The impressive size, plush-like wool, fearlessness, devotion, love for children and watchful qualities make the American Akita a wonderful pet for owners of private houses.
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American Akita – breed history
The origin of the breed began in Japan. In the Land of the Rising Sun, matagi-akita were bred for hunting and protecting property. The participation of these dogs in battles did a disservice to the purity of the breed: in the late 19th – early 20th centuries, when the Japanese were massively carried away by this “sport”. The bets won and lost fortunes, and the owners of the fighting dogs made every effort to improve the fighters. They tried to give even more power and ferocity to the matagi-akitas by crossing them with breeds new to Japan – mastiffs and German shepherds.
It took quite a bit of time for the established signs of the breed to blur, and the qualities of akitas significantly decreased. After the Tokyo Exhibition of 1914, the few remaining purebreds were declared natural monuments, strictly forbidden to cross them with other dogs. Japanese breeders have come to grips with bringing back the purity of the Matagi-Akita breed.
The first successes were interrupted by the Second World War – all service dogs were sent to the front. After Japan’s surrender in 1945, no more than twenty purebred Matagi-Akitas remained in the country, and American soldiers took home “plush” puppies. These kids were destined to stand at the origins of a new breed – American Akitas.
Akita devotion is an admirable quality. The legendary Hachiko, which was discussed in the 2009 film, belonged to the Akita Inu breed, and the plot is based on real events – the dog was waiting for the owner, who died 7 years ago. This quality has been preserved in modern Akitas..
In the New World, the unusual breed was given the name “big Japanese dog”. The impressive dimensions of the “Japanese” resonated in the hearts of Americans, who have a weakness for everything big. US breeders started their own work on the breed without even thinking about synchronizing with their Japanese counterparts.
Breeders of the Land of the Rising Sun offered various options for cooperation, maintaining common pedigrees, but were ignored. As a result, Japan has established a ban on the export of matagi-akitas as natural monuments.
It is easy to guess that the American breeders were not bothered by the measures taken, and the large Japanese dog acquired new features – both in appearance and in character. And in 1956 a breed club was formed with a new name – “American Akita”. The Kennel Club of America recognized the new breed’s right to exist only in 1972.
The Cold War between the breeders of the USA and Japan lasted for several more decades. Clubs dedicated to the breed mutually refused to recognize each other, and in the International Cynological Federation only the Japanese version of the breed was listed.
The point in confrontation was set in 2000: the American Akita standard was recognized internationally. Since that time, the breed is officially independent. So the Japanese Akita became American.
The American Akita is a dog of immense size and power.
Spectacular body lines and eye-catching color make the American Akita a constant participant and frequent winner of various international exhibitions and competitions.
Seeing the Akita, it is impossible to confuse it with other breeds – the breeders of the United States gave the animal a characteristic appearance. A large dog with a strong body and enviable muscles, attracts attention with a “bear” muzzle with small eyes and ears.
- Height at withers – males: from 66 to 71 centimeters, females: from 61 to 66 centimeters.
- Weight – males: from 45 to 65 kilograms, females: from 32 to 45 kilograms.
- Head – a striking distinctive feature of the breed: massive, proportional, without folds, “bear” type. Skull – Broad and flattened, with a slight furrow on the forehead. The transition from the forehead to the muzzle is distinct, smooth. Muzzle – broad, jaws – very powerful, square, with a slight dewlap.
- Teeth – both scissor and straight bites are allowed, all teeth must be present.
- Eyes – deep set, small in size, shaped like a triangle, with black eyelids. Eye color – dark brown,
- Ears – small, erect, triangular in shape, slightly inclined forward, the tips are rounded. Ears continue to line the neck.
- Nose – with a wide black lobe. Liver color is also allowed by the standard – in white dogs.
- Lips – dry, tight-fitting, black, tongue pink.
- Neck – powerful, short, with a slight dewlap, expands closer to the shoulders. Scruff – with a distinct bulge.
- Chest – wide, deep, voluminous, with arched ribs.
- Stomach – handpicked.
- Back – straight, with a firm, slightly convex loin.
- Tail – without dewlap, with a large base, covered with thick wool. Set on high, over the back or touching the side, curled up.
- Front limbs – with a developed bone, straight. The elbows are directed backward, without deviations. Shoulders – tilted back, well developed. Feet – round, with powerful pads, strong nails.
- Hind limbs – with powerful muscles and strong bones, strong hips. The knee joints are parallel, with moderate angulation. Pillows – round and resilient, arched toes with powerful claws.
- Wool – straight, coarse, with a thick undercoat. Head, legs and ears – with the shortest hair, on the tail – the longest hair.
- Color – any. A spot on the forehead can replace the characteristic mask. Only white Akitas have no masks. White individuals have black lips, nose and pillows. All colors are clean, with clear contours. The undercoat may differ in color from the coat.
American Akita – character
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The nervous system of the American Akita is in perfect order, therefore calmness and balance are inherent in this dog from an early age. Restrained reactions and affection are combined with love of freedom and independence.
A stern guard will not bark or howl for no reason. If the Akita gives a voice, then there are reasons for this. The dog does not attack people if they do not encroach on the owner’s property.
The owner can be troubled by the aggression of the “American” in relation to other dogs. Adults, especially males, do not recognize the society of other dogs, often provoke fights. When walking in public places, a leash is required. There is no such reaction to cats. Nothing threatens “their” mustachioed ones. But it is better not to enter the territory that the Akita considers “his” as a stranger.
Devotion to the owner extends to children. Akita feels great in the company of a child – and will play and look after. But very young children should not be left alone with a large dog: deliberately Akita will not cause harm, but inadvertently it can push hard. For teenagers, this breed will be the best companion for active games.
The skills trained by American breeders make dogs of this breed unsurpassed watchmen and guards. Akitas tirelessly keep everything under control. As they examine the territory, they notice every little thing. The slightest change will make the dog walk up and make sure everything is in order.
A polite large dog does not tolerate rudeness, shouts, the use of physical force in his address. All problems are solved peacefully – the pet is smart enough to understand the mistake and never make it again.
The ideal conditions for an American Akita are a private house with a large plot.
On large household plots, the “American” will be in her element: a huge scope for the use of security skills, enough space for physical activity. In such conditions, the dog will be really happy.
The apartment content should not turn into a conclusion. It will take a long and active walk with your pet. Not less than 1-2 hours 2 times a day. A lazy walk on a leash is not what an Akita needs. Activity, games, teams – all this will have to be put into practice in order for the physical and mental state of the pet to be normal.
Trust in the owner is boundless, but the memory is good. If after the command “Walk” the walk did not take place, and after the word “Eat” the food did not appear in the bowl, the Akita would tick the box that the owner could cheat. After several similar ticks, the “American” will cease to recognize the owner as the leader, as not justifying the trust.
American Akita training
The independence and cunning of this breed will bring a lot of trouble to the dog handler. Akita flawlessly uses “non-understanding eyes”, creating the full impression that he does not understand what they want from her. Understands, but doesn’t want to. Or tests the strength of the trainer’s character and the firmness of his intentions.
The authority of the owner is of great importance in raising a pet. If the “American” fully recognized the owner as a leader, everything will be much easier.
The activity of the dog also requires appropriate training techniques. Long, monotonous repetitions are not for her. The interest, encouragement and elements of the game are designed to increase the motivation of the ward.
If the young Akita begins to show character – to be stubborn, to forget about obedience, to spite to do dirty tricks, you will have to show who is the boss. Such problems usually appear during the adolescent age of the dog, with the onset of puberty. The method of establishing leadership is based on the natural interactions of canines: who is stronger, who is on top is the leader.
The stubborn pet must be pressed with its back to the surface and kept in this position until the resistance completely ceases. Alternatively, grabbing the withers, press the dog to the ground. The matter will not be limited to one demonstration – the “American” will not miss the opportunity to check whether her grip has weakened.
So that the dog specializing in guarding does not overdo it with care, the “Place” command is extremely important. Without this, the indefatigable bodyguard will watch over sleep, without leaving the bed, demanding to let him into the bathroom, where the beloved owner is exposed to terrible dangers..
There is nothing special in caring for this breed. But the procedures must be carried out regularly, without postponing “for later”. Regular grooming helps not only keep your dog looking good, but also detects health problems early on.
The thick wool of the Akita does not require a haircut and is not prone to the formation of tangles. But, in combination with a soft undercoat, it creates a wide field of activity for combing out with a metal brush. The procedure must be done at least twice a week. During molting – in spring and autumn – you will have to comb your pet every day, using a slicker.
A small amount of discharge or small gray lumps in the eyes is not a cause for concern, all excess is removed with a dry soft cloth. The health problems that have arisen are signaled by strong sourness, swelling, constantly flowing tears. Having noticed these signs, you should not postpone a visit to the veterinarian.
You should check your dog’s ears at least once a week. Akita’s problem-free ear is pink, no excess sulfur, no smell, no pimples. If something from this list appears, only a doctor will help determine the cause of the problem.
All domestic dogs need to brush their teeth. Akita is no exception. Regular brushing or finger brushing using dog toothpaste will protect your pet from plaque and tartar and other dental diseases. It is more difficult and more expensive to cure the problem that has arisen than to apply regular preventive measures.
After each walk, the paws of the “American” must be wiped and examined for cracks. Treat pillows with vegetable oil, add a small amount of it to your daily food – no more than a teaspoon. This will prevent cracking. A nail clipper is used for monthly clipping.
A healthy breed, puppies of which are less vulnerable to infectious diseases than babies of other species. But there is still a genetic predisposition to certain problems:
- dysplasia of the pelvis;
- retinal atrophy;
- incorrect location of the eyelids;
A problem such as dysplasia most often occurs if, during the period of growing up, the Akita puppy endures too much physical activity and does not eat properly. A diet carefully selected by specialists and verified loads will help to avoid illness.
American Akitas live from 10 to 14 years.
Choosing a puppy
In Russia, Akita is a rather rare breed, even its Japanese cousins are found more often. When choosing a puppy, you will have to look for a reputable kennel with good reviews and trust. Breeders will help you choose a puppy for specific purposes: for exhibitions, protection, friendship.
When visiting the nursery, be sure to look at the parents of the baby – their behavior, exterior – many features will pass to the offspring.
The puppy itself must have a healthy appearance, shiny coat, be well-fed, and comply with the breed standard.
Until the baby reaches 9 months, he is not assigned an exhibition class.
Activity and curiosity are the main signs of a healthy puppy. If a young Akita is sluggish, it may be a sign of a health or mental problem..
American Akita Price (Puppy Price)
- from 10 to 12 thousand rubles will be worth a puppy without a pedigree – the risk of getting a cross or an unhealthy animal is very high;
- about 15 thousand rubles – the cost of a pet class – a healthy baby that does not meet the breed standard, without the right to breed;
- from 20 to 30 thousand rubles will have to pay for a young Akita that meets the standard, but does not have a chance for a championship, with the right to mate;
- from 50 thousand rubles starts the cost for a bright representative of the breed, capable of winning at exhibitions and competitions.
Photo of American Akita