||Akita Inu, Great Japanese Dog, Japanese Akita
Living with a Akita
Temperament: Akitas are docile, alert and courageous dogs that may show signs of aggression towards other dogs. They are very affectionate with their family.
Family Dog: Akitas do not make wonderful family pets. They should definitely be supervised around other animals and especially children. Akitas are usually good with children in their own family but may be hesitant to accept children they do not know. Akitas may bite if teased and children must be taught not to tease dogs. They may also be possessive around their food.
Shedding: Akitas do shed and shed heavily twice a year.
Grooming: The coarse, short-haired coat of the Akita needs plenty of grooming. The coat should be brushed with a firm bristle brush. Akitas should be bathed only when necessary to avoid stripping the natural oils and waterproofing of the coat.
Training: Akitas need firm training as puppies.
Barking: Akitas like to vocalize and make many interesting sounds but are not classified as excessive barkers.
Exercise: Akitas require plenty of regular exercise to stay in shape. Long daily walks are recommended for this breed.
Living Conditions: Akitas can be apartment dogs provided they have sufficient time each day for exercise. Akitas are moderately active inside. A large yard with a fence will suit the Akita best.
Appearance: The Akita is a large, powerful, well-proportioned and distinctive looking dog with a broad head, small eyes and erect ears. The Akita's tail is curled up over the back.
Size: Male Akitas should be 26 to 28 inches tall and weigh between 75 to 120 pounds. Females should be 24 to 26 inches tall and weigh around 75 to 110 pounds.
Head: The head of the Akita is large and triangular in shape yet still in proportion with the rest of the body. The top of the head between the ears is flat.
Nose: The Akita's nose is broad and black in color except on white Akitas where the nose may be liver-colored.
Eyes: The Akita's eyes should be small, triangular in shape and dark brown in color. The rims should be black and tight around the eyes.
Ears: The Akita's ears are a well-known characteristic of the breed. They should be small, erect and triangular in shape and slightly rounded at the tip. They should be set widely spaced upon the head and just long enough to be folded forward and touch the upper eye rim.
Muzzle: The Akita's muzzle is broad and full and short in length.
Teeth/Bite: The Akita has a square and very powerful jaw with black lips and a pink tongue. The Akita's teeth should be strong forming a scissors bite.
Neck: The neck of an Akita should be thick, muscular and short in length. The neck should widen gradually blending into the shoulders.
Body: The Akita's body is longer than it is tall. Their chest is wide with well sprung ribs and well developed brisket. The Akita's back should be level with a firmly muscled loin.
Forequarters: The Akita's shoulders are strong, powerful with moderate layback. The forelegs should be straight when viewed from front with the pastern at a 15 degree angle forward from the vertical. The Akita's front dewclaws are usually not removed.
Hindquarters: The Akita's rear legs should be muscular and larger when compared to the front legs. The thighs should be well-developed with the stifle moderately bent, hocks well let down and facing forward. The Akita's rear dewclaws are usually removed.
Gait: Akitas have a quick and powerful stride of moderate length. The rear and front legs move in line with each other.
Feet: The Akita has cat-like feet with thick pads that face straight forward.
Tail: The Akita's tail is carried over the back or against the flank in a three-quarter, full or double curl. It should dip to or just slightly below the back line. The Akita's tail should be full and large with coarse, straight hair free from the appearance of a plume.
Color: Akitas can come in any color. Pure white, red, sesame, brindle and pinto Akitas are the most common. The color should be bright with clear markings that are well balanced with or without mask or blaze.
Coat: The Akita has a double coat with thick, protective undercoat that is soft and dense in texture. The outer coat is straight, waterproof and harsh in texture. The coat on the head, legs and ears is short in length. The coat on the withers and rump should be approximately 2 inches in length, just slightly longer than the coat on the rest of body. The coat on the tail is longest in length.
Category: Group Northern, AKC Working Group
Life Expectancy: Akitas generally live to be about 10-12 years of age.
Characteristics: Akitas are great guard dogs. According to stories Japanese mothers would often leave their family Akita in charge of the children when they were away from the home.
Health: Akitas are prone to hip dysplasia, thyroid both hypothyroid and autoimmune thyroiditis, immune diseases (VKH and Pemphigus), skin conditions including SA and eyes (PRA, Micro, entropion) patella and other problems with the knee.
Litter Size: Akitas typically have between 3 - 12 puppies per litter with the average size being 7 or 8.
History: Akitas are native to the island of Honshu located in the Akita region of Japan. The Akita is still the national dog of Japan where it is designated as a Natural Monument. Akitas have been breed for many uses. They were first used as an Imperial guard dog. Later they were used in fighting, hunting, sledding, to assist police and in army and guard work. In Japan, miniature statues of the Akita are sent to ill individuals as a sign for speedy recovery. The Akita was first brought to the United States by Helen Keller.