Dog Breeds

Akita Advantage and challenges


  • Very clean and easy to housebreak
  • People oriented and eager to please
  • Loyal, brave and protective
  • A superb guard dog and hunting dog
  • Intelligent and likes to learn


  • Highly aggressive with other dogs
  • Wary of strangers
  • Can be a danger to other animals and children it doesn't know
  • Very powerful animal, requiring a strong and experienced owner
  • Considerable grooming required
  • Needs regular attention and affection to thrive

Akita Physical Characteristics


  • Large 24-28 inches


  • 70-130 pounds


  • Short to moderate dense coat; undercoat is soft; outer coat is longer and more coarse


  • Any color including white, brindle and pinto, with or without a mask

Life Expectancy

  • 10-12 years
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Akita Personality

Considered one of Japan’s national treasures, the Akitais a regal and hardy dog loved by fans around the world; this imposing dog is the 51st most popular breed registered with the AKC in the United States. The largest of the Japanese Spitz-type breeds, the handsome Akitawith its powerful body and bear-like head, is a truly distinctive animal. With the right owner, this majestic dog is an outstanding house pet.

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Akita History and General Information

History and Origin

Native to the islandof Honshuin Japan, this versatile breed has remained unchanged for centuries. One of Japan’s earliest native breeds, the agile and athletic Akitacould originally only be owned by the Shogunate, for use as an Imperial guard dog and also as a royal hunting companion. Elk, antelope, boar and even bears were tracked tenaciously by the Akitafor their owners. The powerful dog would hold the animals at bay until royal hunters could make the kill. In 1931 the beloved and well-respected Akitawas designated by the Japanese government as a National Monument.

When Helen Keller visited Japanin 1937, she was presented with two Akitas – the first to enter the United States. One dog died young, but the other became her constant companion. During World War II, many Akitas were killed and eaten by a starving Japanpopulace. When concerned owners set their Akitas free in remote areas, the dogs were hardy and intelligent enough to survive on their own. To this day in Japan, little statues of the Akitaare given as gifts as a wish for robust health and long life. After the war, returning U.S.servicemen brought Akitas home with them, helping the dog to gain popularity in this country as well.

General Information

Highly intelligent and a consummate guard dog, this courageous pet is eager to please its owners - it likes nothing better than protecting you and spending quality time with you. Usually very patient with kids if it has been well socialized to them as a puppy, this dog should nevertheless never be fully trusted with children it doesn’t consider part of its family. Similarly, when raised with other animals in the home, the Akitausually will learn to co-exist, but this superb hunter is likely to consider any animals outside the home as prey, and is also innately aggressive towards other dogs. A securely fenced yard is an absolute must, and never walk your Akitaoff-leash if you wish to avoid neighborhood tragedy.

This strong and fearless dog requires an equally strong and confident owner; you’ll need to establish dominance and respect with your Akitaat an early age, and thorough obedience training and socialization is a necessity for this powerful and somewhat unpredictable animal. Fortunately, the highly intelligent Akitais quick to learn and really will want to please you, particularly if trained with patience and firm, consistent kindness. Always make sure your Akitafeels like a loved and respected member of the family - this pet lives to serve you, and will suffer and develop destructive habits if left alone all day.

The Akitais a very clean, odorless dog and is quite easy to housebreak.Its coarse, short-haired coat needs a moderate amount of grooming, however it is a heavy seasonal shedder and requires a great deal more care at those times; brush as needed with a firm bristle brush, and bathe only when necessary, as bathing inhibits the coat’s natural waterproofing qualities.

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Akita Health

Health Ailments

The Akitais susceptible to various health issues including hip dysplasia, eye problems, skin problems, bloat and autoimmune thyroid diseases.

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Akita Community

Your Akita

Send us pictures and stories about your Akita.

Akita Discussion Group

Get tips from other Akita lovers – and submit a few ideas of your own.

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