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The Akita Information Center
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Akita Size

The Akita size is not clear cut and simple.  It ranges quite a bit and despite the breed standards of some well-known kennel registries, there some that are larger and some that are smaller.

Akita sizeThe AKC standard only gives a guideline for height and does not have separate ranges for each gender…And it does not list out a necessary weight range.   It ranges from 24” to 28 “ (60.9 to 71.1 cm) tall at the shoulder. A dog is not disqualified if he or she is larger and over the 28 “.  

Since the AKC and the CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) only recognize 1 breed, which is comprised of 2 types: American and Japanese, this range would be for both.

In Japan and in many other countries, both types are considered to be separate and distinct.

The FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) which translates to:  the World Canine Federation) is an international Kennel Club based in Belgium.  There are 80 countries which are members.   It is interesting how they produce their standards in regard to size and other conformation elements…Each country writes the standard for a particular dog. It recognized both types as individual and distinct. 

The Japanese type is officially known as the Akita Inu.  The height is:

•    For males it is set between 21.2 to 27.5 inches (64 to 70 cm).
•    For females, 22.8 to 25.2 inches (58 to 64 cm).  

The FCI calls the American type, known by them to be the American Akita (The Great Japanese Dog) and gives him height requirements:

•    For males at 26 to 28 inches (66 to 71 cm).
•    For females, it is 24 to 26 inches (61 to 66 cm).

Again, this is the measurement from floor to shoulder blades and does not take the neck nor head into account (a normal measuring method for all breeds).

The JKC (Japanese Kennel Club) was founded in 1949 but also is a member of the above mentioned FCI.  Therefore, its requirements are the same as above.  Before they joined with the World Canine Federation, there size requirements were slightly different.  The last time that they were updated was in 1955.  They called out for:

•    Males: 26 inches  (67 cm)
•    Females: 24 inches (60.6cm)…And any Akita up to 3 inches shorter or taller were within range.

So, as you can see, not everyone is in agreement with this issue.  It is not as easy as going by your own country’s guidelines, if the dog was imported. For example, someone is France (a member of the FCI) may have imported a Japanese type from an American breeder.  

American Akita sizeAccuracy

Even officials will admit that measuring can sometimes be incorrectly recorded as much as an inch either way.

This is because height can be gained or lost depending on if the dog is relaxed (or drawing down from the wicket – this is a U shaped tool that is placed on the floor and then a movable bar is adjusted to fit firmly on top of the dog’s withers ) or if he is holding his head high .


In regard to size, it is no surprise that there has been some controversy about this as well.  In 1965, a proposal was made to the AKC that a weight be set to be:

•    Males (90 to 140 pounds)

•    Females (70-100 pounds)… But this proposal was turned down and not accepted.

One of the reasons that this was not accepted is because it was not realistic.  If you go onto site or look at reference material that someone just threw there without any knowledge of the breed, you will see the same thing over and over…. 75 to 120 pounds…75 to 130… And so on. Some even say it is common to reach 140 lbs. (63.5 kg).  Those are ranges that someone without real knowledge types into their computer and calls it a day.

Additionally, some breeders embellish estimated size of their puppies in order to close the sale, knowing that potential owners are expecting a very large dog based on the false information that so many uneducated people are printing, and reprinting…and copying…and so on.

It has become so out of control that owners have to wonder if their dog is living up to the so-called weights that are listed by people who do not know the breed at all…Or by sellers who are exaggerating the expected size to make them happy.   

So, with this said, the Akita IS a large dog. There is no doubt there.  He is NOT a giant breed, not by official classification or otherwise.

The Truth

More realistic is 75 to 100 for females, 95 to 120 for males.  With this said, if you take out the exceptions of those few that fall to the very low end or the very high end…The majority will be:  75 to 100 for females, 95 to 115 for males.

Japanese type will be slightly smaller as they have sleeker, thinner bodies.

This is a good, solid weight, offering you a large sized breed. The dog is big enough to have a muscled, strong appearance and live up to his reputation as a great watch dog.  Owners who have dogs who fall in this range should understand that their Akita is actually a completely expected and normal size.

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