About Breed

Akita


Available Pets

Weight: 65–130 pounds

Height: 23–28 inches

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.

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

Alert and responsive, dignified and courageous. Akitas may be intolerant of other dogs, particularly of the same sex.

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.