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Japanese Akita Information

Description

The study, muscular and rather square appearance of the Akita Inu or Japanese Akita makes them an easily recognized large dog breed. They are often considered to be almost bear like in appearance with a broad head, medium sized rather squarish muzzle and relatively small set, dark, intelligent eyes. The ears are carried very alert and slightly to the side of the head, make the skull appear even broader. They have a medium to short outer coat and a very dense, thick and wooly undercoat. The Akita has a distinctive curling tail that often sits slightly to one side where it touches the back. The tail must curl for show purposes. The legs are very stocky and muscular and the paws are very compact and almost cat like. The Akita can come in many colors but there are specific requirements for show colors. Masks and patches are allowed with specifications.

Temperament

The Akita is a loyal, loving, protective and highly intelligent dog. They are excellent with children of all ages, and are very protective of their families. They are both watch and guard dogs and are rather aloof and wary of strangers. Since they have been used for both guard dog roles as well as hunting, they are both prey aggressive and dog aggressive by nature, but with proper training and socialization they can be great companion animals, even with cats. Without proper socialization from a young age they should not be left alone with cats or other dogs. Intact males tend to be the most aggressive, so neutering is recommended for pets. The breed is highly intelligent and is extremely easy to house train, even from a young age. They are naturally very clean and will spend considerable time grooming themselves. They work best for positive praise and love to be with people, although they can tolerate time alone as well.

Grooming & Shedding

The Akita's dense coat requires regular grooming with a stiff bristle brush or pin brush to keep debris out of the thick inner coat. The breed does shed very heavily twice a year and daily grooming at this time is often necessary. They are average shedders throughout the year and should only be bathed when absolutely necessary. Care needs to be taken to dry them completely to avoid hot spots and skin irritations when water is trapped between the inner coat and the skin.

History

Originally bred in Japan by royalty in the 1600's the Akita was used as hunting dog and loyal protector. It is reported that historically Japanese mothers often left their children outside playing with the Akita to watch and keep the child safe safe. The Akita was declared a national treasure of Japan in 1931. There is a famous statue of the Akita Haichiko, that met his owner's train every day of the owners life and still continued to meet the train until even after the owner died. 

Health Issues

  • Major Concerns: PRA (progressive rental atrophy) canine hip dysplasia, VKH, pemphigus
  • Minor Concerns: elbow dysplasia, skin conditions, gastric torsion
  • Occasionally seen: arthritis, epilepsy, cataracts, entropion, patellar luxation, polyneuropathy, renal cortical hypoplasia
  • Suggested tests: elbow, hip, knee

 

Characteristics

Height

Males 26-28 inches (66-71 cm)

Females 24-26 inches (61-66 cm)

Weight

Dogs 75-120 pounds (34-54 kg)

Bitches 75-110 pounds (34-50 kg)

Lifespan

10-12 years

Exercise

Medium

Apartment

No

Families

Yes

Young Children

Yes

Need exercise space

Yes

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