Akita German Shepherd Hybrid Cross Mix Dog Breed Guide
Thirty years ago, not even one breeder had the slightest idea of the perfect crossbreed.
Maybe resources needed to facilitate the process and actively nurture hybrids were limited, or perhaps critics and breeders feared losing their purebred’s clear bloodlines and uniqueness to the uncertainties of crossbreeding.
As we soar into infinite technological advancement in this unpredictable 21st Century, we can attest that much has changed – the idea of the perfect hybrid is no longer an idea but a living example.
Crossbreeds are now more popular than their purebred parents. However, some are more popular than others because of the perfection dog owners witness in the crossbreeds, and breeders’ favorable parentage choices for their hybrids.
Some mixes come with so many desirable traits that most caring families need in their homes. Besides, you’ll find that particular hybrids are healthier, with boosted immunity, and thus more resistant to common health complications than their parents and other hybrids.
One such desirable hybrid is the German Shepherd Akita Mix, a crossbreed created by mixing a Shepkita, otherwise known as the Akita Shepherd, with one of the world’s most popular, the German Shepherd.
The resulting breed is intelligent and has a perfect calm and friendly temperament required to make a reliable family dog. Both GSDs and Shepkitas have strong working principles and are energetic, robust, and versatile in their interaction and specialization.
The German Shepherd Akita Mix is a predictable hybrid, considering that both parents share the same working instincts, intelligence, and agility.
Nonetheless, to determine this Mix’s characteristics and possible traits, it is best that we first look into their parents’ ancestry and functionality – were they hunting dogs or fighting hounds? What about their domestication, breeding, and official recognition?
The German Shepherd Parent
Otherwise initialized as GSDs, German Shepherds originated from a clear herding class that protected and guided sheep in European farms in the 19th Century.
After thoroughly breeding and training the dogs for thirty-five years, Stephanitz was the first farmer to register GSDs under a German kennel club.
Stephanitz’s main goal was to create a highly intelligent companion, an affectionate and loyal pet, while at the same time heightening the dog’s hunting, herding, and working characteristics. In the early 20th Century, GSDs were formally accepted into the AKC.
After that, their popularity surged after more people and institutions realized the breed could do much more in terms of ‘service to the nation’ and as family pets, both in protective and companionship capacities.
GSDs have since served different purposes, including helping the military in rescue operations, patrolling with police officers in their duties, and even making it to television screens as actors and commercial promoters! All thanks to their intelligence and easy-to-train character.
Shepkitas come from a particular hunting dog group in Japan. In older times, the Japanese used Akita Shepherds in dogfighting contests and hunting large wild animals such as bears.
When their fighting prowess began declining, Shepkita owners decided to breed them with larger dog breeds like the Tosas to improve their resilience and make them better hunters and fighters.
Akita Shepherds joined the AKC in 1972 – they first arrived in North America when they were issued as gifts from Japan’s royalty. The common Akita species include the American Akita Shepherds and the Akita Inus.
The appearance of the German Shepherd Akita Mix
GSDs usually weigh between fifty and a hundred pounds and measure between twenty-three to twenty-seven inches.
Shepkita males, on the other hand, can grow as tall as twenty- eight inches and typically weigh between 85 to 135 pounds. Females will measure approximately three inches less than the males and weigh five to fifteen pounds less.
Therefore, we can predict the crossbreed’s weight as anywhere between 60 and 130 pounds, and with a height ranging from twenty to twenty-eight inches. The hybrid’s colors will vary, depending on the parents’ coats they choose to inherit.
A German Shepherd Akita Mix has a balanced body frame. They are sturdy and often stand in upright postures. Most mixes have partly curled tails, and their common jacket colors include tan and black or tan and white colors.
Akita German Shepherd hybrids have straight ears on their heads. They have muscular bodies with wide chests. The crosses also inherit their lean bodies from German Shepherds and often have long tails, long necks, and square jaws.
Which coat colors do German Shepherd Akita Mixes have?
Like most crossbreeds, these hybrids also inherit the parents’ characteristics, including behavior, physical appearance, and coat coloration. While some hybrids inherit more of one parent’s coat colors, others feature unique shades.
Some of these colors include sable, white, brindle, white and red, tan, fawn, blue, black, tan and black, merle, and pinto. A hybrid can also inherit the black masking that’s common of the Shepkita’s face.
It’s relatively easy to train these hybrids compared to coaching their parents, especially Akita Shepherds. However, sometimes the Mix can inherit more of the Akita’s wild and overprotective characteristics, making it difficult to train them effectively.
If the hybrid takes after the German Shepherd’s obedient, loyal, and more intelligent traits, chances are the Mix will give you an easy time during training.
The key lessons to teach your puppy include obedience and respect. Training your puppy to obey commands should take less than a few weeks. Obedience and respect training instills discipline into the puppy. It also ultimately contributes to their loyalty and good overall behavior.
Akita Shepherds are not so reliable in training. If the Mix takes after the Shepkita’s stubbornness and uncooperative nature, you may need to adhere to training persistently but as per the professionals’ recommended basic training.
Common behavioral traits
The mixes are vigilant both during day and night and thus make reliable guarding dogs. They can viciously protect their families and property from interlopers and even nip at them once they detect the invader’s potential threat.
Despite the watchful and protective traits being to the owner’s advantage, it’s critical to observe that the guarding instincts can sometimes make the dogs too protective of their caregivers to the detriment of other pets and people.
That’s why socialization comes in to loosen the dog’s rigid protectiveness and teach them how to differentiate visitors, friends, and household pets from dangerous invaders like thieves of the night.
Training your dog vital skills and techniques such as socialization and obedience training will help eliminate undesirable traits and make them better companions and, at the same time, protectors.
We encourage dog owners to infuse positive training and obedience coaching because they are more effective than guard training.
Many of us know GSDs as brave dogs that depict a lot of courage, even in life-threatening scenarios. They defend their families and estate without flinching and guarantee their absolute safety.
Akitas are extremely loyal dogs but have only one downside – they are extremely ferocious when it comes to protecting their loved ones. In the absence of the master or caring family, Akita Shepherds will fiercely nip at a potential invader and won’t stop the aggressiveness for anything.
It’s best to teach the dogs basic guarding roles and socialization before advancing to secondary training to mitigate their vicious traits.
Grooming the German Shepherd Akita Mix
These mixes require their caregivers to observe the common daily grooming routines to keep them clean and healthy.
Their coats require regular brushing because they have double coatings. We mainly recommend using slicker brushes that can dig neat and deep into the fur and retrieve dead skin and hidden dirt.
It would be best if you only bathed your puppies when their coats get dirty. Besides, only use recommended disinfects when washing your pups because regular bathing or the wrong shampoos could cause dry skin and ultimately irritation or skin-related problems.
Don’t forget to conduct other regular maintenance practices such as clipping the puppy’s nails when they become long, cleaning their ears, and regularly checking them for infections.
The hybrid’s reaction to different weather conditions
The German Shepherd Akita Mix gets adequate insulation from the hot sun, thanks to their thicker undercoats. The same undercoats also provide extra warmth during winter. They are also waterproof and will keep them dry in rainy weather.
German Shepherd Akita hybrids prefer cold seasons to hot ones. However, the dogs can still suffer major health complications depending on the weather intensity.
It’s best not to leave your hybrids outdoors in any weather conditions while believing their coats will be enough for their survival.
Special pet heaters can come in handy, especially during cold weather conditions. Besides, you can also create a conducive staying environment for your pets by designing comfortable sleeping spaces, creating pools for refreshment, and including adequate water supply in their diets.
Caring for your hybrid’s health
Because of their parents’ genetics, German Shepherd Akita Mixes can inherit and suffer from various health complications. We’ll examine some of the common problems affecting the hybrids’ parents and the most likely ones to affect the Mix.
- Dysplasia – the elbows and hips can malfunction and cause pain and discomfort in the joints. The complication commonly affects German Shepherds. In advanced stages, vets recommend surgical examination and treatment.
- Hypothyroidism – the affected dog will require additional supplements to help the thyroid glands in their secretion.
- Hemangiosarcoma – this infection is characterized by cancer and bleeding and affects the spleens.
- Epilepsy – the most common sign of epilepsy is unpredictable seizures.
Other infections affecting GSDs and Akita Shepherds include hemophilia, where the dogs experience excessive bleeding and diabetes, a sugar-related problem that often comes with additional problems such as obesity.
Besides inheriting their parents’ complications, the mixes can also suffer from the Luxating Patella. There is a current rise in the numbers of hybrids experiencing the complication. Another issue is Lupus, which frequently involves autoimmune problems.
If your puppy shows any signs and symptoms indicating a possible health problem, ensure you immediately visit a vet for further recommendation and treatment.
The hybrid’s average lifespan
GSDs and Akita Shepherds share lifespans – they live for ten to thirteen years.
The Mix, however, lives for a longer period compared to the parents. They can live between ten to fifteen years, provided they get the right nutrition (balanced diets), proper healthcare, and regular exercise.
German Shepherd Akita mixes require moderate physical and mental exercises. Constantly jogging the hybrid’s mind will improve their focus and sharpen their intuitive and protective traits.
Essentially, experts recommend training the hybrids for thirty to forty-five minutes daily. They also recommend training the Mix with German Shepherds and Shepkitas to heighten their senses and teach them the best from both parents.
Keeping the hybrid as a household pet
You should expect the German Shepherd Akita Mix to be a kind and loyal family pet. However, regardless of the early training intensity, the mixes can get aggressive as they near adolescence.
Therefore, consistent training will play a key role in reshaping the overall hybrid’s character throughout puppyhood and adolescence into a calm, loyal, and instinctively protective dog. Your best bet at nurturing the hybrid into a desirable family pet is through socialization.
We also advise that you train your dog to interact with small kids, other pets, new surroundings, and unfamiliar faces by introducing them at an early stage. Doing so will help the puppy differentiate dangerous strangers and animals from threat-free persons and pets.
The German Shepherd Akita Mix is a large dog that requires close supervision around small kids – the Akita instincts might set in anytime, and we recommend caregivers be present to prevent any accidents.
Nonetheless, the Mix is a special breed that inherits superior physical attributes from German Shepherds and Shepkitas to make an energetic, versatile, agile, and obedient companion.
When acquiring your puppy from a breeder, ensure you request for supporting health documents and also examine the puppies’ living conditions at the breeder’s center, before finalizing the sale contract.
If you are looking for an exciting and loyal family dog to keep for years to come, then the German Shepherd Akita Mix is the right pick for you.
Remember, the most important training and maintenance routines to adhere to are obedience coaching, socialization, proper nutrition, frequent grooming, and regular exercise – with these, you are guaranteed a happy, healthy, protective, and affectionate pet.