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AKITA Breed Standards


One of the seven breeds native to Japan, the Akita is a natural monument in its homeland. While its earliest origins are something of a mystery, it is likely the dog has existed in the mountains of northern Japan since ancient times. There, the ancestors of the modern Akita, called Odate dogs, were used as guardians, hunters and dog fighters. Much of the Akita’s history has been marked by the efforts of breeders to discourage such traits as large size, pinto patterning and a black mask; however, as Japan opened its doors to the West in the late 19th century, crossbreeding with large European breeds such as the Mastiff and Great Dane began to accentuate those very traits.

Concerned that the long revered Akita would be lost or changed beyond recognition, Japanese breeders founded the Akita-inu

SKILLS: Vermin destroyer and family pet. 

SIZE: The ideal shoulder-height is 67cm (26 1/4in) for dogs and 61cm (24in) for bitches. Variations of 3cm (1 1/4in) will be accepted.

COAT: The dog has straight, coarse covering hair with a soft dense undercoat. Permitted colors with the Japanese breed society are red, white, and streaked. A dark face is regarded in Japan as a fault. In some countries spotted and speckled dogs with a black face are permitted at shows.

CARE REQUIRED: This breed is easy to care for. About twice a year they have a brief period of heavy shedding when a good comb with a double set of metal teeth should be used.

CHARACTER: These are clam, thoughtful, intelligent, and friendly dogs which are reasonably obedient, imperturbable, and have a strong hunting instinct. They are good watchdogs but won't bark too much. But they can also be independent and try to dominate. They will become friends with their family but never slaves.

TRAINING: With a confident handler who is consistent in this approach, the Akitas can learn a great deal. They do best if the training drills are not constantly repeated. They are not a suitable breed for beginners unless expert advice is followed very closely

SOCIAL BEHAVIOR: Most Akitas have no time for other dogs and prefer not to have any other dogs for company. They virtually all tend to be extremely dominant with other dogs, especially ones of their own sex. They need to become acquainted with cats and other animals early in their lives to prevent later problems. They usually get on reasonably well with children, provided the children do not invade the dog's own territory. The should never be considered a children's playmate. Stranger will get a rather reserved reception from this dog.

EXERCISE: Japanese Akitas have considerable stamina but if you miss a long walk one day, they will accept it without a fuss. Never forget that they have strong hunting instincts so that if they are permitted to run free, there is a strong possibility they will run away.



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