Finding the right dog breed that fits your lifestyle and personality can be a daunting task, especially when you have your heart set on a specific breed but can’t find one or are unable to afford the price. Such is the case with the Akita, a unique breed that requires a confident and experienced owner due to their independent and protective nature. However, there are other breeds that share similar traits and physical attributes with the Akita, making them a close second option for those seeking a similar companion.
Most of these dogs belong to the spitz family, which is a group of dogs that typically have a wolf-like appearance with pointed ears, almond-shaped eyes, dense double coats, and curled, feathery tails carried over their backs. This group shares many similarities with the Akita, as both are courageous, loyal, and alert, but wary of strangers and intolerant of other animals.
The Akita is an affectionate dog that forms strong bonds with their loved ones but can be independent and stubborn, requiring a great deal of exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Here are some dog breeds that share similar traits and characteristics with the Akita:
1. Alaskan Klee Kai:
This American breed hails from Alaska and looks like a tiny Husky. Although physically different from the Akita, they share similar traits in terms of personality, loyalty, and alertness but can be reserved with strangers. Alaskan Klee Kai is not a high-energy breed but needs plenty of exercise to keep them healthy and happy.
2. Alaskan Malamute:
The Alaskan Malamute is a well-known breed that tends to look more like a Husky than the Akita, but there is still a definite resemblance. Both have curled tails and almond-shaped eyes, but the Malamute is smaller than the Akita. The Alaskan Malamute is loving but can be stubborn, like the Akita, and needs a confident and experienced owner. They require a great deal of exercise but love everyone and aren’t the best pick for a protective dog.
Although the Basenji is quite different from the rest of the dogs on this list since they are from Africa, they still share some physical and personality traits with the Akita. They have almond-shaped eyes, pointed ears, and a curled tail, but their coat is different. Basenjis are alert, devoted, and gentle dogs but are independent and only want your attention on their own terms. They are energetic and need plenty of exercise.
4. Finnish Spitz:
This breed is originated from Finland and was also bred to hunt big game, including bears! The Finnish Spitz shares similar physical traits with most spitz dogs and is a protective breed that is wary of strangers. They are relatively easygoing but need plenty of exercise and are known to be barkers, so a good fit for someone who wishes for a watchdog.
5. Hokkaido Inu:
The Hokkaido Inu is a breed from Japan that looks like the Akita but is smaller. They are also stubborn and overprotective of their loved ones, mainly through their distrust of strangers. They also can become bored easily and need a great deal of physical exercise and mental stimulation. One difference between them is that the Hokkaido can be more vocal than the Akita.
6. Kai Ken:
A Japanese breed, the Kai Ken, is smaller than the Akita but otherwise looks similar. They don’t have such dense fur, and the color is usually some form of brindle, but they have similar features and a curled tail. Kai Ken aren’t as independent and more easygoing, so they don’t have the same issue around other dogs. But they also need plenty of exercise.
7. Kishu Ken:
The Kishu Ken comes from the Kishu region in Japan and shares a few physical traits with the Akita. But they are smaller and leaner and differ in temperament in a few ways. The Kishu is friendlier than the Akita, but they are an intelligent breed that requires an experienced owner and a great deal of exercise. They don’t always get along with other pets, but they are loyal and affectionate with their owners.
8. Korean Jindo:
The Korean Jindo originated from the Jindo Island of South Korea and has been around for thousands of years. They look quite similar to the Akita and sport a double coat. The Jindo makes an excellent watchdog as they are devoted and protective but independent. They don’t necessarily get along with other animals or strangers and are high energy, with demanding exercise needs.
9. Norwegian Elkhound:
The Norwegian Elkhound is a robust dog but is smaller than the Akita. They have fluffy double coats, pointed ears, and a gloriously feathery curled tail. The Elkhound is wary of strangers but is generally friendlier than the Akita. They require experienced owners who can handle an intelligent dog that can easily get bored. They are also quite active and need plenty of exercise.
Originally from Siberia, Russia, the Samoyed is a spitz breed that is famous for their smile, which helps prevent icicles from forming around their mouths. They tend to be sweet and friendly and get along well with other dogs and people they meet. But they need plenty of exercise and attention to prevent separation anxiety.
11. Shikoku Ken:
The Shikoku Ken closely resembles the Akita in several ways but is smaller and tends to have darker coats. Like the Akita, though, the Shikoku needs an experienced owner to provide them with enough exercise. They don’t do so well when left alone for too long and can become destructive. But they are friendlier to strangers and other dogs if well socialized, though they shouldn’t be around smaller pets.
12. Siberian Husky:
The Siberian Husky is probably the most well-known breed on this list! They have a physical resemblance to the Akita, including that gorgeous dense double coat. But temperament-wise, the Husky is almost the opposite of the Akita. Huskies are social and friendly with nearly everyone and every dog that they meet. They are also mischievous, vocal, stubborn, and intelligent but do best with experienced owners.
13. Shiba Inu:
The Shiba Inu is probably the breed that resembles the Akita the most, and they also happen to come from Japan. In fact, the Shiba and Akita are sometimes mistaken for one another, but the Akita is larger. The Shiba is intelligent and independent, as well as protective and devoted, like the Akita. But they aren’t as aggressive toward other dogs and aren’t as likely to become destructive when left alone.
In conclusion, while no breed can completely replace the Akita, there are various breeds with similar traits and appearances. Each breed has its own unique personality, exercise needs, and requirements, making it essential to research and choose the right breed that matches your lifestyle and personality.