strong dog that does not experience many health problems. The one problem that can occur however is hip dysplasia – so take your dog for regular check-ups. This needs to be caught quickly as it is a serious condition.
If you are after a dog that is non shedding then the Akita Shepherd may not be the right dog for you.
Although regular brushing can reduce the amount of hair that falls on the carpet, on your clothes and on the sofa – if you are allergic to dog hair then don’t purchase the Akita Shepherd breed and that goes for the same with the German Shepherd (another heavy shedder).
It’s worth mentioning that the Shepkita discussed on this page is different to the full breed known as an Akita Inu (which is further separated into the American Inu and Japanese inu). This breed is also a strong and independent dog that needs careful handling and is probably better suited to a more experienced owner although if you remain strong, firm and consistent and provide plenty of work and stimulation for your pooch then first time owners should be fine.
The Akita Inu has an average life span of approximately ten years and can grow to a height of 28 inches and weigh anything up to 145 pounds for the male and 120 pounds for the female.
If you would like more information on this breed, why not take a look at this Wikipedia article as it goes into lots more detail.
The American Animal Hospital Association Encyclopedia of Dog Health and Care, 1994. Quill. New York.
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Did you know…?
1. The Akita Shepherd is also known as a ‘Shepkita’.
2. The Akita belongs to the Working dog group alongside the following breeds:
Alaskan Malamute, Bernese Mountain Dog, Boxer, Bullmastiff, Doberman Pinsher, Giant Schnauzer, Great Dane, Great Pyreness, Komondor, Kuvasz, Mastiff, Newfoundland, Portuguese Water Dog, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard. Samoyed. Siberian Husky, Standar Schnauzer.
The ‘Working Dog’ group are not only renowned for their physical prowess and their capability for pulling sleds, carts but also their unique ability to guard businesses and property. The Akita are also fantastic at rescues whether this is saving people from drowning or from rocky terrain.
Due to the Akita Shepherd having natural ‘working dog’ abilities and instincts this needs to be taken into consideration when they are taking into the family home as pets.
This means that as the owner of this breed you need to keep your dog’s behavior focused. The Akita are keen to learn and love to feel useful whether this is through specific tasks or through games and long walks. If you don’t focus your dog’s behavior then behavior problems may develop.
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