The Akita Shepherd, also known as Shepkita, is a designer breed. These dogs were achieved by crossing the Akita Inu breed with the German Shepherd. The Shepkitas have the loyalty of the German Shepherd and the possessiveness and empathy of the Akita.
Their genes have proved them to be one of those multi-purpose dogs. The good news is that, upon adopting an Akita Shepherd, you get a dog that is a great companion on hunting trips and is also one of the best options for guarding and herding.
Overall, an Akita Shepherd has the capability to be your best buddy who will stay by you side no matter where you are.
Akita Shepherd History
The Akita Shepherd joined the breeding stakes during 1950s. It is said that this breed came into being after the time it became more commonly seen in the United States. To understand the reason behind this crossing and to interpret the traits in a much better way, we have a well documented history of the parents of Akita shepherd.
The German Shepherds are an old breed and were discovered during 1800s in Germany. They were known for their ferociously loyal nature since that time. Since the early days of discovery, these dogs have been used for the purpose of guarding and companionship.
The other parent, i.e. the Akita Inu, originated from Japan. Although the Akita Inus were used as hunting dogs, they were also known to symbolize happiness, well being and protection. Both these parents were bred to have a dog that had all the positive traits of these parents.
Akita Shepherd Characteristics
The Akita Shepherds are a typical large sized breed. The male Shepkita can have a height around 23-25 inches and weigh approximately 65-85 pounds while the female is of around 22-24 inches and has a weight around 60-80 pounds.
Since these dogs are hybrid, their appearance is usually unpredictable. However, it is seen that usually these dogs have a strong built which is similar to that of a German Shepherd. Although their face typically look more like Akitas, their head is smaller than them.
These dogs have a narrow tapered muzzle, erect triangular ears that are medium-sized and almond shaped eyes. They have a thick dense medium-length coat which has a wide variety of colors. These include white, fawn, brown, black, brindle, red, silver, sable and grey.
Akita Shepherd Temperament/Personality
As far as the temperament of an Akita Shepherd is concerned, it is generally quite alert and active. This helps them for carrying out their job as a guard dog. These dogs are known for their loyalty and protectiveness. Due to its protective nature these dogs are quite territorial and are not much good with strangers.
The Akita Shepherd is known to have a really quite nature so, naturally, they are not much sociable. Because of this they do not get along well with other pets. However, if you socialize them since puppyhood, they might grow into some friendly dogs.
Caring for Akita Shepherd
There are a lot of things which you have to consider to ensure that you are raising your Shepkita well, this includes their dietary requirements, grooming and others. We have discussed all of them here below.
Akita Shepherd Nutrition
Since Akita Shepherd is a large dog and has comparatively higher activity levels, you should plan its diet accordingly. Nevertheless, we would recommend you to feed them atleast 2.5 cups of kibble per day.
We would also suggest you to visit a veterinarian in this regard because the best diet for your dog is the one that is based upon its age and size. You should feed them with animal based proteins and fats. The latter is known to improve the immune system. You can also feed them fruits and vegetables to ensure that they are having a nutritious meal.
Akita Shepherd Grooming
The Akita Shepherds are known to be heavy shedders. This means that once you have a Shepkita, you will have to invest a lot of time in brushing them. We would advise you to brush them atleast twice a week. You may use a bristle brush in this regard.
Along with the grooming of its coat, it is also necessary that you ensure that their hygiene is above the par. For that purpose it is necessary that you keep a check on the cleanliness of their ear, teeth and nails. You should cut their nails when monthly. You can shower these dogs when you feel they are looking dirty.
Akita Shepherd Activity Levels
The Akita Shepherd is an active dog. He tends to have high activity levels and love to go on long walks. You should take him for atleast a 60 minutes walk on a daily basis. This can be a great opportunity to socialize them.
On average, an Akita Shepherd can walk atleast 12 miles per week. The Akita Shepherds love running and tend to live a more happy life if you have a bigger yard or ground where they can run. Along with this, these dogs also want a lot of challenging activities so, you can arrange a couple of them indoors as well.
Akita Shepherd Maintenance
The Akita Shepherds require a moderate to high level of grooming. There are several things which are to be considered when you are planning about the proper maintenance of your dog. These include his health, grooming, diet and his happiness. The last one totally depends upon the level of attention you are paying to your dog. You should take out some time for your dog on a daily basis to make him happy.
Akita Shepherd Health
Although Akita Shepherd is a hybrid, it faces some serious health conditions quite usually. The most common one is bloat. Apart from that, it can also suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia at times.
These dogs are known to sleep without closing their eyes. So, they have a tendency of suffering from a condition known as dry eyes. You should visit a veterinarian whenever you notice anything unusual about your pet. On average, an Akita Shepherd lives upto 10-13 years.