Akita Dog Breed At a Glance
The Akita dog breed which also goes by different names, such as:
- Japanese Akita
- Great Japanese Dog
- American Akita
The Akita is a truly loyal, large dog that’s also one of the smartest of all the dog breeds.
However, an Akita that’s bored will lead it to destructive behavior. The key to a happy life with the Akita dog breed is to provide it with lots of exercise, which will keep it out of trouble.
It’s a great watchdog and will protect its family if an intruder is present, and is a good breed for a family with children.
HISTORY of the Japanese Akita Dog
The Akita is believed to have originated in Japan’s province of the same name. Dating back to the 16th century, this dog breed guarded Japanese royalty. The breed was used to hunt large game and fowl.
Helen Keller was the first American to own an Akita puppy, gifted to her by the Japanese. Unfortunately, her dog, Kamikaze-go died at quite a young age. Hearing the disappointing news, the Japanese who greatly admired Keller offered her Kamikaze-go’s brother.
After the second World War, servicemen stationed in Japan also brought back more dogs of this breed. After Akita puppies were born and bred in the US, the American Akita eventually was developed.
PERSONALITY – Akita Dog Breed Temperament
Expect loyalty, playfulness, and affection when you bring an Akita dog into your home. However, this is not the best breed for dog owners who don’t have previous experience.
This type of dog is also in need of plenty of exercise, so if you’re not up to frequent trips to the park, it may not be the ideal dog to adopt. The Akita is considered moderately easy to train. This is a friendly, yet alert and courageous breed.
It is very sensitive, meaning it may have difficulty when being reprimanded. It rarely barks, but is still vocal in other ways. It’s not uncommon for the Akita to “talk” to himself or to others by moaning, grunting, and mumbling.
The Akita is also known for his mouthiness and he enjoys carrying objects around with his mouth – including your arm. But, don’t be afraid, as this is his way of communicating. He may actually guide you to where his leash is so you can take him for a walk!
It is a cat-friendly dog, and has a low hunting drive. However, owners need to be aware that it has a high tendency to wander.
Note: the Akita was associated with 75 human attacks. This statistic ranks the Akita in the top 10% of dog attacks on humans. It resulted in 57 maimings and eight deaths from 1982. It is equally important to note that, when calculating these attacks over the course of decades, it’s unlikely that an Akita would cause deaths.
Physical Characteristics of the Akita Dog Breed
The common colors of the Akita include black, white, brown, and red. Its coat is thick, short, rough and harsh. It is not a hypoallergenic breed.
The weight of the Akita is between 65 and 130 pounds. As such, it is considered to be one of the heaviest of all dog breeds. It stands between 23 and 20 inches tall.
Shedding is constant with the Akita, so expect to brush regularly to reduce the amount, but frequent vacuuming will be required. Drooling is another factor to consider with the Akita.
HEALTH and CARE of the Akita Dog
The life expectancy of the Akita dog is between 10 and 12 years, which is shorter in comparison to other giant breeds.
Common Akita Health Problems and Concerns
Some common health concerns high on the list with Akita dogs include:
- Cruciate Ligament Injury
- Sebaceous Adenitis
- Uveodermatologic Syndrome
It is at a medium risk of:
- Hip Dysplasia.
The Akita is also has a great potential for weight gain. Proper nutrition and exercise is necessary to keep this breed of dog healthy and fit.
Nutrition is always important for longevity and overall good health, regardless of dog breeds. The Akita, being a giant breed, requires between 4 and 5 cups of dry dog food each day.
Grooming needs are quite low on the scale with the Akita dog breed. While he will require frequent brushing, trimming and the like is not necessary on a regular basis.
The Akita was recognized by the AKC in 1972.