The Akita is believed to be about three hundred years old and was developed as a fighting dog and hunter of large game, as well as a home guardian. In Japan, its image is often used to represent good health. Although the breed almost became extinct several times, Japan has placed an emphasis on maintaining the breed and it is now one of seven breeds that Japan has designated national monuments.
In Japan, breeders worked to restore the old breed, but American soldiers took hybrid dogs home. The largest of the Japanese breeds, the Akita originates in Akita prefecture on the island of Honshu. It has developed along quite different lines in Japan and Europe and in the United States.
TEMPERAMENT and QUALITIES
The National Dog of Japan, they are an immensely powerful and imposing animal with a massive chest and head, suggestive of a bear. Majestic in appearance, the Akita inspires immediate respect. Dignified, aloof and with a fearless temperament the Akita is a no nonsense protector of family and home and must be supervised with visitors and visiting children.
The most outstanding physical characteristics of the Akita are the uniquely positioned ears, rather small, erect and triangular, set to the side of the head and slanting forward, and the tail carried curled over the back. The coat is coarse, harsh and dense and the Akita molts two or three times a year during which time owners may find it difficult to have him inside the house. The colors of the Akita coat are brilliant and clear and markings are clearly defined.
The Akita must receive socialization and training from a very early age if he is to make a satisfactory family pet. Training requires patience and understanding. as they will not be forced to obey.
Not the dog for everyone as akitas tend to be aggressive with other dogs.
Requires an experienced, firm owner in a suburban or rural home.
Large, heavy, and well-balanced dog. Its body is longer that it is tall and the chest is deep. There is a triangular-shaped head with powerful, square jaws. The eyes are small, dark, and triangular while the ears are small and naturally erect. The tail is long and full and carried over the back in a single or double curl. The double coat has a thick, soft undercoat and short, straight, harsh outer coat. It can be any color with a mask or blaze; white Akitas have no mask. Pintos have a white background with patches of color on the head and body.
An athletic dog that requires a great deal of exercise if it is to be a good pet. It is robust, and rarely ill. During its first year, growth should be monitored to ensure it is adequately fed: the Akita needs fairly large meals. The coat is easy to care for, requiring regular brushing but infrequent baths.