The Akita Inu also called Japanese Akita is a dog breed that comes from Japan, and in its native country 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 awarded a national monument.
It is common that at the birth of a baby in the family or before the illness of a relative, a small size of an Akita Inu is given away. It is a dog belonging to the family of the spitz, of natural creation more than 3,000 years ago.
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 “dog”). Akita Prefecture on the island of Honshu is considered to be the region of origin of Akita Inu. Matagi-inu and her ancestors served people as irreplaceable helpers in hunting, allowing them to hunt even very large or dexterous animals: Japanese macaques, bears, wild boars.
In the XII-XIII centuries a new popular entertainment appeared in Japan – dog fighting. It became a cruel selection for these dogs, leaving only the strongest, evil and hardiest. In the 19th century, a wave of industrialization swept across the country, many residents moved, the number of crimes increased. Because of this, the Matagi Inu were retrained to guard 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 was bred with these dogs in order to obtain more aggressive and larger dogs.
This caused the concern of Japanese dog breeders, because the breed began to lose its features, so in 1931 Akita Inu at the state level were transferred to the status of a natural monument. Breeders actively engaged in the revival 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 serious damage during the Second World War – these dogs almost disappeared. 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 unsuitable for military use, since a real rabies epidemic began in Japan. For this reason, breeders hid some of the breed in remote settlements, breeding them from the Matagi Inu. Also, amateurs bred hybrid generations of Akita with a German shepherd to adapt them for military service.
After the war, a new round of restoration of the Akita Inu breed began, the greatest contribution to 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 throughout the country, but this bore fruit. The American military liked the charming and proud Akita Inu, so the breed was brought to the United States.
Characteristics of the Akita inu
The Akita inu is a large dog, very proportioned and stylized in all its silhouette, with a muscular and strong body, capable of facing all situations with courage. Its large head is striking, also proportionate to the rest of the body, with a powerful and fairly wide muzzle, which shows a very powerful scissor bite. Its nose is black and broad, and its ears are small and triangular in shape, always erect above the head. The eyes are also slightly triangular in shape, small and dark, and fairly spaced from each other.
The neck and chest are muscular and strong, very deep. In addition, its medium-length tail attracts attention, which always remains curled on its back. The Akita Inu legs are long and muscular, wide enough and prepared for any energetic activity, which also maintain a flexible and agile movement. Its broad but balanced constitution and its beauty made it a dog known and loved all over the world.
Akita inu size
The Akita inu is a large breed, with a large size, which can reach 71 centimeters high, with a minimum of 64. An adult male can weigh more than 50 kilos, a little less in the case of women, but proportions shocking anyway. It is an imposing animal that requires a trained person to manage it both physically and mentally, because its strength is not easy to control for anyone.
Akita inu coat
The Akita inu has a coat in two layers, very similar to that of the Nordic breeds par excellence. The inner layer consists of a soft and dense fur which protects the animal from temperature changes. The outer layer is short, thick and coarse to the touch, which also repels water and moisture. It can be of different colors, like red, tabby or pure white.
Akita inu behavior and personality
The Akita’s temperament is very special, loyal to its owner, reserved and silent. It is a balanced animal that never loses its calm in any situation, knows how to make decisions and always acts firmly. He tends to be dominant and territorial, but also very sociable if he is 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, it is generally a friendly dog, which does not bark if it is not completely necessary. They also adapt to life anywhere, but they need to be offered a high level of daily exercise.
The Akita Inu dogs are very intelligent animals, but with a character that must be understood, because they are not as docile and docile as the other breeds. They can disobey an order if they do not sit before their line manager, making the decisions they consider themselves.
They are easy to educate if they are well done, controlling their domination instincts and setting their limits. You need an experienced and trained owner to control it and create the most loving and loyal relationship that can exist.
Akita Inu dogs are strong dogs, both physically and mentally, that are not recommended for novice homeowners. Initial and ongoing management, training and socialization experience is required.
Is the Akita an aggressive dog?
In many places, the Akita Inu is considered a dangerous breed dog for its physical characteristics, such as its size, power and very powerful and dangerous form of scissor bite. In addition, this dog has a very marked character, which can sometimes be out of control if its owner does not train it correctly.
However, the nature of this animal is not aggressive, and it is rare that it tends to bite unless it meets a dangerous or aggressive adversary. Therefore, beyond the character of the dog, his behavior will largely depend on the education offered to him. The Akita Inu is a loving, friendly, loyal and protective dog, perfect for those who know how to understand it. Given these details, it will be possible to enjoy a balanced sample without any inconvenience.
Akita Inu , the samurai dog
Akita Inu has a temper that is sometimes too strong, but that does not mean that Akita is aggressive. Keep in mind that the history of these animals is linked to war, as the ancient samurai used them as a fighting dog. However, the Akita will display a docile temper when raised and raised in a respectful and calm family environment. The recommendation is that you know the Akita dog breed for yourself before judging, because many things that are said about the Akita Inu and his temperament are not true, or are based on personal experiences that cannot be generalized. For example, it’s common to hear about Akita and her independent temperament, but he can be a very affectionate dog if given the opportunity.
Health and Disease
The Akita Inu dog is in good health, provided that the puppy does not have serious congenital defects. Sometimes they suffer from genetic diseases and are sensitive to certain drugs. Among congenital and acquired / age-related ailments, there are:
- Entropy (turn of the century);
- Dysplasia of the hip joint;
- Pseudoparalytic myasthenia gravis (weakness of all muscles of the body);
- Von Willebrand disease (blood pathology);
- Retinal atrophy.
The life span of the Akita Inu is approximately 10-12 years. Females live a little longer than males, 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 forever left its imprint on genetics.
Despite the dislike for confined space, Akita Inu is well suited for living in a city apartment, and for keeping in a private house. In any case, it is imperative to provide long walks during which the dog can exercise its energy. Start knowing the world around you after passing all the vaccinations.
Walk around and beyond, change routes every day.
Visit both quiet and noisy places so that the dog gets used to as many situations as possible (park, forest, shops, beach, market, pet store, square). In the future, if she gets into a crowded place, she will not experience serious stress.
On walks, keep the Akita Inu on a leash, exercising control of the leader.
Although this breed does not like other dogs, teach them to behave calmly. When meeting with another pet on a leash, let them get to know each other, sniff each other. If all goes well, don’t get involved. Separate the dogs in case of aggression and growling.
Train your dog to travel in a car – start by traveling 5-10 minutes a day, gradually increasing this time to 35-45 minutes.
Akita Inu sheds heavily twice a year: from January to February and from May to June. During this period, the dog must be brushed every day, or at least 3-4 times a week. The rest of the time, combing out 4 times a month is enough. Constant shedding is possible in a home with very warm, dry air. Another reason is illness or improper diet. There is no need to cut and trim the pet’s coat. There are other recommendations for care.
Bathe your dog no more than 1-2 times a year, so as not to wash off the special protective lubricant of the coat. These dogs are very clean on their own, they know how to lick, and the rest of the dirt will be removed during combing.
Brush your pet’s teeth 1-2 times a week. Use only a special product.
Regularly examine the Akita’s eyes and ears in order to notice inflammation, discharge or an unpleasant smell in time – all this indicates an urgent need to visit a veterinarian.
Trim your nails every month if they don’t wear off naturally.
Teach your dog to any procedure even as a puppy. With an adult dog, you may simply not be able to handle it or cause stress and loss of confidence.
Akita Inu can be fed with both natural food and artificial food. In both cases, the food must be of high quality, the food must be balanced and the diet must be made taking into account the age and health of the pet.
Training and education
The foundation of upbringing is the socialization of pupies. The most important period is from 3 weeks to 4 months – this completely determines whether a dog can get along with a person or not, whether it grows up aggressive, how it will react to new people and animals in the future. Akita Inu must understand that only the owner defines the boundaries of his world, having the rights of a leader. Introduce the dog to as many places, events, people as possible. The understanding of the world, which was laid down at this stage, takes root by the year and can no longer be corrected. Keep in mind that before “going out into the world” you should get all vaccinations and wait a little.
From the first day the puppy moves to a new home, a hierarchy should be designated. Some owners are touched by the kids, allowing them to behave in an inappropriate way, but already at a tender age, the Akita Inu understands everything and probes the boundaries of his leadership. The owner should be caring, loving and calm, but with a strong character. If the dog does not recognize him as an undeniable dominant, trouble will soon arise. It comes to the point that some people abandon or even put the dog to sleep, not coping with his upbringing. A few more points are of great importance.
Try not to leave the puppy alone at first – introduce the dog to the apartment, things, but do not leave alone. If you need to leave, protect your baby from hazards and fragile items.
Start training as early as possible – these pets are very smart, so they understand the required minimum of commands by 8 weeks after birth. In a couple of months, you can expand the list of techniques and bring them to automaticity.
The whole family, friends, should communicate with the puppy – stroke, hold it in your arms, play. This will help the dog adapt to the noise, children (if any), in the future it will be easier to endure combing and other hygiene procedures.
Teach your baby that the owner has the right to take any thing or food – this must be done at the age from 2 months to at least six months. Take the toy, but don’t tease, pause and return it. Akita Inu will get used to the fact that the owner will always return what he deserves, so he can be trusted. If you do not develop this style of behavior, an adult dog will react extremely aggressively to attempts to take away an item taken without permission or inappropriate food.
Despite the great temptation, do not take the puppy to sleep in bed – in itself such a habit is not scary, but the dog should get used to the fact: the leader sleeps on the bed, the Akita – on the floor (arrange a soft rug or a separate bed).
Before treating the puppy, give the command to sit.
Show firmness of character, but do not frighten or beat the animal – the Akita Inu should have respect for the owner, not fear.
Akita Dog Breed Highlights
- Akita Inu does not like other dogs, especially his own gender.
- Correct upbringing, long-term socialization, competent training are extremely important, otherwise the Akita Inu is able to grow up aggressive.
- They are noble and restrained, but only when they recognize the owner as the unconditional leader.
- The Akita Inu sheds profusely twice a year.
- Dogs feel good in the house and apartment, but they require frequent walks, physical activity.
Seeing in the picture a beautiful dog of the Akita Inu breed, do not rush to acquire such a puppy. First, weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of the specified type of dog and assess your capabilities with regards to keeping a pet.
- Extremely loyal and protective of its family.
- The Akita Inu is an excellent watchdog.
- This dog barks only when needed and never unnecessarily.
- Akita thrives in a domestic environment.
- It is easy to house train because the Akita likes to stay clean.
- The Akita Inu has a very high prey drive.
- This dog breed must be well socialized from an early age to be a well-balanced dog.
- This dog loses a lot of hair especially in the spring and fall.
- It is an independent thinker, sometimes stubborn, and therefore more difficult to train.
- Not the best choice for dog owners for the first time.
- The Akita Inu must be well raised and socialized from a very young age by the breeders.