The American Akita is a variant of the Akita Inu from the northern and mountainous regions of Japan. The American strain is known simply as akita. This variant of the breed shows all kinds of colors unlike the Japanese akita. It is a breed that stands out for being a very protective type of dog with its family and having a high resistance to cold.
Its character is somewhat independent and is generally territorial, so it requires intense education and socialization.
If you are considering adopting an American Akita, you’ve come to the right place, in ‘ Pets feed ‘, we will do a general review of everything you need to know about the American Akita Dog, including useful information on origins, the character, food, care and of course the physical characteristics.
The word “American” in the name of the breed can be confusing when it comes to its origins. The second name – a large Japanese dog – is more eloquent in this regard: its homeland is the Land of the Rising Sun. But how did it happen that Akita suddenly became American?
The ancestors of the American Akita are the Japanese Akita Inu, originally used for hunting and security purposes. Several centuries ago, they were called differently: matagi-akita. Later they began to be used in dog fights, which became especially popular at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. In pursuit of monetary gain, the owners sought to “improve” their dogs, to make them larger and stronger. For this purpose, they were crossed with such breeds brought to the islands as mastiffs and shepherds.
However, as a result of these manipulations, the classic features of the breed began to blur, deteriorate, or even completely disappear. The damage caused by the matagi-akita was noticed at a dog show held in Tokyo in 1914. Soon the pure representatives of the breed were declared natural monuments, and their crossing with representatives of other species fell under a categorical ban. Breeders added work: they did everything possible to return the matagi-akita to their original characteristics.
No sooner had these magnificent dogs, which became the subject of national pride of the Japanese, to recover from the blow inflicted on the breed by irrepressible human greed, as the Second World War broke out. By order of the government, all breeders donated their pets for the needs of the front. The end of the war, as you know, was put by the surrender of Japan in 1945. Returning to their homeland, the US military decided to take with them several vending puppies. It was they who became the progenitors of the new breed a few years later. And actually the classic Akita Inu on the Japanese Islands after the war, there were no more than 20 individuals.
At the same time, overseas, the breed began to gain widespread recognition and developed at a rapid pace. At first it was called the big Japanese dog. But in the States, work on the breed with the Japanese was not synchronized – it went in parallel and, as they say, its own way. Japanese breeders have tried to negotiate with their American counterparts about her common ancestry, but in vain. They did not even allow the export of dogs declared on the islands as natural monuments to the United States. All these measures did not stop the Americans. As a result, over time, the overseas Akita began to differ from the Japanese in both appearance and character. And then it got a new name – American Akita.
In 1956, a new breed club was formed, recognized by the American Kennel Club only in 1972. The “war of breeds” with Japan continued until 1992: for two decades, the dog breeding clubs of both countries did not recognize each other – only the Japanese Akita Inu was registered with the International Cynological Federation (FCI). The official division of the breeds took place only in 2000, when the FCI approved the standard for the overseas Akita.
Physical appearance of the American Akita dog
The American Akita is a large dog with impressive weight and heavy bones. The muscles are well developed in all parts of the body. The growth of adults is 61-71 cm, weight is about 45-65 kg.
A large head rests on a powerful, short neck. Against his background, the triangular, erect ears seem small. The eyes are dark, not large. The muzzle is wide, the nose is black. Jaws are square. The canines are large, the bite is scissor, but a straight bite is also not considered a defect.
The back is straight, the chest is wide. The belly is tucked up. Legs are straight with well-developed muscles. The toes are webbed.
The fluffy tail is beautifully wrapped in a ring.
The double coat reliably protects the American Akita from the cold, it is hard to the touch. There is an extremely dense, dense undercoat. Unlike the top coat, it is soft, as if airy.
Thanks to him, the dog can stay outside even at very low temperatures (20-30 degrees below zero). The hair on the tail is the longest, which serves as a decoration for the dog.
The coat color of the American Akita is quite varied. Most often, representatives of the breed are gray or red.
In any color, white patches should be present on the limbs, tail and chest.
Character and temperament of the American Akita
The American Akita is a territorial dog that tends to patrol the house or property. He generally has an independent character and a very reserved attitude towards foreigners. Some people find similarities with the behavior of cats.
They are somewhat dominant in their relationship with other dogs and extremely loyal to their family. For this reason, we recommend socializing our American Akita from a very young age, because when faced with a violent attack or an attitude that can be interpreted as bad, our beloved dog can show a bad reaction.
All of this will depend on the education we provide, among others. At home, it is a docile, distant and calm dog. In addition, he has affinity and patience in contact with children. It is a courageous, protective, daring and intelligent dog. The American AKita dog is spontaneous and requires an experienced owner who can guide you through basic training and controls.
There are usually many people who claim that the American Akita is a very suitable dog for families with children. It is true that although they are (potentially dangerous dogs) or very independent, they are generally very integrated into the family nucleus who will let their ears be pulled and will not hesitate to protect the smallest and most vulnerable from the house of strangers.
Regarding behavior with other dogs, American Akita is generally somewhat intolerant of same sex dogs if it is not properly socialized. They can be dominant or aggressive.
American Akita health and diseases
The American Akita is naturally endowed with good health and good immunity. Her puppies, unlike representatives of some other breeds, are less susceptible to infections. However, there are ailments to which the representatives of this breed are genetically predisposed: dysplasia of the hip joint, progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, bloating, volvulus and eversion of the eyelids, infertility.
Dysplasia of the hip joint can develop, first of all, due to excessive physical activity during growing up and due to improper diet. That is, despite the genetic predisposition, this disease may not develop if you provide the Akita with a balanced diet and not overload it during training. Infertility in some dogs can be due to hormonal disorders.
In addition, representatives of the breed can suffer from allergic reactions, seborrheic adenitis, hypothyroidism, dermatitis, volvulus, pemphigus, anesthesia intolerance, and Cushing’s syndrome (also known as hyperadrenocorticism). This disease affects the organs of the endocrine system due to the excessive production of adrenocorticotropic hormone by the pituitary gland and the hormone cortisol – by the adrenal glands.
The average life span of the American Akita is 10-14 years.
Taking care of the American Akita is not difficult, but it must be done. Hygiene treatments will help keep your pet healthy and beautiful. In addition, daily care is the only way to timely detect various diseases at an early stage and take the necessary measures.
The breed possesses a dense “fur coat” with a soft undercoat, not prone to falling into mats. The wool does not need a haircut, but it needs to be washed regularly and combed with a metal comb 1-2 times a week. The coat is prone to shedding. The molting process is abundant, it takes place twice a year – in spring and autumn. During this period, the dog must be combed out daily using a slicker or furminator.
The eyes need regular examination. If you notice small gray lumps in the corners of your eyes, then you shouldn’t worry too much, they can be easily removed with a soft, lint-free cloth. If you notice an abundant sourness of the eyes, swelling of the eyelids, constant tearing, immediately contact a specialist. Self-medication in such cases is unacceptable.
The ears should be examined carefully once a week. In a healthy ear, an excess of sulfur is not observed; it is of a beautiful pink color. The reason for contacting the veterinarian should be an abundance of sulfur, redness of the ear and an unpleasant odor from it, as well as a rash. Only a specialist can determine what is the reason. And there can be many reasons: ear mites, otitis media, allergies to certain components of the diet.
American Akita teeth should be brushed 3-4 times a week using dog paste. You can use a brush or stick to a finger tip. It is important to prevent the appearance of tartar, so the condition of the dog’s oral cavity must be monitored constantly, regularly take your pet to the veterinarian for examination.
After walking, be sure to wipe the American Akita’s paws using damp towels and inspect them for cracks and injuries. It is necessary to rub vegetable oil into the pads of the paws and include it in the diet, one teaspoon per day is enough. Such a simple preventive measure will prevent the appearance of cracks. Use a large breed nail clipper to trim your nails (this should be done once a month). To avoid chips and burrs, the sharp ends are smoothed out with a file.
The easiest feeding method is the artificial one. Ready-made dry food contains everything that is necessary for the body, provided that they are of high quality and purchased from a reliable seller.
If you choose the natural way, then carefully select the diet. All products must be fresh. Provide your pet with a balanced diet, take care of vitamin and mineral supplements.
Adult American Akita dogs eat 2 times a day. The favorite delicacy of a large Japanese dog is fish. In second place is meat. It is not recommended to feed the Akita with fruit, except as an infrequent treat.
The selection of feed must be treated very carefully, with knowledge of the matter. After all, the American Akita is prone to gastrointestinal diseases, it often has problems with digestion.
Akita puppies should be fed a good quality and well-balanced diet and the breeder would have given you their feeding schedule when you picked them up. It is essential to follow a feeding routine when you get a puppy for the first time, or you may find that he is suffering from severe stomach aches.
Adult American puppies need a lot more nutrients to grow and develop properly, so it is essential that they are fed an adequate, good-quality diet. As an indication, an American Akita puppy should be fed 3 or 4 per day.
Once an American Akita puppy is 15 months old, it can be fed with food for adult dogs.
Training and education
The upbringing and training of the American Akita should be done only by an adult with experience, will and a firm hand. The breed is not suitable for weak-tempered people, not to mention the elderly and people with disabilities.
The American Akita training for many, even experienced owners, can turn into hard work. But this is not at all because a dog of this breed is a “slow-witted”. On the contrary, by nature she has an extraordinary mind, and before carrying out the command given to her, she will first think about whether it is worth doing. From the outside, it may look like the Akita did not understand what they wanted from her. It also matters how the owner is authoritative in her eyes. The “American” will obey only the one whom he considers his leader, the leader.
Most of the American Akitas are very active, they learn, generally speaking, quickly. But they, like people, can be “seized” by routine. In the sense that a dog can get bored of performing the same commands, so motivation is very important in the process of training and education. At the initial stage, it will be easy to do only with praise and delicacy. In the future, you will have to show imagination, how else to interest your pupil.
It happens that the puppy begins to show character: is stubborn, does not want to follow the commands. This is where it is necessary to show who is in charge. To do this is quite simple: press the capricious back to the floor and hold it in this position until it stops resisting. Alternatively, grab the puppy by the withers and press it to the floor – this method is also effective. At first glance, it may seem that by such actions the owner is showing violence to the dog. However, in fact, these are effective ways to convey to the dog that he is its leader, and that he is stronger. In the future, Akita will more than once try to take leadership positions, checking through disobedience whether the owner has weakened his “grip”, whether he will not begin to yield to her. Don’t fall for such tricks!
The main purpose of the American Akita is to protect the owner, and she will try to always be near. So that such “care” from the pet does not become inconvenient, in the process of training and raising a puppy, it is necessary to pay special attention to the command “Place!” Otherwise, the dog will be on duty near a closed door, waiting for you from work, sleeping by your bed and insistently guarding near the locked door to the bathroom.
American Akita Fun Facts
- Due to the hunting instinct, the American Akita can suddenly attack a dog while walking or even a cat, with which she grew up in the same yard since childhood.
- Too independent BLS themselves set the time of play, rest or training. Therefore, without proper education, representatives of the breed turn into uncontrollable pets, which is fraught with unpleasant and even dangerous situations.
- In some countries (Great Britain, Canada), American and Japanese Akitas are still considered the same breed.
- The American Akita does not tolerate the smell of alcohol and behaves extremely aggressively with not sober people.
- In Japan, Akita is declared a national treasure.
- Every year at Shibuya Station, connoisseurs of a devoted Akita named Hachiko hold celebrations in her honor.
American Akita Dog Breed Highlights
- Excellent watchdog qualities are the hallmark of the American Akita. With such reliable security, you can feel calm and safe.
- Remaining loyal to the owner and recognizing his leadership, the American Akita may try to dominate him. Attacks of “conceit” most often occur during puberty.
- With the right upbringing from a representative of this breed, you can “blind” not only an excellent companion, but also a hunter, guide or guard.
- The American Akita has a very stable psyche. She shows aggression only in the presence of danger.
- Breed training is not an easy job. The dog is extremely intelligent and unquestioningly obeys the owner only if he considers him the undisputed leader.
- The American Akita is a well-mannered dog and easily tolerates eye contact. However, if you look into her eyes, bending over is not recommended: she may perceive this as aggression towards herself.
- The breed does not tolerate a long separation from the owner. Loneliness can provoke behavioral problems and become a source of intense stress.
- Despite the open and sociable nature, the American Akita is quite cold with strangers until she decides for herself whether she can trust this or that person.
Only a strong, strong-willed person with the data of a real leader can become the master of the American Akita. If you do not deserve the respect, trust of this independent dog, she will control you, and not vice versa. Consider your options carefully before bringing a large Japanese dog into your home, and check out its main pros and cons.
- Extremely loyal and protective of his family.
- The American Akita dog is an excellent guard dog.
- He barks only when necessary and never unnecessarily.
- The American Akita thrives in a family environment.
- A fun dog by nature.
- The American Akita dog likes to keep itself clean like its feline counterparts.
- It is easy to maintain because the American Akita likes to be clean and keep itself clean.
- The American Akita dog has a very high sense of prey.
- He must be well socialized from an early age to be a well-balanced dog.
- It is a dog that loses a lot of hair, especially in spring and autumn.
- The American Akita is an independent and sometimes stubborn dog and therefore more difficult to train.
- Not the best choice for new dog owners.