The American Akita was developed in Japan as a versatile guardian and hunting dog. Early references to the breed date from the seventeenth century on the Island of Honshu.
General Description Of American Akita
- Year of AKC recognition: 1972
- Group: Working
- Size: Males-26-28inches; females-24-26inches
- Coat: Double coat with a harsh outer coat and a dense undercoat
- Color: All colors, including brindle and pinto (white with colored patches on the head and body)
- Life expectancy: 10-1 3 years
- Activity level: Moderate. Akita need daily exercise, but use caution in hot weather. They should be exercised on leash or in a secured area, as their hunting instincts cause them to roam.
- Grooming: Akitas are noted for their fastidious habits and wiIl groom themselves like cats. They should be brushed daily during heavy shedding in spring and fail; brush weekly at other times.
- Temperament: The American Akita possesses the courage, perseverance, and fortitude to hunt large, dangerous quarry such as boar and bear.
The breed is equally skilled at hunting small prey and retrieving waterfowl, and it has been used in its native Japan to drive fish into nets.
Akitas are typically loyal and devoted to their families but reserved and dignified with strangers. They are strong willed and protective, with good guardian instincts.
Puppy socialization is essential to ensure that they are tolerant of strangers. Akita temperament varies from calm to dominant, and care should be taken when introducing them to children and other pets.
- Parent club: Akita Club of America (www.akitaclub.org); founded in 1956
- Buyer’s advice from parent club: Akita ownership is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. Be prepared to invest time and effort into training and socializing your dog.
- Regional clubs: There are over thirty-five US breed clubs listed on the parent club’s Web site on the ”Akita Clubs” page under”Akita Info.”
- Rescue: The Akita Club of America lists rescue group information on its Web site under” Rescue.”
History/Origin Of American Akita
At one time, Akita ownership was restricted to Japan’s imperial family and ruling aristocracy. It is one of seven Japanese breeds designated as a Natural nument in its native land.
The breed came to America’s attention in 1937 when Helen Keller received an Akita puppy as a gift while Visiting Japan, and the breed’s popularity increased in the United States following World War II, possibly as a result of the dogs’ returning home with US troops.
Significance Of Akita
This is a powerful, imposing, working dog with heavy bone; slightly rectangular proportions; a wide, deep chest; and a level back.
The long, bushy tail is set high and curled over the back.
The head is broad and triangular. The American Akita small eyes and erect ears create a keen, alert expression.