Akita Inu

Akita Inu white puppy Akita Inu Akita Inu

The Akita Inu (also known as the Great Japanese dog, Japanese Akita and Akita-ken) is a breed which originated in Japan. It is a large breed dog. It is named after the location that it is probably from, the Akita Prefecture. In most countries it is classed as a separate breed from the American Akita. In Japanese Inu means dog. In Japanese history it is noted that the ancestor of the Akita Inu was the Matagi Dog. The Matagi dog was a hunting dog which helped humans to hunt large game animals, including elk and boar. Their tactics were to chase down the prey and to keep it busy until the hunters came for the kill. DNA analysis has indicated that this is one of oldest breeds in existence.


This breed is between 60 and 66 cm high. Females weigh an average of 37 kilo. and the males weight an average of 45 kilos. The Akita Inu comes in five different colours: fawn, sesame, red, brindle (tiger striped) and white. Their coat is coarse, straight and they have a soft undercoat.


The stand out characteristics of the Akita Inu is that it is a loyal and intelligent breed. One example of loyalty was shown by a Akita dog named Hachiko, this dog spent 9 years waiting every day at Shibuya railway stations for his dead master to come home. The popularity of this single local dog is credited with bringing this breed from the brink of extinction . One downside to this dogs intelligence is that they can get bored easily. This means that they need constant stimulation otherwise they can get destructive. These dogs can live quite comfortably in an apartment but they need exercise. To ensure that these dogs grow up to be friendly they need to be socialized as puppies. If this dog breed is teased it may bite. These dogs tend to get very excited when they see their owner. These dogs can make good pets and can work well with youngsters as long as they have the correct upbringing. The breed does have a reputation of aggression against other animals and other dogs. Especially if the dogs are of the same sex, however they can co exist with other pets in the household as long as they have been socialized appropriately.


Akita Inu make good guard dogs, and can be great family dogs as long as they have the correct socialization and training


The median lifespan of this dog is 10 years which is about average for large breed dogs. The most common causes of death for this breed are cancer, cardiac and gastrointestinal complications.

Grooming and care

The coat of the Akita Inu is double, the two layers being one with a dense straight under layer, and a thick out layer. This setup makes the dog highly weather resistant so it can cope admirably with the cold winters in Northern Japan. As can be inferred this means that the coat is thick and needs frequent grooming and heavy shedding occurs particularly in the summer months. As this dog is an intelligent and outdoors dog it is important that it gets regular exercise.