American Akita. General information.
The breed was developed more recently: in the mid-1950s.
Ancestors Japanese Akita. Interesting fact: Akita is the prefecture in Japan.
Height 60 to 65 for bitches, 65 to 70 for dogs. Weight within 32 to 59 kg.
American Akita live 10-14 years.
They prove themselves as leading dogs, and are famous for their outstanding guard and hunting qualities.
Akitas are notable for a stable mentality and high intelligence, so they are not prone to aggression attacks, as well as intense tenderness. This is especially true with strangers: they interact smoothly, but show little interest: in order to let a stranger closer, they need to get accustomed with them for some time.
This breed is known for both dignity and courage, and a tendency to get involved into fights in dog parks. The owner will have to keep an eye out all the time. Akita is an independent, wayward and rather stubborn animal. These qualities will manifest itself in the fact that once in a while your dog will check who is the boss here, and question the authority of the owner. Mutinous behavior is especially common in adolescence. Therefore, you should not expect the complete submission. At the same time, Akita suffer greatly in loneliness and take separation from the owner hard. We all know Hachiko’s heartbreaking story. It is no exaggeration here: Akitas are highly loyal animals.
The American Akita will not bark for nothing. This breed is essentially considered one of the quietest. But in terms of physical activity, Akita is among the leaders: they need to move a lot, intensively and for a long time. Also, keep in mind that if the dog doesn’t fulfill its hunting potential, eventually, nature will take over, and your dog will switch to his small friends, cats, etc. Due to wayward nature, they are hard in training.
The American Akita ancestors appeared in Japan many centuries ago. Akita is basically one of the oldest dog breeds. Just imagine: already in the 6th century in Japan there were clubs of Akita admirers, and in the 15th century some kind of pedigree book appeared. In the old days, Akita was known as Matagi, which meant “big-game hunting dog.” Indeed, it is known that the Japanese Akita successfully hunted brown bears, elks and wild boars. Later, this breed was used as fighting dogs, already earning money on dog fights. At this time, in order to add strength and aggression, experiments on crossbreeding of the Japanese Akita with dogs of larger breeds started. Fortunately, the kennel association soon sounded the alarm, trying to restore the breed purity, and further attempts at crossbreeding were totally suppressed. Later, the Japanese Akita was even awarded the status of a natural monument.
Another dramatic stage in the Japanese Akita life is associated with the Second World War, when owners of these beautiful dogs were obliged to send their pets to the front. Now it is impossible to imagine, but after the end of the war only a few dozen pure Akita-Inu remained in Japan. Basically, that is when the history of our breed began: the U.S. military took several dogs to their homeland.
Further, the dog breeders of both countries could not agree among themselves regarding uniform breed standards, so in America the breeding went its own way. Only half a century later, in 2000, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale approved the accepted standard for the American Akita breed.
The American Akita appearance is quite different from its Japanese ancestors. They are large and strong dogs with a broad chest and well-developed muscles. They have an eye-catching color and a signature bear-like snout.
Maximum weight of adult dogs may reach 65 kg and bitches – 45 kg. Height is up to 71 cm for dogs, and up to 66 cm for bitches.
Akita have a strong and massive skeleton. Massive head without wrinkles, the skull shape is flat. The so-called stop (line from nose to forehead) is clearly visible.
They may have level bite, but the scissor bite is more common.
Dark brown (light-colored also acceptable), small, deep-set eyes.
Classic black nose, but a lighter tone is permissible for white Akitas. Liver shade is also possible.
Black lips, and pink tongue (but standards also accept blue or with black spots).
Relatively small ears. By standards, they should be straight, triangular in shape with rounded edges. Ears should fully erect by 4-5 months of the puppy's life.
Wide and rather short neck with well-developed muscles, the back of the neck is convex.
The tail is set over the back, bent into a ring (and it should be like that from the moment of birth), it touches the back or sides, the coat is very thick and hard. Usually, the tail is long, but a short tail is also acceptable.
Well-formed limbs, strong shoulders, strong and straight forelegs, the elbows are pointed straight back. Very muscular hind legs with well-developed thighs. Dewclaws are removed in accordance with breed standards. The gait is free, the limbs move in a single plane without significant thrusts.
Coat is odorless (well, everything is relative, of course). The outer layer is hard and very thick, not curly. The undercoat is soft and dense. Coat and undercoat may vary in color. Akitas tend to shed heavily.
The color is very diverse: snow-white, fauve, spotted, red, brindle colors are allowed. The common for the American Akita mask is optional: it may not be present at all, or instead there is a well-defined spot.