Akita

Other Names/Nicknames:

  • Akita Inu

Country/Date of Origin:

  • Japan
  • 1600’s

Height:

  • Females:  24 to 26 inches
  • Males:  26 to 28 inches

Weight:

  • 75 to 110 pounds

Personality:

  • An aggressive breed that is not for first-time dog owners.
  • Not trustworthy around other dogs or cats.
  • A natural guard, and very possessive of both its family and property.

History:

Named for a town on the northern Japanese island of Honshu, the Akita was a sporting dog of the noble houses.  Each Shogun kept a kennel of the big dogs to hunt deer, bear and boar.  It was forbidden to speak to the dogs or about them except in a special language called dog words.  Good examples of the Akita were jealously guarded and it was not until after World War II that any appreciable number left their homeland.  They were accepted for registration in the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1973.

Body Type:

  • A powerful looking dog with a distinctive, bear-like expression.
  • The tail is set high and curls forward over the back.  It is never altered.
  • The ears are erect and are not altered.
  • Bones are very thick and strong.

Coat:

  • Thick, double coat of short to medium length lies close to the body.
  • In Japan, the all white Akita is revered.
  • In the United States and Britain, parti-colors and brindles are not only allowed—they are preferred.  These coat varieties are not permissible at Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) sponsored shows, which are governed by the standard accepted by the dog’s native Japan.
  • Moderate grooming.
  • Not an excessive shedder.

Health and Wellness:

  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.
  • Gastric dilatation and volvulus syndrome (GDV, also commonly called bloat).
  • Atrial septal defect.
  • Polyarthritis.
  • Congenital deafness.
  • Metabolic bone disease.
  • Uveodermatologic syndrome.
  • Pemphigus foliaceus.
  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).

What you should know:

  • The Akita was officially declared a national treasure in Japan in 1931.
  • The first Akita in the United States was a gift to Helen Keller from the Japanese people.  He was named Kamikaze but she always referred to him as her angel in fur.
  • In 1995, the already popular breed gained even more attention for its part in the Nicole Brown Simpson murder case.