Do you already have the most amazing breed in the world? Thinking about adding an Akita to your family?
We have detailed information on every topic that you need to know about. From aggression to weight... From color to life span and everything in-between.
Since ownership of this particular dog involves understanding the unique traits, character, behavior, particular methods of training, grooming and feeding needs… We are devoted offering guidance, tips and material that you will find useful. We are always working on adding additional sections, so enjoy your visit and be sure to come back often.
“Fierce as a Samurai, gentle as a kitten”
“Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked”
“Tender in heart and strong in strength”
"Gentle in the heart, but brave and strong on the surface."
This Breed is One of Many Contradictions
A complex animal with great depth of personality. He is for the true dog lover, for he can never be taken casually. The Akita has one of the most unique personalities and temperament of all purebreds.
One of the remarkable elements regarding this unique dog, is that while he of large stature, his size is combined with the alertness of a terrier-sized dog. Traits are quite amazing as they may seem to be paradoxes. It is no exaggeration to say that:
He is placid but not lazy
He is not aggressive without cause, however he is dominant
He is not a barker, but will be very vocal with you
Often mistaken for being stubborn, he is determined
Independent and self-assured, he appreciates the security of his bond with human family members and will be very happy to spend the entire day with you
Very intelligent; in regards to training he is not satisfied with just the “what” , the Akita dog also wants to know “why”.
One of the aspects most confusing to many, including owners, is rank. Akitas are very conscious of stature.
They will take their place as leader of the home if their human does not step up as the pack leader. It is instinct and part of their dominant nature.
Bred for generations for strong will, courage, determination and intelligence…This focus has given us an exceptional guard dog and truly devoted companion.
Within the privacy of your home, he may behave silly and be open to any games that you have devised… In public, he is the embodiment of a distinguished, noble companion.
Japanese VS American
Some countries consider the 2
to be separate and distinct. Others consider them to be the same breed,
but 2 different types. For this reason, we are dedicated to offering
you detailed information regarding both. You will find this to be an
excellent resource for both enthusiasts and potential owners.
COLOR [Am]: All colors accepted, all will be parti (no solids) except for white
[Jp] Red, fawn, sesame, brindle, white. All with Urajiro markings (white on sides of muzzle, cheeks, jaw, neck, chest, body, tail and inner leg)
LIFE SPAN: 10 to 12 years
GESTATION TIME: 58 to 60 days
LITTER SIZE: 7 on average, range of 3-12 considered to be within normal range.
The colors of the American can be any of a wide variety…There are no solids (except for white). Most commonly seen will be a 2 or 3 part combination of the following:
Patterns will include pinto and brindle.
Markings will include mask. Hooded is a possibility.
Overlays may be present – a dark tipping of guard hairs over a solid base.
The Akita has a Powerful, Proud Presence
The coat is thick, the tail is curled and dense. The head, which is the hallmark of their appearance, is in balance with the body…The tail large enough to counterbalance.
The face is free of wrinkles, with a wide flat skull. Ears are wide set. Eyes are dark brown, triangle shaped and stand erect (after the pup has matured). When pulled forward, they should just touch the upper eye rim. Nose is broad and black is preferred, however some will be a dark grey (whites may be liver).
Lips are black and tight. Tongue is pink (some are spotted). Teeth are set in a scissor bite – uppers touch and engage with lower incisors.
The fur is specified to be 2” long, however this can actually range from 1.5 to 2” depending on the season. Longcoats are a variation of the standard; this gene is present in all Akitas and a pup with this slightly longer fur (3”) are born occasionally.
Each different breed that exists is predisposed to certain diseases; this breed is no exception. Keeping an eye out for the early symptoms of these health issues is a crucial step toward a fast recovery and optimal reach of life span which is on average 11 years, with a span of 10 to 12 being the expected range. However, some reach well into the teens.
A number of diseases are common for this breed including Microcytosis, Autoimmune Hypothyroidtis, Bloat, Hip Dysplasia, Luxating Patella, Eye disorders, Summer Stress and Vestibular Syndrome and others. Scheduling and keeping regular visits with the veterinarian will only be 1 part of keeping your Akita healthy. Read and learn about each of the issues that this breed is prone to so that you can be armed with the knowledge to help him or her when they need you the most. We discuss symptoms, diagnosis, prevention and treatment options in our Health section.
The Akita does well in just about any peaceful environment, from small apartments to large farms. Many are slightly claustrophobic and do not like being confined to very small areas such as a crate. They are not overly hyper and too much exercise can lead to stress; however they need at least 1 good walk per day at a moderately brisk pace. Prone to bloat, meals should be spread out to 2 per day, with a fasting done 1 day per week with only specific foods and no heavy activity should be expected within 1 hour of meals.
See Also: Bloat | Feeding
Points of Interest
Well-known for his ability to hunt down both bears and deer… What is less known is that they did other tasks including helping to pull in fishing nets.
The Akita was such an affectionate guard dog to royalty, that the breed came to be a revered symbol of good health and prosperity.
Most know about the legends that females were used to babysit children in remote mountain settlements. Though gaining a reputation and stereotype for possible aggressiveness toward young ones and the fact that many legends are just myths, there are suggestions that this actually may be true. Witnesses have come forward and stated that they have actually seen this and they claim that it is still practiced in isolated villages.
The “Inu” that is sometimes added to the name simply means “dog”.
While it is true that the famous Helen Keller was given an Akita in 1937 (named Kamikaze-Bo – Kami for short), the very first to be registered in the United States was Taro, a male brought into the country by a military officer. He lived with a family in Montana, but never produced a litter.
Many get along extremely well with family cats, but not with any feline that is an outsider.
They have a very high pain threshold; and this can sometimes be an issue since they will often not show any signs of discomfort when ill or injured.
Many new owners are surprised by the jumping ability the Akita has, a full grown adult can easily leap over a 3 foot fence; many smaller dogs can do this, but the Akita is the only large breed that is so nimble. This particular action is often referred to as the Hunting Leap, as he springs into the air and lands on all four feet, with muzzle ‘on point’, thus in position to trap prey. If a person is to witness this, it will most often happen when in tall grass or in the snow.
Grooming, Shedding & Important Care
It is sad to see Akitas that are not groomed properly…without proper grooming (which includes dental care, nail trimming and more) issues can develop that can cause a dog to feel uncomfortable or irritated at best…and develop serious problems such as infections at worst. Part of being a responsible owner is providing superior grooming care. If you have questions about baths, shedding, nail care, skin issues and more you will want to read our Grooming and Shedding sections.
The coat is a double layer (although some have triple layers).
Thorough brushing should be done 1 time per week, more during the twice a
year shed (referred to as blowing the coat). Fur is rather water
resistant and will require extensive soaking for lather to be properly
dispersed; baths are given 1 time per month. Nails are trimmed as
needed (usually 1 time per month). Daily dental care at home is highly
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Anyone who doesn't know what soap tastes like surely has never washed a dog."