The strength, the muscular body, the thick and straight fur, and the always intriguing curled tail, the Akita dog is definitely worth investigating.
Nowadays, Akitas are bred for domestic companionship, protection services, and even used as therapy dogs. Why; because Akitas are more than just an average house dog, and they have features about them that would make them very useful in your daily life.
So as we begin to learn more about the Akita dog breed, keep an open mind about how they can be a special – and beneficial – furry friend in your life.
Ancient History of the Akita
Akita dogs have always been a strong breed throughout their breed history. Their body is mostly muscle under all of that thick and luscious fur, and their senses are pretty heighted for environmental success.
Because of these notable traits, for decades, and close to a century, Akita dogs have been respectfully noted as a “worker” breed of dog.
They have been used for protection, hunting, and fishing in their indigenous land of Japan, was named a “natural monument” by the Japanese government in 1931, and currently serve as police force dogs, and defense dogs for multiple families across both Japan and America.
Speaking of America, the first Akita dog was brought back to America in 1937 by the American Author, Helen Keller. With their presence established within the nation, the Akita breed was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1973.
Since then, many different U.S. entities – such as police officers, hunters, families, and showcases – have utilized the interesting and mighty presence of the Akita breed with joy and acceptance.
Modern History of the Akita
Today, Akita dogs are bred mostly as domiciled home companions.
Families are keen to their eye-catching facial features, and sturdy and sizable stature; and these attributes instill protective and fun perspective into the mind of a lot of dog families, which makes an Akita puppy so adorable and practical.
Another way in which Akitas continue to make their mark in modern history is their technical skills within protection agencies and law enforcement within America and Japan.
Since the senses of the Akita breed is very precise, they are capable of sniffing out, listening for, and discovering evidence that would not have been picked up by the slightly duller sense of a Human.
History of the American Akita
As previously mentioned, the Akita breed has its origin in Japan; however, that all began to change in 1972.
Due to World War II, and other prominent factors during that era, there was fear that the Akita dog breed would go into extinction, considering that fact that they were being confiscated due to the fact that they’re Japanese dogs.
So breeders began mixing the Akita dog breed with other strong and highly-statured dog breeds like German Shepards, and other breeds; this new breed became known as the Dewa line of Akita, or the American Akita.
Within North America and the American Kennel Club, the Dewa Line is considered an official breed of dog, outside of its original brethren, the Akita Inu, which is the technical name for the Japanese Akita.
Another reason as to why the acceptance of an American Akita was offered was because of quality. People who wanted an Akita desired the original breed from Japan; in turn, this isolated the Dewa Akita, thus, allowing it to become a personal brand of Akita within the United States.
How Does Breeding Affect Your Akita Today?
To keep it simple, affecting the breed of the Akita breed has led to many different variations within the genetics of the breed, and there are subtle differences between them.
For example, when the Japanese Akita was mixed with the German Shepherd, the results present in bigger and slightly wider ears of the German Shepherd, with the shaggy and gruff fur and stature of the Akita.
It’s an interesting mix, however, this breed was created to keep itself alive during the war, and because it mixed with the also highly utilized skills of a German Shepherd, it had a much better chance of surviving.
Today, You can expect to see the same typical dominant features of the Akita dogs, and they will still be highly noticeable; but if there is a mix, it will most likely show in either the height of the dog, or the facial features of it.
A genetic study was conducted in order to scientifically explain this concept, and prove that the Akita breed is still alive and kicking, even when breeding is occuring.
What Were Akitas Originally Bred For?
Yes, when the first Akita dog was brought back from Japan, World War II had a major impact on their breeding status; but keep in mind that this was the era of mix breeding.
There is a simpler reason as to why these thoroughbreds were originally bred for, and those reasons are for hunting and human companionship.
Akita dogs are a part of a group called the Spitz group, which is a classification of canines within the American Kennel Club, and includes many different northern snow dogs: tough and lean dogs with thick coats; Huskies and Chow Chows are other dogs that belong to this group too.
Akitas have strong senses, and these senses produced skills that allowed these dogs to search and find prey fairly efficiently; and the fact that they were capable of executing the prey with no fear was a big help as well.
Akitas then were seen as a prized commodity, and then started to be bred in order to have more effective hunting and protections companions.
Akitas and Hunting
From their origin in the mountains of Asia, and their solid history within Japan and America, if Akitas are known for one characteristic, it’s definitely hunting. The skill of hunting, although astonishing to use, is actually quite normal for the Akita dog.
This is because the Akita breed has natural senses that are more sensitive than the average Human; therefore, they are capable of picking off more sounds, smells, and objects, due to their soft, yet clear senses of hearing, and sight, with a more efficient olfactory center for their effective sense of smell.
These attributes are what make them great companions for hunting.
The Inuits of America, and the Natives of Northern areas of Asia, and in Japan, used the Akitas as their personal mercenaries to hunt down, fight, and eventually kill the meal(s) of the day, and the people that cared for the dog gave them their respect.
Akitas are pretty good swimmers too, which makes them really good at catching prey like medium-sized fish. Also, their size has been known to go up against the likes of boars, and have come out successful as proof that these dogs are meant to be notable hunters.
Physical Features and Temperament Made Them Good Hunters
Oh yes, the Akita breed’s physical features are definitely worth praise when it comes to their hunting skills.
Let’s start with their average weight of about 100 to 135 pounds; and that’s just for the medium size Akita! And their height in wither stands between 25 and 28 inches, with male’s being slightly longer than females.
Akita dogs are most known for their prominent double-coated fur, which adds more size and protection to their body; making them even more formidable in the wild defensively. They have well-balanced features that any opponent would take into consideration.
What makes them a good hunting companion is their even-tone demeanor and flowing temperament.
For instance, they are pretty quiet dogs, which also makes them great hunters, yet, they’ll sound off with loud barking if there is a threat actively involved, which makes them more fierce than the average dog.
They show great loyalty to their caretakers, and are prone to simply being around them, and maybe another Akita, if properly socialized.
Natural Instinct and Impulses
With their heightened senses and powerful stature, the dogs of the Akita breed have a natural tendency to chase anything that makes quick moves; so running away from this dog would not be a good idea.
In addition, Akita dogs have a bold, and willing to do whatever it takes to catch the prey, or protect their owners. They have been known to be pretty assertive towards other dogs, especially those of the same size, stature, and sex.
They can be pretty dominant dogs when compared to others, but respectfully submissive to their caretakers. Most Humans wouldn’t have much to worry about though; mainly because we have the ability to train and socialize the animal, while still caring and accepting their traits.
Yet, on the contrary, if you were to attempt to antagonize this dog, they would surely show why that isn’t a good idea.
Akitas do a fair job at keeping their internal instincts within control when properly trained and loved, and with that, comes the companionship that most Akita owners have come to love.
Besides Companionship, Can Akitas Do Anything Else?
I am happy to announce that there are some cool answers to this question! Did you know that Akita dogs have webbed toes?
This was a genetic mechanism that was physically adopted in order for their paws to work through the snow. Back in the 1950s, their nails were used as ice chippers.
Also, Akitas are very good strategist. They are capable of comprehending and learning new plots for searching, trapping, or luring out other animals for their hunter to finish off.
In addition to these attributes, there is an even bigger action that is commenced by Akita dogs…they are active members of the AKC working group, which is a therapy dog service in which Akitas are taught and trained on how to aid people with physical impairments.
This attribute in itself makes Akita dogs very useful in this day in age, and only adds to their overall helpfulness to Humans, as a breed.
What Are or Can Akita Dogs Be Bred For Today?
Throughout their history, they have been used for both friendship, good company, and hunting for meals; but has any of that changed in this day in age?
With truth, not really.
Akita dogs are still bred for their classic reasons: companionship and hunting; the only difference with today’s Akita dogs is the act of mix breeding.
These dogs continue to experience integrating their hardy genetics with other dogs that can match in order to keep the species alive in well, and to create more dogs, for protection and commercial services.
By protection, I mean having enough Akita dogs to raise and train so that they may serve as an accessory to a protection or law enforcement.
And by commercial, I mean having enough supply to keep up with the significant demand of families that want to share their lives with the Akita breed.
By now, we all know that dogs of the Akita bred have a formidable reputation for being gentle towards their owners, and aggressive towards other dogs.
With this sentiment, plus their phenomenal senses of hearing, sight, and smell, getting past an Akita would be a fairly difficult accomplishment to succeed in; which is why they make very good guard dogs.
They are known to want to be by themselves, which gives them ample time to take a stroll around the property to be a lookout for any necessary intruders.
In addition, although they prefer their alone time, they are rarely too far from their owner; one shout or whistle, and your command will have them running back to you within seconds, granting you security within being without them for awhile.
And if all else fails, and some foolish person or animal does attempt to intrude, the Akita dog has no issue using its boldness to attack the intruder, and protect their guardians at all cost.
How To Help Your Akita Be A Part of Today’s Dog Society
It can be a dog-eat-dog world out there, and becoming adjusted to it can be pretty challenging for any canine; especially one that prefers to be on their own, like the Akita breed members.
It’s best to first become acquainted with the demeanor and temperament of the Akita dog.
This will help you learn their energy level, social triggers, and how much interaction with other animals they can handle before they become assertively distant. After completing the learning process about this special breed, it could be time to test it all out.
Try taking your Akita to a light-traffic dog park, and play with it. If the dog seems to take a liking to another dog, allow the interaction to happen, as this could be the start of some authentic puppy love.
Another great way of adjusting them into society is to allow them to perhaps become a therapy dog for those in need of emotional or mental improvement.
Are Akitas Vicious?
It’s hard to say yes or no as a response to this question due to the fact that there are many factors that could make any dog “vicious”. If the Akita is raised by a neglectful or harmful owner, or is trained to react negatively towards Humans and dogs, then it could happen.
However, if we are going based on natural demeanor, then the answer would lean more towards no, Akitas are not naturally vicious; but that are known to inflict negative effects on individuals that tamper with its personal space and or territory.
But on an everyday basis, they are balanced within their demeanor, and tend not to cause trouble; yet have no problem finishing it.
They are kind to their owners, and show respect at most-to-every chance that they get. They are awesome at connecting with their caregivers, and do a great job at protecting their loved ones.
Why People Love to Have an Akita
After perusing this article, it’s safe to say that we can see the ultimate value in a dog of the Akita breed, and why people crave these fluffy wonders.
They make an ultimate best friend because they will be loyal and by your side, and will protect you when necessary.
And although they have a natural demeanor to be a bit of a loner, and selective about who they hang out with, Akitas are still more than capable of becoming a friendly companion to other dogs and animals.