The name Akita was given to the breed after a province in Japan. Known as the “esteemed hunter”, it was used to hunt bear, boar and deer. Bred especially to be a fighting dog in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Japanese government considers thm a national treasure for their courage, determination and loyalty.
The formation of The Akitainu Hozankai Society was for the preservation. World War II soldiers brought Akitas in America, but their popularity increased after Japan’s Ministry of Education gifted one of these purebred to Hellen Keller in 1937. In the same year, these dogs were getting popular in England.
- Akitas were called “snow country dogs” before they had an official breed
- Their statue is considered as a symbol of health, happiness and a long life
- Its trademark is its tail which curls at the back
- They are members of the America Kennel Club Working Group
- White and Black Akita Inu is highly popular among Lovers of this Breed
There are two varieties of Akita Inu - American and Japanese. Although few Japanese Akita puppies survived the destruction caused by the World War II, the American versions are more abundant in number. German Akitas are a cross between an Akita and a German shepherd.
Temperament & Personality
Due to their strong and courageous personality, these cute and funny dogs were first employed for the protection of the Japanese royalty and hence are ideal guard dogs.With their families and close one, these dogs maintain a very loving relationship. They are great as companions but can be challenging to train. Akita Inu hs a strong will and can act confidently in any environment, but can be lethal in front of smaller animals like cats. However, proper supervision is needed when they are around children. If grown around children then tend to be really caring and protecting, but can be risky if they have not been around children before.
The spirit of hunting is always present in them. Even after having them for years, the handler should not look into their eyes as this act refuels the predator instinct in them. These dogs are possessive about their food and should not be disturbed while eating. Moreover, they are stubborn yet adorable and loyal friends.
How Big is an Akita Inu?
They are large-sized dogs and can reach heights of over 24-26 inches & weigh between 75-120 pounds.
An Akita Inu puppy needs only 10-15 minutes of walking twice or thrice a day, while the adult breed needs to walk for 30 minutes thrice a day. Starting puppyhood, you should give them proper puppy training to ensure they evolve into obidient and well-mannered dogs. Additionally, physical exercises (like fetching a ball or tug of war) must be included to prevent complications like obesity and maintain a balanced behavior. These dogs become bored with the same commands over time. Roughness during training will result in a change of character. Akitas are independent and may react differently to your calls so training them isn’t easy. The solution is to include different exercises and switch between them.
Baby, small or an adult require bathing once every two to three months and nails require trimming once a month. No matter whether they have long hair or short hair they shed whole year and may entirely drop their coat twice a year. Daily or weekly brushing will maintain the quality of the skin. Grooming should be done from puppyhood because Akitas are known to refuse it.
Akitas are prone to various cancers and gastrointestinal bloating. Some of them are born with defects in their immune system which can give rise to complications like colitis, thyroiditis and lupus. Moreover, bad hip joints can cause lameness, hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament. Autoimmune arthritis is possible in puppies less than a year old.
The temperament of an Akita is an issue while training it. The strong-willed and aggression towards other dogs makes it difficult to teach this breed in front of smaller animals. Keep working in short sessions to maintain the dogs’ interest and switch the activities or else it will get bored and not cooperate. Using a clicker is advisable because these dogs respond well to them. Socialize the Akita because they are loners and uninviting to strangers. Use a leash to prevent the dog causing harm to unknown people.
Rice and seafood considered the primary foods of Akitas and the nutritional value must be kept in mind while feeding. Vegetables and meat are important for them as it meets the carbohydrates and protein requirements. Feeding it twice a day is sufficient, but some owners prefer to keep their dogs on a fast once a week. They should not be fed grapes, mushrooms, caffeine, raisins, chocolates, garlic and onions.
Comparison of Akita Inu vs Shiba Inu - Differences
Both the Akita Inu and Shiba Inu are confused with one another, but there are slight differences between them. Akitas are easier to maintain, and their grooming habits are also simple. Both of them are easy to train, they shed frequently and require regular exercises. Comparatively, Shibas are more adaptable and suit new owners.