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Thinking of adding an Akita or Malamute. Thoughts?
  • britkotsubritkotsu
    Posts: 210
    At the moment I have a 1.5yr old female shiba who is very friendly and sociable. I also have a tough tom cat and a 4yr old. We are thinking of adding a large breed dog to the mix in the next year or so. Probably when my son starts school so I will have more time to train. I had my heart set on a Japanese Akita as I think they are the most beautiful dogs and love everything about my shiba, apart from her small size (the hubby wanted small dog but I love the giants) When I contacted my shiba breeder to get some advice she did not recommend pairing these two breeds together. Has anyone else heard this? Is it a prey drive thing? My second choice would be an Alaskan malamute. Anyone with experience with this breed? I have met 2 males and they were wonderful but that is all I know.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    I have heard the same regarding Akita and Shiba. But I think its similar to not getting two siblings or raise two females at a time. Its not recommended. But if you have the right mindset, experience, and train/discipline them well, then it can happen.

    I believe a couple of people on this forum has an Akita + shiba combo.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Oh, this is ridiculous, but you'll have to really search to 1) find a Japanese Akita (instead of an American one) that is available and then 2) search to find a breeder who will sell you an Akita if you have a Shiba because some breeders are really ridiculous about this.

    But many, many people have both Shibas and Akitas. As do I have. I added an AA puppy to a house of very difficult Shibas. He gets along great with my crazy female but does not get along with the male, but the male Shiba is kept separate from everyone else anyway as he does not tolerate other dogs. And now we have a Kai Ken too, so we have quite a mixed family of NK and they all do very well, thank you very much! :)

    So if you want an Akita--and they are wonderful dogs--then do it. If you haven't already joined the NK side of the forum, you should, as there are many JA people for you to talk with some of whom who may be able to give you tips on finding a JA breeder. And I spent a lot of time looking for an AA puppy, and would be happy to share my experiences with you via private message--send me a message if you'd like to know more about looking for an AA breeder.

    But the search is not dissimilar to looking for a good Shiba breeder except I think there are more AA breeders out there (and certainly less JA breeders--if you must have a JA you will probably have a long wait, if you're in the US--at the moment I don't remember where you live?). I would add when looking for an Akita temperament is very important in addition to other health issues, esp. if you are adding a dog with a Shiba. Anyone who expressed concern about Shiba/Akita together I crossed off my list right away, because I felt like it told me something about the temperament of their Akita. I also went to dog shows and watched a lot of dogs, because if a breeder had dogs that showed dog aggression in the ring, I decided I did not want a dog from that breeder. I was looking for a mellow Akita who would be a good pack guardian for the smaller dogs, and I got him (though unfortunately he has other health issues).

    Anyway, I'd be happy to talk to you more if you'd like, and if you want an Akita, there is no reason not to get one. I love them!

    (I'd be more worried about cat + Akita, honestly, but probably if you have the Akita from a pup even that can work).
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2012-07-24 13:19:06
  • There are some breeders who breed both Shibas and Akitas. Not many. Most are AA breeders.
  • britkotsubritkotsu
    Posts: 210
    One of the reasons I was asking these questions so soon is because I know going with an ethical breeder can sometimes take a while, especially if we are considering a JA. I have met some wonderful AAs in my time as a kennel worker but just as many questionable ones (most likely the fault of the owners or bad breeding practices)
  • BritigerxBritigerx
    Posts: 140
    Huskies and shibas do get along pretty well. At least my boy shiba and my dad's husky love each other. My shiba is a bit rough with the husky but luckily the husky never lashes out in revenge or anything. I think huskies and shibas are a good fit together due to their energy levels.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    I bumped into a malamute the other day at the dog park. I was amazed at how huge it was, since most people always get the "smaller" version of everything. It was even bigger than me! The owner and I had a nice chat, but overall she mentioned how the Malamute's personality is like the Shiba. Independent, and stubborn when they don't want to do something. Difference? Just that the malamute is like 100 lbs or more!

    The Malamute is going to be a lot of work since they will grow fast and you have a cat + a 4 yr old. x_x Bootz looked rather small next to the Malamute, but it was very well behaved (although it was around 10 years old).
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    You will probably have better luck finding an Akita to add to a Shiba than vice versa.

    Historically, Shibas can be fairly reactive and bitchy, and Akita often do not tolerate this. They also may not give as clear a warning either, and they don't mess around when they do give a warning.

    Small dogs such as Shibas can be horribly maimed and killed by an Akita "warning", and since many Akita DO have a similar level of dog reactivity and intolerance like Shibas, it is for this reason that most Shiba breeders who are reputable will not place Shiba puppies into Akita or similarly reactive breed households UNLESS the person has shown a remarkable degree of good judgement, experience, and ability to safely manage interactions.

    Often the breeders who have both breeds don't run them together, and there is no shortage of personal stories they have about their Shibas starting a fight, and the Akitas finishing it with some dead Shibas as a consequence.

    It will boil down to your individual dog and your ability to prove to your breeder that you can safely manage them together, regardless of breed.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • RyanRyan
    Posts: 293
    @LindsayT In your experience, is this with AA or AI(JA)s?
    Bella (Sherae Aka Akicho) | F | Born 27/1/2012
    Suki (Aust. Ch. Betlin Takaisuki) | M | Born 03/02/2005, adopted 10/09/2012
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    The really ugly stories I know of involve early imported AAs and Shibas. The same was true for the imported JAs. They were all owned by very well informed breeders who had a lot of good dog experience, and you wouldn't have ever thought something bad would happen given how quiet and friendly they were with one another. When you mingle breeds with reactive temperaments and there is a great size difference, it's bound to happen. On the flip side, my good friend has had Shibas and AAs for several decades without any fighting amongst them. The Akita were still extremely strange dog and small animal aggressive. There are a few breeders Now that have really good success with their AA and Shibas, and if I was looking for an AA, I wouldn't hesitate to go these people first. I have never owned Akita, but I hear the AA is generally more dog aggressive. I have really liked the JAs I have met and they were quiet friendly. It mostly depends on how they are managed together, but for the most part, these tend to be reactive breeds so it can be a difficult combination with the wrong temperaments.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • zazazaza
    Posts: 56
    My breeder keeps both Shibas and Japanese Akitas and they get on really well together, in fact they are like best friends. She also has 4 cats that she rescued. As long as they are socialized in a controlled environment initially they should be fine :-)
  • It's true that Akitas don't give a lot of warning. Or rather, the warning can be easy to miss. Oskar's warning is a raised lip, no noise, and if another dog doesn't see that--well, he's going to go from that to reactive. However, he's got very very good bite inhibition, and the scuffles between him and the other dogs have always been him simply holding a dog in place with his mouth. I wouldn't count on other dogs having that though--it's just something he does.

    And Bel pushes him....the scuffles have always been over resources. I do think it would be easier to add the Akita to the family after the Shibas are already in place. Oskar was not tolerant of the Kai puppy--it took us 1.5 months before we could have them together. Now they are best buds,but it took a lot of patience.

    One of the AA breeders I like also breeds whippets. Of course she doesn't let all the dogs run together--that would be madness with a delicate breed like the whippet--but most of her Akitas are used to interacting with small dogs.

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