Weight: male: 85-130, female: 65-110 lbs
Height: male: 25-28, female: 23-26 inches
Life expectancy: 10-12years
Size of litters: 3-12 puppies
History Originating from Japan, the Akita has remained unchanged for centuries. Today it’s seen as the national dog of Japan and was developed in the Akita region (hence the name). They were originally bred for hunting and dog fighting and their ancestors were used for hunting by the matagi.
Their head is horizontal, heavy and shaped like a rounded triangle. Dark, triangular eyes are set deeply in to the head and their ears are erect and wide. The Akita’s body is muscular, strong and longer than they are tall. Their thick legs are finished with webbed paws making them good swimmers. Their coats are of medium length and have a soft undercoat. They come in a range of colours: brindle, sesame, white, and red fawn.
They’re intelligent, bold but can be docile at times. They’re gentle, loving, and faithful with their families, and flourish on companionship. They love and need to be around their families and will protect children who belong to their family, but might not accept others. Mothers in Japan would frequently leave the children in the Akita’s care (although this is not recommended with any dog). If annoyed or teased they may bite so your children must be taught to treat them with kindness. They should be supervised well around children and other animals. They can be very hostile towards other dogs and animals so never take them off the lead when others are present.
The Akita sheds heavily twice a year and this will last a couple of weeks each time. Weekly grooming with a firm brush is a must, but bathing should only be done when necessary as it can harm their coats. A large fenced off garden is needed and long daily walks are recommended. Your Akita will love to play with the family with a variety of toys. Swimming now and again is also a good form of exercise, but not in cold weather as it may damage their coat if it can’t dry properly. Some of these health problems have been known to occur: hypothyroid, autoimmune thyroiditis, hip dysplasia, PRA, Micro, entropion patella, VKH Pemphigus, SA, and problems with the knee. For more detailed info, take a look at the Akita Grooming page.
Obedience training will be required but variety is needed as Akita’s can get bored quite easily. Firm and consistent training will work best, and a dominant owner will have to show the Akita who is in control. They’re incredibly clever and therefore learn exceptionally quickly. Boundary control is a definite so the Akita won’t get hurt.