Akita Inu dogs originate from Japan, and this dog is one of the largest from the Spitz group. This dog breed is also called Akita-Ken, Japanese Akita, and Great Japanese Dog. It is a good build dog with a naturally glossy coat, and because of its imposing and powerful looks, it cannot go unnoticed. His coat serves as protection against extreme temperatures.
They got their name from the Akita Prefecture mountain region, and this dog is highly prized for its loyalty, trainability, and willingness because of these factors, he is widely used as a police and service dog in the native country. This dog is not suited for everybody, especially for the first-time dog owner, because they need to be trained and socialized from the puppy age and must be handled by people who understand their character and who know how to work with a dominant dog.
This is one of the most challenging dogs to own because of their dominant and strong personality. Make sure to find out all the characteristics of this breed before you start to search and contact Akita Inu breeders.
24-26 in (61-66 cm)
70-100 lb (32-45 kg)
Dog Breed Characteristics
This dog is a bold, independent, stubborn, tenacious, large, and powerful breed. These dogs are usually very temperamental and demand constant training. The females are much calmer and easier to work with. They are not so dominant. When raising Akita, it is important to know that if they are not socialized properly from the earliest days, they might show aggression towards other dogs and other animals later.
Male Akitas are very dominant, so keep in mind that Akita is not the right dog for beginners.
Although known for their loyalty, Akitas must be trained properly to achieve that loyalty. Training should start immediately. This breed requires a dominant owner and a firm hand. Akitas are not suitable for everyone because if you don’t manage to impose your domination, you may have some serious behavior problems with your dog.
If you are strict and consistent in education, you shouldn’t have any problems. They are very loyal dogs, make good protectors of their families, and are distrustful of strangers. Akitas don’t make friends easily; they are reserved with unknown people and are very protective of their owners.
They should be introduced carefully to new dogs and household pets. If trained so from the beginning, Akitas will probably go along well with other animals and children, but as a general safety precaution, this breed should always be supervised around children and other pets.
Akitas are fast learners but can be very stubborn, so they should be owned by a patient owner willing to work with his dog. If learns so, his dog will take basic commands from all family members, but only one master will be listened to unconditionally. Akitas require constant mental and psychic activity. They are very durable and love long walks, but they won’t cause any problems sometimes, long walks are skipped.
Akita Inu dogs and kids
These dogs are best suited for homes with older kids who will know to properly play with the dog. They are not a good choice for homes with small children. If you have small children in the house, you should always watch them when they are together because the dog can unintentionally hurt the child while playing.
In the USA, Akitas ranks seventh among all dog breed that most often bites children, and that is very important to teach your kids how to properly play with the dog and to always supervise play.
If you don’t have any experience with dogs but want to get yourself an Akita – sign the dog up for dog school and professional training. Even Akita breeders highlight that this dog isn’t for everyone. Also, get ready to spend some serious money. The price of the Akita dog is around 4,500 dollars.
Coat and shedding
Although Akitas are known for their neatness, if you are getting an Akita, get a good vacuum cleaner at the same time. These dogs shed heavily twice a year (actually, it is more of blowing out their undercoats since they are a double-coated breed). Their double-coated fur makes them suitable pets for cold climates.
Shedding time can last from 2 to 4 weeks, and in this period, you will have to clean and vacuum your house more often. Outside the shedding season, their coat doesn’t shed much and weekly brushing will do the job. Their coat comes in a variety of colors, including red, fawn, sesame, white, and brindle.
If you hate vacuuming, think about getting a vacuum cleaner that will do the work instead of you. The iRobot Roomba 675 is a great ally that will help keep your home clean, especially if you have a heavy shedder like an Akita Inu.
Akitas are generally healthy, but like all breeds of dogs, they are prone to certain health conditions and diseases.
Akitas are prone to
- hip dysplasia
- gastrointestinal disturbances
- some autoimmune diseases (such as autoimmune hemolytic anemia, which is a disorder of the blood, Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada Syndrome, which affects the eyes and skin of affected dogs, Pemphigus Foliaceus, which is a skin disorder that is believed to be hereditary).
Their lifespan is 10-12 years.
The Akita Inu or American Akita
There are two main types of Akita dogs – American Akita (also known as the Akita) and Japanese Akita (known as the Akita Inu). These are two distinct breeds, and while there are some similarities, they also have differences.
The American Akita was recognized as a breed in 2006. The American type is larger and heavier than the Japanese Akita and comes in many colors and patterns. Akita Inus, however, comes only in brindle, white and red. Akita Inus are 23 to 25 inches in height for females and weigh 70 to 110 pounds, and are 25 to 28 inches in height for males and weigh 85 to 130 pounds.
American Akitas tend to be an inch taller for both males and females. The body shape is also different between these two breeds. The American Akita’s ears are erect, while Akita Inu’s ears are pointed in a forward slant. The Akita Inu also has a fox-like facial composition.
The Akita Inu is a stubborn and independent dog that is suspicious of strangers and other dogs. The American Akita goes along with other dogs of the opposite sex, while same-sex dogs might argue sometimes. The American Akita is not so suspicious of strangers. The purebred Japanese Akita is more expensive than American Akita.
FUN FACT: Akitas usually don’t bark a lot, only when necessary.
There are probably very few people that didn't watch the movie Hachiko, which made this breed popular across the globe. Hachiko was a true example of Akita's temperament and loyal nature. Hachiko’s owner, Professor Ueno, was going to work by train, so Hachiko used to follow their master to the train station every day and was also there at the end of the day, waiting for Professor Ueno to come back from work, to accompany him home.
Two years later, the professor went to work but suffered from a stroke and died while at work so he never came back to the train station where Hachiko was waiting for him. From then until its death, Hachiko would return to Shibuya Station every day to await Ueno's return. Hachiko was a dog remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, and the dog kept on waiting for the professor for the next 10 years.
FUN FACT: Hachiko has its monument in front of Tokyo's Shibuya railway station.
Akita Inu is a powerful dog breed that can be territorial and protective. It is not a breed that should be treated lightly and carelessly. They are loyal to their family and their owners, so you should never approach one of these dogs without their owner’s permission.
Yes, they are, but there are things you should know. They don’t love the harsh treatment and are not the best choice for small children. They are a lot better suited for families who are expert dog owners and have older kids.
There is a wide price range when it comes to Akita Inu puppies. The average price is around $2.000, but this breed is somewhat rare, so don’t be surprised if you come across prices that go well beyond $4.500.
Akitas can be considered dangerous because they are a proud breed that is not for everybody. These dogs are powerful and proud, and their character can make them snappy and bitey. Akitas are known to be intolerant of other same-sex dogs and smaller pets.
Akitas can be cuddly with their owners. They don’t like to be touched by strangers, especially in the territory they are assigned to protect.
Yes. They are an independent breed that does well on their own.
No, Akita Inu dogs are not enthusiastic barkers. They even have the nickname “silent hunter.” They are known to bark when they have to raise the alarm because someone is approaching their territory.
Akitas are not lazy. They are very active and energetic. These dogs were bred as hunters, and to do that successfully, they needed to be energetic and active. Akitas require plenty of daily exercises.
They can, but it is not something that is recommended. Akitas have a strong prey drive, so mixing these dogs with other, smaller pets is a recipe for disasters. They will require plenty of socialization to learn to live peacefully with cats.
Akitas are not the easiest breed to train. They have a stubborn streak during adolescence, and they require plenty of time and patience. These dogs require a knowledgeable owner with plenty of experience in dog training.
Akitas are fairly intelligent dogs, but for their intelligence to shine, they need to respect their owner. If the owner fails to gain the dog’s respect and doesn’t offer these dogs clear leadership, Akitas might develop problematic behavior.
Akita Inu breeders
As we already said, this is a very strong-willed dog who needs a firm and experienced owner who will know how to take care of this dog. These dogs are usually very temperamental. Females are much calmer than males, and their temperament is nobler. If you are completely sure that this dog is the right for you, now is the time to find good and responsible Akita Inu breeders.
Always contact a few breeders and ask them about their puppies so you can easier choose the best one for you. Most of the Japanese Akita breeders will welcome your questions and will gladly answer them. This dog breed is very popular in the World and with that, there are many “bad” and unofficial (puppy mills) breeders, so we advise you to only talk to breeders that are registered on the World Dog Finder website because all these breeders are official and registered in cynological associations.
The Akita Inu is a magnificent Japanese dog breed, and you will need to put some effort into this dog. Nothing will be easy with this dog breed, but that is the most interesting and rewarding part. We are bringing you a few pros and cons for this dog breed.
- Very imposing and powerful looks
- Thick fur that protects them from weather conditions
- They are great companions
- Excellent guard dogs and very loyal
- These dogs are not prone to barking
- Generally healthy dog breed
- They can be aggressive if not socialized properly
- Strong-willed and very challenging to own
- They can be very possessive
- Not suited to live with another pet
- They shed a lot
- Not suited for the first-time owner
World Dog Finder team
This is a Japanese dog breed that was historically first bred and used for fighting and bear hunting purposes. Therefore, members of this breed still have outstanding hunting instincts. In 1908 dog fighting was prohibited, but Akitas was preserved and improved as a large Japanese breed. Hellen Keller visited Japan in 1937 and discovered Akita Inu dogs.
Two Akita dogs were presented to her, and these dogs were the first who arrived in the USA. During World War II (1939-1945) was not unusual to use dogs as a source of fur for military garments. Akitas (among other dogs) were being killed for their fur, so people started releasing their Akitas into the woods to save their lives.
Some people started crossing them with German Shepherds to turn them into military dogs and, with that, save them from certain death. In the early 20th century, these dogs were also crossed with other dog breeds, such as English Mastiff, Great Dane, and Tosa Inu, to give them dogfighting features.
Dogs that were released in the wood were eventually found by American soldiers who took them across the border and back to America, and this is how this breed started to spread on other continents. They started to worship the breed, and they preferred larger and more heavy-boned dogs.
Because of this, first dogs later developed a different strain of the breed – American Akita. American Akita in the USA and Canada is considered just a different type of Akita, while in the rest of the world is considered a separate dog breed. These dogs were officially recognized by the AKC in 1955.