Guard Dog
Guard Dog
AKC Registrable
AKC Registrable

Akita

Akita is muscular, double-coated dogs of ancient Japanese lineage famous for her dignity, courage, and loyalty. In her native land, she's venerated as family protectors and symbols of good health, happiness, and long life.

  • Disposition
  • Trainability
  • Energy
  • Grooming
  • Size

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Breed Info

Heritage

Originated on the island of Honshu in the region of Akita in Japan. With strong inborn guarding instincts, this breed is often used for military use and as a police K9. A talented hunting dog, their soft mouth makes this breed a great waterfowl retrieval dog, able to work tirelessly in inclement weather.

Description

Large, 24-28” at the shoulders, weighing anywhere from 75-120 pounds. Thick double-coat in all colors including brindle, pinto and white. Small eyes, characteristic erect ears, and a full curled tail on a substantial and muscular body.

Health Awareness

The Akita has a life expectancy of 10-12 years. This breed is also prone to hip dysplasia; thyroid disorders; skin and eye problems; patella and knee issues.

Exercise/Energy Level

Very active. Requires a daily brisk walk combined with running in the yard.

Additional Information

 Grooming Requirements:   Heavy double coat requiring daily brushing; outer coat is coarse with an under coat that is soft and dense. Bathe only when necessary; bathing diminishes the coat's natural water resistance.  Coat: Heavy double coat requiring daily brushing; outer coat is coarse with an under coat that is soft and dense. Bathe only when necessary; bathing diminishes the coat's natural water resistance.  Shedding: Heavy shedding twice per year.  Hypoallergenic: No, due to shedding  Apartment Living: Good for apartment living if given sufficient exercise  Lap Dog: No  Good With Children: Does best with children when raised together from puppyhood. May tolerate your own children, but this breed is not likely to accept other children. They don't like the unpredictable behavior of children. The Akita has strong guarding instincts, including over their food. Start to work on preventing food guarding when the dog is a puppy and keep children away from the breed's food bowl.  Good With Other Pets: Not good and can be aggressive toward other dogs and pets.

Breed Standard

General Appearance

Large, powerful, alert, with much substance and heavy bone. The broad head, forming a blunt triangle, with deep muzzle, small eyes and erect ears carried forward in line with back of neck, is characteristic of the breed. The large, curled tail, balancing the broad head, is also characteristic of the breed.

Head

Massive but in balance with body; free of wrinkle when at ease. Skull flat between ears and broad; jaws broad and powerful with minimal dewlap. Head forms a blunt triangle when viewed from above. Fault--Narrow or snipey head. Muzzle--Broad and full. Distance from nose to stop is to distance from stop to occiput as 2 is to 3. Stop--Well defined, but not too abrupt. A shallow furrow extends well up forehead. Nose--Broad and black. Black noses on white Akitas preferred, but a lighter colored nose with or without shading of black or gray tone is acceptable. Disqualification-- partial or total lack of pigmentation on the nose surface. Ears--The ears of the Akita are characteristic of the breed. They are strongly erect and small in relation to rest of head. If ear is folded forward for measuring length, tip will touch upper eye rim. Ears are triangular, slightly rounded at tip, wide at base, set wide on head but not too low, and carried slightly forward over eyes in line with back of neck. Disqualification--Drop or broken ears. Eyes--Dark brown, small, deep-set and triangular in shape. Eye rims black and tight. Lips and Tongue--Lips black and not pendulous; tongue pink. Teeth--Strong with scissors bite preferred, but level bite acceptable. Disqualification--Noticeably undershot or overshot.

Neck, Topline, Body

Neck - Thick and muscular; comparatively short, widening gradually toward shoulders. A pronounced crest blends in with base of skull. Body - Longer than high, as to 10 is to 9 in males; 11 to 9 in bitches. Measurement from the point of the sternum to the point of buttocks. Chest wide and deep; reaching down to the elbow, the depth of the body at the elbow equals half the height of the dog at the withers. Ribs well sprung, brisket well developed. Level back with firmly-muscled loin and moderate tuck-up. Skin pliant but not loose. Serious Faults - Light bone, rangy body.

Tail

Large and full, set high and carried over back or against flank in a three-quarter, full, or double curl, always dipping to or below level of back. On a three-quarter curl, tip drops well down flank. Root large and strong. Tail bone reaches hock when let down. Hair coarse, straight and full, with no appearance of a plume. Disqualification--Sickle or uncurled tail.

Forequarters

Shoulders strong and powerful with moderate layback. Forelegs heavy-boned and straight as viewed from front. Angle of pastern 15 degrees forward from vertical. Faults - Elbows in or out, loose shoulders.

Hindquarters

Width, muscular development and bone comparable to forequarters. Upper thighs well developed. Stifle moderately bent and hocks well let down, turning neither in nor out. Dewclaws - On front legs generally not removed; dewclaws on hind legs generally removed. Feet - Cat feet, well knuckled up with thick pads. Feet straight ahead.

Coat

Double-coated. Undercoat thick, soft, dense and shorter than outer coat. Outer coat straight, harsh and standing somewhat off body. Hair on head, legs and ears short. Length of hair at withers and rump approximately two inches, which is slightly longer than on rest of body, except tail, where coat is longest and most profuse. Fault-Any indication of ruff or feathering.

Color

Any color including white; brindle; or pinto. Colors are rich, brilliant and clear. Markings are well balanced, with or without mask or blaze. White Akitas have no mask. Pinto has a white background with large, evenly placed patches covering head and more than one-third of body. Undercoat may be a different color from outer coat.

Gait

Brisk and powerful with strides of moderate length. Back remains strong, firm and level.

Disqualifications

Any Brittany measuring under 17½ inches or over 20½ inches. A black nose. Black in the coat.

Temperament

Courageous, Dignified, Profoundly Loyal

Overview

Group

Working

About

Akitas are burly, heavy-boned spitz-type dogs of imposing stature. Standing 24 to 28 inches at the shoulder, Akitas have a dense coat that comes in several colors, including white. The head is broad and massive, and is balanced in the rear by a full, curled-over tail. The erect ears and dark, shining eyes contribute to an expression of alertness, a hallmark of the breed. Akitas are quiet, fastidious dogs. Wary of strangers and often intolerant of other animals, Akitas will gladly share their silly, affectionate side with family and friends. They thrive on human companionship. The large, independent-thinking Akita is hardwired for protecting those they love. They must be well socialized from birth with people and other dogs.

History

Akitas are Japan’s entry in the ancient canine clan of spitz-type dogs bred around the world on the globe’s northern latitudes. The breed as we know it was developed in the early 17th century in the Akita prefecture of northern Japan. It is said that the emperor banished a wayward nobleman to the prefecture, the northernmost province of the island of Honshu, where the nobleman was ordered to live out his days as a provincial ruler. As it happens, this exiled aristocrat was an ardent dog man and encouraged the barons under his sway to compete in the breeding of a large, versatile hunting dog. Generations of selective breeding produced the Akita, a powerful hunter with a strong work ethic and stout heart who worked in packs on such big game as wild boar, deer, and the fearsome Yezo bear. Owning Akitas was once restricted to the imperial family and their court. In more recent times, just plain folks the world over have employed their Akitas as world-class family guardians. Akitas have for centuries been the object of myth and legend and occupy a special place in Japanese culture. When a child is born, the parents will usually receive an Akita figurine signifying happiness and long life, in keeping with an old Japanese tradition. A famously loyal Akita of the 1920s named Hachiko is among Japan’s most cherished symbols. Various times during the Akita’s long history, the breed teetered on the brink of extinction. To ensure the Akita’s survival, a Japanese national breed club was founded in 1927. Helen Keller is credited with bringing the first Akita to the United States, a gift she received while visiting Japan. Akitas caught on in America after WWII, when returning GIs brought them back from the Pacific. The breed entered the AKC Stud Book in 1972.

Standard

Large, powerful, alert, with much substance and heavy bone. The broad head, forming a blunt triangle, with deep muzzle, small eyes and erect ears carried forward in line with back of neck, is characteristic of the breed. The large, curled tail, balancing the broad head, is also characteristic of the breed.

Nutrition

The Akita should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior).Some breed experts recommend that Akitas aged 7 years and older be fed a “light” or less calorie-dense diet as a defense against possible onset of kidney disease.

Grooming

Akitas tend to be clean and have little “doggy odor.” They don’t require extensive grooming, but their thick, luxurious double coat should be brushed at least once a week to look its best. Although Akitas shed only minimally most of the time, expect their dense undercoat to “blow” twice a year, where it will shed so profusely that it comes out in clumps all over your house. During this time it helps to brush the dog more frequently to get rid of the dead coat. The nails should also be trimmed regularly, as overly long nails can cause pain and problems for the dog. Remember also to brush the dog’s teeth often to ensure dental health.

Exercise

The Akita is generally not a highly active breed but does require moderate exercise. A jog or brisk walk around the block at least once a day can meet the needs of most individuals of the breed. Akitas also enjoy playing energetically. Although they are large dogs — males often weigh more than 100 pounds — with sufficient daily exercise Akitas can do well in a relatively small home. They are hardy dogs bred to withstand the harsh outdoor conditions of northern Japan, but they were bred as housedogs and guardians as well as hunters, and adapt very well to life in the home.

Training

Akitas are very intelligent and loyal but also have an independent, headstrong nature. As large and very powerful dogs, it is vital that they are trained consistently, beginning in puppyhood. They are instinctive guardians, so it’s especially important that Akitas have early and extensive socialization when young. They must learn to accept a wide variety of strangers and not perceive them as a threat. Because of their independence and strong prey drive, they should never be off lead in an unsecured area. Akitas tend to be aggressive toward other dogs, particularly of the same sex, and extreme caution should be used in canine interactions.

Health

Like many dogs, Akitas can experience bloat, a sudden, life-threatening condition where the stomach can twist without veterinary intervention. Bloat is a medical emergency, and Akita owners should learn to recognize the signs. Prospective owners should be sure to work with a reputable breeder who tests his or her breeding stock for health concerns such as eye and thyroid disorders, and hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joints that can cause pain and arthritis.

Trivia

Did you know?

Helen Keller brought the first Akita to the USA in 1937 The Akita is designated a national monument in Japan There are two types of Akita, the American Akita and the Akita Inu This breed is considered a good luck charm in Japan. Gifts of Akita statues are given when babies are born or to people as a wish of good health.