Akita Dog Breed
Aliases: Great Japanese, Akita Inu, Akita Ken
|Life Span:||10 and 12 years|
|Litter Size:||3 to 12 puppies with the average litter being 7 or 8|
|Recognized By:||CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR|
|Color:||The Japanese Akita has only four different colors and they are brindle, white, sesame (i.e. hair that is red and has black tips), and red fawn.|
|Size:||Large, Extra Large|
|Shedding:||Moderate Shed, Heavy Shed|
|Male Height:||26-28 inches (66-71 cm)|
|Male Weight:||75-120 pounds (34-54 kg)|
|Female Height:||24-26 inches (61-66 cm)|
|Female Weight:||75-110 pounds (34-50 kg)|
|General info courtesy of terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.|
|Living Area:||Akitas are very adaptable dogs and can adjust to different living conditions provided they are given frequent, regular exercise. They do best in a house with a large, fenced yard and shelter from the sun and cold. In very hot climates they should be kept indoor during the heat of the day.|
The Akita is truly a powerful and majestic looking dog with an overall calm and very even disposition. The Akita is a large breed, with males often weighing over one hundred pounds and standing up to twenty-eight inches at the shoulder. The Akita is best recognized by its almost bear shaped head as well as the tightly curled tail that is symbolic of the Spitz breeds.
The head of the Akita is very alert and intelligent looking. The eyes are dark, rather deep set and triangular shaped, as are the wide set, pricked ears. There is a broad and wide shape to the forehead, with a slight groove running from the stop to the top of the head. The muzzle is strong looking and relatively short, ending in a well formed black nose on most Akitas, although mostly white colorations may have a brownish nose. The general shape of the head of the Akita is that of a blunt wedge, and in large males it is possible to place your hand on the wide forehead and not touch either ear.
The body of the Akita is muscular and strong, with powerful, thick legs and a deep body. The toes of the Akita are actually webbed, making them excellent swimmers. The chest is wide and broad and is wider than the rest of the body, including the hindquarters. The solid appearance of the breed is enhanced by the medium length double coat that is off the body, adding a soft appearance to the shape. The tail is tightly curled over the back, often slightly to one side in either a , full or double curl. Tails that do not curl or only curve slightly are considered disqualification in the show ring.
The Japanese Akita has only four different colors and they are brindle, white, sesame (i.e. hair that is red and has black tips), and red fawn. When determining a Japanese Akita, it must have white hair on its chest, body, tail, cheeks and muzzle except the white Akita. Outside Japan, pinto is an acceptable Akita color, but not within it. More colors of the Akita are acceptable within the United States as dog breeders continue to interbreed the Japanese Akita with the United States Akita, which is typically a bigger and heavier build version.
The Akita has a beautiful medium length coat with a soft undercoat. The Akita\'s coat should be brushed on a weekly basis. It is important to use a grooming comb and a slicker, steel Pin brush to groom your Akita\'s coat effectively. You can also use a firm bristle brush.
Outside Japan, pinto is an acceptable Akita color, but not within it. More colors of the Akita are acceptable within the United States as dog breeders continue to interbreed the Japanese Akita with the United States Akita which is typically a bigger and heavier build version.
When determining a Japanese Akita, it must have white hair on its chest, body, tail, cheeks and muzzle except the white Akita.
The Akita or sometimes referred to as Akita Ken, is a large sized dog that has its origins from Japan. Its name comes from Akita Prefecture, which is located in the Tohoku Region in Japan, because it is believed that the Akita originated from this particular area.
The ancestors of the Akita were used for hunting by matagi, or a hunter from the Tohoko Region. During that time the Akita were typically called matagi inu (inu means dog in Japanese). These dogs possessed a smaller build than present day Akita dogs do. In addition, many of these ancestral Akita dogs were used for guarding and protecting people. Some were even used to hunt bears in particular.
For the most part, the Akita possesses an easy going, laid back temperament that makes them a great family house pet. They are also commonly known to be quiet dogs that bark only when something necessitates them to bark. Many people commonly report that the Akita makes people feel relaxed and calm and is the ideal pet to own if you suffer from stress.
In addition to being easy going, quiet life enhancing pets, the Akita breed is also known for being easy to house break and very clean dogs. The Akita is known for being so clean that many people have described the Akita breed as "cat like" for their odorless and cleanly appearance. When training Akita dogs to be house broken, many successfully accomplish this task within a few weeks, however, if you have other dog breeds that learn at a slower pace this can affect the Akita\'s learning pace slowing it down as well.
The Akita breed is also a very patient, loyal and devoted breed that protects children. The Akita is gentle with children so much so that it is known that mothers in Japan have left their children alone in the care of an Akita. It is, of course, important to note that one should never leave a child alone with an unattended pet.
Since the Akita does have a possessive temperament as well as a prey instinct they do need to be socialized with other pets at an early age. Akitas raised with cats and other dogs will do very well as companion pets, but without socialization they may be aggressive and are not recommended for multi-pet families if they are older, non-socialized dogs.
Thyroid Disease - Medium Risk
The Akita ranks #42 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. While this is not a high risk breed, there is still a good chance of disease transmission through breeding. Therefore, all dogs intended for breeding should be tested first.
|Rank Among Breeds||Number of Dogs Tested||Percent of Dogs With Disease|
You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here
Other Health Problems
Akitas from reputable breeders typically are very healthy pets, although there are a few different conditions that are seen occasionally within the breed. These conditions include:
- Acquired Myathenia Gravis: a condition that destroys and attacks proteins that are located on the muscle surface where the nerves attach to the muscles.
- Gastric Torsion or bloat: the stomach becomes twisted trapping gases and contents within it. As a result, your Akita will experience stomach swelling, pain and if not treated, eventually death. Feeding two or three small meals a day and limiting exercise after eating can help prevent this condition.
- Eye conditions such as cataracts, entropion, glaucoma, mircrophthalmia, progressive retinal atrophy, and retinal dysplasia.
- Canine Hip Dysplasia: a condition when the femoral head does not fit into the hip socket properly which ends up causing instability within the joint.
- Unique Juvenile Onset Polyarthritis Syndrome of Akita dogs as the name suggests affects young Akita dogs. It is often signaled by the reluctance to walk or stand and can cause the Akita puppy excruciating back and neck pain, loss of appetite as well as some other symptoms.
- Uveo Dermatological Syndrome (VKH) :blisters and sores on its nose, eye lids and pads of the feet.
- von Willebrands (vWD) : a blood disorder similar to human hemophilia.
These health conditions are relatively rare and can usually be managed or control through medications and surgical treatments by a veterinarian.