Honored in its native land as a national treasure, the Akita is the largest of the three Japanese breeds belonging to the spitz family of dogs. At one time its ownership was restricted to the nobility, who used the breed to hunt large game such as wild boar and deer. It was also used in the now outlawed blood sport of dog fighting. Today the Akita serves humans chiefly as a police and guard dog, as a guide dog for the blind and as a family pet. Some breeders suggest the breed can be stubborn, so firm training is recommended. It is believed that the Akita was first brought to North America during the 1930s. With its ear carriage, massive frame and large curled tail carried over the back or against the flank, the Akita presents a unique picture. An Akita is rugged and athletic, measuring up to 28 inches at the shoulder. It needs lots of exercise, enjoys human companionship and, if it is to reach its physical potential, requires a nutritionally adequate diet during the critical growing months. The double coat may be any color, including white, brindle and pinto. It needs no unusual grooming attention but benefits from a thorough, weekly brushing.

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Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Large Dog Breed
Any combination of colors. Common colors include white, brindle and pinto.

Double-coated with a thick, soft, dense undercoat and a longer, straight, harsh outer coat.


Brush daily during shedding season, otherwise twice weekly.

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years
AKC Group:
Working Group
UKC Group:
Northern Breed
24 to 28 inches at the shoulder
Proportionate to height
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