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Akita

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Akita

The largest of the Japanese Spitz-type breeds, the Akita, pronounced a-KEE-ta, is a powerful, solid, well-proportioned and distinctive looking dog. They have a flat, heavy, blunt-triangle head and a strong, short muzzle. The ears are erect, slightly forward and are in line with the neck. The nose is generally black (When showing the dog: brown is permitted on white Akitas, but black is preferred). The teeth should meet in a scissor-like, or level bite. The tail curls over the back and is carried high. The Akita is known for their great swimming abilities due to their webbed, cat-like feet. Their double coat is composed of a harsh, waterproof outer coat and insulated with a thick, soft undercoat. Coat colors are pure white, red, sesame and brindle. The colors should be without clear borders. A sickle or uncurled tail is a disqualification when showing this breed.

Temperament The Akita is usually docile, but can sometimes become spontaneous. They are very careful and affectionate with their owners. They are also faithful and thrive on companionship. Akita's are very intelligent, courageous and fearless. If teased, Akita's may bite, so be cautious around children and other pets. They also make many interesting sounds when communicating, but is not an excessive barker.
Height, Weight

Male Height: 26-28" ; Weight: 75-110 lbs.
Female Height: 24-26" ; Weight: 75-110 lbs.

Health Problems Hip Dysplasia, nervousness, and auto-immune diseases are commonly known problem with the Akita breed. Screening of the parents is a must to prevent these issues. Dwarfism and entropion (turning inward of the border of the eyelid against the eyeball) are also known to be potential ailments with this breed.
Living Conditions Akitas do fine in an apartment if exercised regularly but do better in a house with extensive land.
Exercise The Akita needs moderate but regular exercise to stay in shape.
Life Expectancy About 10-12 years
Grooming Akita's coarse, stiff, short-haired coat needs significant grooming. Brush with a firm bristle brush, and only bathe when absolutely necessary as bathing removes the natural waterproofing of the coat. This breed sheds heavily twice a year.
Origin The Akita is the largest of all the Japanese breeds. They were originally bred in the province of Akita in the 1600s. Akita's were used first as an Imperial guard dog, then as a fighting dog. They have also been used for sledding and for police, army and guard work. They have keen hunting abilities. Due to their ease of movement in deep snow they have also been used to hunt deer and bear. Ownership was once restricted to only the Imperial family and ruling aristocracy. In the late 19th century other breeds, such as German Shepards and Pointers were imported, making the Japanese breeds suffer in popularity. Due to this, the Society for Preservation of Japanese Dogs was formed for the purpose of preserving the native breeds and claimed these breeds as national monuments. After World War I, the Akita became a nationally protected breed due to their scarcity. The Akita Inu Hozankai Society of Japan was founded in 1927 to preserve the breed. Today, the Akita is considered the national dog of Japan. Akitas are also viewed to have spiritual significance, since they are regarded as loyal companions, protectors of the home and a symbol of good health. When a child is born, the family will usually receive a small statue of an Akita signifying health, happiness, and a long life. Statues are also given to people who are ill from those wanting to express their wish of a speedy recovery. The first Akita was brought to the United States by Helen Keller. American servicemen also brought Akitas to the US after World War II. The Akita is recognized by the AKC and the UKC.
Group AKC Working, UKC Northern Breed