The most appropriate verbal description for Akita Inu is harmony in everything. This is a natural, beautiful, strong dog. She has a Japanese round “face” with dark slanting eyes and lips curved in a half smile. Another special feature is that the dog’s small triangular ears are not directed upward, but forward. They say about the most common color of dogs: “As if God poured a bucket of sunny red paint on top of a white dog.”
Akita-Inu are revered in the homeland of the breed: the dogs are awarded the title of Natural Monument of Japan and are protected by the state as a property of the country. In the past, shepherds and hunters, today Akita-Inu most often become companions.
The content of the article:
History of the origin of the breed
Today Akita Inu are powerful large dogs, but the ancestors of the breed did not have such dimensions. In the 17th century, there was a medium-sized fighting dog breed in the Akita district: the Akita Matagi. Since the mid-19th century, Matagis have been crossed with Mastiffs and Tosa Inu, thanks to which Akita have become larger. At the beginning of the 20th century, dog fighting was banned, but the breed not only did not disappear, but even improved. In 1931, nine dogs received the title of Natural Monuments.
The Akita Inu breed is native to Japan. They are very massive, powerful and reliable dogs. Even hunting big game is not a problem with them. In the old days, this breed was considered a fighting breed, here it is worth noting that its representatives have always occupied a leading position in dog fights, however, after this type of “entertainment” became prohibited, they ceased to be used for fighting and began to be treated simply as their domestic favorites.
Individuals of this breed were kept by representatives of the aristocratic class of Akita Prefecture (Japan), located in a mountainous area. In those days, Akita Inu were attracted to hunt bears and as guards. The breed arose thanks to the efforts of a certain disgraced nobleman, who, being excommunicated from the imperial court, concentrated all his efforts on working with dogs. Over time, Akita Inu became an indispensable attribute of an aristocratic lifestyle, and the luxury of a leash could be judged on the significance of the social status of the owner. Each dog was assigned a special caretaker, dressed in a special attire, indicating its belonging to a particular aristocratic house and occupation.
Akita-Inu received widespread distribution and its world fame only after the end of the Second World War, they were exported to the United States of America, and later dispersed throughout the world. Thanks to their well-developed sense of smell and keen hearing, these dogs are excellent bloodhounds. It’s no secret that these dogs will do everything for the owner, they are loyal and reliable, they can survive in any even the most severe conditions..
During World War II, the breed almost disappeared: meat was used for food, warm fur for military clothing. To preserve the breed, the owners mated dogs with German shepherds and took out a few Akitas to the mountains. After the war, in the reduced number of Akitas, three different types emerged: Matagi Akita, fighting and herding dogs. The situation became confusing. Through the efforts of enthusiasts, the breed traits were restored, and the influence of the blood of foreign breeds was minimized.
Description of the breed
- The head of the Akita Inu is proportional to the body, the forehead is wide, in the middle there is a clear hollow. Skin without wrinkles. The transition from the forehead to the muzzle is well defined. The muzzle is powerful, wide at the base, narrowed towards the nose, but not pointed. Akita Inu’s muzzle is very bearish.
- The ears are relatively small, thick, erect, triangular. The tips are somewhat rounded. Set moderately wide and tilted forward, visually continuing the neckline.
- The eyes are relatively small, almost triangular in shape, since the outer corners are raised towards the ears. The eyes are moderately spaced, the eye color is dark brown (the darker the better). The Akita Inu has a straight nose. The nose is large and black. Small areas of diffuse depigmentation are acceptable only with white color, black color of the lobe remains preferred.
- Dogs have a scissor bite, strong teeth, moderately developed cheekbones. Lips fit tight.
- The body in dogs is strong, powerful. Neck muscular, without dewlap. The belly is tucked up. The chest is deep, with moderately sprung ribs and a developed forechest. The back of the Akita Inu breed is straight, strong, the loin is muscular and wide.
- The front limbs of the Akita Inu are straight, with strong bones, the shoulders are moderately sloping, the elbows are tightly pressed to the body. Paws are round, in a ball, pads are thick, toes are arched.
- The hind limbs of the Akita Inu are well developed, with powerful muscles. The paws, like the front ones, are rounded in shape, with toes gathered into a ball and thick pads.
- The tail is thick, set high and carried over the back. Sickle to double ring shapes are acceptable. When the dog lowers its tail, the tip reaches almost to the hocks.
- Akita Inu has two layers of wool. The undercoat is thick and soft, the top coat is straight and coarse. On the withers and rump, tail and “pants” the coat is slightly longer than on the body of the dog.
The color of Akita Inu can be reddish-fawn, like “sesame” (black tips on reddish-fawn hair), brindle and white. Dogs of all colors, with the exception of white, must have “urazhiro”. This coat is white on the cheekbones, sides of the muzzle, lower jaw, chest, neck, tail, belly and inner surfaces of the legs..
The character of Akita Inu
Akita Inu have a good character, which makes them wonderful animals for the family. They are known as quiet dogs that only bark when required. Many fans of this breed say that Akita Inu make you feel relaxed and calm, so they help people cope with stress.
Under the guise of calmness, there is a real fighter who should not be angry. With affection, extreme restraint in the expression of emotions is adjacent: upon meeting you from work, the dog will happily jump around you … for exactly five minutes, then prefers to calmly observe the events from the sidelines. Akita Inu love to play, but finish the game as soon as they get bored with it. Akita will not, like a Labrador or a collie, rush for hours after a ball thrown to her.
However, since Akita Inu have possessive, as well as hunting instincts, it is advisable to teach them to communicate with other animals at an early age. Akita Inu who grew up with other animals, cats or dogs will get along well with them in the future, but without early socialization, they can be aggressive towards other pets, especially dogs of the same sex.
The Akita Inu is an intelligent and calm dog, but at the same time independent and strong-willed, so training such a dog can be difficult. This breed is best suited for people with a certain level of experience in keeping large dogs.
Very loyal Akita Inu are powerful defenders, making them good watchmen. Akita Inu can be very stubborn and assertive and, if not exercised or bored, can become destructive or difficult to manage. Akita Inu needs a fair amount of physical activity and long walks. In addition, these dogs cope with the transportation or movement of various goods: they can be easily harnessed to a small cart or sledges.
Akita Inu dogs are very patient and loyal, get along well with children and tend to protect them. Akita Inu are wonderful in communicating with children, especially if they grew up in the house at the same time with them. As a rule, these dogs equally recognize all members of the owner’s family. Incomparable watchmen, they are also considered “speaking”: various modulations of growling create the effect of a kind of “dog” speech. For each of the family members, the Akita Inu usually has a special growl greeting..
Akita’s attitude to outsiders is usually neutral. She is not inclined to attack a person, but she will warn the owner about the appearance of a stranger on her territory – more often with a roar. In general, the Akita is a calm, balanced dog, loves children if brought up with them. But it is impossible to leave children alone with Akita, especially if friends come to them and start noisy games. The dog may not appreciate the jokes of little rascals and decides to come to the aid of his master’s children..
Akita Inu and other pets
Skirmishes with unfamiliar dogs are also possible. Any animal, starting from a rodent and a hare, can be perceived by an Akita as a prey, therefore, for reliability, it is better to walk with it on a leash – or to train it correctly. In addition, we must not forget about the hunting past of the Akita: on occasion, she silently pursues the victim and immediately deals with it.
Akita Inu care
Akita Inu has a beautiful medium length coat with a soft undercoat. You need to take care of this coat about once a week.
The coat of the Akita Inu breed is not cut or trimmed. This breed sheds a lot, fortunately this period usually lasts only a few weeks and happens twice a year. During shedding periods, it is recommended to groom your dog’s coat daily. Dogs of this breed that live indoors or in cooler climates tend to shed less. Keep in mind that Akita Inu should not be bathed too often. Otherwise, the dog’s coat may lose its waterproofing properties.
Despite the fact that the question of how much physical activity Akita Inu requires remains a topic of discussion, a large yard with a fence is considered an ideal living condition for this breed of dog. Akita Inu are strong dogs and, as a rule, easily cope with the movement of heavy objects such as sledding children, etc. However, it is important to keep in mind that Akita Inu puppies under 18 months of age should not be allowed to pull large amounts of weight as their bones and joints are not yet fully formed.
It is best to give the Akita Inu the opportunity to exercise independently. Akita Inu love to jump, run and play when they feel like it. You can play with your dog with toys that will encourage him to run and play.
Compared to the more massive American Akita, resembling a bear, the Japanese is a light and graceful dog. You can keep it both in the apartment and on the personal plot. When keeping an aviary with an animal, it is imperative to communicate and take it for walks, otherwise contact with it will be difficult. Usually 7-8 puppies are born in a litter (although there were cases of 15 puppies born at once). Dogs of this breed are distinguished by good health and live up to 10-14 years.
In matters of nutrition, Akita Inu are not too picky. In the homeland of the breed, rice mixed with shark meat is considered the best food for Akitas. Accordingly, fish must be present in the diet of dogs. Some experts advise adding algae to your Akita food.
When choosing industrial feed for Akita Inu, approach with caution: most of these feeds contain a lot of soy, and Akitas do not digest this product well. An adult dog needs to be fed twice a day..
Akita Inu training
Thus, teaching the Akita Inu to obey its owner is very important. For example, letting the Akita Inu sleep on the floor next to your bed, rather than on your bed, teaches her obedience and does not mean that the dog loses the pleasure of communicating with its owner.
Establishing and maintaining the “boss” role of the Akita Inu may be challenging for some people, but the Akita Inu is a very intelligent dog and learns incredibly quickly..
Akita is a dog with a strong character, she does not tolerate rude coercion, requires respect for herself. This dog is not created to carry out commands with lightning speed or tirelessly bring you a ball. But this does not mean that he cannot be trained. It is important to remember that Akitas do not tolerate monotonous, boring activities with multiple repetitions of the same thing. For the successful upbringing of the Akita, the owner needs to apply modern training methods that involve working with highly motivated dogs on a positive emotional background. That is, the Akita, like other dogs, needs to be interested in the work, praise and encourage for its implementation. Or call on a professional trainer for help.
Once you start training, just don’t expect your pet to learn the same commands as fast as working dogs. Do not overwork the Akita, let him think over his actions and take his time. However, always ensure that the command is carried out to the end – so that the dog does not hope that the owner will soon fall behind him with these “nonsense”.
Akita Inu Health
Common breed problems: hip dysplasia, destruction of the knee caps, deafness, thyroid disease. In a number of cases, Akita Inu has visual disturbances, for example, night blindness. It must be remembered that these dogs are very sensitive to anesthesia. They live on average about 10-12 years.
Akita Inu are usually very healthy animals, but the following diseases are most common in this breed:
- Acquired pseudoparalytic myasthenia gravis
- Bloating or volvulus
- Dysplasia of the hip joint
- Von Willebrand disease, a blood disorder similar to human hemophilia.
- Progressive retinal atrophy
All of these diseases are relatively rare and usually respond to medication or surgery.
Pictures of Akita Inu
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