The Akita is a large and muscular breed with a long body, broad chest, and a triangular shaped head with a short muzzle and teeth that meet in a scissor bite. Their tail is fluffy and curls over the dog’s back. Its coat can come in a variety of colors including white, red, and brindle. There are two types of Akitas: the original Japanese Akita and now a separate designation for American standard Akitas. The weights and sizes are different and the American standard has a black mask, whereas the original Japanese breed standard does not. Japan and many other countries consider the American Akita a separate breed from the Akita Inu (Japanese Akita). The United States and Canada consider the American Akita and the Akita Inu a single breed with differences in type rather than two separate breeds.
This breed is alert, intelligent, courageous, loyal and fearless. It is also careful and affectionate with its family, and although they may tolerate and be good with children from their own family, they may not accept other children and may bite if teased. Due to this, the Akita needs a confident, firm, and consistent owner or the dog may become willful and aggressive to other dogs and animals. Their intelligence and alert nature make them great guard dogs. They require the proper amount of daily mental and physical exercise to avoid becoming bored easily, which can lead to destructive behaviors. They also vocalize with interesting sounds but are not an excessive barker.
The Akita will require firm training as a puppy, making certain the owner(s) achieve pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in its pack. When humans live with dogs we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader; define lines clearly. All humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog, certainly with a breed as dominant as the Akita. That is the only way your relationship can be a success. If the dog believes he is the leader over the humans he may become food-possessive as he tells the humans to wait their turn.
Considered a first-class guard dog in Japan, Japanese mothers would often leave their children in the family Akita’s care. They are loyal and thrive on firm leadership from their handlers. You should definitely supervise the dog with other household pets and children though. With the right type of owner, proper amount of daily mental and physical exercise and firm training, they can make a fine pet. Obedience training requires patience, as this breed tends to get bored quickly.
Living Conditions of the Akita
The Akita is moderately active indoors and will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised, but it would do best with a large yard. Therefore, it needs moderate but regular exercise to stay in shape. Take it for long daily walks.
The Akita Inu is native to the island of Honshu in the region of Akita in Japan where it has remained unchanged for centuries. The Akita Inu is the national dog of Japan and is one of seven breeds designated as a Natural Monument. The breed has had many uses, such as police and military work, a guard dog (government and civilian), a fighting dog, a hunter of bear and deer and a sled dog. The Akita Inu is a versatile hunting dog, able to hunt in inclement weather. The Akita’s soft mouth makes it possible for him to work as a waterfowl retrieval dog as well.
The Japanese also consider the breed sacred and a good luck charm. As a result, small statues of the Akita Inu are often given to new parents after babies are born as a gesture of good health and to sick people as a gesture of a speedy recovery. In 1937 the first Akita, who was named Kamikaze-go, was brought to the United States by Helen Keller. The dog was a gift given to her during her trip to Akita Prefecture. Kamikaze-go died of canine distemper not long after she adopted him. In July of 1938 another Akita named Kenzan-go, who was the older brother of Kamikaze-go, was given to her as an official gift from the Japanese government. After World War II many servicemen also brought Akita Inu dogs to the USA.
Clubs, Registration & Associations
(Based on breed recognition. See store for details on a particular puppy.)
- America’s Pet Registry, Inc.
- Akita Club of America
- The American Canine Association, Inc.
- American Canine Registry
- American Kennel Club
- Continental Kennel Club
- Dog Registry of America, Inc.
- North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
- National Kennel Club
Average Weight: 75-120 lbs.
Personality Traits: Alert, intelligent, loyal
Country of Origin: Japan
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