The Akita dog breed is a giant dog or an extra large breed. This pup is part of the working group, known to be dignified, courageous, and highly loyal. To learn more about this massive doggo, keep reading.
|Akita Dog Breed Overview
|Akita Inu, American Akita Inu, Japanese Akita Inu, Japanese Akita, American Akita, Akita Ken
|24 - 28 inches
|70 - 130 pounds
|10 - 14 years
|Independent, Loyal, Sweet with Family
|Adult-only Households, Experienced Dog Owners
History Of The Akita
Did you know Akitas originally came from Japan? They were initially bred to guard royalty and the nobles. In addition, they tracked and hunted wild animals, such as boar, black bears, and deer.
This dog breed is part of the Spitz group of dogs but was developed long ago. It’s believed the Akita was created in the 17th century in northern Japan.
When the emperor banished a nobleman to be a provincial ruler on the Honshu island, this ruler set up a breeding competition. He wanted a robust and versatile hunting dog. Thus, the Akita was born.
Akitas were known as myths and legends, having figurines of them made. When a family had a child, they’d receive an Akita figurine to symbolize happiness and long life.
The Japanese National Breed Club was created because of this dog breed. Unfortunately, Akitas almost became extinct, so this club was born in 1927 to ensure the breed remained.
After World War II, this dog breed made its way to the United States. When visiting Japan, Helen Keller received this breed as a gift and brought it back home to America.
In 1972, the American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized Akita in the studbook. They also use nicknames, such as the Akita Inu, Japanese Akita, or the Akita Ken.
What Does The Akita Look Like?
Akitas are an extra large dog breed, with females slightly smaller than males. For example, females can grow to be about 24 to 26 inches tall and weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.
On the other hand, males can grow to be about 26 to 28 inches tall and weigh between 100 and 130 pounds.
According to the AKC’s breed standard, Akitas should have a powerful and alert general appearance about them. They have a massive head that’s well balanced with the rest of their body. Their face is also free of any wrinkles.
Its ears are one of the main characteristics of this dog breed. Akitas have triangular ears that are round at the tip and broad at the base. The ears stand firmly erect.
Akitas typically have dark brown eyes. The eyes are small and triangular.
Their body is usually longer than it is high. The chest is deep and wide, with strong, muscular legs. Everything is in proportion.
Finally, Akitas have a double coat. The undercoat is thick, soft, and dense. The outercoat is straight and harsh.
What Coat Colors Does The Akita Have?
According to the AKC, Akitas can be found in standard coat colors. The list of approved Akita colors and coat markings is in the table below.
|Akita Standard Coat Colors and Patterns
|Brown, Black Overlay
|Red, Black Overlay
|Fawn, Black Overlay
|Silver, Black Overlay
|White Mask, White Markings
|Black Mask, White Markings
|Black & White Mask, White Markings
|Pinto, Black & White Mask
|Pinto, Black Mask
However, this doggo can also have a variety of non-standard colors and coat patterns. For example, they can have the following:
- Fawn Brindle
- Red Brindle
- Silver Brindle
- Black Brindle
- Black, Brown Undercoat
- Black, Red Undercoat
- Black, Silver Undercoat
- Black, Fawn Undercoat
- White, Red Shading
- White Markings
- Black Mask
- White Mask
Caring For The Akita
Pet care is relatively simple as soon as you know your doggo and what their breed needs to thrive. First, let’s discuss overall dog care for your Akita.
It doesn’t look like it from the outside, but Akitas require little grooming. They’re typically clean and have little to no odor about them.
But do Akitas shed? Even though this breed isn’t considered hypoallergenic, Akitas rarely shed.
However, thanks to their double coat, you’ll still want to keep up with brushing their coat regularly. For instance, you can brush their coat once a week to keep it looking nice and reduce possible matting and tangles.
Twice a year, Akitas go through a shedding season. They’ll lose clumps of fur about your house during this time. So, brushing their coat a few times per week (if not daily) will be an ideal way to help keep the shedding under as much control as possible.
Once about every three months, bathe your Akita. You can do so at home or bring them to a professional grooming salon.
Finally, keep trimming their nails, brushing their teeth, and cleaning their ears regularly.
Akitas will do well on high-quality commercial dog food. However, you can also provide homemade dog food recipes if that’s what you prefer.
No matter what you feed your doggo, ensure the amount is ideal for their breed size, weight, metabolism, and age. If you’re unsure, check with your veterinarian.
However, this high-protein kibble from Nulo is an excellent option for puppies.
This canned wet food from Hill’s Science Diet is rich in antioxidants and supports healthy skin and coat for adult large breeds.
Finally, this dry dog food from Nutro is a great choice for large senior dogs.
Due to their large size, Akitas require some exercise, but they’re not highly active dogs. You can take them for a brisk walk or jog around the neighborhood, and they’ll be happy.
A good hour of exercise will be a good idea to keep this pup happy and fit.
However, they do enjoy playing and can be energetic in that sense. In addition, they’ll enjoy having a large fenced-in yard to play games of fetch in.
Remember, this doggo was initially bred to track and hunt animals. So, hiding treats or their favorite toy around the house or yard will be a great way to give them some physical and mental stimulation.
Akitas are intelligent and loyal but also independent and headstrong. As a result, training may not always be a walk in the park.
Due to their guardian nature and strong prey drive, Akitas can be aggressive toward other dogs and smaller animals. Also, they may perceive strangers as a threat.
Akitas need to have consistent training and socialization as early as possible. Also, training should never stop. Consistent training sessions are key even when this doggo is an adult and seems to know everything.
This dog breed will do well with an experienced dog owner in terms of being trained.
However, experienced or not, you can bring your Akita to a private training session with a professional dog trainer. Or, you can utilize group training once in a while to help socialize them (when the dog is ready to do so).
As with all dog breeds, Akitas are prone to specific health conditions. For example, some health issues they may get are the following:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Sebaceous Adenitis (SA)
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Patellar Luxation
- Cruciate Ligament Rupture
- Renal Cortical Hypoplasia
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
Bring your doggo to the vet at least once a year for an annual checkup.
You can bring them a few times as a puppy during their first year. You’ll be able to keep them up to date with their vaccinations. Also, you can track their overall growth and development.
With excellent care, Akitas have an average lifespan of about ten to 14 years.
Temperament Of Akita Dogs
There is a lot to love about the Akita. They have many wonderful Akita traits.
However, they might not be the best fit for everyone. This breed will do well with an experienced dog owner who can consistently train them and give them the proper exercise they need.
Some Akita personality traits can be affectionate and sweet with their family members, but they prefer to be the only dog in the house without any other pets. In addition, they would prefer an adult-only family without kids.
In addition, they’ll be wary of strangers and new faces coming into the home. Akitas don’t bark much but will certainly alert you if anything feels off to them.
This breed is independent and headstrong. Not to mention rather large, so don’t expect this pup to be a lap dog or cuddle beside you on the couch. However, they’ll enjoy spending time with you and love playing games and going on walks with their humans.
The Akita is an adaptable breed. Despite the Akita size, they can live well in an apartment. This is because they’re relatively quiet and don’t have too much energy to burn.
However, having a bigger house with a fenced-in yard is ideal to allow them to stretch their legs well.
Are There Any Differences Between Males And Females?
Aside from females being slightly smaller than males, they have slight temperament differences.
For example, males are more playful and laid-back than females. On the other hand, females are more serious. Yet, males can be more aggressive than females toward other dogs and strangers.
Finally, both genders are loyal to their family members, but females will tend to bond with one specific human in the home. On the other hand, males will connect with the whole family.
Who Should Own The Akita Dog Breed?
The best family to own an Akita would be a household with only adults and no children. Akitas need an experienced dog owner to help train them. Also, they don’t want to live in a home with other dogs, cats, or other small animals.
Where Can You Get An Akita?
You should be able to find the Akita dog breed anywhere you can adopt doggos. Your local animal shelter or Akita rescue organization is a great place to start.
These dogs are often at the shelter because they were surrendered by their previous owners, found as strays in the street, or abandoned. Remember to adopt and not shop. These dogs need loving homes too.
However, you may find an Akita puppy, adult, or senior. On the other hand, you could find a mixed breed with Akita genes.
So, if your heart is set on getting purebred Akita puppies, you can go through a reputable breeder.
Research various Akita breeders before deciding to work with one. An ethical breeder will always do the following:
- Ensure the puppies are up to date with their vaccinations
- Socialize and train the puppies as early as possible
- Won’t allow the puppies to leave their mother before eight weeks old
- Meet with you in person, wanting to get to know you (and allowing you to meet the dogs and litter)
- Have health certifications and family tree history information for you upon adoption
Be wary of backyard breeders or puppy mills. These places are more interested in earning a profit from the puppies rather than finding them good homes.
These breeders also don’t breed the dogs under healthy or safe conditions, often keeping them in kennels.
A good breeder will treat their dogs and litter as part of the family. Finally, they’ll only breed the dogs if it’s healthy and safe for the dogs.
You can begin your search for a good breeder through the AKC Marketplace.
Question Corner: FAQs About The Akita Breed
Are you interested in adding an Akita to your family? You can learn more about this dog breed by reading the frequently asked questions below.
How Much Do Akitas Cost?
The average Akita puppy price is between $700 and $1,600. However, some have paid up to $4,000 for purebred pedigrees. The cost may vary depending on the puppy’s lineage, age, location, rarity, reputation, and more.
What’s The Average Litter Size Of Akita Dogs?
This large dog breed can have between three to 12 puppies in one litter. However, the average amount is typically seven or eight puppies.
Are Akitas Hard To Train?
Akitas are intelligent and can be easy to train by an experienced dog owner. However, they need consistent training throughout their life.
Can Akitas Swim?
Despite their massive coat and giant size, Akitas do love swimming. Unfortunately, they’re not built for it, so it might take them some time to learn. However, this breed usually enjoys the water and can have a good time wading in the shallow end.
Can Akitas Be Left Alone?
If trained well and your Akita is at least 12 months old, they can be left home alone for long periods. However, give them fresh water before you go and ensure the right temperature for them. For example, the air conditioner should be on if it’s hot outside.
Can Akitas Live In Hot Weather?
Unfortunately, no. Due to their hefty coat, Akitas don’t have many ways to stay cool in the hot weather. They can regulate their body temperature when it’s about 85 degrees F. However, they shouldn’t have to tolerate any temperatures above 75 degrees F. Always monitor your dog in the heat and provide fresh, cool water.
Do Akitas Have A High Prey Drive?
This breed was initially bred to track and hunt wild animals, such as black bears, deer, and boar. Unfortunately, they continue to have a high prey drive toward wild animals, including small animals in the home.
Are Akitas A Banned Breed?
Unfortunately, yes, due to their tendency to be aggressive toward others. As a result, Akitas are banned in 19 North American states. They’re also banned in Ireland, Ukraine, Spain, Singapore, Romania, and Portugal.
Is The Akita Right For You?
If you’re an experienced dog owner with no other pets or children, then the Akita might be a good fit. This breed is relatively low-maintenance to care for. Also, they’ll be a loyal and sweet companion.
Rachel Poli is a content writer and author, but her real job is being a stay-at-home pet mom. Her zoo currently consists of a dog, a cat, two turtles, and two fish tanks. She’s also an avid pet sitter for a few local families, caring for various animals.
After realizing how little information there is for pet sitters on the internet, Rachel decided to start her own animal website. She strives to educate pet parents and pet sitters about the overall care of our furry friends.