breed
breed

Akita

avatarChristy McDowell, LVT, VTS (ECC)

Height24 - 28"
Weight70 - 130 lbs
TypeWorking
Life Expectancy10 - 13 years
Area of OriginJapan

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

The Japanese Akita is an independent and intelligent hunting dog. Bred to seek out large game like deer, bear, and boar, they were called Matagi Inu ("esteemed dog hunter") in their native country. Akitas are very loyal to their families, but may exhibit aggression towards strangers and other animals. Considered one of the most beautiful breeds, the Akita is often said to look like a "teddy bear" as a puppy. But don't be fooled, this puppy grows rapidly into a beautiful and strong adult dog that requires a consistent, strong, and positive handler. Akitas are the pride of a nation, and the Japanese city of Yuzawa holds an annual festival in this breed's honor.

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

Where Are Akitas From?

The Akita is an ancient Japanese breed that is known for their independent, yet protective, nature. They were excellent trackers and hunters of large game, and also esteemed members of the family. The breed was first developed in the 1600s in the Akita sector of the most northern province of Japan (Honshu island). Their thick double coats protected them from the cold climate and defensive attacks of their prey.

In the household, Akitas often watched over the children in their families, and provided protection from unwelcome intruders. When dog fighting became popular in Japan in the 1800s, the Akita was crossed with the Tosa (a Japanese fighting dog) to increase their size and aggressiveness. Over the next century, interest in the breed waned. The Akita came close to extinction during World War II, but thanks to the American troops who smuggled them home, the breed survived.

Where Are Akitas From?

The Akita is an ancient Japanese breed that is known for their independent, yet protective, nature. They were excellent trackers and hunters of large game, and also esteemed members of the family. The breed was first developed in the 1600s in the Akita sector of the most northern province of Japan (Honshu island). Their thick double coats protected them from the cold climate and defensive attacks of their prey.

In the household, Akitas often watched over the children in their families, and provided protection from unwelcome intruders. When dog fighting became popular in Japan in the 1800s, the Akita was crossed with the Tosa (a Japanese fighting dog) to increase their size and aggressiveness. Over the next century, interest in the breed waned. The Akita came close to extinction during World War II, but thanks to the American troops who smuggled them home, the breed survived.

Care

What Kind of Diet Does an Akita Need?

The Akita does well on a high-quality, large-breed diet. The breed is prone to gastric dilatation volvulus, so it may be best to feed them smaller portions and avoid exercise after eating.

Caring for an Akita

What Kind of Diet Does an Akita Need?

How Much Grooming Does an Akita Need?

Are Akitas Healthy Dogs?

How Much Training Does an Akita Need?

How Much Exercise Does an Akita Need?

What Kind of Diet Does an Akita Need?

The Akita does well on a high-quality, large-breed diet. The breed is prone to gastric dilatation volvulus, so it may be best to feed them smaller portions and avoid exercise after eating.

What Are the Physical Characteristics of an Akita?

Akitas are stocky and muscular. The average height is 26 – 28″ for males and 24 – 26″ for females. They generally weigh 70 – 130 pounds.

Akitas have deep-set, dark brown eyes. Their heads are large and broad, with a flat skull. Ears are naturally upright and small when compared to the size of the head.

The deep-chested Akita has a straight and muscular back, with an abdominal tuck when viewed from the side.

Yes. The long, bushy tail of the Akita is carried up and over the back in a trademark three-quarter, full, or double curl.

The forelimbs are thick-boned and straight, and the shoulders are broad and muscular. They have cat-like feet that point forward. Dewclaws are not usually removed.

Akitas come in a variety of colors, including pinto, which is mostly white with large patches of other hues. They may have a mask or blaze marking on their faces. Their coats are short, dense, and double layered for protection against harsh climates.

The hindlimbs are as thick and muscular as the forelimbs. Dewclaws are usually removed.

Akita Facts

1

When a child is born in Japan, a statue of an Akita is commonly given to the family to represent happiness and health.

2

Hachikō was a famous Akita known for a devotion to his owner that extended well beyond the man's death. "Hachi: A Dog's Tale" is the film version of his fascinating story.

3

Helen Keller brought the first Akitas to America, after becoming enamored with the breed on a visit to Japan in 1937.

Other Breeds to Explore

Choosing an Alaskan Malamute
Choosing a Finnish Spitz
Choosing a Samoyed

References

  • Akita Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., 2020.
  • American Kennel Club. The Complete Dog Book. Random House Digital, Inc., 2006.
  • Morris, Desmond. Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of Over 1,000 Dog Breeds. Trafalgar Square, 2002.
  • Wilcox, Bonnie and Chris Walkowicz. The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World. T.F.H Publications, Inc., 1995.

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