It can sometimes be easy to mix an Akita up with a Shiba since both of these breeds often have a very similar appearance. However, one way you can easily differentiate between these two breeds is their size, as Akitas are medium-to-large sized dogs while Shibas are fairly small dogs.
So how big do Akitas get, exactly? It differs a little between male and female Akitas, but in general, Akitas tend to top out at around 100 pounds and grow to a maximum height of about 26 inches.
In this article, we’ll be going over everything you can expect from your Akita in terms of its growth, as well as breaking down how big your Akita should be at each stage of their life and answering some other questions you might have about your Akita’s size.
How Big Do Akitas Get? (American and Japanese)
The answer to this question isn’t so straightforward, as it can depend on a couple of factors; namely, your Akita’s sex and the specific variety of Akita you have. There are two varieties of Akita that exist today; the Japanese Akita (or Akita Inu, as it’s known in its homeland) and the American Akita.
Originally, the Japanese Akita was the only variety that existed. However, in the early 20th century, the majority of Japanese Akitas were being crossbred with Western breeds like the German Shepherd and St. Bernard. During World War II, American servicemen began to fancy these crossbred Akitas and brought many of them back home when their tours ended.
After the war ended, Japanese breeders made a concerted effort to restore the Akita to its original pre-war appearance, which is how we’ve ended up with two distinct Akita breeds.
American and Japanese Akitas are pretty easy to tell apart, as they have significant physical differences. The most obvious one is the shape of their heads; American Akitas have a boxier, more bear-like head, while Japanese Akitas have a more wedge-shaped, fox-like head.
American Akitas are also slightly larger than their Japanese counterparts; male American Akitas typically reach a maximum height of 26 inches and a maximum weight of 130 pounds, while male Japanese Akitas usually reach a maximum height of between 23-25 inches and a maximum weight of 120 pounds. Females are slightly smaller in both cases.
Another difference between these two varieties is the color of their coats; Japanese Akita coats only come in four colors (brindle, sesame, white, and red fawn) while American Akitas can be found in a wider range of colors.
Is An Akita a Small or Medium Dog?
Akitas are considered to be medium to large-sized dogs. It can sometimes be a little difficult to determine what size class a particular dog fits into, so let’s go over that now.
For the most part, size categories for dog breeds are based on their weight, not on their actual physical size. Here’s how the various size categories break down.
Small dogs are defined as dogs that weigh between 2 and 22 pounds when fully grown. Within the category of small dogs, there are three subcategories: miniature dogs, toy dogs, and teacup dogs.
The miniature and toy subcategories are pretty close in size, with miniature dogs weighing between 5 to 12 pounds and toy dogs weighing between 3 to 12 pounds at their maximum size. Teacup dogs are by far the smallest; a dog falls into the teacup subcategory if its fully-grown weight is 4 pounds or less.
In contrast, there are no subcategories for medium and large-sized dogs. Medium dogs usually hit a maximum weight of between 23 and 58 pounds, while large dogs usually weigh between 59 and 99 pounds. Anything above 100 pounds is considered to be an “extra-large” dog.
The size category of your dog matters, because the correct methods of caring for your dog and certain aspects of their physical health will change depending on how large it gets. For example, with a larger dog like an Akita, you should be prepared for the fact that your dog is less likely to live as long as another dog from a smaller breed.
Larger dogs like Akitas are also more prone to health issues, in particular musculoskeletal issues such as hip dysplasia. However, larger dogs tend to be calmer and less noisy than smaller dogs, so there’s always a tradeoff regardless of what size of dog you’re interested in.
Akita Growth Chart
If you’ve just bought an Akita puppy, it’s important to be aware of what size it should be throughout the early stages of its life. If your puppy’s growth appears to be stunted, there’s a chance that your puppy has been affected by a bad case of intestinal worms, which can end up stealing the calories that your puppy needs to grow.
In addition, it’s important to make sure that your Akita isn’t growing too fast either. If your Akita gets too big too quickly, they’re at a much greater risk of suffering joint problems like the hip dysplasia that we mentioned above. To that end, ensure that you only feed your Akita food that is specifically formulated for large dog breeds.
Here are the growth charts for both male and female Akitas, from birth until adulthood:
Male Akita Growth Chart
|1 month||7-12 pounds|
|2 months||17-27 pounds|
|3 months||30-40 pounds|
|4 months||35-50 pounds|
|5 months||45-60 pounds|
|6 months||55-70 pounds|
|7 months||60-80 pounds|
|8 months||65-85 pounds|
|9 months||75-95 pounds|
|10 months||90-110 pounds|
|11 months||95-115 pounds|
|1 year||95-125 pounds|
|1 1/2 years||100-130 pounds|
|2 years||100-130 pounds|
Female Akita Growth Chart
|1 month||5-10 pounds|
|2 months||15-25 pounds|
|3 months||30-40 pounds|
|4 months||35-45 pounds|
|5 months||45-55 pounds|
|6 months||50-65 pounds|
|7 months||55-75 pounds|
|8 months||60-80 pounds|
|9 months||65-85 pounds|
|10 months||65-85 pounds|
|11 months||65-90 pounds|
|1 year||70-95 pounds|
|1 1/2 years||70-100 pounds|
|2 years||70-100 pounds|
As you can see, while Akitas take longer to reach their maximum size than smaller dogs do, they still grow up pretty quick, with males growing slightly larger and faster than females.
At What Age Are Akitas Fully Grown?
Your Akita is technically considered an adult dog when they reach sexual maturity, which generally happens when your Akita is between 6-8 months old. However, Akitas are able to breed well before they’re fully grown.
We’ve already shown this in the charts above, but Akitas usually hit their maximum size when they’re about 1 to 1 1/2 years old. While they may not get physically bigger after this point, it’s not uncommon for them to continue gaining weight until they’re 2 years old.
If you’re trying to determine whether your Akita is still in their puppy stages, one way to do so is to check out their paws. If their paws still look proportionally big compared to the rest of their body, it means your Akita still has some growing left to do.
How to Care For Your Akita
If you want to make sure that your Akita grows up happy and healthy throughout their life, there are several things you should keep in mind.
We’ve already mentioned one thing you should do, namely that you should monitor your Akita during their early life stages to make sure they’re growing at the right rate. Take your Akita to the vet if they’re growing too slowly, and switch them over to a more suitable food if it seems like they’re growing too quickly.
You should also take your Akita to the vet early on in their life and have the vet run some tests to look for any genetic health problems. Being larger dogs, Akitas are more genetically predisposed to a variety of health issues, so catching them early on can make it easier for you to deal with them in the future.
Akitas obviously require some exercise to remain healthy, but the good news is they’re not an extremely active breed. Going for a brisk walk at least once a day is enough exercise for the majority of adult Akitas. As long as you’re taking your Akita out for enough exercise every day, they don’t tend to suffer even if you live in a relatively small home.
Because Akitas are large, strong dogs with a very independent temperament, we wouldn’t advise you to get an Akita for your first dog, as they might prove to be more than you can handle.