Last Updated on August 7, 2023 by Pets Feed
The Akita Inu also called Japanese Akita is a breed of dog that comes from Japan, and in its country of origin it is considered a national treasure. It has been revered as a symbol of good health, prosperity and good fortune. In their honor, and in the wake of Hachiko’s history, this wonderful breed was given a national monument.
It is common that when a baby is born in the family or before the illness of a parent, a small size of Akita Inu is given. It is a dog belonging to the spitz family, naturally created more than 3000 years ago.
Akita Inu photos
The Akita Inu is a medium to large sized dog with a dense yet graceful build. The head with small ears resembles a fox. Only a few color variants are recognized. The coat should be short, on the muzzle – a white mask.
An adult male has a height of 66-71 cm at the withers, a weight of 45-59 kg. Females are 61-66 cm tall, weighing 32-45 kg, while their body length is slightly longer than that of males.
- Head: The head is massive, proportionate to the body. The transition from forehead to muzzle is noticeable. The muzzle is broad, tapering towards the nose. Well-fitting lips.
- Jaws: Scissor bite. Powerful teeth. The jaws are strong.
- Ears: Medium-sized, triangular ears. They are quite thick, the tips are rounded. Set on moderately wide apart, erect.
- Eyes: The eyes are small, the outer corners are raised, it seems that the eyes are triangular. The darker the color, the better.
- Frame: The chest is broad and deep. The back is massive, straight. Belly picked up. female dogs have a more elongated body.
- Limbs: The dog’s legs are straight, parallel to each other. The limbs are well developed and strong. The legs are rather thick, rounded. The fingers are compressed into a tight ball. The pads are elastic.
- Coat: The coat is hard. The undercoat is thick and soft. The outer hairs are two-layered, long on the outside and short on the inside. Thus, the dog is protected from cold and humidity. The following colors are typical of the breed: white, brindle, reddish fawn. All colors except white have characteristic light areas on the muzzle, cheekbones, neck, chest, lower body, lower tail, and on the inside legs.
Character and behavior
The Akita’s temperament is very particular, loyal to its owner, reserved and silent. It is a balanced animal who never loses his calm in any situation, knows how to make decisions and always acts with firmness. He tends to be dominant and territorial, but also very sociable if properly socialized as a puppy.
He has a strong protective instinct towards his family, so it is necessary to educate him properly to prevent him from showing bad behavior towards strangers. However, he is generally a friendly dog, who does not bark unless it is completely necessary. They also adapt to life anywhere, but they need to be offered a high level of daily exercise.
Akita Inu dogs are very intelligent animals, but with a character that needs to be understood, as they are not as docile and docile as other breeds. They can disobey an order if they do not appear in front of their supervisor, making the decisions that they themselves consider.
They are easy to educate if they are done right, mastering their instincts for domination and setting their limits. You need an experienced and trained owner to control it and create the most loving, loyal relationship there is.
Akita Inu dogs are strong dogs, both physically and mentally, which are not recommended for novice owners. Initial and ongoing experience in management, training and socialization is required.
The Akita Inu dog is healthy, provided the puppy does not have serious birth defects. Sometimes they suffer from genetic diseases and are sensitive to certain drugs. Some congenital and acquired / age-related conditions include:
- Entropy (beginning of the century);
- Hip joint dysplasia;
- Pseudoparalytic myasthenia gravis (weakness of all muscles in the body);
- Von Willebrand’s disease (blood pathology);
- Retinal atrophy.
The lifespan of the Akita Inu is approximately 10 to 12 years. Women live a little longer than men, but statistically the difference is small – only about 2 months. This indicator is the same for both varieties of dogs. Before World War II, life expectancy was much longer – 14 – 15 years, but the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki left its mark on genetics forever.
Thick, with an undercoat, the coat of the Akita Inu dog needs to be combed twice a week.
Also, remember to clean your pet’s eyes after sleeping, as well as keep the ears clean. The claws are trimmed three times a month, the animal is bathed 1-2 times a month.
The duration of each walk should be 1-2 hours. It should be noted that this breed is energetic, Akitas can spend their accumulated energy only on walks.
History of the breed
According to information from ancient historical sources in Japan, the ancestor of modern representatives of the breed is the Matagi Inu (Matagi is an ethnic group of hunters, Inu is a “dog”). Akita Prefecture on Honshu Island is considered to be Akita Inu’s home region. Matagi-inu and his ancestors served people as irreplaceable aids in hunting, allowing them to hunt even very large or skillful animals: Japanese macaques, bears, wild boars.
In the 12th-13th centuries, a new popular entertainment appeared in Japan – dog fighting. It became a cruel selection for these dogs, leaving only the strongest, meanest and most resilient. In the 19th century, a wave of industrialization swept through the country, many inhabitants moved, the number of crimes increased. For this reason, the Matagi Inu were recycled to keep the property. At the same time, bullmastiffs and mastiffs, Great Danes were brought from Europe to Japan, reviving the tradition of dog fighting. Increasingly, Akita Inu has been bred with these dogs in order to obtain more aggressive and larger dogs.
This worried Japanese dog breeders, as the breed began to lose its characteristics, and in 1931, Akita Inu at the state level was transferred to the status of a natural monument. Breeders actively engaged in the rebirth of the breed, selecting only its best representatives for breeding. In 1934, the first official standard was introduced, but over time it had to be adjusted. Around the same time, the breed got its modern name, and in 1967 a thematic museum was opened.
Akita Inu suffered severe damage during WWII – these dogs are almost extinct. They suffered from hunger, became victims of barely surviving people, their skins were used for clothing. At the end of the war, a government decree was issued to exterminate all dogs unfit for military use, as a real rabies epidemic began in Japan. For this reason, breeders have hidden part of the breed in remote colonies, breeding them from the Matagi Inu. In addition, enthusiasts bred hybrid generations of Akita with a German Shepherd to make them suitable for military service.
After the war, a new round of restoration of the Akita Inu breed began, the greatest contribution of which was made by Morie Savataishi – it is thanks to him that these unique dogs have survived to this day. Purebred individuals had to be collected from all over the country, but it paid off. The American military loved the charming and proud Akita Inu, so the breed was brought to the United States.
The ancient Japanese believed that the Akita Inu attracted good luck to its owner’s house, so they were very protective of these dogs.