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American Akita - A very territorial dog breed

Akita Americano - Una raza de perro muy territorial

Lobo Azul |

The American Akita, which is now known as Akita, has the same origin as the Japanese, but has evolved differently from the “original” Akita Inu , giving rise to two different breeds.

  • Weight : from 32 to 59 kg
  • Hair type : double layer protecting it from the cold
  • Character : intelligent, balanced and very faithful
  • Health : very good, with some genetic diseases
  • Life expectancy : between 12 and 14 years


It is common to the Akita Inu and we already have news of them in the 17th century. Its name comes from the city of Akita, which was the capital of the island of Honshu.

There the Matagi Akitas were developed, which were used mainly in dog fighting and also in hunting large animals, such as deer or bears.

Taking a leap in time we go to the second half of the 19th century, when the breed underwent a change by mixing with others such as the German Shepherd or the Tosa Inu , all with the idea that the size of these animals would grow.

We advanced further and thus we reached World War II, which was a disaster for Akitas, as it happened with many other breeds. Here, the policy of killing all dogs in order to use their skin to make military clothing was added.

Only the German shepherds were spared, since these were used by the military. This caused some fanciers to try to save the breed by mixing it with German shepherds, thus trying to keep their dogs from being euthanized.

At the end of World War II there were several types of Akitas

With the end of World War II the state of the breed was disastrous and it can be said that there were three types or lines: the Matagi Akitas, the fighting Akitas and those that were mixed with the German Shepherds.

Fanciers tried to restore the breed and this was done through the bloodline known as “Dewa”. This Dewa line was popular and was the one that landed in the United States with the military returning from occupied Japan at the end of the war.

In the appearance of this line there was a lot of mastiffs and German shepherds, following their development in the breeders of the United States. At the same time, in 1950 in Japan they began to work in order to recover the old Akita Inu , which will be the one that gives rise to the Japanese line.

In this way, the two branches are created. The American usually has a black mask and resembles a defense dog, while the Japanese is a friendlier breed and has a white mask.

The complete differentiation between both lines occurred in 2006 , when the International Cynological Federation (FCI) recognized the American line as American Akita and placed it in group V.

Main features

One of its main characteristics is its appearance, which is impressive. In fact, in Spain it has been included among the PPP breeds for its strength rather than its character, a law that has already been repealed, luckily for lovers of the breed.

As soon as we see it we realize that we are looking at a solid dog, with a strong skeleton and very balanced proportions in which functionality prevails, something natural if we consider its origins.

Its fur is double-layered, which makes it ideal for cold areas, since it resists low temperatures without problems.

The tail is striking, which is always curled over the back, with a tone that is sometimes different from the one that dominates the coat, creating a good contrast.

The American Akita can have various shades of hair, such as gray, pinto, white or gray, with a mixture of these colors, especially white.

Another of the breed's peculiarities is its head and ears . The head forms a triangle, with very small eyes. The ears are also triangular and are raised up.

It can reach 71 cm in height, which makes it a large-giant breed of dog, this being one of the main differences with the Japanese Akita, which is smaller and weighs less.

We must not forget the black mask , which although it is a feature that tells us that we are dealing with an Akita, sometimes they have it and other times they don't. In fact, there may be no mask, the head may be black, or it may even have a blaze.


This is a very territorial dog that tends to make rounds around the house or the plot, making sure no strangers enter, with an independent and reserved temperament.

In fact, it is said that it is one of the dog breeds that is closest to the way cats behave, which perhaps has to do with its origins in Japan.

He protects his family above all, both from people and other animals . In fact, he does not usually get along with dogs, with whom he is quite dominant.

It is advisable to socialize the puppy very well from a very young age, educating it positively and using a trainer if necessary, especially when teaching it basic obedience, with the idea of ​​being able to control it in all situations.

Inside the house he is very docile and calm, but especially if there are children, you will have to be careful when friends or strangers you don't know enter. This is because it can attack if it perceives any gesture that seems like a threat to its loved ones.

When we go out to the park we will have to be cautious with other males if you do not know them and have not had a relationship with them. If they submit to it it will not provoke a fight, but if they confront it it will not flee the confrontation and it is not easy to separate it when it bites.

It is said that inside there is a sleeping lion that we do not want to wake up, which is a very good definition of its character compared to other dogs.

Thus, in conclusion of this section we can say that it is not the ideal breed for those who are starting out with dogs, and it is better to leave it to people already experienced in handling animals, especially large ones.


We start with the hair, which is dense and quite prominent. This forces us to brush it every day, doing it twice when it is shedding, otherwise it will turn the house into a sea of ​​hair.

Luckily, the American Akita is one of the cleanest dogs that exist and grooms itself regularly , cleaning itself when it has a break, such as after playing or eating.

In any case, we must not neglect its hygiene and that is why it has to go through the bathtub every two months or so, extending this period depending on whether the dog lives at home or in the garden.

His nails tend to grow a lot , so you have to be careful and cut them before they bother him when walking. We can do it ourselves with specific scissors or take it to the vet.

Regarding exercise, despite its size, the Akita is a very active animal. Thus, at least you have to go for a walk three times a day, something that can be complemented with other exercises such as running, Agility , cycling, etc.

They also love to play and they maintain that as adults . Therefore, it is advisable to have several toys on hand suitable for the strength of his mouth, since he entertains himself by biting.


As with all dogs, we must give them the best diet we can afford. That means leaving aside the food sold in supermarkets, opting for what is purchased in specialized stores.

This is even more important when it is a large or giant breed, one of those that grows a lot in the first months of its life. During them, the Akita will need quality nutrients in large quantities.

Thus, we are going to provide you with a meal adapted to each of the stages of your life , which is simple thanks to the brands that offer it at this time.

Given his size and the amount of food he needs daily, we are going to distribute the feeding in two or three times, and we will never give it to him before or after coming from doing some exercise.

We cannot recommend a specific brand and a good idea is to consult with the veterinarian, testing how a brand suits him and changing to another if we see that he suffers from diarrhea, itching, etc.

Luckily, there is a good variety on the market and we have monoprotein food, for dogs with sensitive skin, fish, etc. Of course, it would be advisable for it to have some component dedicated to taking care of its hair , since it is one of its main characteristics.

If we notice that his hair is not shiny as it should, a solution would be to put a splash of olive oil a couple of times a week in his food bowl.


The Akita is a very strong dog that hardly suffers from diseases. In fact, most of them are due to their size.


This has nothing to do with height, but with the type of hair you have. Thus, sometimes we can see that the animal scratches a lot and it is because it has eczema, which is what skin inflammation or dermatitis is called.

This happens more during the shedding season , when it will have to be brushed very often. Luckily, the veterinarian will solve this problem immediately with topical anti-inflammatories, that is, those that are placed on the affected area.

stomach twist

Here we are talking about a disease that is seen in large dogs and that is fatal if it takes too long to go to the vet. It is so serious that even four out of ten treated dogs die.

It is because the stomach dilates due to gases. It grows so much that the ligaments that hold it don't do their job and it turns over, so the blood supply is cut off.

When it comes to preventing it, it is best not to give food either before the walk or just after returning . We will also provide our pet with a quality diet divided into several portions, doing everything possible so that he eats without rushing.

Hip dysplasia

Again, this is a problem that larger breed dogs suffer from and that affects the hip, preventing the animal from moving normally or even running.

There are various degrees and it is not uncommon for lameness to appear and also pain, being a hereditary disease that is avoided by not breeding with specimens that suffer from it. In fact, it is not uncommon to request an x-ray of the parents in order to verify that this problem does not exist.

In the most serious cases, you have to undergo surgery for the veterinarian to correct it , while mild cases are resolved with physiotherapy and some medications such as chondroprotectors.

We must not forget that it can appear due to environmental factors. Therefore, good nutrition is crucial when the Akita is a puppy, as is not doing sudden exercises until it is one year old.

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