Japanese Akita

Other Names : Akita Inu, Akita

Country of Origin : Japan

Dog Group : Utility


The Akita is the largest of all the Japanese breeds and was originally bred in the province of Akita in the 1600's. Some believe the dogs were originally bred for hunting such prey as wild boar, deer and black bear, others believe they were bred for pit fighting. However, when the Japanese (and European) dog-fighting sport lost favour, the dogs were then employed for hunting. In the late 19th century other breeds such as the German Shepherd Dog and the Pointer were imported, making the Japanese breeds suffer in popularity. The Society for Preservation of Japanese Dogs was then formed for the purpose of preserving the native breeds. This Society then declared that all native breeds were national monuments. After World War 1, Akitas were protected because they were becoming so scarce and The Akita Inu Hozankai Society of Japan was founded in 1927 to preserve the breed. In the 1930's, the Akita was so rare that only the very wealthy could afford to buy one, if indeed one could be found! In the United States, the breed has only been known since the early 1970's, gaining American Kennel Club recognition in 1973.


Akitas are large, powerful dogs with much substance and dignity. Their proud head carriage and stance is enhanced by their small ears and dark eyes. They make a striking picture with their thick, plush coats, the colours of which are brilliant and clear. Their well-muscled limbs ensures that their movement is vigorous and resilient.

Feeding & Ownership

Akitas are not fussy eaters and in relation to their size do not eat a vast amount.


This breed is not for a novice dog owner. These are independent and rather dominant dogs and care must be taken when strange children and other dogs are about, although they are more amenable with cats. Bitches are better with children than dogs. They are, however, very loyal to their own family. They are courageous and as such, good watchdogs without barking too much. Their hunting instincts are strong and this must be remembered at all times.


The coat should be kept well groomed to bring out the best in it and twice a year, during heavy moults, a metal, double-toothed comb should be used.


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