The American Akita is a large, robust, solidly built, balanced dog with a heavy bone structure. The American Akita is a particularly large dog with a very particular character. Faithful and protective towards its owner, it is also very reserved in its relationship with the human. However, while small, it has more of a playful character, open to others. It is thus necessary to benefit from this moment to educate it and socialize it suitably. He is not necessarily very sporty, he loves to loll around.
He is loyal to his master, whom he will defend at all costs. The threshold of tolerance of the Akita is low, which implies an increased caution in particular with the children. It is essential to learn to read and respect the communication signals in the dog which are very subtle in the American Akita.
History of the breed
The American Akita has the same origins as the Japanese Akita (Akita Inu). Their common ancestors lived in the Akita region, in the north of the island of Honshu in Japan. They were frequently used as fighting dogs and many of them were crossed with Mastiffs and Tosas to obtain larger and more powerful dogs. This trend lasted until the banning of dogfighting in 1908. The Akitas almost became extinct after the Second World War, when the Japanese authorities requisitioned most of the dogs of all breeds in order to use their skins for military clothing. The only breed spared by this measure was the German Shepherd, used in the imperial army.
To get around this regulation, some breeders had the idea to cross their Akitas with German Shepherds. Among these dogs, those of the Dewa lineage particularly pleased the Americans, who imported several of them into the United States. It is from there that the separation was made between the Japanese Akita and the American Akita. The latter quickly became very popular, so much so that the American Akita Club was created in 1956 and the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed in 1972. It was then the turn of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) to recognize it on May 30, 1999.
Its coat: straight, hard, slightly spread, short on the head, the bottom of the legs and the ears. The top coat is associated with a shorter, thick, soft and well furnished undercoat.
Its color: all shades such as red, fawn or white. The variegated and brindle colors are also allowed. The white unicolored subjects do not present a mask. The color of the undercoat can be different from that of the topcoat.
Head : blunt triangle shape, massive, well proportioned, without wrinkles when the dog is at rest. The skull is flat and broad, the stop is well marked, without being too abrupt. The nose is broad and black, the muzzle broad and high, the lips black and not hanging.
Ears : Well erect, small, triangular in shape and with slightly rounded tips. Wide at their attachment which is not too low.
Its eyes : relatively small, dark brown, almost triangular in shape.
Its body: inscribable in a rectangle (longer than high). The back is horizontal, the kidney well muscled, the wide and well descended chest, the belly slightly raised.
His tail : thick, covered with a thick, rough and well furnished hair, set high, carried on the back or the flank by rolling up to the three quarters, in an integral loop or in double loop.
The American Akita needs to be thoroughly socialized early and throughout its life to reduce its vindictiveness towards its fellow dogs. The education of this kind of dog must be respectful, because it reacts badly to the severe methods and even more to the violence naturally. Indeed, a too brutal education could make it an aggressive dog. Education must therefore be done through play and positive reinforcement.
The American Akita adapts to all living conditions. It appreciates to evolve freely outside, in a large fenced garden, as well as the possibility of being inside near its family. Life in an apartment is less suitable for him and he does not support solitude well.
Its morphology allows it to support the extreme temperatures, and in particular the cold. In apartment, the American Akita will have to be able to go out several times daily to be spent and thus to limit its weight gain. The cohabitation with small children must be done under close supervision of the parents.
The American Akita is a robust dog whose double coat offers excellent protection against cold and humidity. Nevertheless, the breed has a predisposition to certain diseases, mainly dermatological: pemphigus, pyoderma (bacterial infections) or sometimes bone problems (hip dysplasia).