|Area of Origin:
|Date of Origin:
||Akita, Akita Inu
||large game hunting,
breed derives its name from an island north of Japan, known
as the Prefecture of Akita. The Akita, dating back some 300
years, descends from the Spitz family of dogs. It was originally
used as a hunting dog, tracking black bears, wild boar and deer.
So admired were they, that only the Japanese royalty and nobility
were permitted to own them. Later on, the Akita also served
as a police and guard dog, and finally as highly-esteemed house
pet and family protector. The breed's popularity increased in
the United States after WWII when servicemen returning from
Japan brought the Akitas home with them. These dogs and a few
imports formed the basis for the breeding lines in America.
The Japanese Akita and the Akita are basically the same dog.
It comes down to where the breeding lines of the dogs originate
from. The "Japanese Akita" is comprised of dogs imported
from Japan or dogs from stock that was recently imported. Stock
that descends from earlier exports primarily to the US and Canada
is known as the Akita.
Japanese Akita's character has several admired qualities: he
is alert, courageous, and friendly with people, although occasionally
aggressive with other dogs. Early obedience and wide socialisation
is required to be assured that it will be well behaved with
children and other dogs.
Japanese Akita appreciates mental and physical exercise every
day. It needs the chance to run in a safe area or on leash for
a long jog. Given ample exercise and training, it can be a quiet
and well-mannered house dog. The Japanese Akita is able to live
outdoors in temperate or cool climates, but it is happiest if
it can spend most of its time with its family. The coat needs
brushing about once a week to remove dead hair, more often when
shedding. Japanese Akitas tend to be somewhat messy drinkers!
Official Breed Standard
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY:
Originally Japanese dogs were small to medium in size and no large
breeds existed. Since 1603 in the Akita region, Akita Matagis (medium-sized
bear-hunting dogs) were used as fighting dogs. From 1868 Akita Matagis
were crossed with Tosas and Mastiffs. consequently, the size of
this breed increased but characteristics associated with Spitz type
In 1908 dog fighting was prohibited, but this breed was nevertheless
preserved and improved as a large Japanese breed. As a result, nine
superior examples of this breed were designated as Natural Monuments
During World War II (1939-1945), it was common to use dogs as a
source of fur for military garments. The police ordered the capture
and confiscation of all dogs other than German Shepherd Dogs used
for military purposes. Some fanciers tried to circumvent the order
by crossbreeding their dogs with German Shepherd Dogs.
When World War II ended, Akitas had been drastically reduced in
number and existed as three distinct types; 1) Matagi Akitas, 2)
fighting Akitas, and 3) Shepherd Akitas. This created a very confusing
situation in the breed.
During the restoration process of the pure bred after the war,
Kongo-go, a dog of the Dewa line, which exhibited characteristics
of the Mastiff and German Shepherd Dog influence, enjoyed a temporary
but tremendous popularity. However, sensible learned fanciers did
not approve of this type as a proper Japanese breed, so they made
efforts to eliminate the strain old foreign breeds by crossbreeding
with Matagi Akitas for the purpose of restoring the original pure
breed. They succeeded in stabilizing the pure strain of large sized
breed as known today.
Large-sized dog, sturdily built, well balanced and with much substance;
secondary sex characteristics strongly marked, with high nobility
and dignity in modesty; constitution tough.
The ratio of height at withers to length of body (from the point
of the shoulders to the point of the buttock) is 101: 11, but the
body is slightly longer in bitches than in dogs.
Behaviour and Temperament:
The temperament is composed, faithful, docile and receptive.
The size is in proportion to the body. The forehead is broad, with
distinct furrow. No wrinkle.
Large and black. Slight and diffuse lack of pigment accepted
in white dogs only, but black is always preferred.
Moderately long and strong with broad bas, tapering but not pointed.
Nasal bridge straight.
Teeth strong with scissor bite.
Relatively small, almost triangular in shape due to the rising of
the outer eye corner, set moderately apart, dark brown: the darker,
Relatively small, thick, triangular, slightly rounded at tips, set
moderately apart, pricked and inclining forward.
Thick and muscular, without dewlap, in balance with head.
Straight and Strong
Broad and muscular
Deep, forechest well developed, ribs moderately well sprung.
Well drawn up.
Set on high, thick, carried vigorously curled over back; the tip
nearly reaching hocks when let down.
Moderately sloping and developed.
Straight and heavy-boned.
Well developed, strong and moderately angulated.
Thick, round, arched and tight.
Resilient and powerful movement.
Outer coat harsh and straight, undercoat soft and dense; the
wither and the rump are covered with slightly longer hair; the hair
on tail is longer than on the rest of the body.
Red fawn, sesame (red fawn hairs with black
tips), brindle and white. All the above mentioned colours except
white must have (Urajiro). (Urajiro + whitish coat on the sides
of the muzzle, on the cheeks, on the underside of jaw, neck, chest,
body and tail and on the inside of the legs.
Height at the withers:
Dogs: 67 cm
There is a tolerance of 3 cm more
Any departure from the foregoing points should
be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should
be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
dogs/ doggy bitches. Undershot or overshot mouth. Missing teeth.
Blue or black spotted tongue. Iris light in colour.
Short tail. Shyness.
Ears not pricked. Hanging tail. Long hair (shaggy). Black mask.
Markings on white ground.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended
into the scrotum