The Akita is the largest of all the Japanese breeds and was originally bred in the province of Akita in the 1600's. Some believe the dogs were originally bred for hunting such prey as wild boar, deer and black bear, others believe they were bred for pit fighting. However, when the Japanese (and European) dog-fighting sport lost favour, the dogs were then employed for hunting. In the late 19th century other breeds such as the German Shepherd Dog and the Pointer were imported, making the Japanese breeds suffer in popularity. The Society for Preservation of Japanese Dogs was then formed for the purpose of preserving the native breeds. This Society then declared that all native breeds were national monuments. After World War 1, Akitas were protected because they were becoming so scarce and The Akita Inu Hozankai Society of Japan was founded in 1927 to preserve the breed. In the 1930's, the Akita was so rare that only the very wealthy could afford to buy one, if indeed one could be found! In the United States, the breed has only been known since the early 1970's, gaining American Kennel Club recognition in 1973.
Akitas are large, powerful dogs with much substance and dignity. Their proud head carriage and stance is enhanced by their small ears and dark eyes. They make a striking picture with their thick, plush coats, the colours of which are brilliant and clear. Their well-muscled limbs ensures that their movement is vigorous and resilient.
|Colour||Akitas come in any colour including white, brindle or pinto.|
|Coat Length||Short Medium
|Weight/Height Range||Bitches can measure between 61 to 66cms and dogs between 66 to 71cms. Both dogs and bitches weigh in between 34 to 50kgs.
|Ailments||Akitas are generally healthy dogs but hip dysplasia is a known problem and screening of the parents before breeding is a must. Nervous and auto-immune diseases are common and should be enquired about before purchase. Dwarfism is also known in the breed along with entropion, a problem relating to ingrowing eyelashes. However, this could be because of the breed's relatively small eye size and it has been known for puppies with this condition to grow out of it.|
|Breed Classification||Akitas belong to the utility group and are today used as companions and guard dogs and seen in the show-ring.|
Feeding & Ownership
Akitas are not fussy eaters and in relation to their size do not eat a vast amount.
|Food Cost||More than $20|
This breed is not for a novice dog owner. These are independent and rather dominant dogs and care must be taken when strange children and other dogs are about, although they are more amenable with cats. Bitches are better with children than dogs. They are, however, very loyal to their own family. They are courageous and as such, good watchdogs without barking too much. Their hunting instincts are strong and this must be remembered at all times.
|Intelligence||This is a bossy but intelligent breed and, therefore, needs to be controlled. Having said that, however, they do react badly to harsh methods of training. Never hit or punish an Akita. They need firm, loving discipline. Consistency in approach and positive reinforcement is the key to success, as is starting training from a very early age.|
|Suitability for Children||Low|
|Tendency to Bark||Low|
|Overall Exercise Requirement||Akitas require a lot of exercise to keep them well-muscled. That said, if you do have to miss a walk one day, they will accept it without a fuss. Do remember these are hunting dogs and great care should be taken when allowing them to run freely.|
|Suitability as a Guard Dog||High|
|Ease of Transportation||Medium|
|Level of Aggression||High|
|Other Animal Compatibility||Low|
The coat should be kept well groomed to bring out the best in it and twice a year, during heavy moults, a metal, double-toothed comb should be used.
|Grooming Requirements||Once a week|
|Amount of Hair Shed||Little|
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