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Akita

Quick facts

Akita AKC Group: Working
Height: Male: 26-28 inches, Female: 24-26 inches
Weight: Male: 75-120 pounds, Female: 75-110 pounds
Colors: Any color including white, brindle, or pinto
AKC recognized in: 1972

Akita dogs are quite a sight to behold. Even among the most glorious-looking of breeds, it is easily cut above the rest. Its very presence commands a majestic atmosphere and its stature is both elegant and powerful. Earthy and strongly built, the Akita stands proud and well-proportioned.

Originating from the lands of Japan, these dogs were originally used as hunting dogs around the region of Tahoko. Although back then, they were much smaller in frame and build than the Akita of today.

In its homeland Japan, this breed has only four acceptable and official coat colors: pure white, brindle, sesame, and red fawn. In other countries however, most prominently in the United States, not only were they bred to have a larger and stockier build, but more coat colors were also introduced.

Generally, Akitas are known for their stern and yet adorable appearance which creates a striking resemblance to Siberian Huskies. They have powerful body muscles, strong legs, wide and proud-looking chest, and a tall figure.

They have a prominent facial features with strong accents suggesting wittiness and intelligence. And their triangular-shaped eyes appear deep set and seem to convey a gentle expression. As such, it is often easy to fall for Akitas on sight.


Temperament

Akita Summary
Affection three paws
Cold Tolerance five paws
Ease of Training two paws
Energy level three paws
Exercise Requirements two paws
Friendliness : Children one paw
Friendliness: Other Animals one paw
Friendliness: Other Pets one paws
Grooming Requirements three paws
Heat Tolerance two paws
Playfulness two paws
Protection Ability four paws
Watchdog Ability four paws

Despite their majestic and powerful demeanor which seems to command authority, the Akita can actually be a docile and affectionate dog. It can display exemplary loyalty, submissiveness, and strong relationship with its owner and its accepted family members. This breed is considered a top class guard dog in its country of origin, Japan. It is said that Japanese parents would entrust their children at home with their Akita dog, and although there is some truth to this, it is not recommended, and it is necessary to train an Akita for it to be completely manageable around children.

If not given proper training or not exposed to socializing from an early age, this breed can be quite intolerant to teasing. As a result, it can react by biting. So when around children, Akita dogs needs to be supervised unless they are properly trained.

This breed also has the tendency to assume the alpha dog position within the family. Therefore, the main owner and everyone in the family must exercise firmness and consistency. This way, it will acknowledge its position in the pack as the lowest and will submit willingly.

Health

The average lifespan of the Akita is 10 to 12 years.

While the Akita is generally a healthy dog, it is susceptable to certain health problems. These problems include:

  • Hypothyroidism - An under-active thyroid gland, which can result in obesity, epilepsy, lethargy, and skin conditions.
  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) - A group of diseases that progress over time and eventually cause blindness in your dog. The retina either stops developing early or the receptors start degenerating early in life. This is an inherited disorder.
  • Gastric Dilatation-volvulus - This is a life-threatening condition where the stomach becomes distended with gas or air, and then twists. This can happen with all deep chested dogs, especially if they eat their meal rapidly or drink large volumns of water. If this happens, it is extremely important that you get your dog to a vet immediately.
  • Sebaceous adenitis (SA) - A genetic condition that is often misdiagnosed as hypothyroidism or allergies. Affected dogs will have dry, scaly skin, and suffer from hair loss on the back, neck and head.

Care

The Akita requires regular, although moderate exercise, including a long walk daily. Although it is possible to keep an Akita in an appartment with this excercise, it is best suited with a house with a large fenced in yard.

Although Akita dogs have a naturally beautiful coat, they need to be taken care of so they maintain their softness and healthy gleam. Generally, a regular combing session using a bristle brush at least once a week will keep the coat in top shape. In terms of shedding, Akitas shed a lot! This can, however, be significantly minimized by regular grooming.

An Akitas coat does not require trimming or shaving. Also, frequent bathing is discouraged for this dog breed. Regular shampooing can strip the natural waterproofing properties of its coat.

Visitor Comments

This is your chance to add your feedback. Do you have a Akita in your family, or know one in someone else’s? Do you have a story to tell related to that Akita? Or maybe you have more questions that either Dog Nation or another of our visitors might be able to help you with? Feel free to add your comment or question below.


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