Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Other Names: Akita Inu, Japanese Akita
Country of Origin: Japan Japan
Lifespan: 10-12 Years
Male Height: 25-28 Inches
Male Weight: 85-130 Pounds
Female Height: 23-26 Inches
Female Weight: 65-110 Pounds
American Kennel Club Classification : Working Group
Canadian Kennel Club Classification : Working Dogs
Kennel Club (Great Britain) Classification : Utility
The Akita is the largest of the Japanese dog breeds and comes in all colours, ranging from white to brindle. A solid, powerful, assertive, independent, and headstrong dog; this is a dog that requires a seasoned handler. With the proper obedience, love, and socialization, he will become a very loyal family dog who is happy to be involved in your daily activities.
The Akita does not generally do well interacting with other dogs because it has a strong instinct to become dominant. It is important to socialize this dog at early age. Early interaction with other dogs, children, and cats is important if this is to become a regular part of their lives. He requires daily exercise and regular weekly grooming. They do shed continuously, and more so during their twice yearly shedding season.
The Akita dates back over three hundred years to the Island of Honshu in the region of Akita, Japan. A 4,000 year old archeological dig brought forward records that show a dog called the "peat dog" with clear similarities to the present day Akitas. Originally bred as a fighting dog, they were also popular for hunting bear, boar, and deer.
The Akita is highly revered in Japan. The skins of the deceased dogs were often hung in the Japanese houses as a sign of respect, and to serve as a memory. In 1931 the Japanese government named the Akita a national treasure. The first Akita was brought over to North America by Helen Keller in 1937. Many more of the dogs arrived on North American soil by American servicemen who brought them back with them after serving in Japan during the war. The breed achieved AKC recognition in 1972, and is still used to this day as a guard dog and as a police dog in Japan.
Probably the most famous of all Japanese dogs was an Akita named Haichiko. He would greet his master at the train station every day to walk home with him. When his master died at work, Haichiko continued to show up at the train station. He showed up everyday until he died 9 years later. To this day there is still a statue and an annual ceremony to commemorate the dedication and love of a dog for his master.
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