Is an Akita the Right Dog for You?
The Akita is a big-boned dog breed
that originated in Northern Japan around the 7th century. They were known as “snow country dogs”, becoming more active in the cold weather and snow. They are designated as a national monument in Japan.
Being a large, muscular dog,
the Akita was well suited for hunting prey such as bear and wild boar. They were also used in blood sports such as dog fighting which was very popular in Japan at the time. In fact-dog fighting is still legal in Japan today.
There are two recognized Akita breeds
the Japanese AkitaInu and the American Akita. Both breeds have long coats but have different markings. There are many variations and color combinations in both breeds of Akita. The AKC now recognizes the Japanese Akitainu the Akita (American) as two different breeds.
Don’t get confused
the FCI calls the Japanese AkitaInu simply the Akita while the AKC calls the dog Japanese Akita Inu. The FCI calls the American Akita by it’s name while the AKC simply refers to the breed as Akita. It can get a bit confusing!
According to Professor Stanley Coren
in his groundbreaking book, “The Intelligence of Dogs” the Akita is ranked as the 54th most intelligent dog breed out of 130. Essentially, this means they will learn new commands between 25-40 repetitions. They are considered average working/obedience dogs. In contrast, the most intelligent breeds will learn new commands in less than 5 repetitions and obey them 99% of the time!
Akitas are one of the dog breeds most
often banned by home insurance companies. They appear on 79% of the top 42 home insurance companies “banned dogs” lists. Don’t worry though, there are three breeds that appear on 100% of the lists:
1. Doberman Pinschers 2. Pitbull Type Dogs 3. Rottweilers
The AKC conducts 100 yard timed
dog races called the Fast Cat. The average running speed of an Akita in these trials was 21.8 mph. The fastest speed was almost 30 mph! The thought of a 140 pound Akita charging at you at almost 30 mph would be enough to scare anybody!
The C-BARQ research study
being conducted at the University of Pennsylvania is considered a landmark study on dog breed temperament. They have data on over 60,000 dogs and 350 breeds (the study is ongoing). The Akita ranks 6th out of 124 breeds in aggression towards other unfamiliar dogs. Aggression is defined as snarling, bearing teeth and growling and in extreme cases snapping or biting.
This same research found
that Akitas rank 21 out of 124 breeds in chasing other animals. If there is a cat, squirrel, possum, raccoon etc. in the area-chances are-you Akita is going after it! They have a HIGH prey drive.
The Akita Club of America
does NOT recommend the breed for first time dog owners. They are a big, strong alpha breed that can be a challenge to train. They can be very territorial and aloof towards strangers. Once trained, however, they are one of the most loyal and protective breeds in existence.
The Akita is Generally a Healthy
breed, but with ALL breeds there are a few health concerns. Some of their primary health concerns are:
Sebaceous Adenitis (SA)
Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat)
Take a Fun Akita Quiz!
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