Akita Dog Clubs
Akita Mature Dogs
Size: Large - Up to 71cm tall
Weight: Up to 55kg
The Akita, once highly valued for its meat and fur, is now a prized companion. It is one of Japan's national monuments and if owners of show champions fall on hard times, the Japanese Government will subsidise the dog's upkeep.
Akitas were originally bred to hunt boar, elk and even bear but had to be versatile enough to also catch water fowl and other small prey. The Akita was used as a guard dog during feudal times and has always been regarded as a dog of luck - new babies and the ill are given Akita carvings even today.
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the Akita was crossed with the Tosa Fighting Dog and the strain was almost lost In hard times it was also killed and eaten, its coat used for clothing. A rabies outbreak in the 19th century and World War II also threatened the breed.
The Akita Is the largest Japanese native dog - powerful and heavy boned, it has a broad, bear-like head, thick neck, a well developed chest and firmly muscled loin. The Akitas coat at the withers and rump is 5cm thick, slightly longer than on other parts of the body, except on the tail where it is more profuse with no appearance of a plume it can be of any colour as long as it is brilliant and clear.
The Akita is a dignified and aloof dog, has great courage and does tend to dominate other dogs. But the Akita is a devoted family member. Helen Keller, American pioneer In the tuition of the blind, was so Impressed by stories of the Akita's loyalty that she imported one to the US in 1937. It is believed one of her Akltas became the first seeing eye dog.
Akitas have a strong ego and will not tolerate abuse. The Akita can be obstinate and rather jealous if treated harshly but will always co-operate if treated kindly.
Care and Grooming
The Akita is an athletic breed that requires a good deal of exercise. Growth should be monitored in the first year to make sure It is adequately fed. The Akita coat requires regular brushing but only infrequent bathing.