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Akita

Akita Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A large, powerful and loyal Japanese breed known for their thick fur, curled tail and bear-like appearance.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.
Also Known As:Japanese Akita
Type:Mammal

Size:

Akitas are considered a Large dog breed.
Weight:32-59 kg.
Height:61-71 cm (24-28 inches) for males-56-66 cm (22-26 inches) for females.
Length:66-71 cm (26-28 inches) for males-61-66 cm (24-26 inches) for females.

Lifespan:

The average lifespan of an Akita is around 10-14 years or more.

Behavior:

What type of dog is a Akita, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Akitas are known for their strong and independent personalities. They are a large and powerful breed that was originally bred in Japan for hunting and guarding purposes. Akitas are loyal and have a strong devotion to their owners, but they can also be aloof and independent at times.

Temperament:

Akitas have strong and confident personalities. They are intelligent and independent dogs that are not afraid to take charge. Akitas are also loyal and have a strong devotion to their owners. They are protective of their families and can be wary of strangers. Akitas are not typically aggressive, but they can be if they feel threatened or if they perceive a threat to their family.

Behavior:

Akitas have a calm and dignified demeanor. They are not typically hyperactive or overly excitable, but they do require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Akitas can be stubborn and difficult to train at times. They are not recommended for first-time dog owners or those who are not experienced with training and handling large, powerful breeds.

Overall, Akitas are loyal, intelligent and independent dogs that require a firm and consistent hand in training and handling. They are not recommended for everyone, but for those who are experienced with large breeds and are willing to put in the time and effort to properly train and socialize them, Akitas can make wonderful companions and family pets.

Intelligence

Akitas are generally considered to be intelligent dogs. They have an independent and strong-willed nature, which can sometimes make them challenging to train. However, with consistent and patient training, Akitas can learn a variety of commands and tasks. They have good problem-solving abilities and their ability to adapt to new situations. Overall, Akitas are a smart breed, but their intelligence may require more effort to harness than some other breeds.

Trainability

Akitas have an independent and stubborn nature, which can make them challenging to train. However, with patience, consistency and positive reinforcement techniques, Akitas can be trained successfully. It is important to start training early and socialize them with people and other animals to prevent aggression and fearfulness. Akitas respond well to firm and consistent training, but harsh or punitive methods should be avoided as they can lead to aggression and distrust. It is also important to establish yourself as the pack leader and provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them engaged and prevent boredom. Overall, training an Akita requires dedication, patience and a firm but gentle approach.

Sleep

Akitas, like most dogs, sleep an average of 12-14 hours per day. However, the amount of sleep can vary depending on the age, health and activity level of the individual dog. Puppies and older dogs may sleep more, while younger, more active Akitas may sleep less. It’s important to provide your Akita with a comfortable and quiet sleeping area to ensure they get the rest they need.

Bark

Akitas are a vocal breed and can bark quite a bit, especially when they feel threatened or when they want to alert their owners of something. However, with proper training and socialization, their barking can be controlled. It’s important to note that excessive barking can also be a sign of anxiety or boredom, so it’s important to provide them with enough exercise and mental stimulation.

Drool

Akitas are moderate droolers. They may drool more when they are excited or after drinking water, but in general, they do not drool excessively. However, every dog is different, so some Akitas may drool more than others.

Lick

Akitas are not excessive lickers. They may lick their owners or themselves occasionally, but it is not a common behavior for the breed. If an Akita is licking excessively, it may be a sign of anxiety or stress and should be addressed by a veterinarian or animal behaviorist.

Jump

Akitas are good jumpers and can jump up to 6 feet high. However, it’s important to note that jumping too high can be dangerous for their joints and bones, so it’s recommended to provide them with appropriate exercise and training.

Dig

Akitas are moderate diggers. They have a natural instinct to dig, which can be exacerbated if they are bored or not getting enough exercise. However, with proper training and exercise, their digging behavior can be managed. Providing them with a designated digging area or toys to play with can also help redirect their digging behavior.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Akita the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Akita.

Exercise

Akitas are a large and active breed that require a moderate amount of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They should be given at least one hour of exercise per day, which can include brisk walks, runs or playtime in a fenced yard. Akitas also enjoy activities such as hiking, swimming and obedience training. It is important to note that Akitas are prone to joint problems, so it is important to avoid excessive exercise or activities that could put strain on their joints.

Space

Akitas are a large breed and require a considerable amount of space. They need enough space to move around, play and exercise. Ideally, they should have access to a large, fenced yard where they can run and play. Akitas can also adapt to living in an apartment or smaller living space, but they will need daily exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. It is important to provide Akitas with enough space and exercise to keep them healthy and happy.

Apartment

Akitas are not recommended for apartment living as they are a large breed and require a lot of space to move around and exercise. They also have a strong protective instinct and may become territorial in a small living space. Akitas are better suited for homes with a large yard or open space where they can run and play. Additionally, Akitas require daily exercise and mental stimulation, which may be difficult to provide in an apartment setting.

Left Alone

Akitas are very independent and can tolerate being left alone for short periods of time. However, they are also loyal and protective of their family, so leaving them alone for extended periods of time can lead to separation anxiety and destructive behavior. It’s important to provide them with plenty of exercise, mental stimulation and socialization to prevent boredom and loneliness. If you need to leave your Akita alone for an extended period of time, it’s recommended to hire a dog walker or pet sitter to provide them with companionship and care.

Kid/Family Friendly

Akitas can be good with kids and families, but they require proper socialization and training from an early age. Akitas have a loyal and protective nature, which can make them great family pets. However, they can also be independent and stubborn, so it’s important to establish clear boundaries and rules for them to follow. Additionally, Akitas have a strong prey drive and may not be suitable for homes with small pets. Overall, Akitas can make great family pets with the right training and socialization.

Perfect Fit

Akitas are loyal, intelligent and protective dogs that require a dedicated and experienced owner. They are best suited for a household with a large, securely fenced yard where they can exercise and play. Akitas are not recommended for first-time dog owners or families with young children, as they can be strong-willed and require consistent training and socialization. They also have a high prey drive and may not be suitable for households with small pets such as cats or rabbits. Akitas thrive in a calm and structured environment with a routine and clear boundaries. They make excellent companions for individuals or families who are willing to invest time and effort into their training and care.

Pros and Cons:

Owning an Akita comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here is a table with 5 pros and cons of owning an Akita:

ProsCons
1. Loyal and protective1. Can be aggressive towards strangers and other animals
2. Intelligent and easy to train2. Requires a lot of exercise and mental stimulation
3. Low maintenance coat3. Can be stubborn and difficult to handle
4. Good with children and family4. Can develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long
5. Independent and self-sufficient5. Prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia and autoimmune diseases

Overall, owning an Akita can be a rewarding experience for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to properly train and care for them. However, it is important to consider the potential challenges that come with owning this breed before making a decision.

Cost:

The cost of an Akita in Australia can vary depending on the breeder, location and pedigree. On average, an Akita puppy can cost between $2,000 to $5,000 AUD. It is important to do thorough research and find a reputable breeder to ensure that the puppy is healthy and has been bred ethically.

Breed History:

Akitas were originally bred in Japan for hunting large game, such as wild boar, deer and bears. They were also used as guard dogs and as symbols of loyalty and bravery. The breed was developed in the northern region of Japan, where the climate is harsh and the terrain is rugged. Akitas were bred to be strong, agile and fearless, with thick coats to protect them from the cold. They were also trained to work independently, making decisions on their own while hunting or guarding their owners’ property. Today, Akitas are still used for hunting and guarding, but they are also popular as family pets and show dogs.

Current Usage

Akitas are currently being used as both pets and working dogs.

As pets, Akitas are known for their loyalty, intelligence and protective nature. They make excellent companions for families and individuals who are willing to provide them with the proper training, socialization and exercise they need. Akitas are also used as therapy dogs, providing comfort and support to people in hospitals, nursing homes and other settings.

As working dogs, Akitas are used for a variety of tasks, including hunting, tracking and guarding. In Japan, Akitas are still used as hunting dogs, primarily for hunting wild boar. They are also used as police and military dogs in some countries, due to their strong protective instincts and ability to quickly assess and respond to potential threats. Additionally, Akitas are used in search and rescue operations, as well as in therapy and assistance work for people with disabilities.

Guard Dogs

Yes, Akitas are known for their protective nature and make excellent guard dogs. They are loyal and devoted to their family and will defend them against any perceived threat. Akitas are also highly intelligent and have a strong sense of territory, which makes them excellent at guarding their home and property. However, it is important to note that Akitas require proper training and socialization to ensure they do not become overly aggressive or territorial.

Where Are They Found?

Akitas are most popular in their country of origin, Japan. They are also popular in the United States, where they were first introduced in the early 20th century. Other countries where Akitas are popular include Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Climate

Akitas are best suited to a cooler climate with moderate temperatures. They have a thick double coat that helps them stay warm in colder temperatures, but they can also overheat in hot and humid weather. Akitas are originally from Japan, where the climate is generally mild with cool winters and warm summers. They can adapt to different climates with proper care and acclimation, but they may require extra attention and precautions in extreme temperatures.

Population

It is difficult to determine the exact number of Akitas in the world as there is no centralized database or registry for this breed. However, it is estimated that there are tens of thousands of Akitas worldwide.

Physical Appearance:

Akitas are a large breed of dog with a sturdy and muscular build. They have a broad head with a short muzzle and small, triangular ears that stand upright. Their eyes are dark and almond-shaped, giving them a serious and alert expression. Akitas have a thick, double coat that comes in a variety of colors, including white, brindle, fawn and red. They have a distinctive curled tail that is carried high over their back. Akitas have a powerful and dignified presence, with a confident and loyal personality.

Coat:

Colours:

Akitas can come in a variety of colors, including: Red, Fawn, Sesame, Brindle, White and Black. It’s important to note that some colors are more rare than others and that certain colors may not be accepted in breed standards for shows.

Hair/Fur Length:

Akitas have a thick, double coat of fur that can be medium to long in length. The fur around their neck and shoulders is typically longer and thicker than the rest of their body.

Shedding:

Yes, Akitas shed. They have a thick double coat that sheds heavily twice a year, typically in the spring and fall. During shedding season, they will require more frequent brushing to remove loose fur and prevent matting. Regular grooming can help manage shedding and keep your Akita’s coat healthy and shiny.

Grooming:

The Akita has a thick, double coat that sheds seasonally, so it requires regular grooming to keep its coat healthy and shiny. Weekly brushing is recommended to remove loose hair and prevent matting. During shedding season, daily brushing may be necessary.

The Akita’s coat does not need to be cut, except for trimming around the ears and paws for hygiene purposes. However, some owners choose to have their Akita’s coat professionally groomed or trimmed for aesthetic reasons. It is important to note that excessive trimming or shaving can damage the coat and affect its ability to regulate body temperature.

Hypoallergenic:

No, Akitas are not considered hypoallergenic dogs. They have a thick double coat that sheds heavily twice a year, which can trigger allergies in some people. Additionally, Akitas produce dander, which is a common allergen. If you have allergies, it’s important to spend time with an Akita before bringing one into your home to see if you have a reaction.

Speed:

Akitas can run at a speed of up to 45 kph (28 mph).

Health:

Akitas are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common health issues Akitas are faced with include:

  1. Hip Dysplasia – a genetic condition that causes the hip joint to develop abnormally, leading to arthritis and pain.
  2. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness.
  3. Hypothyroidism – a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to weight gain, lethargy and skin problems.
  4. Bloat – a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, cutting off blood supply to the organs.
  5. Von Willebrand’s Disease – a bleeding disorder caused by a deficiency in a blood clotting protein.
  6. Sebaceous Adenitis – a skin condition that causes inflammation and hair loss.
  7. Immune-Mediated Diseases – Akitas can be prone to various autoimmune diseases, where the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues.

Teeth:

Adult Akitas typically have 42 teeth, which includes 20 upper teeth and 22 lower teeth.

Eyesight:

Akitas have excellent eyesight, which is one of the reasons they were originally bred for hunting. Their sharp vision allows them to spot prey from a distance and track it down with ease. Additionally, their keen eyesight also makes them excellent watchdogs, as they can quickly detect any potential threats to their home and family.

Nipples:

Akitas usually have six to eight nipples. The exact number can vary within this range, but six to eight is the general count for this breed.

Gestation:

Litter Size:

The typical litter size for Akitas is between 3 to 7 puppies. However, litter sizes can vary and may be affected by factors such as the age and health of the mother, genetics and environmental factors.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for Akitas is typically around 63 days, although it can range from 58 to 68 days.

Heat:

Akitas typically go into heat twice a year, although the frequency can vary.

Male vs Female:

There are several differences between male and female Akitas:

  1. Size: Male Akitas are generally larger and heavier than females. Males can weigh up to 130 pounds, while females typically weigh between 70-100 pounds.
  2. Temperament: Male Akitas tend to be more dominant and assertive, while females are often more reserved and independent.
  3. Coat: Male Akitas tend to have a thicker and fuller coat than females, especially around the neck and shoulders.
  4. Health: Female Akitas are more prone to certain health issues such as mammary tumors and reproductive problems, while males are more prone to hip dysplasia and other joint issues.
  5. Training: Male Akitas can be more challenging to train due to their dominant nature, while females are often more receptive to training and easier to handle.

It’s important to note that these differences can vary from dog to dog and are not always consistent across the breed.

Tips and Advice:

Akitas are a large and powerful breed of dog that require proper care and attention to ensure their health and happiness. Here are some tips and advice for caring for an Akita:

  • Provide plenty of exercise: Akitas are an active breed that require daily exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. This can include walks, runs and playtime in a fenced yard.
  • Socialize early and often: Akitas can be wary of strangers and other animals, so it’s important to socialize them from a young age to prevent aggression and fearfulness.
  • Train with positive reinforcement: Akitas respond well to positive reinforcement training methods, such as treats and praise. Harsh training methods can lead to fear and aggression.
  • Groom regularly: Akitas have a thick double coat that sheds heavily twice a year. Regular brushing and grooming can help keep their coat healthy and reduce shedding.
  • Provide a balanced diet: Akitas require a balanced diet that is high in protein and low in fat. Consult with a veterinarian to determine the best diet for your Akita.
  • Keep up with veterinary care: Akitas are prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia and autoimmune disorders. Regular veterinary check-ups can help detect and treat these issues early.
  • Provide a safe and secure environment: Akitas are known for their loyalty and protectiveness, but they can also be territorial and aggressive towards strangers. It’s important to provide a safe and secure environment for your Akita to prevent any potential incidents.
  • Show love and affection: Akitas are a loyal and affectionate breed that thrive on love and attention from their owners. Show them plenty of love and affection to strengthen your bond and keep them happy and healthy.

Food:

Akitas have a good appetite and can eat a considerable amount of food. However, the amount they eat can vary depending on their age, size, activity level and overall health. As a general guideline, an adult Akita may consume between 2 to 4 cups of high-quality dog food per day, divided into two meals.

Akitas can be food-oriented dogs, meaning they may be more motivated by food rewards during training sessions. However, it’s important to monitor their food intake and avoid overfeeding, as they can easily become overweight or obese. It’s also essential to provide them with a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain their overall health and well-being.

Facts:

Akita is a large and powerful breed of dog that originated in Japan. Here are three interesting facts about Akita:

  1. Akita is known for its loyalty and devotion to its owner. They are often referred to as “silent guardians” because of their protective nature.
  2. Akita has a thick double coat that comes in a variety of colors, including white, brindle and red. They shed heavily twice a year and require regular grooming.
  3. Akita was originally bred for hunting and fighting, but they are now commonly used as therapy dogs and search and rescue dogs. They are also popular in dog shows and competitions.

Names:

Akitas are majestic and loyal dogs with a strong and noble presence. When selecting names for Akitas, it is often suitable to consider names that reflect their Japanese heritage, their regal appearance or their courageous and protective personality. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for an Akita:

  1. Kuma: Meaning “bear” in Japanese, this name represents the Akita’s strength and bear-like appearance.
  2. Hoshi: Signifying “star” in Japanese, this name matches the Akita’s radiant and celestial presence.
  3. Ryu: A name that embodies the Akita’s strength and dragon-like power, reflecting their fierce nature.
  4. Sakura: Meaning “cherry blossom” in Japanese, this name symbolizes the Akita’s beauty and elegance.
  5. Kenshin: Signifying “humble warrior” in Japanese, this name matches the Akita’s courageous and honorable character.
  6. Yuki: A name that represents “snow” in Japanese, reflecting the Akita’s white and fluffy coat.
  7. Kaida: Meaning “little dragon” in Japanese, this name embodies the Akita’s strong and powerful personality.
  8. Mei: Signifying “beautiful” in Japanese, this name matches the Akita’s stunning and captivating presence.
  9. Hiroshi: A name that conveys “generous” or “abundant,” reflecting the Akita’s loving and protective nature.
  10. Amaya: Meaning “night rain” in Japanese, this name symbolizes the Akita’s mysterious and calming aura.
  11. Koji: Signifying “strong and radiant” in Japanese, this name matches the Akita’s powerful and commanding presence.
  12. Suki: A name that represents “beloved” in Japanese, reflecting the Akita’s loyal and affectionate temperament.
  13. Raiden: Meaning “thunder and lightning” in Japanese, this name embodies the Akita’s strong and electrifying energy.
  14. Kimiko: Signifying “noble child” in Japanese, this name matches the Akita’s dignified and regal nature.
  15. Haru: A name that conveys “spring” in Japanese, reflecting the Akita’s vibrant and lively personality.

These names capture the essence of Akitas, highlighting their strength, loyalty and noble nature. They provide a fitting identity for these majestic and protective companions.

Famous:

Here are some of the most famous Akitas of all time:

  • Hachiko – Perhaps the most famous Akita of all time, Hachiko was a loyal dog who waited for his owner at a train station every day, even after his owner’s death.
  • Chico – Owned by actor Richard Gere, Chico was a beloved pet who often accompanied his owner to movie sets.
  • Taro – This Akita was the first of his breed to be imported to the United States in the 1930s and is considered the father of the American Akita.
  • Kenzan-go – This Akita was owned by Emperor Hirohito of Japan and was known for his beauty and regal demeanor.
  • Kuma – Owned by actress Sandra Bullock, Kuma was a rescue dog who became a beloved member of Bullock’s family.
  • Mochi – This Akita holds the Guinness World Record for having the longest tongue of any dog, measuring at 7.3 inches.
  • Toyo – This Akita was owned by Helen Keller and was her constant companion for many years.

These Akitas have left a lasting impact on the breed and have become beloved by many for their incredible stories and personalities.

Summary:

The Akita is a large breed of dog that originated in Japan. They were originally bred for hunting and guarding and were also used as fighting dogs. Akitas are known for their loyalty, courage and intelligence. They are independent and strong-willed and can be stubborn at times. Akitas also have a protective nature and can be wary of strangers. They are typically good with children, but may not be the best choice for families with very young children due to their size and strength. Akitas require regular exercise and socialization and can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia and thyroid problems. Overall, the Akita can make a great pet for experienced dog owners who are willing to put in the time and effort to properly train and socialize them.