Siberian Husky or Akita

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Choosing the right dog breed for your lifestyle is as an important decision as bringing a dog into your life. Although every dog is individual and has a personality, each breed has particular traits. These traits can help you determine which breed will suit you and your lifestyle – ensuring a more harmonious home for you and your new pet.

The Siberian Husky and the Akita are both wonderful dog breeds. The Siberian Husky and the Akita are ancient Northern Spitz breeds. The Siberian Husky is a medium size breed, and the Akita is a large breed. They both have a weather-resistant double coat, are extremely smart and energetic, and need around 2 hours of daily exercise plus mental stimulation to keep them content.

Siberian Husky or Akita. On the left is Luna, a grey and white Siberian Husky wearing a pink harness and lead. On the right is a red and white Akita with a blue collar.

Let’s look at some breed traits to help you decide. These are general breed traits, and you should remember that breeding and life experiences will affect each dog differently.

Breed History of Siberian Husky and Akita

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is one of 14 ancient dog breeds. The Chukchi tribe bred the Siberian Husky to pull sleds over long distances in harsh weather conditions. The Siberian Husky would work in teams to pull the sleds and sleep beside the children on cold nights to keep them warm.

Only the most social and playful Huskies would be used to breed, as cooperation and good natures were most important to the tribe. These traits are still found in today’s Siberian Husky.

Akita

The Akita originates from the Akita prefecture of northern Japan. The Akita was bred to be a large, versatile hunting dog for hunting wild boar, deer, and the Yezo bear! At one point, only members of the Imperial Family and court were allowed to own Akita’s. However, they are widely revered in Japan and seen as a symbol of good health, happiness, and long life. A new baby will often receive an Akita figurine symbolizing these qualities.

The Akita is a loyal, hard-working guard and hunting dog. Renowned for their fearless instincts to protect their family. There are actually two types of Akita, the original Akita Inu and the more recent, stronger Akita bred in America.

Breed Specifications of Siberian Husky and Akita

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky has a thick fluffy double coat, with colors ranging from white, sable and white, grey and white, agouti, black and white, and black. Upright pointed ears and almond-shaped eyes can be blue, brown, mixed brown, and blue. In addition, they have a fox brush tail which is often held high in a sickle curve but can also be held low and trailing.

The Siberian Husky is a medium size breed. The adult male Siberian Husky stands at 21-23.5 inches, with an ideal weight range of 45-60lbs (20-27kgs).

The adult female Siberian Husky stands at 20-22 inches, with an ideal weight range of 35-50lbs (16-23kgs).

The life expectancy for a healthy, well-cared-for Siberian Husky is 12-14 years.

Akita

The Akita has a dense, double coat, medium-haired outer hair, and a thick wooly undercoat. Although the color range in Akita’s is vast, the only color the Kennel Club doesn’t consider breed specific is merle. In addition, the Akita has a large head, ears that are thick, triangular, and pointed forward, a strong jaw, and a long full tail curling up over the back, with intelligent, almond-shaped dark eyes.

The Akita is a large breed. The adult male Akita stands at 26-28 inches, with an ideal weight of 100-130 lbs (45-59kg).

The adult female Akita stands at 24-26 inches, with an ideal weight of 70-100 lbs (32-45 kg).

The life expectancy for a healthy, well-cared-for Akita is 10 – 14 years.

Common Breed Health Checks for Siberian Husky and Akita

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky breed is generally pretty healthy; however, breeders should regularly have the dams and sires screened:

  • Hip dysplasia (BVA/KC)
  • Eye testing – PLA (gonioscopy) (BVA/KC/ISDS)
  • Eye screening scheme (BVA/KC/ISDS)

Akita

The Akita is generally pretty healthy. Good breeders should regularly have the dams and sires screened:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Entropion
  • Ectropion

Energy Levels of Siberian Husky and Akita

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is a bundle of energy with outstanding endurance! This dog is at its happiest when it’s running, exploring, and playing. It can run for hours and still have the energy to play. However, to keep a Siberian Husky content, it will need at least 2 hours of daily exercise and some mental stimulation.

Akita

The Akita is a high-energy guarding/hunting dog. The Akita is happiest spending time with its family doing activities and will still have the energy to play afterward. The Akita will need 2 hours of daily exercise and plenty of mental stimulation.

The Trainability of Siberian Husky and Akita

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is a highly intelligent dog. It was bred to decide whether to follow instructions or not for the musher and team’s safety. This intelligence is still present in the Siberian Husky. Once you know what motivates your Siberian Husky, training and cooperation are easier. Most Siberian Huskies are not food motivated, and you must get creative.

The Siberian Husky learns quickly and easily; motivating them to follow instructions consistently can be tricky. Furthermore, the Siberian Husky is not a biddable animal; they are not interested in pleasing their human. High prey drive also means that recall isn’t 100% for most Siberian Huskies.

Akita

Like the Siberian Husky, the Akita is a highly intelligent and independent dog. It can be headstrong and requires consistent, firm, but fair handling. The Akita is a strong large dog breed best suited to someone with experience. The Akita also has strong guarding instincts and will require early training and socialization with other people and dogs.

The Akita is a loyal, hard-working companion and thrives on continued training and challenges. In addition, the Akita suits someone with experience or the time to put into continued training and exercise to keep it happy and healthy. But, unfortunately, the Samoyed has a high prey drive, and recall can be tricky.

Friendliness of Siberian Husky and Akita

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is friendly and cooperative with people and other dogs. They have never met strangers or dogs they didn’t want to play with. These were the main traits that the Chukchi looked for in their sled dogs.

The Siberian Husky loves children and being around children – they are pretty gentle. However, the Husky can get boisterous and accidentally knock down little children.

Akita

The Akita is a naturally wary dog. It will love its family members but is suspicious of strangers and other dogs. The Akita is a hunting dog with a very high prey drive; it is not advised to have smaller animals with an Akita. The Akita also has strong guarding instincts and can have resource-guarding issues, which younger children may not understand.

A loyal and loving companion, the Akita has a lot of energy, can be boisterous, and may knock over smaller children. However, they are energetic and intelligent dogs, well suited to families with older children who enjoy going outside and have the time to put into training and exercise.

The Akita is not naturally friendly and will require lots of socialization with other dogs, people, and places. This should be ongoing to ensure your dog develops into a well-adjusted pet.

Grooming and Shedding of Siberian Husky and Akita

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky has a fluffy, luxurious double coat to keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The fur has a protective layer that repels dirt and protects the skin, reducing the doggy odor that most other breeds have. In addition, the Siberian Husky is cat-like in its grooming, keeping its coat clean. As a result, they only need to be bathed a few times a year.

The Siberian Husky needs brushing regularly to keep the coat healthy. In addition, twice a year, the undercoat blows and requires daily brushing – there will be fur everywhere!

Akita

The Akita has a thick, fluffy, double coat. However, it will require brushing weekly to keep the shedding hair under control and the coat free from mats and clean. In addition, the Akita will only need a few baths throughout the year to keep them clean. Like the Siberian Husky, the Akita likes to spend time grooming and keeping itself clean.

The Akita sheds a lot and will blow the undercoat once or twice a year. During this blowout, the Akita will require extra daily brushing–fur will always be everywhere!

Barking for Siberian Husky and Akita

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky doesn’t bark, as such. It does, however, huff, chuff, chatter, and howl – also known as singing. In addition, the Siberian Husky is known to chat and sing to their humans. Sometimes for no apparent reason and other times to communicate their point in the conversation.

Akita

The Akita is a natural guard dog. It is known to bark to alert you to people approaching or a dangerous leaf blowing too close to the window. The Akita may also bark a lot if left alone too long or bored or stressed.

Overall Thoughts on Siberian Husky and Akita

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky suits active outdoor people with lots of time for training and exercise. They enjoy running, hiking, and biking – independent dogs who like to think and work things out for themselves. However, the Siberian Husky isn’t for everyone, as the extensive training and lifestyle can be intense.

However, once you have earned the Husky’s trust and loyalty, they are a fantastic companion and will give you hours of fun and laughter. So, if you are up for a challenge, and looking for a dog with a big personality, then the Siberian Husky might be for you.

Akita

The Akita suits active outdoor people with plenty of training, exercise, and grooming time. Like the Siberian Husky, they enjoy running, hiking, and biking – independent dogs who like to think and work things out for themselves. However, the Akita isn’t for everyone, as the extensive training and lifestyle can be intense. In addition, the Akita gets very attached to its family and can become distressed if left alone for long periods.

However, once you have earned the Akita’s trust and loyalty, they are a fantastic companion and will give you hours of fun and laughter. So, if you are up for a challenge and looking for a dog with a big personality and lots of fluff and a family guardian, then the Akita might be for you

For further breed-specific information, the Kennel Club UK and the American Kennel Club are excellent sources of information.

I hope you have found this article helpful.

Before you go, you may find these articles interesting:

Siberian Husky or Samoyed

Siberian Husky or Border Collie

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