The Akita is often compared to a Bear; however another animal that he resembles more closely is the wolf. Both are fierce protectors, strong and resilient. Let’s take a look at side by side comparisons of the Akita VS Wolf. We’ll see how the two stack up in regard to: appearance, size, color, aggressiveness and stats. There are a lot of different wolves, all part of the Canidae family (which includes dogs), so we will look at the Akita and the popular Grey Wolf.
Akita Inu VS Wolf
Group: Spitz Canis lupus – Mammal
Origin: Japan America - Ancestors traveled via the Bering Land Bridge
which used to connect Alaska and Eastern Siberia. They
then populated Europe.
Life Span: 10-12 years 8-13 years in the wild, 16 years in captivity
Weight: 70-130 pounds (32-59 kg) 40-130 pounds (18-59 kg)
Height (at shoulder): 22.8-28 inches (58-71 cm) 25-30 inches (63.5-76cm)
Note: While they can reach the same top weight (American Akita and wolf), since the wolf is slightly taller, he is a bit more lean, while the Akita holds more bulk... He is wider and holds a bit more muscle.
Speed (top speeds): 25 mph 35 mph
Note: These are top speeds at short bursts.
Bite Pressure: 350 pounds per square inch 950 pounds per square inch
Litter Size: 3-12 4-6
Communication: Barking, mumbling Howling, growling, whimpering, whining, barking
The main goal, when the Akita was developed, was to create a guard dog. Now, he is a wonderful companion dog, but that aggression is an inbred trait. While each dog will vary, it is clear that the majority of Akitas will not tolerate another Akita, especially one of the same gender. They will often be aggressive toward other dogs, especially if they are protecting their own property.
Smaller animals are at risk, this includes wild creatures such as squirrels and household pets such as hamsters. Many will say that this breed is aggressive toward children; however most owners will tell you that youngsters in the household are protected and loved by this dog. Those who are seen as outsiders may cause irritation and for this reason there should be supervision.
This behavior can be greatly affected by training and whether the dog is encouraged or taught to use control.
The world of the wolf is often misunderstood. When the Alpha is challenged for his place as leader, a vicious fight can take place; however sometimes he will step down graciously and offer the position. The loser is often make to leave the pack. They are very protective of their territory. It can range from 300 to 1000 square miles. If an animal encroaches upon them, even a larger one such as a bear, they will protect. When a pack works as one, the offender often retreats. Fighting most often occurs with coyotes. Foxes are often ignored. Interestingly, the wolf and the dog can mate together, producing a hybrid…But this is almost always done in captivity. In the wild, a domesticated dog such as the Akita would be seen as an intruder.
Temperament towards humans is often misunderstood. They will generally only attack people if that person is injured. Although they are aggressive, they often wait until a human is vulnerable.
The Akita is an omnivore, eating meats, vegetables, fruits and grains. Looking back in history, they were hunters, taking down deer and bear (with the help of humans) and could catch smaller prey such as hares, certain birds and were known to help pull in heavy fishing nets. Due to their unique digestive system, a 1 day fast, once a week is highly recommended to allow the body to rest and cleanse itself. On this day, only lights foods such as fruits are given.
The average adult can maintain body weight with 2 to 3 cups of blended foods.
The wolf is primarily a carnivore. They are large enough and fierce enough to take down moose and caribou. They will also hunt down smaller animals including rabbits, birds, rodents and fish. When living close to civilization, they will attack farm animals. They will only eat a small amount of fruit if meat is not available. The Grey wolf eats up to 7 lbs. of meat each day; however only 2.5 is needed to survive. Their bodies are designed to be able to ingest as much as 22 lbs. and then go for up to 2 weeks without any food at all.
The Akita Inu is classified as either the same breed with 2 different varieties or as 2 separate distinct breeds: Japanese and the American. They will depend on which country you live in.
The American color is always 2 toned, sometimes 3. Those who appear solid will actually have one color of inner coat, different from the outer coat. Colors include: White, silver, red, pinto, fawn, brown, and black. Markings include brindle, which is a striping.
The Japanese Akita color is a bit simpler. It includes: Brindle, red and white. The reds and brindles will have white markings on several areas of the body including tail, interior of the legs, underbelly, and face…These patterns are called Urajiro.
Despite the name, the Grey wolf can vary in coat color. Roughly 33% are black. A small percentage are a brown or white with brown markings. Those in Europe tend to have a black saddle (coloring across the back). There are misconceptions about eyes; with many movies, posters and other merchandise showing bright blue eyes. The truth is that most have brown, orange, green or yellow eye coloring. Only young pups have blue and that will change as they grow.
For the Akita Inu, average life expectancy is 11 years. Health issues that eventually cause fatalities are cancer and heart failure. Bloat is also a risk for this breed and that is why feeding a proper diet is so important.
For the wolf, the life span out in the wild is very short; only 8 years on average. This is due to wounds received (including human traps), starvation and fatal injuries from other wolves while fighting for Alpha positions. A smaller number succumb to parvo and mange.
Some well known sayings about these different animals:
Akita: "Gentle in the heart, but brave and strong on the surface."
Wolf: "From a distance, the wolf is beautiful but nearby they are a predator"
The Akita is seen as a National Monument in Japan. Small statues of this breed are abundant there, given often as gifts to symbolize wishes of good health and happiness.
The wolf has long been regarded as the symbol of a teacher. Native Americans revered them; using their forms in totem poles.