Origin and brief history

With its roots of origination traced to a northern territory on the island of Honshu, the Akita dog

breed is frequently referred to as the Japanese Akita, but today the American variety is as

prevalent if not more so. Increasingly seen in households worldwide, the loyal and devout native

Japanese breed shares a common ancestry with a medium size canine, sporting the distinctive

curly tail and erect ears. Images of a dog clearly reflecting this description have been found

etched on ancient pottery plus other archeological finds discovered in the region. There is no

definitive time frame documented for when the Akita breed became domesticated, but it is

generally thought to have been a gradual process spanning two or three centuries following a

period from early in the 17th century when they were used across Asia primarily as fighting dogs.


The breed belongs to a group of canines’ identified as a “Spitz”, a keenly smart and courageous

dog, often appearing strangely distant in its demeanor, even with its owner. This inherent

tendency towards an aloof independence does not detract from the Akita’s strong sense of

guardianship in relation to those they associate with as their immediate family. This casual

disposition should not be mistaken for timid shyness, as the

dog can well defend itself if


Pure Akita ancestry will have in a medium-length coat of hair. The coat is soft to the touch, and

propensity to shed. Brushing the coat regularly, plus adhering to a bathing schedule, can help to

control this one primary grooming issue. An aspiring Akita owner should take into account this

Specification of breed

Be aware that the breed is considered above average in size, with weights ranging from 70

pounds, yet customarily males and females can often be in excess of 100 pounds, with the males’

predominately the heavier. The American strain is usually slightly larger, often exceeding the

two-foot average in height, and also has more variations in color than the purer Japanese version.

The breeding criterion of the American color standard is less restrictive than the Japanese

benchmark, which places heavier emphasis on the original white color pattern known as Urajiro.

Buyer Beware

If an owner is seeking an overly affectionate dog, tail-waging acknowledgement of the owners

utter sense of importance in the animal’s life, then the Akita may not be the best breed of choice.

The dog will quite invariably display the aforementioned sense of independence towards all

humans, even the beloved owner. Patience and love will be required of an Akita owner, as

Category: Akita

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