Akita

Akita

Temperament: Alert, Courageous, Docile, Friendly, Stubborn

Size: Large

Life span: 15

Weight: 59 kg

Breed Group: Utility Dogs

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Overview

The Akita is quite a large dog breed and is one of the largest from the Japanese Spitz family. This breed is quite courageous and not easily frightened, it was originally bred as a guard dog and to hunt large game such as deer, wild boar and even bears.

The Akita is a powerfully built dog breed, which come in solid or patches of several colours, including Red Fawn, Sesame, Brindle, and White.  It has soft and thick undercoat, covered by stiff outer coating that typically shed twice a year, on average. The average breed stands between 24 and 28 inches (60 to 71 cm) and will typically weigh in between 70 to 120 pounds. Females should weigh at least 70 pounds and measure at least 23 inches while males should weigh at least 85 pounds. It has a high held tail that arches slightly forward.

History & Origin

The Akita breed originated in Japan and was named after its native origin, the Akita prefecture, located in the northernmost part of Honshu island. This breed is popularly known as Akita Inu in Japan (Inu means dog). Prior to being known as Akita Inu, this breed was known as Odate Inu (Odate, being the former name of the city of Honshu in the 1800s), an interbreed of matagi inu with dogs that were indigenous to the area. They were originally bred as fighting dogs during the Tokugawa period when dog fighting was popular in Japan and in Medieval Europe.

Temperament

Akitas are known to be territorial dog breeds and tend to be dominant over other canines. They are also known to be quiet dogs, and don’t tend to bark excessively because they were originally bred to be silent hunters. Akitas have a very elevated and developed hunting instinct and will typically show little tolerance towards small animals, especially those that are not members of the canine family. However, properly socialized and raised with other animals, they can easily develop strong bonding relationship with other animals. They are also known to be strong-willed and a bit stubborn, but properly trained, they are fierce protectors and a loyal friend and partner.

Training

The Akita breed is also known for their stubbornness, so if you are planning to be a pet owner for the first this then this breed might not be for you as they will require a lot of training and patience. The do however make a good family pet if the correct training and integration with other dogs is applied, they can be quite aggressive towards other dogs so owners strength will be require to maintain control.

The Akita demands very high socialization requirements for a well-balanced character. They are an intense companion so it is important to let them have the social skills to be accepted in the environment.

Grooming

The Akita will need to be showered and washed every few months to prevent dog odor and maintaining a clean coat. It is important to brush its fur weekly when the dog is not shedding. During shedding periods however, daily brushing is a must. An older Akita will have to be nail-trimmed once a month.

Health

Some of the health problems known to affect Akita's are:

  • Canine herpesvirus (CHV), which is a strain of the Herves virus which affect canines. This virus causes a fatal hemorrhagic disease in puppies characterized by weakness, depression, discharge from the nose, soft, yellow feces, and a loss of the sucking reflex.
  • Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), also known as gastric torsion, is a medical condition in which the stomach becomes overstretched by excessive gas content, which constricts the esophagus and prevent the gas from escaping.
  • Pemphigus is an autoimmune disorder which causes blistering and raw sores on the skin.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), is a genetic disease of the retina which causes progressive vision loss which leads to blindness.
  • UveoDermatological Syndrom (UDS), often diagnosed with this breed, this disease causes inflammation of the inside of the eye, whitening of hair (poliosis), and loss of pigment in the skin (virtiligo).
  • Sebaceous adenitis, which is also an autoimmune disorder that attacks and destroys the sebaceous glands, found in the skin of mammals.

Akitas eat less than most large dogs, so it is not difficult to keep an Akita’s weight down. However, they need an ultra-premium, all-natural dog food and should always receive a digestive enzyme with every meal.

Akita’s typically have an average life span of 11 years.

Exercise

As they are quite a large physical breed they will need daily exercise and mental simulation, a thirty minute walk or jog each day is definitely a must.

Children and other pets

Akitas are also very gentle with children and make good house pets because they are very clean and odourless and are very easy to house train.

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