The Fascinating History and Characteristics of the Akita

The Fascinating History and Characteristics of the Akita

The Fascinating History and Characteristics of the Akita

Origins

The Akita is a large, noble dog breed that originated in Japan. They were originally bred in the northern region of Akita Prefecture in Japan as hunting and fighting dogs. They are believed to be descendants of the Matagi-Inu, a Japanese hunting dog, and the Tosa-Inu, a breed of Japanese fighting dog. Akitas were bred to be tough, strong and powerful, and to have a fiercely independent and loyal nature – traits that they still possess today.

Appearance

Akitas are large dogs, standing at a height of between 24 and 28 inches and weighing between 75 and 120 pounds. They have a thick, double coat that is water-resistant, with a soft undercoat and a coarser outer coat. The standard coat colours for Akitas are white, brindle and pinto, but they can also come in red, orange and black. Akitas have a broad, bear-like head with small, triangular ears and almond-shaped eyes. They have a thick, curled tail which is carried over the back.

Temperament

Akitas are known for their fiercely independent and strong-willed nature. They are loyal to their families and can be affectionate and playful with them, but they can also be reserved and aloof with strangers. Akitas have a strong prey drive and may not be suitable for homes with smaller pets. They require an experienced owner who can assert their authority and provide them with plenty of socialisation and training from an early age.

Legacy

The Akita is an important breed in Japanese culture and has been designated as a national treasure. In 1931, the Akita Dog Preservation Society was established to preserve the breed and ensure its continued existence. During World War II, Akitas were used as war dogs by the Japanese military and were nearly extinct by the end of the war. However, a small group of dedicated breeders worked to save the breed, and today Akitas are one of the most beloved and well-recognised breeds in the world.