What to Know About the American Akita Dog

by Victor C.

The Akita is one of the many dog breeds found in the United States today.

It is a muscular dog with double coating. They can grow to be really big, intimidating dogs standing as tall as 28 inches at the shoulder. The Akita is originally from Japan and was bred to guard Japanese royals.


This dog breed originated from Akita and Odate in Japan. These regions were rural and had a lot of snow as they are surrounded by mountains. Between the 1500s and 1800, the dog breed was used by samurais as companions in feudal Japan. They were also trained to be hunting dogs, used predominantly in hunting animals like, wild boar, brown bears, and elks.


In the early 20th century, the Akita saw a steep decline because it was being bred with other dog breeds, mostly Mastiff and the German Shepherd. As a result, many Akita dog specimens began to lose their spitz characteristics, taking on loose skin, drop ears, and non-native Japanese colors. In correcting this, Japanese dog breeders at the time used the Hokkaido Inu breed along with the Matagi to mix with what was left of the Akita Inu. This helped in restoring the original Akita breed and bringing back their spitz characteristics. A century down the line, modern Japanese Akita have very little genes left from the western dogs they were bred with. Today, the Japanese do not consider the American Akita a true breed.

Hellen Keller is recognized as the person who brought the Akita into America. Prior to her return to America in 1938, the Japanese government gifted her with two Akitas. More Akitas began coming into the country when American service men who served in Japan as part of the occupational force, came in contact with the species. They were so impressed by the Akita dog that many of them came back with at least one Akita at the end of their tour. The bigger German Shepherd type breed of the Akita was more favored over the smaller foxlike breed by the service men. As a result, the majority of Akitas in the United States are bigger and more muscular.

Appearance and Types of Coats

The Akita is known for being a very large, sturdy dog with thick heavy bones. It has a large head with triangular ears that are erect and angled following the arch of its neck. The features that make up the Akita's face are hard to miss as they have small, deeply set, triangular eyes that can easily be differentiated from other dogs.

Mature males typically grow up to 28 inches in height and weigh between 100 and 130 pounds (45-59kg). Fully grown females grow to heights between 24 and 26 inches and weigh between 70 and 100 pounds (32-45kg). The American species grow bigger than those of the Japanese.

When it comes to the coat, this breed has thick, double-layered coat which made their ancestors live and survive in the cold mountainous regions of Akita and Odata. There are several colors that the coat of this big dog can be seen in however, the most common ones are white, black, and brindle. Click here to learn more about their appearance.


The Akita is loyal and loving towards its family but territorial and usually stay reserved around strangers. They do not relate well with other dogs of the same sex and fancy being an only dog. If trained to be around other dogs, they will try to solidify their place as the top dog.

They are excellent watchdogs and are known to only bark when it is absolutely necessary. Their large size often makes them hard to control and so they aren't suitable for first time dog owners.

Nutrition and Grooming

The Akita does well with commercial and home-made foods however, if you would be feeding it mostly with home-made food, you should consult with your vet to know what and what not to give to it. Breed experts recommend that Akitas that are 7 years old be feed with foods with low calorie to prevent kidney disease.

They are known to be possessive about their food and so, they should be fed away from children and other animals. Being naturally big dogs, it may be hard for their owners to know when they are putting on excess weight. To be sure, regularly check your pet's weight with your vet.

Nutrition and Grooming
Nutrition and Grooming

This dog breed doesn't need much when it comes to grooming but their thick coat should be properly brushed once or twice a week to keep it at peak state. This breed sheds heavily twice a year. During this period, more frequent brushing should be done to get rid of the dead coat completely.


These large dogs are intelligent and eager to please their owners making them very easy to train. Because they can grow to large sizes, it is important that they be trained and exposed to people while still pups. Being big dogs and often exhibiting some level of stubbornness, they should always be kept on a leash in public places. Visit https://www.wikihow.com/Train-Big-Dogs to learn more on how to train big dogs.


Akitas have a life expectancy range of 10 to 12 years but can live up to 15 years if properly cared for and kept healthy. Having a body designed to withstand cold climates, they may get uncomfortable in warmer regions. Although very loving and affectionate to people they are familiar with, they've been flagged by some states as dangerous.

About Victor C.

Victor is a highly acclaimed sports writer known for his insightful analysis and captivating storytelling. Born and raised in a small town, he developed a deep passion for sports from an early age. He excelled in both academics and athletics throughout his school years, which laid the foundation for his future career.

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