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Also known as: American Akita

Breed origin: Japan
Original purpose: Versatile hunting dog in the rugged mountains of Northern Japan.

AKC recognized: 1972
AKC group: Working

Size: Weight: males 90 to 110 lbs; females 70 to 100 lbs
Size: Height: males 26 to 28 inches; females 24 to 26 inches
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Color: Any color including white, brindle, or pinto, with or without mask or blaze (except that white Akitas have no mask).

Life span: 10 to 15 years.

General characteristics/temperament: Akitas are large, powerful, alert and responsive, dignified and courageous. Bred as a versatile hunting dog in the rugged mountains of Northern Japan, the breed is a wonderful combination of dignity with good nature, alert courage and docility. They are often aloof toward strangers, but form strong family bonds. Because Akitas are highly intelligent, strong-willed and proud, they respond better to training techniques that rely on motivation rather than force. They have a tendency to be aggressive toward other dogs and will not tolerate a challenge from another dog, but may get along well with some dogs of the opposite sex that respect them. They will instinctively guard your home, which means they require extensive socialization so that they learn that not all strangers are threats.

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Good with children? Possible with proper socialization and training. May become overly protective of the family children if their playmates play too rough with them.

Good with other dogs? Not always. Some may be aggressive towards other dogs.

Good with cats? No, some may be aggressive towards cats.

Good watchdog? Yes

Protective? Naturally

OK for inexperienced owners? No

OK in apartments? Possible but only if you can provide adequate exercise.

© Steamroller (Andrey Yakovlev) |
Intelligent? Yes

Easy to train? No

Energy/Activity Level: Moderate

Suitable canine sports/activities: obedience, weight pulling, backpacking, tracking

Exercise requirement: The Akita's exercise requirements are moderate. They will be happy with a good walk or jog, and are not an overly hyper breed.

Grooming requirement: Despite having a thick double coat, Akitas tend to be clean with not much of a "doggy" odor. Dirt tends to dry and fall off a proper Akita coat, and they can often be seen grooming themselves in a cat-like manner. However, they will shed excessively twice a year when the fur will come out in clumps all over your house. Frequent brushing during the shedding season will help reduce the amount of vacuuming you will need to do. The upside is that during the rest of the year there will be almost no shedding at all.

Known health problems: Gastric dilatation volvulus, autoimmune diseases, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, hyperkalaemia, sensitivity to anaesthesia, canine herpesvirus.

Additional photos of Akita

Recommended books for further reading:

Akitas (Complete Pet Owner's Manual)
By Dan Rice, D.V.M.
Published in 2007
96 pages

Akita: Treasure of Japan (Volume II)
By Barbara Bouyet, Alicia Meyers, Steve Eltinge, and Dr. Jean Dodds
Published in 2002
500 pages

Akita (Comprehensive Guide)
By Barbara J. Andrews and Meg Purnell-Carpenter
Published in 2004
160 pages

Akitas (A New Owner's Guide)
By Barbara J. Andrews
Published in 1996
160 pages

Show more books

Other websites for additional information:

American Kennel Club breed page
Akita Club of America
Wikipedia breed information page
Akita Club of America Rescue

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Page Last Updated: February 1, 2018

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