The Akita Dog Breed Origins and History Overview

The , or , originates from the mountainous northern region of Japan, in an area called Prefecture. A favorite breed of the Japanese people the is valued there as a national treasure and statues of the dog are common throughout the country. The origin and is complex but stems from similar northern breed dogs of the Spitz group and shares its with a breed many centuries old.

The was used early for hunting and work dog but primarily as a fighting dog. The Akita was originally owned by the imperial leaders of the country, the Shogun, and used to fight other breeds like the Tosa. Many attempts to change the breed into a more efficient fighter throughout the years have altered the dog so that the modern Akita does not fully resemble the early . Gradually, the breed fell out of favor as a fighter as newer, larger breeds Accidents and Illness coverage for your dog or cat. Financial protection for you. became more successful and the Akita was used more for hunting or as guard dogs.


Although the fell out of favor in Japan through the 1800s, in the 20th century many efforts were made to restore the to its once vaunted status. As national pride surged in the early 1900s, the Japanese government began programs to preserve native dog breeds such as the Akita. The breed became famous as a sign of loyalty and trust and became a National Monument in 1931 and clubs were started to preserve the breed using careful breeding standards.

Helen Keller visited Japan in the 1930s and brought renewed attention to the as she became enamored with the breed and brought two dogs back to the United States. During WWII the Akita breed faced near elimination as the country was struggling to feed its people.

Proper food was hard to come by for these large dogs, and additionally, many Akitas were killed for food or for their pelts. Following the war, however, many US serviceman took a fancy to the and brought them back in numbers to the United States. The AKC recognized the Akita Breed formally in 1973.

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