About the Akita Breed
The Akita is a member of the Working Dog Group and is the largest of the Spitz Breeds of dogs native to Japan. Originating in the Odate Region in the Akita Prefecture, on the island of Honshu in Northern Japan, the Akita is characterized by their pricked ears, curled tail, powerful frame, large triangular head and double coat. This is an ancient breed. Studies have shown it to be one of only a handful of the most primitive breeds closely linked to the wolf. In 1931, the Akita became one of only 7 Japanese pure breeds to be declared a National Treasure of Japan.
Originally, Akitas were bred for hunting bear, elk, and boar and are known to have a very high prey drive. They are courageous with a natural guarding instinct and dominant attitude. Akitas should never be permitted to run loose or off-leash in an unfenced area. When left to their own devices, they may go off hunting on their own. While Akitas can be tolerant of another dog of the opposite sex in their own home, Akitas can be intolerant of other dogs and small animals. They should be socialized early and constantly throughout their lives.
Fiercely loyal to their family, they are often aloof with strangers. Though these dogs form strong bonds with their human “pack”, they do not feel the need to be “everybody’s friend.” The Akita is confident and secure, and while they will know where you are at all times, they do not need constant attention as many other dog breeds do. Most Akitas are vocal in a way that is different than many other breeds. Although they can bark, they rarely do so if an Akita is barking, you will know there is a very good reason. While other breeds of dogs will bark to greet you, an Akita will welcome you home with what sounds like a low, happy howl (“Wooo” or “Wooo-wooo”) or affectionate grunts. Frequently they will bring you a gift like a toy or stick.
The Akita’s double coat consists of a harsh outer or “guard coat” and a soft, dense undercoat. Akitas are very clean and meticulous – you can often see them grooming themselves much like a giant cat. Dirt tends to dry on their coats and fall away, never reaching their skin, and Akitas never seem to smell. While Akitas require minimal grooming most of the time, Akitas shed their undercoat twice a year.
An Akita is a powerful dog and not for everyone. Akitas are highly intelligent, independent, proud, and have the ability to think for themselves. This quiet, reserved attitude can be confused with stubbornness. Training is a must and they respond best to reward-based training. If you are strong-willed, consistent, and show your Akita the leadership they need expect, you can train your Akita to do almost anything – except to fetch!
If you are willing to give your Akita 100%, you will be rewarded with a strong, noble companion who is as loyal as he is beautiful, as obedient as he is strong, and as loving as he is graceful.