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Akita is a middle-sized breed originating from Japan. The name akita is descended from a Japanese region from where the dog was first bred. Originally, the Akita was called “Odate-dog” but that was later changed to Akita Inu when the dog became the national breed of Japan.

In 1992 the Japanese decided to shorten the name to akita instead of Akita Inu. This dog filled many positions in the ancient Japan. Akita was used as hunting dog, guard dog, fighting dog, and draught dog.

Character and behaviour
The Japanese akita is loyal, friendly, and accommodating. The breed was originally bred for hunting and may display aggressive behaviour towards small animals. They can also be dominant and aggressive towards other dogs, especially same-sex dogs. The akita is a clean and intelligent dog that is capable of quickly learning new tricks.

However, this breed can become restless and frustrated, if it does not get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, due to its high level of intelligence. In order for the akita to be happy it needs lots of exercise.

History of the breed
In 710 to 794 the akita’s ancestors were used for bear hunting by the Japanese people Matagi. Those dogs were actually called Matagi Inu and not quite as big as the akita we know today. Within this period the country was plagued by wars between rival clans thus making the akita an excellent watchdog.

In 1185 to 1333 dogfights were very popular in Japan thus breeding the akita in preparation for a life as a fighting dog. In the beginning of the 20th century dogfights became illegal in Japan but was later resumed as a sport with special rules for when the fights must stop. Today, the fights are still legal in Japan (except in Tokyo) but a different breed is being used.

After World War II many American soldiers took akita home to the USA. This is the reason why two different lines of the breed exist – the American and the Japanese. The American akita is larger and more sturdy than the Japanese variant and it also differs in colour.

Character and behaviour
Akita is ca. 25-27 inches tall and weighs approximately 74 pounds. The akita Inu comes in five different colours: red, light brown, red fawn, sesame (reddish hair with black tips), brindle, and white. All akitas, except the white one, must have white hair on the muzzle, the cheeks, underneath its jaw, neck, chest, body, tail, and the inside of its legs.

The breed standard differs between countries thus allowing different colour variations. Akita has a dense double-layered coat, which serves as good protection in cold and harsh weather conditions. The dense coat requires regular brushing and sheds a lot in the summer.

What you should know about the breed:

  • Middle-sized, strong and wolf like in appearance
  • Has a dense coat that varies in colour
  • Has an imposing appearance
  • Moderate need of exercise
  • Its protective behaviour may result in aggressive behaviour towards other people and animals if not socialised properly as a puppy
  • Is strong-minded and thus can be difficult to train.
  • Protective of its food
  • Sheds a lot
  • Not a dog for first time dog owners

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  • This group is for anyone who owns a Akita or have questions to this specific dog breed.