Akita Dog Breed Profile

by Dr. Chris

Akita Dog

Akita Dog

AKC Working Group

The Akita is a large, distinctive looking dog which is well mannered and even tempered. The Akita is the oldest of the breeds and comes from Japan.


The Akita originated in the northern most regions of Honshu, Japan in the Akita region, hence its name. They are the oldest of the Akita breeds and date back for centuries. During WWII they were almost extinct as all dogs, except German Shepherds, were being rounded up for their fur to make warm, German army uniforms.

Physical features

The American Akita can be any color but the Japanese Akita may come in only red, sesame, white, fawn or brindle. All must have white hair on the sides of the muzzle, cheeks, neck, body and tightly curled tail. The head is broadly triangular in shape; the eyes are also triangular and dark brown, while the nose and lips are black.

Small erect ears carry forward in line with the neck. The stop is well defined and there is a small groove running up the center of the forehead. The head is heavy with a short, strong muzzle. The Akita is longer than tall with a deep, broad chest and level back. The feet are webbed on the Akita and they make for good swimmers.


The Akita is playful but can be destructive if not trained properly as a pup. This dog is loyal and affectionate. They will whine and cry when hungry. The Akita is friendly toward dogs but must be trained early to be so, otherwise it can be aggressive. It would rather be the only dog of the house. It is happy with dogs outside though. The Akita makes a good watchdog and guard dog. Japanese women would often leave them for a while to protect their children.

Common Health Problems

This breed is most likely to suffer from Canine herpes, PDA, dermatological problems and hip dysplasia. They are also prone to gastro-intestine problems, heart size and hypothyroid problems.

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