Akitas hail from the city of Akita, Japan. They were bred as guard dogs and all-purpose hunting dogs in the northern mountains. Traditionally Akitas represent health and good luck to the Japanese.
The story goes that Helen Keller was the first to bring Akitas to the U.S. after she fell in love with them while traveling through Japan. After WWII, Akitas were brought back with the servicemen.
Size: 70 to 110 pounds, 24 to 28 inches tall.
Color: Most common are brindle and pinto with white markings.
Health problems: Hip dysplasia, gastric dilatation-volvulus, hypothyroidism, sebaceous adenitis.
Life span: Up to 12 years.
Akitas make excellent protectors, when barking is necessary, they let loose no problem! They are loyal and courageous. Generally quiet, they can be quite strong-willed and require proper obedience training. Early socialization is also necessary as both will allow the Akita’s better personality traits to shine.
Akitas have a stiff outer coat that hides a soft, thick undercoat. They do shed (generally) and additionally shed excessively twice a year. Weekly brushing will keep the coat sleek and healthy, though more frequent brushing should be done during peak shedding seasons. Akitas should be walked for a good distance twice a day — Akitas have plenty of energy to expend.
In the right home, an Akita will be affectionate and loyal. If socialized properly, they do well with kids — but is probably not the right dog for you if you’re a first time dog owner.