Seven Things You Didn’t Know about the American Akita

The American Akita and the Japanese Akita are not the same breed of dog as many people think. The two are very different, actually, and should not be confused. Although they are two different types of dogs, there are similarities, and some of the similarities include the fact that both are large breeds; both are loyal and protective dogs and they can both be dangerous. As far as the American Akita is concerned, it is a large, beautiful breed of dog, and so large, in fact, that many people compare its size to that of a grizzly bear. Both types of the breed hail from Japan and due to more interbreeding through the years, the American Akita began to develop some of its own characteristics, such as a different shaped and size head and a broader range of coat colors. If you are familiar with the Akita breed, you may know some of the basic facts, but here are seven things you didn’t know about the American Akita.

1. Noble but threatening

These are massive dogs, growing up to be about 26 inches tall and up to 100 pounds. They have a very noble appearance and can look like they have an air about them and always in control, however, due to their size and seriousness, they can also come across as very threatening, which is only one way in which they make good guard dogs. Due to their look alone, many people like to keep Akitas as pets for protecting their homes and families simply because most intruders will not cross an Akita. And an Akita will not allow an intruder near his home.

2. Helen Keller was first to import the first Akita

Helen Keller is the first person to have had an Akita imported to the US. During a visit to Japan for a speaking tour, Keller decided to extend her trip to the Akita area and she fell in love with the breed, especially once she heard the story of the Akita, Hachiko who was fiercely loyal to his owner, Dr. Eisaburo Ueno, and whom Hachiko waited for at the train station for, for ten years for his owner after he had suddenly died and never returned home on the train. Keller received her Akita as a gift from Japan and named him Kenzan-Go. He was her pride and joy and her love of the breed eventually spread so that over the years, the breed began making its way more into the US until eventually it was adopted by the AKC and became an official breed of the working class.

3. Personality is typically calm

This is typically a calm and quiet. They are not super active dogs and they do not bark often, except in cases where they feel threatened or are in a good mood. Akitas can turn in a second and get aggressive, so if your Akita begins to bark in an aggressive manner, it should immediately be looked into since a they are so intuitive and have good instincts for threatening situations.

4. Do not like to share

Akitas are very possessive, especially over their food and treats. If you have more than one dog in the home, it is very important that you give your Akita a separate feeding bowl and set it far enough away from the other pets’ feeding bowl in order to keep a threatening situation from happening. Treats should also be separated and not given to the Akita in the vicinity of other dogs or pets. This is definite cause for aggression and should be avoided to avoid risk of injury to your other pets.

5. They do not have to give warning before an attack

While many guard dogs will give some sort of warning sign that they are about to attack, an Akita does not offer a sign. Some dogs will start to act agitated, bark a lot, lunge or growl, however, an Akita will show no sign he is about to attack, which can make him very dangerous. It is critical that an Akita owner starts to work with and train his Akita from the beginning, teaching him how to behave on a leash, commands, and good behavior with socializing him well from the start. These issues are only part of why novice dog owners should not consider owning an Akita until they have more experience with dog handling.

6. When they became recognized as a breed by AKC

Despite being brought over to the US earlier, the AKC did not recognize the American Akita until much later, 1955 to be exact. It took many years for the AKC to list the dog with the registry, and even longer for them to determine which class of breed the dog would fall under, which would eventually become the working class of breed. Today, this is one of the most popular dogs in the AKC show dog competitions.

7. Love the cold and snow

Akitas have thick fur, and they do, do well in pretty much any type of  temperature and environment, however, they do prefer the cold and snow. It has been proven over the through, through many Akita owners, that as the winter rolls in, their Akita will start to get more active and loves to go outside more than at any other time of the year. During the colder months, Akitas would rather spend their time outdoors hunting small game or just playing in the snow.

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