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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
Group: Working Group
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.
Hair Length: Medium
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 Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

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
 #42  2,673  8.6%

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.