Akita Inu - 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know

Akita Inu - 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know

Author WDF Staff | Last updated: May 03 2023


For all the Akita lovers, we made a list of 10 little-known facts about these dogs. If you are a true Akita lover, you have most probably heard some of them, while others can enjoy learning new facts about these stunning dogs.

1. Akita Monopoly

In 17th century Japan, everything started changing for Akita Inu dogs. They stopped being peasant dogs and, due to the new laws issued by the shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi and started to become a status symbol.

At that time, Akitas started living the best possible life. In some cases, they had their own houses and servants.

The interesting thing is that only the noblemen in Japan were allowed to own and breed them. They pampered them and used golden collars and leashes since having a pampered Akita proved to everyone that your family was high on the social ladder and that you were wealthy.

2. Dog taxes

The golden age of these Japanese dogs lasted around 200 years. After living in houses and having private servants, there was a change in political structure, and the view towards dogs in general changed. A taxon dog-owning was introduced to Japan, and as a direct result of that, a lot of Akitas were murdered.

People were reluctant to pay taxes in general and they did everything in their power to avoid paying them. The poor dogs became collateral damage to the Japanese fiscal policy.

3. Akita dog fighting

Dog fights are still popular and are being held in Japan. The most popular dog breed for illegal dog fights is the Japanese dog breed, Tosa. Akita is the second most popular.

In the Middle Ages, dogfighting was completely legal, and a lot of spectators gathered to watch the fights and place bets.

The interesting thing is that the Japanese still have active dog rings. Dog fights were declared illegal in Japan a long time ago, but this illegal blood sport is still very popular there. Organizing dog fights is commonly linked to the Japanese underground, especially the Yakuza.

cute akita inu dog

4. Pop-culture

Certainly, one of the most famous dogs in the World is Hachiko. This story of the World’s most loyal dog has been told and retold many times and certainly holds a special place in the hearts of all people who have heard about it.

Hachiko was a dog that was owned by Professor Hidesaburō Ueno, and the dog used to follow his master every day on his way to work. He also waited patiently for the professor to come back to the same train station. When the doctor was diagnosed with cancer and, in the end, succumbed to the sickness, Hachiko was still going to the same station and waited for the professor every day.

The Japanese built a monument to Hachiko in 1934. and later, they melted that same statue in World War 2 so they could use it for ammunition. In 1948 the second statue was made by the son of the first sculpturer. Today one of the five entrances to the Shibuya Station is named the Hachiko entrance.

5. Akita Museum

We already know that most of Japan has a deep, profound love for this dog breed. One way to show their love is by opening a museum in Odete in the Japanese Akita prefecture. You can find all sorts of art and documents about this breed, and sometimes, you can even get greeted by real live dogs that are there to greet people.

6. Hellen Keller

Hellen Keller is a world-famous political activist, author, and lecturer and was the first blind and deaf person with a bachelor of arts degree. In the year 1937, she visited Japan alongside her companion Polly Thomson, and there they both heard the tale of Hachiko. Mrs. Keller was so impressed with how faithful the Akita breed is that she wanted one of these dogs for herself.

Upon hearing how impressed Mrs. Keller was, a police officer who was also the K9 instructor, Mr. Ichiro Ogasawara, offered her a dog named Kamikaze-Go.

Unfortunately, her 7-month puppy died from distemper. After Mr. Ogasawara heard that news, he promptly sent her the younger brother of that puppy named Kenzan-Go. That was considered as an official gift from the country of Japan.

akita inu dog and sun

7. Neat freaks

Just like their cousins the Shiba Inu, Akitas are obsessed with being clean. They have been known to have a cat-like obsession in cleaning themselves. Their coat is easy to maintain since they love to keep it clean and neat themselves.

They have a double coat, so twice a year they “blow” their whole undercoat and at those times grooming is necessary. Their undercoat is light and fluffy so it flies across the room with no problem.

It is pretty hard to explain just how much hair the Akita will shed, so investing in great tools is a must. This 2-in-1 Dog Brush Brush for Shedding and Grooming will really help you when battling endless loose hair.

8. Natural Japanese treasure

Through the effort of NIPPO and AKIHO, this dog breed has been declared a Japanese Natural Monument and is protected by law.

9. American Akita hoax

Today, the American Akita is a well-known and respectful dog breed. The first Akita ever brought to the USA was by Helen Keller, a purebred Japanese Akita that was given to her by Japan.

At the time of the American invasion of Japan, American soldiers wanted one of these dogs, so one of them decided to buy a puppy and bring it with him to the US what he didn’t know was that it wasn’t a pureblood Akita and that in fact, was mixed with German Shepherds.

By the time the American and Japanese Kennel Clubs agreed, these two breeds were so different that there was no way they could be considered as two varieties of a single breed. That made some problems for breeders of the American type since they could not get an excellent grades on the shows. In the end, the FCI decided to go with the Standard from the country of origin, and that was the Japanese Standard. The American Akita became an independent breed and is gaining popularity around the world.

10. Famous owners

Dogs, in general, have won our hearts thousands of years ago and Akita Inu is certainly a part of that. One of the most famous owners of this dog breed is Vladimir Putin. He owns an Akita by the name of Yume. It was a gift from the Japanese government after Russia offered Japan help in the aftermath of the huge earthquake and tsunami in Tohuku in 2011.

Some other Akita Inu owners include Henry Cavill, Eric Christian Olsen, and Sarah Michelle Gellar.

World Dog Finder team

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