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Basic Information

Breed Group
Dense,Harsh and Rough,Short,Thick,Water-Repellent
25 - 35 Pounds
14 - 16 Inches



The Akita has fast become a popular breed in the UK and elsewhere in the world over recent times. The breed is native to Japan where these dogs are highly regarded not only for their dignified, proud looks, but also for their loyalty and devotion to their owners as well.

There are in fact two types of Akita which although very similar have slight differences in appearance with the Japanese Akita being quite a bit lighter and smaller than the American Akita. They are part of the "Spitz" type of dog and have been around for around 300 years in their native Japan where they were bred as fighting dogs, but this changed and Akitas were used to hunt deer, wild boar and black bears.

The Akita is an impressive looking and courageous dog, but one that needs to be well socialised and trained from a young age to be a truly well-rounded dog. As such they are not the best choice for first-time dog owners, but do very well with people who know how to handle and manage them.

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Although as a breed the Akita was originally developed in Japan, it is thought their bloodlines can be traced much further back in time. They got their name from the northern region of Japan where they were originally bred called the Akita Prefecture, which is an isolated and exceptionally beautiful region of Japan. The breed was originally known as an Odate Dog and their name was only changed in 1931.

Their actual origin is a bit of mystery, but some believe that a Matagi-Inu dog did exist back in 8000 BC and 200 BC and that these dogs could well be an ancestor of the breed. It is also thought the Matagi-Inu was introduced by Mongoloid tribes from Korea who invaded Japan during that period of history.

As time progressed, fighting dogs became guard dogs which were in high demand in Japan all thanks to the Iron Age when more Japanese people moved from towns to live in rural areas. The need for aggressive watchdogs was due to the fact the crime rate went up dramatically with the influx of people to rural areas of the country. At the same time, foreign traders started to arrive in Japan with many of them taking these dogs back to Europe with them when they returned home.

It's thought that the Akitas we see today were the result of cross breeding the Matagi-Inu with Great Danes, Saint Bernards, Mastiffs, Bulldogs and the Shin-Akita. The end goal at the time was to produce a larger, more aggressive dog which as previously mentioned was in high demand back then. By the end of the 19th Century, records show the crossings were successful with larger, more courageous and aggressive dogs appearing ont the scene. However, pure bloodlines were becoming rarer and rarer which saw the powers that be of the land rule that any dogs with pure bloodlines were to be considered as national treasures.

The breed almost vanished off the face of the earth during World War II, but fortunately the Akita was saved in the nick of time when the Japanese government of the day rewarded anyone who could produce a champion dog by paying for the food and keep of these dogs. In 1950, just over one thousand Akitas were registered, but by the sixties the number of dogs doubled.

The breed was diversified in the early 20th century with the introduction of the 'American Akita'. In 1937 Helen Keller, the famous deaf blind linguist and activist, developed a fondness for the breed and was sent a dog named 'Kamikaze' who sadly died at a young age from distemper, but one of his litter mates named 'Kenzan-go' was sent over to her to replace the dog she lost. From this point the Japanese and the American breeds were bred differently from each other with Americans breeding dogs with heavier, larger physical traits while in Japan, breeders concentrated on producing smaller dogs. Today, the Akita is a well-recognised breed the world over and they have earned themselves the place in the hearts and homes of many people here in the UK too.

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