The Akita is one of the “Northern Breeds”. Characteristically these breeds sport a dense double coat, brushy in nature, with upright ears and tightly curled tail. This type of look is called the “spitz” type and there are many breeds with these characteristics. The majority of these breeds have a lot of guarding instinct in their backgrounds.
The Akita has long been used as a general guard dog, stemming originally from the country of Japan, where for many centuries it has been revered . In 1931 this dog was designated as a National Monument in Japan and is considered one of the country’s national treasures. It is the largest of the Japanese breeds. It has been used as a working breed, guarding the family home and also as a hunter of bear, deer and wild boar. For many centuries it was used as fighting dog in Japan until that “sport” was outlawed.
The magnificent plush coat and often distinctive markings of this dog are qualities which have made it a favorite in the show ring. Furthermore, an Akita has a majestic appearance and if it is bred well and true to type it moves with a grace which makes it a breathtakingly beautiful sight in the Conformation Ring. Akitas throughout the years have placed high in the Group at Westminster and Crufts and other such shows. All over the world, the Akita is admired and has an enthusiastic following at a dog show.
The Akita is aggressive towards other dogs. The temperament is strong and independent and early obedience training is a must. Thus it is not a dog for a family or owner who does not participate regularly in training and who do not establish themselves as the “leader of the pack”. The Akita is widely known for its loyalty and faithfulness to its family. It will “expect respect” and it will give respect back to its owners two fold. Its history is that of primarily a guard dog and care must be taken that it is taught from the beginning to obey. This breed is strong, large and has great strength of jaw. Proper training is an absolute necessity.
If it is going to be living with children, it is important that it be brought up with the children to start with. When it is a part of the family it will be very loyal and loving. The Akita is not a dog that adapts well to new owners and placing this dog in a second home in later life makes it difficult if it should end up in a shelter. It is also essential that it has plenty of exercise for it is a big dog who needs plenty of room. Thus it is important that breeders who sell these puppies be aware that the new owners must be of the right type to own this distinctive and special breed and that they will make life time homes for the dog. If nothing else, responsible breeders will always have a “return without question” clause in their contract.
Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Animals