The Akita can be thought of as intimidating and bold because of their grand appearance. In fact, they serve their families well as a guard dog as few dangers would dare cross this large dog breed. These pups can be stubborn at times, but, they are continuously loyal. They are excellent for families and can also assist as a hunting companion. Potential owners of an Akita should do their research and prepare themselves for everything (good and bad) which lies ahead.
Akitas have a fascinating history. They are thought to have originated in Akita, Japan around the 1600’s. Their large size, as well as their loyalty, made them perfect for guarding and protecting Japanese royalty. Akitas also served as their hunting companions. They were especially useful with large game, bears, and various wildfowl. However, the Akita’s history becomes much more interesting with the help of one Helen Keller. Helen Keller was highly respected and admired by the Japanese. They demonstrated this admiration by sharing with her the statue of their most famous Akita, Hachiko. Hachiko had met his owner (a professor) at the train station every day at 3 pm. When his owner passed away, Hachiko continued his devotion to the professor and returned to the train station every day at 3 pm. He continued to go back for a decade until his own passing. Hachiko received worldwide fame and the statue representing his undeniable loyalty in the 1920’s. Helen Keller became very interested in the Akita dog breed and wanted one of her own. The Japanese Government gifted her with Kamikaze-go, an Akita puppy. Kamikaze-go was then known as the very first Akita dog to be brought to the United States of America. Unfortunately, Helen’s time with Kamikaze-go was cut short when he died of distemper. Helen Keller described her loss of Kamikaze-go in later writings and referred to him as “an angel in fur”. Helen remained interested in this loyal and affectionate dog breed even after her terrible loss. The Japanese Government then gifted Helen with Kamikaze-go’s brother, Kenzan-go. Akitas were also brought home with American Soldiers returning from World War II after being stationed in Japan. The Akita began to be bred in the United States and thus the American Akita was born. The American variety is much larger than the Japanese variety and therefore it became very popular. The Akita was finally accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1972 after a decades-long battle over the Japanese Akita standards and the American Akita standards.
The Akita dog breed has a very powerful and intimidating physical appearance. They have large heads that express boldness as well as a broad body structure and stance that exudes confidence and power. The Akita’s eyes are small and triangle-shaped. Male Akitas are about 25 inches to 30 inches tall and can weigh about 80 pounds to 135 pounds. However, female Akitas are generally smaller standing only 25 inches to 27 inches tall and only weighing 75 pounds to 115 pounds. The American Akita variation can come in a variety of coat colorations and patterns. These can include solid colors of white, chocolate, and black as well as patterns including brindle or white combined with black or chocolate. Their short fur coats are incredibly dense and thick to the touch. An Akita will also have a fluffy tail that is slightly curled upwards and may lay on his back. These pooches are considered members of the Working Dog Breed group and rightfully so! They are wonderful guard dogs, hunting companions, and task oriented family pets. If their owners follow recommended feeding and care instructions, then their Akita dog should live a long and happy life for a decade or more!Each Akita dog will have a personality all his own. However, there are various breed specific character traits that an Akita can present. For example, Akitas may be loyal and affectionate towards their family members, but, they are usually very cautious around newcomers and strangers. Their level of intelligence has made them sensitive to the fact that not everyone can be trusted. Therefore, socialization with people and animals during puppyhood is essential! Early socialization with other animals will also help reduce the risk of an Akita becoming aggressive towards other dogs or pets. An Akita would do much better in a home with older children rather than babies or toddlers as they have not yet learned how to play with their pooch safely. Akitas are very alert dogs and will have no problem informing their owners of an intruder or if they suspect danger is afoot. Akitas are not known for their barking which can be a blessing to potential owners. However, they can be noisy in other ways. For example, they tend to make a grumble or a moaning noise. Similar to that of an elderly man. Barking may be heard if extreme danger threatens their family members or themselves. As mentioned, the Akita will stand by their families and show them loads of affection! They are also a rather playful pooch when the situation calls for it. An Akita’s stubbornness and intense personality may become overwhelming to new owners. Akitas should be the only dog in the home to avoid aggressive behavior, and they should have a firm, experienced owner that instills discipline in them from puppyhood. Owners should also provide plenty of activities and playtime for their Akita dog to avoid him becoming bored and ultimately destructive to household items. Puppy training or boot camp programs are highly recommended to teach an Akita manners and discipline.
An Akita should always be cared for by an experienced dog owner, and they should never be mistreated or neglected in any way. The Akita should be provided adequate exercise and playtime each day. This will help him stay fit and healthy as well as keep him occupied and entertained. Owners of an Akita may want to consider avoiding dog parks as strangers and their dogs may cause the Akita to become cautious or aggressive. Akitas are not interested in routines as they can also cause him to become bored. Owners should teach new games and change things up frequently. Akitas should live in a home with an adequately sized backyard that is completely fenced. Fences will help protect him as well as passersby. Akitas should be fed an age-appropriate dry dog kibble. Typically, they should be given up to 5 cups a day. However, the veterinarian may make other suggestions, and those should be followed. As previously mentioned, the Akita has a short, dense fur coat. This coat should be brushed weekly as they can be heavy shedders. An Akita should also be given a bath every few months or as needed. Keep their nails trimmed, their ears cleaned, and their eyes clear of goop on a regular basis.