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Breed Characteristics

The Akita is the largest of the Japanese dog breeds and comes in all colours, ranging from white to brindle. A solid, powerful, assertive, independent, and headstrong dog; this is a dog that requires a seasoned handler. With the proper obedience, love, and socialization, he will become a very loyal family dog who is happy to be involved in your daily activities.

The Akita does not generally do well interacting with other dogs because it has a strong instinct to become dominant. It is important to socialize this dog at an early age. Early interaction with other dogs, children, and cats is important if this is to become a regular part of their lives. He requires daily exercise and regular weekly grooming. The Akita does shed heavily during the twice yearly shedding season.

Breed History

The Akita dates back over three hundred years to the Island of Honshu in the region of Akita, Japan. A 4,000 year old archeological dig brought forward records that show a dog called the "peat dog" with clear similarities to the present day Akitas. Originally bred as a fighting dog, they were also popular for hunting bear, boar, and deer.

The Akita is highly revered in Japan. The skins of the deceased dogs were often hung in the Japanese houses as a sign of respect, and to serve as a memory. In 1931 the Japanese government named the Akita a national treasure. The first Akita was brought over to North America by Helen Keller in 1937. Many more of the dogs arrived on North American soil by American servicemen who brought them back with them after serving in Japan during the war. The breed achieved AKC recognition in 1972, and is still used to this day as a guard dog and as a police dog in Japan.

Probably the most famous of all Japanese dogs was an Akita named Haichiko. He would greet his master at the train station every day to walk home with him. When his master died at work, Haichiko continued to show up at the train station. He showed up everyday until he died 9 years later. To this day there is still a statue and an annual ceremony to commemorate the dedication and love of a dog for his master.

Meet the Akita - Akita Inu
by Dakota Dog

The Akita is a large dog weighing between 75 and 120 pounds and up to 28" in height. Of the Japanese Spitz-type breeds, the Akita is the largest. Pronounced AH-ki-ta in Japan and a-KEE-ta in the western world, the Akita is a powerful, top notch watchdog and protector of his family and territory.

The AKC recognizes Akitas in any color including pinto, white or brindle. Colors are clear and brilliant. All white Akitas do not have a mask whereas other colors tend to have one. The soft, undercoat can be a different color than the outer coat. The harsh, thick outer coat requires regular grooming.

This large, energetic dog is extremely protective of family and territory. For this reason, they might be aggressive to other animal and children that they don't know if they feel that their territory is being invaded. They do best with older, well behaved children and are not recommended for children who might mistreat or tease them. They should be kept in a fenced in yard and never allowed to roam free. The Akita can be a loving, affectionate dog when properly treated. Early training and socialization is highly recommended for this breed. They require regular exercise and love to be with their family.

The Akita is a native of Japan and dates back to the 1600s to the Island of Honshu. It is the national dog of Japan and highly revered by the Japanese. You can find statues and Akita art throughout the country. Originally used as a military dog, guard dog and hunting dog, the Akita has not lost these watchdog instincts. Helen Keller was the first person in the US to own an Akita.

A breed with such a high instincts to protect and patrol his surroundings makes for an awesome guard dog. Depending on your family dynamics, the Akita may be ideal for your pet companion needs. Those with lots of other pets or small children might want to do more research before bringing and Akita into your home.

Learn more about dogs and dog care at www.deardoggy.com. You can also visit our Akita page in the dog breeds section of our website for more information.

Akita History and Breeder Information
by Lane Jordan

The Akita, also known as the Akita Inu or Akita-ken, is a large Japanese dog breed. They are named after Akita Precture, which is a region in Northern Japan. In Japan, the Akita is usually referred to as Akita-ken. 'Ken' means 'dog' is Japanese as does 'inu.' Male Akitas usually stand 24 to 28 inches tall and weight approximately 120 pounds. Females usually weigh about 100 pounds. Akitas can be black, brindle, white, fawn, or any combination or variety of these colors. Akita puppies and teens look very similar to Shiba Inus.

Originally, Akitas were bred as a hound dog to round up large game animals throughout the mountains of Japan. Like many hounds, the Akitas disposition is quite complacent and easygoing. While Akitas historically have been used as hounds, the AKC has put them in the Working Group. Akitas only bark when prompted to and are generally very quiet dogs. Relative to other large dogs, Akitas don't require as much exercise which makes them very good house dogs.

Much like the Shiba Inu and other Japanese breeds, the Akita grew nearly instinct during World War II mainly due to lack of food. After the war, the popularity of Akitas exploded as they were generally liked by the occupying forces in Japan because they were by far the largest Japanese breed. Their popularity vastly grew in the coming decades all over the world.

If socialized well, Akitas make agile, friendly, and loyal companions. If not socialized and left alone, they tend to have personality issues that can make them unfriendly dogs. This obviously isn't unique to Akitas, however due to their pack oriented background; an isolated Akita can develop negative personality traits more noticeable than other dogs. If you raise you're Akita with children in a family environment, they will make an outstanding house pet for anyone.

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