|Area of Origin:
|Date of Origin:
||large game hunting
breed derives its name from a region in the 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.
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 your dog will be well behaved
with children and other dogs. A dog for the experienced.
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 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.
Official Breed Standard
Large, powerful, alert, with much substance
and heavy bone. The broad head, forming a blunt triangle, with deep
muzzle, small eyes and erect ears carried forward in line with back
of neck, is characteristic of the breed. The large, curled tail,
balancing the broad head, is also characteristic of the breed.
Massive but in balance with body; free of
wrinkle when at ease. Skull flat between ears and broad; jaws square
and powerful with minimal dewlap. Head forms a blunt triangle when
viewed from above. Fault - Narrow or snipy head.
Broad and full. Distance from nose to stop is to distance from stop
to occiput as 2 is to 3.
Well defined, but not too abrupt. A shallow furrow extends well
Broad and black. Liver permitted on white
Akitas, but black always preferred. Serious Faults - Butterfly nose
or total lack of pigmentation on nose.
The ears of the Akita are characteristic
of the breed. They are strongly erect and small in relation to rest
of head. If ear is folded forward for measuring length, tip will
touch upper eye rim. Ears are triangular, slightly rounded at tip,
wide at base, set wide on head but not too low, and carried slightly
forward over eyes in line with back of neck. Serious Faults - Drop
or broken ears.
Dark brown, small, deep-set and triangular in shape. Eye rims black
Lips and Tongue:
Lips black and not pendulous; tongue pink.
Strong with scissors bite preferred, but
level bite acceptable. Serious Faults - Noticeably undershot or
Thick and muscular; comparatively short,
widening gradually toward shoulders. A pronounced crest blends in
with base of skull.
Longer than high, as 10 is to 9 in males;
11 to 9 in bitches. Chest wide and deep; depth of chest is one-half
height of dog at shoulder. Ribs well sprung, brisket well developed.
Level back with firmly-muscled loin and moderate tuck-up. Skin pliant
but not loose. Serious Faults - Light bone, rangy body.
Large and full, set high and carried over
back or against flank in a three-quarter, full, or double curl,
always dipping to or below level of back. On a three-quarter curl,
tip drops well down flank. Root large and strong. Tail bone reaches
hock when let down. Hair coarse, straight and full, with no appearance
of a plume. Serious Faults - Sickle or uncurled tail.
Shoulders strong and powerful with moderate
layback. Forelegs heavy-boned and straight as viewed from front.
Angle of pastern 15 degrees forward from vertical. Faults - Elbows
in or out, loose shoulders.
Width, muscular development and bone comparable to forequarters.
Upper thighs well developed. Stifle moderately bent and hocks well
let down, turning neither in nor out.
On front legs generally not removed; dewclaws on hind legs generally
Cat feet, well knuckled up with thick pads. Feet straight ahead.
Double-coated. Undercoat thick, soft, dense
and shorter than outer coat. Outer coat straight, harsh and standing
somewhat off body. Hair on head, legs and ears short. Length of
hair at withers and rump approximately two inches, which is slightly
longer than on rest of body, except tail, where coat is longest
and most profuse. Fault - Any indication of ruff or feathering.
Any color including white; brindle; or pinto. Colors are brilliant
and clear and markings are well balanced, with or without mask or
blaze. White Akitas have no mask. Pinto has a white background with
large, evenly placed patches covering head and more than one-third
of body. Undercoat may be a different color from outer coat.
Brisk and powerful with strides of moderate length. Back remains
strong, firm and level. Rear legs move in line with front legs.
Males 26 to 28 inches at the withers; bitches
24 to 26 inches. Serious Faults - dogs under 25 inches; bitches
under 23 inches.
Alert and responsive, dignified and courageous. Aggressive toward
Butterfly nose or total lack of pigmentation
on nose. Drop or broken ears. Noticeably undershot or overshot.
Sickle or uncurled tail. Dogs under 25 inches; bitches under 23