Quick Stats For Akita Dogs
- Height (at the shoulders): dogs 26 – 28 inches (66 – 71 cm) ; bitches 24 – 26 inches (61 – 66 cm)
- Weight: dogs 75 – 120 pounds (34 – 54 kg) ; bitches 75 – 110 pounds (34 – 50 kg)
- Life Expectancy: 10 – 12 years
- AKC Group: Working Group – recognized in 1972
- Shedding: heavy shedder (twice per year)
- Living Conditions: fine in an apartment with sufficient exercise; moderately active indoors; best with a large yard
Personality of Akitas
Akitas are bold, courageous, independent, fearless. They are very loyal dogs and will protect their families at all costs. This makes them excellent watchdogs.
They are highly reserved around strangers and other animals. Without proper training, they can become aggressive towards other dogs and animals.
Akitas will generally be tolerant and good with children from their own families. However, they may not be as acceptable of other children and may bite if teased. For this reason, they should be supervised around children, and even around other pets. It is also recommended that you teach children from early on to respect dogs.
Akitas love being around their families. They will vocalize, but are not considered to be an excessive barker.
History of Akita Dogs
The Akita dog breed has its origins in Japan. In fact, their roots can be traced as far back as being found on ancient Japanese tombs. It is believed that the Akita today is the result of concerted efforts in the 19th century to recreate seven of Japan’s native dog breeds. Mostly fighting breeds were used in these efforts. Some of the dogs were purebred, but others were mixed breed.
Over time, Japanese dog breeders separated out some of the traits from these fighting dogs, notably, the pinto pattern, the black mask, and the dog’s incredible size. American breeders, on the other hand, were enthusiastic about these traits, and actually encouraged them.
The Akita Inu is one of the seven dog breeds that Japan has designated as a Natural Monument.
The first of the Akita dogs was brought to the United States by Hellen Keller in 1937. After World War II, many soldiers brought Akitas back home with them.
The AKC officially recognize the Akita dog breed in 1972.
Akita Care and Grooming
Akitas love being active and would do best with owners who live an active lifestyle. They require daily physical and mental stimulation. In fact, they enjoy being able to run for long distances, just make sure that they are in a safe area. If not, then a moderate jog, on leash, would be fine.
To keep them well behaved indoors, provide them with sufficient amounts of exercise and other activities.
The Akita has an unusual tolerance for cold weather and can do well outdoors in colder climates. They do not fare as well outdoors in very hot climates. But like all house dogs, they will prefer to sleep indoors with their families.
These dogs have a coarse, stiff, and short-haired coat. They need to be groomed regularly. A good brushing once per week with a firm bristle brush is necessary to remove any dead hair. This is especially important during shedding season. Bathe them only when it is necessary. Frequent baths can remove the natural waterproofing from their coats.
The Akita is a heavy shedder twice per year.
Health Problems of Akita Dogs
Akita dogs have an average life expectancy of about ten to twelve years.
The two major health problems affecting the Akita breed are PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) and CHD (Canine Hip Dysplasia). Minor health concerns include:
- gastric torsion
- elbow dysplasia
- sebaceous adenitis
- cruciate ligament rupture
Veterinarians also recommend that Akitas be tested for potential problems with their eyes, hips, elbows, and thyroid.