Origin and brief history
With its roots of origination traced to a northern territory on the island of Honshu, the Akita dog
breed is frequently referred to as the Japanese Akita, but today the American variety is as
prevalent if not more so. Increasingly seen in households worldwide, the loyal and devout native
Japanese breed shares a common ancestry with a medium size canine, sporting the distinctive
curly tail and erect ears. Images of a dog clearly reflecting this description have been found
etched on ancient pottery plus other archeological finds discovered in the region. There is no
definitive time frame documented for when the Akita breed became domesticated, but it is
generally thought to have been a gradual process spanning two or three centuries following a
period from early in the 17th century when they were used across Asia primarily as fighting dogs.
The breed belongs to a group of canines’ identified as a “Spitz”, a keenly smart and courageous
dog, often appearing strangely distant in its demeanor, even with its owner. This inherent
tendency towards an aloof independence does not detract from the Akita’s strong sense of
guardianship in relation to those they associate with as their immediate family. This casual
disposition should not be mistaken for timid shyness, as the dog can well defend itself if
presented with the need to do so, and the bearish appearance also serves it well, creating an
intimidating presence towards other animals.
Pure Akita ancestry will have in a medium-length coat of hair. The coat is soft to the touch, and
although it does not require frequent brushing to maintain appearance, the dog does have a high
propensity to shed. Brushing the coat regularly, plus adhering to a bathing schedule, can help to
control this one primary grooming issue. An aspiring Akita owner should take into account this
factor before accepting the responsibility.
Specification of breed
Be aware that the breed is considered above average in size, with weights ranging from 70
pounds, yet customarily males and females can often be in excess of 100 pounds, with the males’
predominately the heavier. The American strain is usually slightly larger, often exceeding the
two-foot average in height, and also has more variations in color than the purer Japanese version.
The breeding criterion of the American color standard is less restrictive than the Japanese
benchmark, which places heavier emphasis on the original white color pattern known as Urajiro.
If an owner is seeking an overly affectionate dog, tail-waging acknowledgement of the owners
utter sense of importance in the animal’s life, then the Akita may not be the best breed of choice.
The dog will quite invariably display the aforementioned sense of independence towards all
humans, even the beloved owner. Patience and love will be required of an Akita owner, as
occasionally it has been noted the dog is a slower than average learner compared to other dogs.
Even considering the minor details of the Akita’s grooming requirements and independent
temperament, an owner offering a warm and loving home will be rewarded with a dedicated
image credit wikipedia.org