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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Japanese Akita

Japanese Akita dogs are large, powerful dogs with much substance and dignity. Their proud head carriage and stance is enhanced by their small ears and dark eyes. They make a striking picture with their thick, plush coats.

The need-to-know
  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys more than two hours of walking a day
  • Large dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Quiet dog
  • Barks, alerts and may be physically protective/suspicious of visitors
  • Might not like other dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Best suited to countryside
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

The Japanese Akita breed can suffer from:
- Hip dysplasia
- Gastric dilatation volvulus 
- Amelogenesis imperfecta/familial enamel hypoplasia which is an inherited disorder where the tooth enamel does not develop properly.
- Entropion¹ which is a painful eye condition where the eyelids roll inwards.
- Sebaceous adenitis² which is a disease affecting the skin glands and causing dry skin and hair loss.

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
None but there are several recommended schemes that the Kennel Club recommends which can be found here.

¹K. C. Barnett, 'Inherited eye disease in the dog and cat', 1988, Journal of Small Animal Practice
²L. Cacini, 'Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration in Japanese Akita dogs: A survey', Dec 2020 Veterinary and Animal Science

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10–15 years
Weight: The weight range is 34–50kg
Height: Adult males stand at 64–70cm and females at 58–64cm
Colours: Red-fawn, sesame, brindle, and white
Size: Large
Kennel Club group: Utility

Ratings

Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 2/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 1/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 5/5
Japanese Akita

Personality

Not unexpectedly, Akita are strong dogs – in body and character – and are not recommended for the novice owner. They need experienced handling and early and ongoing socialisation and training. They are, however, very loyal to their own family, while aloof and reserved - and generally suspicious - of strangers. Courageous, they make good but often silent watchdogs - a trait that was much admired in their homeland. Their hunting and protective instincts are strong and this must be remembered at all times.

Japanese Akita

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Japan

The Akita, the largest of all the Japanese breeds, was originally bred in the province of Akita in the 1600 and was originally developed as a highly successful fighting dog. In the late 19th century however, other breeds were imported into the fighting scene making the Japanese breeds suffer in popularity. As dog fighting fell out of favour, the Akita needed to find other jobs to do in order to survive, and managed this effortlessly by multi-tasking as a hunting dog, a guard dog, a police dog, a show dog and a much-loved companion.

did you know?

Did you know?

The most famous Japanese Akita was Hachi, the loyal companion of a Tokyo professor Eizaburo Ueno. Each day Hachi would accompany his master to the train station and would also be waiting for him when he got back from work. On 25th May 1925, Professor Ueno died in his office but for the next nine years and until his own death, Hachi made the lonely journey back and forward to the station waiting for his master who never came. There is a statue at the station in his memory.