AKITA BREED DESCRIPTION & INFORMATION
Breed Description / Health Issues / Breed Standards / Training / Additional Information
|| Canadian Kennel Club - Working Dogs
American Kennel Club - Working Group
United Kennel Club - Northern Breeds
The Kennel Club (U.K.) - Utility Group
Fédération Cynologique Internationale * - FCI Standards No. 255 and 344
Note: The breed registries indicated above are the most recognized all-breed registries. The breed may also be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.
* The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 83 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The "owner" countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.
Am/Can Ch Beardusk's United We Stand
Photo Courtesy of Beardusk Akitas
||Males26 to 28 inches at the withers
Females24 to 26 inches
||Males 100 to 130 lbs
Females 70 to 100 lbs
The Akita is the largest of the Japanese breeds. In July 1931, the Government of Japan designated the Akita as a national monument and one of Japan's national treasures. He has been used to hunt ducks, birds, small and large game, including deer, elk, antelope, monkeys, boar and bear.
Today the Akita is most often seen as a loyal companion but, as a versatile breed, they can also be seen working as police dogs, therapy dogs, hearing and guide dogs, sled dogs, guardians, and hunting dogs. In addition, some are involved in herding, obedience, and tracking. In Japan, the breed is regarded as a loyal companion and pet, protector of the home and a symbol of good health.
The Akita's personality is very complex. He is very intelligent, extremely loyal yet independent, and has well developed guarding and protective instincts, making him an excellent guard dog. He can be headstrong and dominant in nature and requires early socialization and training. The Akita is well known for his loyalty and devotion to his family and, typically, is very gentle, protective and patient with children. However, as with any dog, supervision around small children is a must.
The Akita is a large, powerful dog with a thick double coat and a tail that is curled and carried over the back. One of the most distinguishing feature of the Akita is his large head. That combined with the small triangular shaped eyes and small erect ears give the Akita a dignified and intimidating expression. Generally, the male Akita is substantially larger than the female. The double coat gives the Akita the typical northern breed appearance. The coat is short to moderate in length and very dense. The undercoat is very soft while the outer coat is slightly longer and coarser.
For further information about the Akita, see The Akita: Is the Akita the Right Dog For You? from the Akita Club of America.
Today, there are two distinct types of Akitas:
- The American Akita tends to be larger and stockier than the Japanese Akita; any coat colour is acceptable including white, brindle or pinto; markings are well balanced and he may or may not have a mask or blaze (except for the white Akita who has no mask).
- The Japanese Akita is more refined than the American Akita and the only colours allowed are brindle, white, and red with white markings.
See NOTE that follows for further details on the two distinct breeds.
NOTE - The American Akita and the Japanese Akita:
It must be noted that the breed has been officially split into two distinct and separate breeds in Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) member countries as well as in the United Kingdom. FCI member countries recognize the breeds as the "Akita" and the "American Akita" (previously known as the Great Japanese Dog). In the United Kingdom, the breeds are known as the "Japanese Akita Inu" and the "Akita". In Canada and the United States, however, the breed is not separated into two distinct breeds and is recognized as the "Akita" by the Canadian Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club. For further details, please see the Breed Standards as well as Additional Information on American and Japanese Akitas below.
Additional Information on American and Japanese Akitas:
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Akita Health Issues:
Akitas, as with other breeds, are susceptible to some health problems, some of a genetic nature, others viral. The Akita Health document includes information on some of the known health concerns found in the breed.
If you are considering the adoption of a Akita puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. This should include, among others, hip x-rays to exclude hip dysplasia and eyes should be checked to see that they are normal and PRA clear. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)
Additional Health Resources:
- Training For information on training your Akita, see this growing section of Canada's Guide to Dogs for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.
- The Akita Club of America Excellent resource for detailed information about the breed.
- The Akita: Is The Akita the Right Dog For You? From the Akita Club of America A must read article for anyone considering the Akita.
- The Akita Network Excellent resource site with over 200 pages and 3500 compiled links.
- Akita Headquarters Pedigree Database
- Hachiko A story about the devotion and loyalty of one Akita dog in Japan.
- Clubs, Sports & Activities For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your Akita. (Note: Breed specific clubs can be found under the Akita Breed Clubs secton.)
- Working Dogs The Working Dogs section of Canada's Guide to Dogs provides information and listings of organizations who are involved in various jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.
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Last Updated: 2 September 2009