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.