The Akita is also known as Akita Inu (Japanese pronunciation: [akʲita.inɯ]) is a large dog breed that originated in the mountains of northern Japan. There are two different varieties of Akita: one is the Japanese strain, usually called Akita Inu (Inu means a dog). And, the other one is an American Akita. The short coat of the Akita dog is similar to many other northern Spitz dogs such as the Siberian Husky. The Akita is a powerful, independent, and dominant breed, It is cautious around strangers but affectionate to family members. As a breed, the Akita is usually very strong.
Pictures of Akita
The History of the Akita
The Akita dog origin comes from Northern Japan. The Akita’s breed is a mixture of a Chow Chow with Japanese Kari and Tosa dogs. A few centuries ago, only the leaders of the country’s empire were the owners of this breed. Akita’s initial job was mainly hunting and guarding. They are swift and powerful dogs and they have the ability to track large animals such as deers, elks, and black bears. The Akita is a loyal and brave dog breed, and the Japanese now use the Akita as a police dog. Japanese parents often give their children a small Akita statue when they are born. Akita is not only a symbol of protection but also a kind of health, happiness, and longevity.
In 1931, the Japanese government declared the Akita Dog as a national historical site and one of Japan’s national treasures. Helen Keller was the first person to bring Akita to the United States. In 1937, she made a comment on her admiration for this breed and hoped to have her own. Her courage inspired the Japanese people and they gave her a puppy named Kamikaze in a respectful manner. Although the puppy died young, she was lucky enough to get a second Akita and enjoyed the company for many years.
Akita Inu vs American Akita
The Akita standard in Japan is different from the Akita standard in the United States. The American Akitas retains more crossbreeding characteristics and is larger and heavier. The head of the American Akitas is looking a lot like a bear. However, the head of the Japanese Akitas is more like a fox. Although American Akitas dogs often have dark face masks, Japanese standards do not allow this.
The Story of Hachiko the Akita
The most known true story of the breeds was about a Professor in Tokyo that was the owner of the dog Hachiko. And, as the story tells, Hachiko who was born in 1931 accompanies the professor on the train every day, returning every afternoon to escort him home. After the professor passed away at work, he kept on walking to the station every day for nine years.
Size and Life Span
The Akita’s Males height is 26 – 28 inches tall and they weigh 85 – 130 pounds in weight. And, the Akita’s Females heigh is 24 – 26 inches tall and they weigh 70 – 110 pounds.
The Akita’s life span is 10 – 12 years of age.
Akita puppies will grow quickly and they need a high-quality, low-calorie diet so that they will not grow too fast. You should feed an Adult Akita dog twice a day, a total of three to five cups of dry food. Make sure to monitor the Akita’s weight gain and discuss any special needs with the veterinarian.
Akitas are relatively clean and have almost no dog smell. They do not need a lot of touch-ups, but you should brush their thick double coat at least once a week to keep them in their best condition. Although their shedding is very minimal, their thick-bottomed coat blows twice a year. During this period, it helps to brush the dog more frequently. You should trim their nails regularly because when they are too long they can cause pain and problems for the dog. Remember to brush your dog’s teeth frequently to ensure healthy teeth.
How to Care for an Akita
The Akitas are happy when they are at home with their families. This breed needs daily exercise and 30 minutes to an hour a day is enough to meet Akita’s needs. That is to say, Walking and jogging with them are the most popular activities. Considering Akita’s tendency to attack other dogs, visiting the dog park may not be a good idea. Due to the high intelligence of this breed, it is best to choose a diverse routine. You do not want an Akita that is bored. And, This leads to behavioral problems such as barking, digging, chewing, and aggressive behavior.
Having a fence in the yard is also important for the safety of the Akita. Although they are usually not aggressive towards people, if their owner is not around, they could definitely be. They are faithful guardians, and they will protect themselves from anything that poses a danger. The Akita’s puppies grow very rapidly between the age of four months to seven months and are therefore prone to bone disease. They perform well in a high-quality, low-calorie diet, which prevents them from growing too fast. In addition, do not let Akita puppies run and play on hard surfaces. However, playing on the grass is fine. Their joints develop in full when they are two years old, until then avoid jumping or jogging on hard surfaces.
The Akita Dogs are happy being the only dog around and they can be aggressive towards other dogs. With proper socialization, they can learn to tolerate other animals, but it is likely to try to and maintain his status as a top dog at all costs. They are loyal and affectionate to their family and friends, but quite territorial for their home and they keep their distance from strangers. They are excellent watchdogs, and they usually only bark when there are certain problems. The Akitas’ large size makes them difficult to control, so they are not suitable for everyone. Also, they have great strength and endurance and they need special training to help channel their energy correctly. However, the breed is very smart and the training needs to be challenging and consistent so that they will stay in focus.
The Health of an Akita
Like many dogs, Akita dogs may experience swelling, which is a sudden, life-threatening condition in which the stomach may become distorted without veterinary intervention. Swelling is a medical emergency, and as an owner, you should learn to recognize these signs. Other potential health conditions are eye and thyroid disease, a hip deformity that can cause pain and arthritis, and hip dysplasia.
Hip dysplasia is a disease in which the dog’s ball and socket do not fit properly or do not develop normally, they will rub and grind instead of sliding smoothly. Over time, this will lead to the ultimate deterioration of the joint’s own function. Some dogs show may experience pain in one or both hind legs, but others show no signs of outward discomfort. Either way, arthritis will develop as the dog ages. We at Dog Breeds Finder recommends using a Dog Leg Brace that could help in this condition.