The Akita is a large and powerful dog with a large and intimidating presence.
He is well known in his home country of Japan. Here are the top facts about the Akita.
Contents and Quick Navigation
- 13 Akita facts that may even surprise you.
- 1. No one knows their Origin
- 2. Akita is a Snowdog
- 3. Hachiko is the most famous Akita
- 4. There is an Akita museum
- 5. They have a strong Personality
- 6. Japanese culture holds this dog breed highly
- 7. National Treasure
- 8. Super Clean dogs
- 9.Their unique Appearance
- 10. Akita is Still involved in Dog Fights
- 11. They are not trusted by insurance companies
- 12. Akitas were almost wiped out during World war 2
- 13. They are part of the Spitz family
13 Akita facts that may even surprise you.
1. No one knows their Origin
Akitas have been around for thousands of years.
Though no one knows the exact origin which is a marquee at best. What is known is that contemporary Akita was bred in the region of Japan.
The dog was originally known as “snow country dogs” that were originally used to track game during hunts. As a response to a population boom in rural areas, their role had expanded to include the protection of family homes.
2. Akita is a Snowdog
Mountains surrounded the Akita resulting in harsh winters and cold summers.
The rocky and hard environment is harsh for most living things but Akitas thrive in it. Their double coats keep them warm while their webbed paws help them walk on snow.
3. Hachiko is the most famous Akita
You probably know about Hachiko. Hachiko is Japan’s most famous dog.
Hachiko’s tale started in 1920s Tokyo where he would accompany his owner to the train station. He would then wait patiently for the owner to get home and then walk home with him.
This routine went on until 1925 where his owner died at the office. Although Hachiko’s owner never returned to the train station platform he waited there anyways for ten years.
4. There is an Akita museum
Love for Hachiko is so big in Japan that there is a museum erected his memory.
The museum is found in Odate. Akita dog museum was founded by the Akita dog preservation society is a celebration of Hachiko and the Akita dog in general.
Inside the museum, guests can find documents, art, and other information about Akitas. Outside guests are greeted by real Akitas who are trained to play host for the day.
5. They have a strong Personality
Independent and sometimes not friendly to strangers Akitas are very attached to their families.
They are highly intelligent, have a strong will and proud the Akita responds best to respectful commands and great training techniques that rely on motivation other than force.
Not everyone has what it takes to live with one of these majestic dogs. For those that have what it takes, it is an experience like no other and they can share the experiences with this ancient Japanese dog.
6. Japanese culture holds this dog breed highly
In Japan, the Akita symbolizes good health, happiness, and longevity.
Often the Japanese will gift a small Akita small statue to friends and family as a get well soon signature and if someone has just had a baby.
The statue is considered a good way to tell someone that they wish them good health in the future.
7. National Treasure
In the 1930s the Akita was so rare in Japan due to the increasing popularity of non-native breeds that only the very rich could be able to afford one. At one time the ownership of these dogs was restricted to the Imperial Family and the aristocracy.
They were declared as a national treasure in Japan to preserve the country native breeds and having an Akita in one house is considered to symbolize good health, good fortune, and prosperity.
8. Super Clean dogs
Just like the Shiba Inu, these dogs are clean to the point of being finicky.
The dog self grooms and have an almost cat-like obsession with being clean. Their coat sheds twice a year so trips to the groomer are unnecessary.
9.Their unique Appearance
Like several other Japanese working breeds, the Akita has a double coat of fur.
It consists of a medium length top layer and a soft tender coat to keep them warm.
This double coat of fur can vary in color and is water-resistant preventing the Akita from developing hypothermia.
The Akita has a strong muscular body that is longer than it is tall.
They have a triangular head with dark triangular eyes that are deeply set into the dog’s face. The thick strong limbs of the Akita allow it to move with vigorous precision especially when hunting.
Its slightly webbed paws make this dog an excellent swimmer. The most distinct feature of the Akitas is their small pointed ears and curved tails which almost sit on the dogs back.
10. Akita is Still involved in Dog Fights
Unfortunately, dog fighting continues to be popular in Japan.
Although it is illegal in major cities like Tokyo, rural areas continue to host fights. In the earlier 20th century Akitas were crossed with a variety of tough breeds like the Mastiff, Great Danes, and St Bernard to bulk them up for the fighting pits.
11. They are not trusted by insurance companies
Akitas are very protective and have fierce loyalty. They generally don’t trust strangers.
For this behavior insurance companies may charge you more if you own one of them. This means that their aggressiveness is not always great for the owners. Training them to be social when they are still puppies is very important.
12. Akitas were almost wiped out during World war 2
All Japanese dogs had tough times during the second world war.
There was strict rationing during this period and many dog owners could not afford to feed and care for their large dogs.
As time went by the streets were cleared of dogs that were not German Shepherd guard dogs. Akita owners gave their dogs German names and hid them in the rural areas to save them.
Even the Hachiko statue was taken down and used to make weapons. The statue was later replaced in 1948.
13. They are part of the Spitz family
Dogs in the Spitz family generally have fox-like features(pointed ears, a long snout, and a curled tail. Like most wolf-like dogs the Akita falls under this category.
There you go WOOF!!