Akita

Working Group

Akita dog lying on white background

Height at Shoulders

Females 24-26 in, Males 26-28 in

Weight

Females 70-100 lbs, Males 100-130 lbs

Life Expectancy

10-13 yrs

History

The Akita originated in the Akita prefecture in Northern Japan during the early 17th century. The breed's ancestors were developed by Matagi, hunters in Northern Japan, to chase down and hold large game animals at bay such as wild boar, Sika deer, and Asian black bear. It is said that an exiled aristocrat that was banished to rule the northernmost province of the island of Honshu encouraged the barons under his rule to develop a versatile hunting dog. Using the Matagi's dogs and large Asian and European breeds, the Akita was developed. During WWII, the Akita almost went extinct when the government ordered all non-military dogs to be killed due to food shortages and disease. The breed was saved by owners of Akitas releasing their dogs into the mountains or crossing them with German Shepherds so they would be considered a military breed.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Akitas will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★☆☆

★★★★★

★★☆☆☆

★☆☆☆☆

★★★★☆

 

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★★★★☆

★★☆☆☆

★★★★☆

Intelligence

★★★☆☆


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★☆☆☆


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★☆☆☆☆


Exercise Needs

★★★★☆


Energy Level

★☆


Sensitivity

★★★★★


Noise Level

☆☆


Prey Drive

★☆


Shedding

★★

Common Traits

Brave and very protective- make natural guardians

Exhibit some cat-like behaviors: silently stalk prey and groom themselves like cats

Sweet, affectionate, and extremely loyal to family

Very "mouthy"- love to carry things around in their mouths and put their mouth around your arm

Known to be vocal, but with grunts and mumbles instead of barks