The Akita is a cautious, imperturbable, watchful dog, he doesn't bark often and is loyal to his boss and family, although he can be quite dominant because of his independent character. Tipical are his earsThick triangular ears, pricked and inclined forward. Dark eyes, set and shaped to give a distinctive appearance. Stand off coat with brilliant colours and defined markings. Tightly curled tail.
FCI groupe 5: Spiers and archetypes, FCI number 255 Section 5.
Large, well-balanced, sturdily built dog of Spitz type. Very slightly longer than high.
Dignified and composed with a courageous character.
Moderate strides that demonstrate an efficient, rhythmic and resilient gait, converging towards the centre line at speed.
Stilted gait undesirable.
Head and skull:
When viewed from the front the head appears rounded due to well developed cheeks. From above, the head appears as a blunt triangle. Broad skull, flat and free from wrinkle. Defined stop and distinct furrow. Muzzle straight, of good depth, tapering gradually. Skull to muzzle proportions 3:2. Nose large and black except in white dogs where flesh coloured is acceptable. Lips tight with dark pigment.
Strong jaws with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Full dentition and well developed teeth.
Thick, triangular and slightly hooded, with rounded tips. Proportionately small, set moderately well apart, pricked and inclining forward. Closely following the line of the back of the neck.
Placed moderately apart, relatively small, almond shaped, dark brown and obliquely set. Eye rims dark and tight.
Length from point of shoulder to point of buttock slightly greater than height at withers, as 11:10. Females may be slightly longer. Strong, level back. Chest deep with well developed forechest. Moderately sprung ribcage with well defined tuck up. Short coupled with a broad and muscular loin.
Thick and muscular, of moderate length, without dewlap. Pronounced crest blending with back of skull.
Shoulders moderately laid back with well developed muscles.
Elbows set close to chest.
Forelegs well boned and straight when viewed from the front. Pasterns slightly sloping.
Strong and muscular with moderate angulation. Well developed thighs. Moderate turn of stifle. Strong hocks, turning neither in nor out.
Round, arched and tight with thick pads. Turning neither in nor out.
Set high. Thick, full and of good length. Curled over the back, to the right or left or a double curl.
Outer coat course, stand-off and straight. Slightly longer at withers and rump. More profuse on tail. Undercoat soft and dense. No indication of ruff or feathering.
Red fawn; Sesame (red fawn hairs with black tips); Brindle; White. All the foregoing colours, except white, must have ‘urajiro’ markings, which may be less visible on the brindle, where it may be a greyish frosted overlay of the main coat colour. (Urajiro – whitish coat on the sides of the muzzle, on the cheeks, on the undersides of jaw, neck, chest, body and tail, and on the inside of the legs). The urajiro markings must blend in gradually with the main coat colour and not extend above the elbow or hock. White markings in the main body coat are undesirable.
Height at withers: dogs 64=70 cm, bitches 58-64 cm.
Male animals will be disqualified if they do not have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum. Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work. Uncurled tail highly undesirable. Long coat.
The Akita Inu is the national breed of Japan from the province Akita, situated north of Honshu. Inu and Ken both mean "dog" in Japanese, so the breed was also named Akita Ken. Nowadays the FCI name is "Akita", so without Inu. It is an ancient breed and has such a history that the city Odate in the provence Akita has dedicated a museum to the Akita. The Japanese Governement announced the Akita National Heritage since 1931 like the Geishas and the Sumo wrestlers.
This breed has known his ups and downs. It seems to have started about 4000 years ago, according to the left overs of a dog skeleton found in the North of Japan. The first testimonies date 300 years back from the EDO period (1616-1868) of the excistance of a hunting dog in the mountains of Odate in the 8th century, the Matagi Inu. Because these mountain villages were remote the breed stayed 'pure'. The Matagi Inu was an terrific hunting dog. He hunted black bears, wild boars and other big game. They appreciated his hunting skills and was the only dog that was admitted inside the homes, even in the rooms where shoes and animals weren’t allowed to touch de floor. The Matagi Inu was a dog with a height at the withers of 60 cm and a red coat. Here after follows a less provitable period for the dogs. They were used to guard the families and homes of the owners and at this time there were peasant revolts, small civil wars and a great invasion of prospectors in the area around Odate.
The Akita stopped being the dog of simple farmers around 1700. A Shogun' general Tsumayoshi', born in the year of the dog, was interested in the Akita Inu. It became a law by which it was forbidden to injure or kill a dog and nobility took over the Akita and gave it an existance unusual for a dog. Some Akita’s even got their own house with their own servants.
These golden times ended with the Meji period (1868-1912) and the start of dogfights. These were organized to stimulate the combativeness of the Samoerai. The Tosa Inu, descendant of the Koshi and especially for this purpose crossed with Bull dogs, Great Danes, St. Bernards and Mastiffs, used for these fights got the Akita Inu as their opponent. These breeds were also corssed and some offspring (with floppy ears) were called Shin Akita (new Akita). This unthinking crossing and mixing of all these breeds caused a degeneration of the breed. In 1910 dogfights were forbidden but again fate struck. Dogtax was introduced and thousand dogs were slaughtered and on top of that another disaster, Rabies!
The Japanes authorities took action just around 1930 and protected some species, which included dogs, in particular the Akita. From that time they became Japanese heritage. A society was founded for protection of the breed and a nobleman, named 'Ichinoseki', started the revival of ‘the old Akita’. He initiated a prompt ban on export of the Akita's. Selective breeding brought back the original type, the type 'general Tsunayoshi' fell in love with 200 years back.
Unfortunately all effort was eliminated because of World War II. Because of his warm coat and edible flesh, hundreds Akita’s were killed. Some of them survived in 1946 and again Ichinoseki started to revive the Akita. Against all official orders he hid a couple of beautiful dogs to start breeding again.
At the same time one mr. Ito mated Akita bitches with German Shepherds and sold them for a lot of money to the American soldiers. That is how the Akita came to the USA. They bred further without looking at the original pure bloodlines and so the American variety arose (later on the Great Japanese Dog (GJD)) next to the Akita Inu. This American variety spread out quickly and confused a lot of breeders and judges. Debating for years resulted in the split of the 2 types in the year 2000 in The Netherlands (2006 in the UK, Canada and the USA don’t acknowledge the Japanese variety yet), the Akita (Inu is removed) and the American Akita. Both breeds have their own standards and history from that time and are judged separatedly in national and international shows in the counties part of the FCI.
To let these dogs interact with other dogs, cats and especially children you have to socialize them already at a very young age. Most of the time they will be reserved towards strangers A male in general isn’t friendly to other males unless they are castrated or if the other male is very humble! Females will also compete every time and if they have a major issue with eachother it will probably never be solved. The Akita will never be a play mate as in ‘retreiving throwed balls’. They will do it once, but after that will loose interest.
They do like to have rough play fights.
It is a hunting dog with a very strong hunting sense and together with his dominance en independent nature you will understand why you’ll hardly see an Akita off leash. The Akita needs an owner who is very consistent and doesn’t get angry or shouts. If you encounter another dog you have to be on guard all the time if you have an Akita, a fight is easily started.
An Akita is not a dog for a beginning dog owner!
Most Akita’s are very picky eaters. Especially when hormones kick in, they can stop eating. Some feed raw and some feed dry food but always remember that they originate from Japan, almost extinct and now back to a good number.
This means very narrow genes based (inbreeding) and from a country with a diet of fish, rice and seaweed. So our Western food could cause allergic reactions and also hereditary auto immune diseases can be an issue.
We feed twice a day grainfree dryfood with salmon, sometimes a raw egg and minced lamb with it. Twice a day because bloat can occur, it is a big dog. !
An akita has a double coat and if they start to shed it looks like an explosion. Dots of hair all over, so one needs a very good vacuum cleaner. If it starts, one has to brush as often as you can with a special brush that doesn’t pull the hairs out but removes the surplus of hair. This will happen 2 times a year for 3 to 4 weeks.
If the are dirty or muddy, just dry them with a towel and leave them somewhere where they can dry. The dirt falls off. We only wash them before a show and dry them with a water blower, loose hair and dirt will disappear with this device. Do not do this indoors, hair will be all over!