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Longcoat Akitas
There are several theories about how the long coat Akita came to be.   Along the interesting route of this dog's history, one of the most well-known theories is the belief that in 1905, the long coat gene was introduced into the bloodline.   Many believed that this happened to due to a crossing of the Akita breed with the Karafuto. 

The proof, some say, is that an area of land that was previously unavailable to the Japanese, opened up to them for travel in 1905 after they won the territory back during the Russo-Japanese war.

longcoat AkitaAt that time, a respected breeder and author named Mutsuo Okada reported that a large number of men from the Akita region crossed the ocean to arrive in Karafuto, the home land of that dog breed.

While this does not mean that cross breeding was done, those who back this theory note that the Karafuto dog breed has long fur.

Since this version of the Akita tend to be slightly bigger boned than their counterparts (particularly more noticeable during the puppy years)…

And they also have some of the behavioral characteristics the Karafuto breed is known for…This lends support to this theory.

Behavior

While one may at first assume that the only difference between long and short coats is the length of the fur, there are actually very obvious personality traits that differ.

Longs tend to be a bit more laid back and generally have a more even-tempered disposition and personality.  They tend to be more obedient and willing to please their owners.

All other characteristics are the same, both will have an instinct to protect their human family members, both quietly watch for any threats while seemingly relaxing without a care in the world, and both will make for good watch guards.

Breeding

While some have claimed to have a rare find…An Akita that does not carry the longcoat gene, there has never  in the history of breeding been 1 proven case of an Akita that does not carry the gene.  All do.  One may have many litters with no longs, but it would happen given enough time…or that dam or sire’s offspring, handed down the gene, would produce a long.

No one can predict when a longcoat will be thrown.  A litter of 5 may have 1 or 4…or none.  If anyone claims to have a dog that is free from this gene, it is a mis-truth.

Genetic conclusions must be based on a minimum of 100 pups in order to be accepted as fact.

long haired AkitaLength

There is some misconception about the appearance of a longcoat Akita.  Some who are familiar with the Yorkshire Terrier or the Shih Tzu will have a tendency to to think about those dogs in “show cuts” whose hair hangs long enough to touch the ground.

However, with this breed there is only a negligible difference.   Short coats vary between 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) and this does vary depending on whether a shedding has just occurred….

And the hairs are likely to to be longer in colder month.  The long haired will have a length that ranges from 3 to 3.5 inches (7.6 to 8.9 cm) long.  There is often a longer mane, which gives a lion-like appearance.   Overall, this gives the dog a fuller look, making him look bulkier with a denser coat.  Many who compare this breed to looking like a bear, often do so when seeing a longcoat…he looks more like a Grizzly!

It should be noted that per AKC standard, the coat will be approximately 2 inches on the withers (shoulders) and rump and a tad shorter over the rest of the body…Any ruff or feathering is considered a fault…Therefore this means that this variety will not meet the standards for appearance and are not put into show; they do however make wonderful pets, companions for families of any size.

Grooming

The only major difference in regard to grooming will be that the longer hairs, left unkempt, may become matted (tangled).  This can be avoided by thoroughly brushing deep through the fur, all over the body, at least 2 times per week.  It is recommended to add a leave-in conditioner to protect the fur and keep it soft, which help prevent it from tending to tangle.  As with all, overexposure to direct, bright sunlight may cause some discoloration, ranging from light to dark in the rust shades.  All other elements such as baths, nail care, ear cleaning and dental care will remain the same.



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