Dogs - Akita

Akita at dog show. White legs & chest, fawn saddle, black muzzle


The Akita originated in the Akita area of Japan. The ancestors have been used for hunting deer, boar and black bear. There are now two types - the Japanese type and the American type.

 Akita Breeders

Ingrid Linnekugel ingridlinnekugel@gmail.com  0792341410.  Website: www.zabush.co.za.

Tzilla Yanai,  Cell  0837662124  E-mail  tzillayanai@yahoo.com   Webpage:  Kinneret


The American Akita, though descended from the Japanese Akita, is a fairly new breed with the AKC officially accepting entries into their stud register from around 1955. Apparently the first KUSA registered dogs appeared around 1984. Up until 2006-2009 both varieties were shown and bred as Akitas. At this time it was decided to officially split them into 2 distinct breeds. Most breeders breed for type so the lines in most instances had already been separated for many years prior to the official split.


The main difference between the breeds is that the American Akita can come in any colour, either solid or with white. Except for solid white dogs, most American Akitas have a black mask with or without a white blaze.  Japanese Akitas on the other hand only come in various shades of red and they are to have white on the face, under the neck and chest, under the body and tail, and inside of the legs. No black except those having a brindle pattern is allowed.


Akita puppy

Akitas have large heads

Akita, side view

Akita striding around the show ring.

The above 4 photos are courtesy Zabush Kennel


American Akitas like a stable home environment, with structure and predictability. Your American Akita will not do well in an overly busy environment, so other dogs and children constantly running about would not be a good match.  Anyone researching the breed will also see that same sex aggression is well documented in the breed, so when looking for a puppy always bear this in mind.  Your American Akita is a natural guard dog, they do not bark excessively and when they do its almost guaranteed that they have seen something they think is suspicious.  It is not recommended that any form of attack training is done with this breed.  They need loads of early socialization with people and other dogs, so enrolment in a reputable puppy class is highly recommended, followed by obedience training for at least the first 12-18 months of your dogs life. This is also an excellent way to establish you as the leader of the pack.  To start with your puppy will be very sociable with people but as they reach adolescence, they become more reserved with people they do not know. This is especially true on home ground.  Dogs that are well socialized can be taken into public where they should be quite accepting of normal greetings from people. Do not let people hug or kiss your dog, and be wary of socializing with other dogs.  NEVER let your American Akita off lead in a public space, firstly remember the dog-on-dog aggression that can happen, and secondly, they are not good at being recalled in a public space and you will be liable for any injury caused should your dog be off lead.  Akitas were bred for both hunting and fighting, and these behaviours are still present in most dogs, so if you have small animals or livestock please ensure they are kept safe should your Akita decide they are prey.  Male dogs can become very dominant during and after adolescence, early neutering (and spaying in bitches) appears to have a marked effect on temperament in this breed and if it’s a wonderful family pet you are looking for then neuter/spaying at around 6 months is highly recommended.

Litter of Akita puppies

A litter of Akita puppies

Distinguishing features

The American Akita has a double coat which requires weekly brushing, and a maintenance bath and blow dry every 4-6 weeks. You can either do this yourself or take your pup to a groomer from an early age so that they accept a stranger handling and grooming them.  They will have a major shed on average twice a year with the main one being after winter as the warmer weather arrives, at this stage they basically drop all their undercoat but it grows back and within a few weeks your dog will be back to having a lovely thick coat again.  Due to our hot summers your dog must always have access to a cool spot to lie in during the day and have water available all the time. Warning here, they love to walk and play in the water during the hot summer months.

The American Akita is known as a head breed; its head is described as massive but still in proportion to the body. The head forms a blunt triangle when viewed from above, flat and broad between the ears, fairly small erect ears, a small dark eye, well pigmented eye rims, lips, and nose are desired.  The tail which balances the head is well furnished, set on high and carried over the back or against the flank in a ¾, full or double curl.

So if you wish to own an American Akita, find a breeder doing the required health testing. In this breed as a minimum you would want to know the parents have had hips and elbows X-rayed and certified.

Then be firm, be fair and be consistent and you will end up with a wonderful companion for the next 12-14 years.

Weight:  Typically the male Akita is larger than the female.  The males range in weight from 50 – 55 kilograms, while the females range from 35 – 40 kilograms.


American Akita, seated. Dark face.

American Akita, Montala Haya-J (Chica) belongs to Mr Colatei, South Africa. Reserve Best of Breed at Grahamstown dog show. The brother was Best of Breed.


The Akita as a House Pet 

Even though Akitas are large, hardy dogs which can withstand the elements, they have  for centuries been house companions.  The two most outstanding characteristics of the Akita as a house pet are that they are very clean and that they are very easy to house break. 

Akita’s express suspicion with a low rumble; They quickly learn to differentiate between strangers and friends. Although a large dog, does not require huge amounts of exercise.  It will thrive on a moderate amount of exercise and enjoys playing energetically. 

Akitas are VERY food possessive. 


How the different breeds of dogs originated.

Akitas like to pick a fight with other dogs! You and I often feel like fighting too! Sometimes a fight or argument seems necessary to defend our territory, or our rights.  The Bible says, when you want to fight with someone, first try to make peace. If they answer you back peacefully, you will solve the problem amicably. If they don't answer you in a peaceful way, a fight may ensue, but at least you tried to make the peace.

This advice comes from Deuteronomy chapter 20, verse 10.


Akita puppy

     Akita Puppy 

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