Japanese Akita Inu

Japanese Akita Inu

This article also relates to: Japanese Shiba Inu

The Japanese Akita Inu originates from...

Hailing from the Japanese island of Honshu, the Akita was declared a national monument in 1931. The breed, primarily developed to hunt big game animals including bear, elk and boar, has enjoyed great popularity throughout its existence, both as a guard dog and versatile hunter. Taking its name from the Akita Prefecture mountain region from where it derives, the Akita Inu is still widely seen as a police and service dog in its native country, being highly prized for its willingness, trainability and loyalty. Sadly, during WWII many Akitas were slaughtered for food and their fur, diminishing numbers significantly. Fortunately, enough survived, with many being taken back to America alongside servicemen returning from a tour of duty in Japan. Officially recognised by the AKC in 1973.

The Japanese Akita Inu is characterised by...

Boasting the typical characteristics of the Spitz, the Japanese Akita Inu is a robust­-looking breed with heavy bones, a large head, high-set, triangular ears and a tail held high over the back. The profuse double coat serves to protect the dog from extreme temperatures and sheds seasonally. Possessing a strong prey drive, the Akita is prone to chasing smaller animals, so consistent training and early socialisation is important. Inherently loyal and devoted to its master, the Akita has been highly revered ever since the story of Hachiko, an Akita that kept vigil for nine years at the railway station for its master to return, became widespread news. To honour Hachiko, every year a ceremony of remembrance is held at the Shibuya railroad station in Tokyo.

The average Japanese Akita Inu...

Unlike most Spitz breeds, the Akita is not a typical barker, remaining quiet unless provoked. Territorial and protective, the Akita is devoted to children and will act fearlessly to safeguard them if potential danger is perceived. Otherwise, the Akita will remain calm, gentle and affectionate, displaying a relaxed and mannered temperament that many owners find pleasing. Due to its inherent intelligence, the Akita benefits from both physical and mental enrichment, serving to keep it engaged and contented in everyday life. On average, a healthy Japanese Akita Inu will weigh 35-55 kg depending on its gender, with a life expectancy of 10-12 years. It is not uncommon for the breed to outlive this expectancy.


Generally healthy and resilient, documented cases of health affliction include optical disorders, skin complaints and von Willebrand's Disease, a rare bleeding disorder. Besides this, immune deficiency and hair loss are particularly common in the breed.

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Our Japanese Akita Inu owners' thoughts

Added on 19/09/2014
Joined 19/09/2014
From Staffordshire, United Kingdom

I wouldn't be without either of my Akita's they can be stubborn to train but with patience you can get so much out of them. Our girl loves giving kisses to anyone where as the boy is very mean with them even to us, but when we get in he has to give mummy a big cuddle and kiss. Have also found that we cant walk more than 100 ft in town etc without being stopped so people can stroke them and they always just sit down and let people do this as long as they have permission off us. They can be very lazy at times but pick their leads up and they'll walk forever. They don't really play fetch if we throw a ball the will look from the ball to us as if to say well you threw it you fetch it. They can be very funny sometimes. I will say this though as much as We love ours Akitas aren't for everyone they need a firm owner from the start so not a good idea for a novice dog owner yes they are a beautiful dog but with a weak handler they will assert themselves as pack leader.

Added on 23/01/2015
Joined 01/04/2009
From Sir Ynys Mon, United Kingdom

Indi is very laid back unless provoked. Very easily trained not to chase cats and rabbits, also birds. Loves children and good with other dogs after introduction. I would never be without one!

Added on 24/04/2018

Sams my rescued akita and yea stubborn will chase a ball might bring it back. Talkitive and certainly lets you know what he wants a big cuddle bug and my best friend

Added on 10/05/2018
Joined 09/05/2018
From Hampshire, United Kingdom

Like most Akita's Jazz is fiercely loyal but keeps an independent streak. Very good with people and children once she knows that I accept them. She can be very difficult with other dogs, but is fine as long as they leave her alone. Very powerful muscular dogs that need a firm hand and alot of exercise. Not suitable for first time dog owners. This dog wants to go everywhere with you... Think carefully about leaving an Akita at home for long periods. Otherwise very loving and playful.

Added on 24/08/2019
Joined 25/02/2018
From Durham, United Kingdom

Harvey is American Akita

Added on 20/03/2020
Joined 20/03/2020
From Cheshire, United Kingdom

Rocky is our 10 year old majestic bear! He’s the most wonderful dog- a typical Akita so he’s stubborn (lol) and not so great with other dogs who charge up to him off their lead but I wouldn’t change him for the world. He’s so loving, such a character and so intelligent. Akita’s need good, solid training and lots of love. They are the most wonderful, affectionate, loyal dogs in return. Anyone who meets him describes him as a real life teddy bear!

Added on 12/06/2020
Joined 04/04/2014
From Dumfries & Galloway, United Kingdom

Lou is an American Akita at 58kg he is very strong. He has The basic Akita traits but does not like other dogs. Akitas must be trained socially from the get go otherwise you will have problems. Lou loves people but is also very aloof he is a serious dog and doesn’t play doggie games. Akitas don’t like being pulled about by kids. So as long as you have the kids well trained you MAY be ok. Family dogs some are, some aren’t. They have a job in their eyes protecting the family and they’re very good at it, they don’t take advice from you on that subject. They have a high prey drive I have been pulled over only once in 9 years but my collarbone got broken. All that said we love him to bits. Training is ongoing so if you’re lazy don’t get one.