Japanese Akita Inu
There is a difference between an Akita (American Akita) and a Japanese Akita Inu. These dogs were purebred Akita as opposed to the American Akita that had been mixed with another breed. They are smaller than their American relatives and have a fox-like face whereas the Akita has a bear-like face. It is thought that the Japanese Akita Inu was founded on spitz type dogs which found their way to the Northern mountainous regions of Japan around three centuries ago; the wedge-shaped head, small erect ears, protective coat and curled tail are all spitz features. The Japanese Akita Inu is the original Akita as found in Japan and has remained remarkably unchanged for centuries. They were developed for hunting for bear, deer and wild boar and, unfortunately, was also used in fighting competitions. In their native land, they are venerated as family protectors and symbols of good health, happiness, and long life.
The Akita Inu has an independent streak that is common with a lot of Spitz breeds, therefore, the Japanese Akita Inu is sometimes stereotyped as a stubborn dog. They can be aloof or distant with people they don’t know. Having said that, proper socialisation and training can help to tackle any potential issues. The Japanese Akita Inu has developed into a companion dog rather than a guard dog, however they remain protectors of the home given that’s their nature. While they adapt well to family life, they are also very large and therefore would do best with experienced owners. Japanese Akita Inus very much dislike being dirty or messy, and they are very finicky about how they take care of themselves, spending significant amounts of time grooming their coats and arranging their fur just so. They are also one of the easiest breeds to house train, as they are both bright and motivated to learn.
Read about the history of this breed – HERE
STATS AND FACTS
Most of these stats are from the UK Kennel Club. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.
|Group – UK||Utility|
|Bred For||Hunting, Guarding|
|Country of Origin||Japan|
|Temperament||Alert, Intelligent, Stubborn|
|Exercise Needed||More than 2 hours daily|
|Size of Home Needed||Large|
|Height at Withers – Females||58-64 cm / 22¾-25¼ in|
|Height at Withers – Males||64-70 cm / 25¼-27½ in|
|Grooming||More than once a week|
|Coat||Short, course, double coat|
|Colour||Brindle, Red Fawn, Sesame, White|
|Life Span||10 – 14 years|
- The Japanese Akita Inu is a very hardy dog that will adapt to most environments, but it prefers the winter and loves playing with the snow. Many Akita dog owners have made an interesting observation that their dogs tend to become increasingly active as winter sets in.
- The first Japanese Akita Inu to set paw on American soil belonged to Helen Keller, the famed political activist and blind author. He was introduced to the country in 1937 and has been popular with many people since.
- The Japanese Akita Inu has a calm demeanour to complement its noble appearance. These dogs do not bark often unless they threat a threat or are joyous.
- The purebred bloodline started to diminish in Japan at the start of the 19th century due to the arrival of new dog breeds from the western world such as German Shepherds.
- During the WWII, the breed was at the brink of extinction. One of the main causes was starvation and the shortage of nutritious food. Apart from that, many Akitas were killed and eaten by the starving populace, but also by the government to prevent the spread of diseases.
LINKS TO KENNEL CLUB BREED STANDARDS AROUND THE WORLD
Breed standard varies throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about Japanese Akita Inus.
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WEBSITES ABOUT JAPANESE AKITA INU
Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Japanese Akita Inu breed. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.
Thanks for reading!