FCI #255, Origin: Japan, Group 05 Section 05 - Working dogs
Height: 24-26 in, Weight: 75-110 lb
Shedding: High, Coat: Short, dense.
Color: Red, fawn, sesame, brindle, pure white or black
Ease of training: LOW, Energy level: MEDIUM, Span of life: 12-15 years
Breed: Akita Inu - means a dog from Akita - a province, that is located in the north of the largest island of the Japanese archipelago. The breed is very ancient. Probably the ancestor of the Akita Inu was so-called "matagiinu", which means "a respected hunter" - a dog, who was living in the VIII century in the mountains of Odate and was used to asist in hunting bear and boar. This name at that time was awarded to the most skillful and successful hunters. It is believd that the history of Akita Inu began in the Edo period (XVII century), when hunting for fun had virtually stopped and there were needed only the dogs for guarding service. So in the XVIII century Akita Inu migrated from rural shacks into palaces of the Japanese nobles. This change in the social class was due to the new law issued by General Tsunayoshi, which stated that any man, who offended or killed Akita Inu will be subjected to a punishment. Soon the breed could only be owned by the imperial family and the ruling aristocracy.
This greatly influenced the development of the breed. Care for Akita and feeding Akita turned into an elaborate ceremony, there were made a special leashes, denoting the rank of Akita and the social status of his owner. To talk to the dog, and when talking about the dog there were used only specific words. For each individual Akita there was a servant, who wore an ornate costume, corresponding to the respect enjoyed by the dog. The presence of Akita Inu was considered a symbol of happiness and prosperity of the family.
In the era of Meiji, the dog fights were still quite popular. Then, Akita dogs were called "Odate" because of the name of their hometown. Approximately in 1897, Tosa fighting dogs were brought to Akita Prefecture. Then, Tosa, now known as the Cauchy Prefecture, was one of two places where dog fighting was popular.
First, the Akita breed was stronger than the Tosa. But gradually, the situation was completely changed because of crossbreeding of Tosa with European breeds. There was an active work to add the blood of Molossian Dogs: St. Bernard, English Mastiff, Great Dane, whose import from Europe became more and more intense.
Akita Inu, unlike his ancestors became a dog with more powerful body and with a distinctive oblique-set ears.
The Mayor of Odate, Mr. Shigeie Izumi, was very worried about crossing "Odate" with other dogs. To preserve the purity of the breed "Odate", he founded the Society for the Preservation of Akita-Inu in 1927. At the same time, the popularity of dog fighting has decreased, reflecting the interests of time. There are only a few photos of dogs of that era. Two dogs: a male named "Tochi-2" and a female named "Babagoma", owned by Mr. Kunio Ichinoseki, had a great influence on the breed Akita. Other breeds also influenced the breed. However, only a few photos of other breeds from that era remained.
During the Second World War, most of the dogs in Japan were called for the military service. However, some people secretly kept Akita-Inu. After the war, some officials in the prefecture of Akita wanted to keep this dogs in their houses.
It was a very difficult time, many people went hungry because the food was not enough. However, the breeding of Akita Inu was started again. For the revival of Akita the male named "Tsubakigoma", who survived during the war, was returned to the house of Mr. Ichinozeki. All of them: "Tsubakigoma" and "Kongo-go" line and "Dewa" made a great contribution to the breed.
Japan experienced a great crisis during the Second World War. By 1946, miraculously survived only a few purebred representatives of the breed, which gave a hope for it's revival.
Large, bright, naturally possessing excellent exterior, calm and silent - Akita Inu attracted many foreigners. In the postwar years on the Japanese islands there were deployed many U.S. military units. Thus began the exportation of the breed to the United States. Later, the breed was already imported from the U.S. to Germany and Italy. Thus, the luxurious Japanese Giant Spitz won it's popularity throughout the canine world. Especially popular Akita Inu is in America and Europe.
General Features: Akita Inu stands out among the rest of the Japanese Spitz because of his relatively big size. This is a dog of a solid build and good proportions. Akita's body is wide, muscular with a deep chest. The head is quite big, broad forehead with a well pronounced transition to the muzzle. Snout is pointed, nasal bridge is short. The nose is big, black (in white Akita the grey nose is acceptible). The eyes are triangular, dark brown. Ears are set wide apart, erect. Paws are large with closed toes and hard pads. Long tail (when stretched riches the hock joint) is held curled over the back in a ring, but never forms a closed loop. Akita's coat is dense with the thick, soft undercoat. Externally, the Akita Inu is similar to chow-chow, but with the shorter coat. In Akita Inu any color is allowed, mask on the muzzle is referable. The undercoat may slightly differ from the coat. Markings are allowed, but they must be balanced.
Temperament: Akita Inu is a really totally "purebred" dog. This breed has never required and will not require any improvement or the influx of "new blood." That is why it is considered a Japanese national treasure and is under the auspices of the Japanese government for over than 60 years. Japanese breeders are guarding the quality of their beloved breed very well, so the purebred Akita Inu are not available to any kennel, which is willing to breed this dogs. The dog officially purchased from Japan is strictly controlled by the Japanese national club, her show career and - most importantly - her conditions of living are carefully tracked. To get a chance to buy a dog through the Japanese national club, you need to prove yourself as the reputable breeder, having spent more than 10 years on this matter.
Akita Inu genetically still retains his natural qualities: health, high physical and mental abilities, the ability to live, work and communicate with people and bring them joy and benefit.
Each puppy born - is a pronounced individuality. The dog immediately confidently perceives the world around, it becomes very self-sufficient, ambitious and brave. Akita Inu feels which territory he has to guard. The puppy learns with a great pleasure, switching from training to active and mobile games. As early as 2 months old puppy owners of small Akita noted excellent memory, intelligence, awareness, active disposition, smartness and, of course, the endless playfulness and extraordinary devotion to his master.
Akita Inu is a puppy up to two years. It means that this breed is from those, that develop quite late. Finally, the dog develops only at 2.5-3 years. Akita Inu is a very beautiful dog, quiet, with a majestic sight, striking with his wisdom and complete obedience and devotion in everything.
Many owners of an adult Akita say: "This dog really understands the human language." And it is true!
Akita Inu is a courageous and confident, so to the aggression of other members of the dog tribe he responds willingly - he is not afraid to fight.
From a very early age Akita Inu is always happy to communicate, but does not like familiarity. Adult Akita Inu will never hurt children and young puppies.
In Japan, the presence of Akita Inu is a symbol of happiness, good health, it is a sign that the family has a guardian. When a child is born in the family, the parents usually get a small statue of Akita as a gift. If someone is ill, friends sent him a statue of Akita, wishing him a fast recovery.
Akita Inu is an excellent representative of the dog tribe. The unusual nature of Akita Inu is associated with his Japanese ancestry. This extremely devoted dog looks very discreetly displaying his feelings. With the strangers Akita is more aloof than aggressive.
Akita Inu is a very brave and hardy dog.
Akita Inu puppy is very active and keeps his excessive playfulness up to about 1,5 years. By the second year of his life Akita Inu becomes a very calm, balanced dog, showing a typical nature of a guardian. Akita Inu, like all dogs of a Spitz type, is behaving very independently, retaining the inherent dignity.
Akita is very silent, and thanks to the balanced nature does not cause any troubles to his owners.
Akita Inu was used before by the Japanese army and police. There he was employed as a lifeguard in the water, as Akita is a great swimmer. In the USA Akita Inu are usually taking part in the competitions for the guarding dogs.
Akita's hunting abilities include a sharp eye and a sensitive nose, the ability to move quietly and quickly with the outstanding stamina. This dog is adapted for hunting in a deep snow.
Akita Inu is valued for his intelligence and a fearless attitude toward hunting. Soft bite was always making Akita a good retriever, when the game was falling into the water. There were even a cases when Akita Inu was driving the fish into the nets of a fishermen.
Akita Inu loves all family members and family friends and enjoys fellowship with people. From the ancient times, Japanese mothers went out, leaving their children without a fear in the care of Akita. Usually restrained in expressing of his feelings, Akita Inu will stand up to the last drop of blood, protecting his family.
For Akita Inu a house in the county side will be just a perfect place.
Akita is not afraid of the cold weather, he loves the snow. But in the apartment there is no much troubles with this dog as well: Akita's coat is extremely dense (it stays dry inside, even after swimming), relatively short, so the problems may only occur twice a year - during the shedding time.
This dog is very unpretentious and hardy. Akita Inu does not eat a lot, does not require too frequent walking and shows a good resistance to the diseases.
Akita would be happy to drive you in a carriage, to play with your children, to go hunting with the owner, or to guard the house.
Health problems: Generally Akita Inu is a very hardy breed. Still some dogs of this breed are prone to the hip dysplasia.