Other names: Haykita ken, Japanese Akita, American Hakita, Akita dog
The Akita Inu is a native of the Honshu Island, Japan in the Akita region where it remained unchanged for centuries. The Akita is considered the Japanese national dog and is one of the seven breeds considered a natural monument. The breed was used in many fields, including army and police, security (government and civilian), fighting dog, hunting dog (bears, deer, etc.) or sled dog.
The Akita is a versatile hunting dog, able to hunt in inclement weater. Its bite, carefully controlled, recommended it also in bird hunting. It is considered a sacred dog and a bringer of luck in Japan, small statues being made after him.
After the second World War, it arrived in America. Now there are two types of Akita, the original Japanese Akita Inu breed and the American Akita breed. The American dog sizes are different from those Japanese. In Japan and many other countries the Akita Inu and the Akita are considered to be two different races, and in Canada and the US is considered a single breed. The Japanese Akita is less common than the American one.
One of the first concerns when talking about the Akita is diet. If the diet is not right it may raise health issues, the dog can have stomach problems or unpleasant bloating. The dog’s stomach doesn’t work and is not identical to the human one, so it needs a different diet. The unpleasant bloating leads at first to a great discomfort that turns into great pain and ultimately the death of the dog. If the problem persists and if it’s treated too late it will lead to surgery. For gastric problems there is an established set of vitamins and nutrients just for this breed. If the animal refuses to eat don’t force it, it is best to consult a veterinarian.
Assuming that the above problems wouldn’t exist let’s move on to the actual dog food. It must be fed twice daily with fresh food with as few preservatives and E-s as possible. A diet based on high quality protein meats is recommended. There are some individuals that don’t like fish but it’s good to know that their stomachs digest fish meat very well. It can be introduced slowly in the dog’s diet so it will be able to get used to the taste.
For a long time this breed consumed large quantities of rice, which is also recommended. Others can be: cabbage, green beans, pork, potatoes, venison, chicken. It is best to avoid corn and beef. Another problem is obesity. Processed foods and the ones containing preservatives and salt should be avoided. Weight gain can lead to weakening of tendons, followed by other health problems.
It is a solid dog, balanced, with a flat skull between the ears. It has powerful and wide jaws. The nose is big and black. The ears are small compared to the head, wide at the base, triangular, slightly rounded at the top. It has strong teeth and a scissor bite. The thick neck, muscular, relatively short, rests on the shoulders.
The articulated legs end in thick pads. The coat is thick and soft, on the head and ears it’s short, except the tail where the hair is longest. The colors are clear and bright. It is a lively and strong dog. The height varies from 60 to 70 cm. Females are slightly smaller.
The weight varies between 35-55kg.
The Akita is a docile dog, intelligent, brave and fearless. It is attentive and affectionate with its family. Sometimes spontaneous, it needs an authoritarian master, else can be aggressive with other animals. It needs regular daily exercise to stay in shape. The Akita likes long outdoor walks.
The coat needs regular care. He enjoys a regular brushing especially if experiencedsince young. So hair loss throughout the house is avoided, if raised in an apartment. This breed sheds twice a year.
The training must be firm and is recommended to be done when it is still a pup. Instinctively they try to be leaders, a breed’s specific. When you decide to buy an Akita it is better to impose yourself from the begginnning for it to know who the leader is.
They consider that the group hierarchy is well defined. If given the chance to believe that he is the leader, then he will become possesive and behavioral problems can occur. Considered a first class dog in Japan, Japanese women leave their children in their care.
They are extremely loyal, but should be watched when left with other animals or small children. Although the breed is docile and tolerant with children, if they aren’t taught that all family members are masters, when they won’t agree with something they could impose by biting. These things depend on the quality of the training. Training an Akita requires patience and understanding, the dog tends to get bored quickly. It is good to know that the Akita barks, like any dog, but not excessively.
It can adapt to apartment life if taken outside daily to exercise and consume its energy.
It is a moderate dog in terms of energy. It prefers having its own yard than living in an apartment.
Akita breed dogs are prone to hip dysplasia. They may have trouble with the thyroid and skin and sometimes eyes problems. Also kneecap problems. The female gives birth to 3 to 12 pups, 7-8 average.