Akita Inu

70-100 lbs
24-26"
Japan
Akita Inu, Japanese Akita, Akita Ken

The Akita is known for their loyalty and companionship now, but when the breed originated in the 1600s, they were used as a fighting dog and to hunt bear. With the thick double-layered coat, this hardy canine is safe from the snow and the cold all winter long. An excellent companion dog, they are loyal and protective of their family and will forever be devoted to all of you. They do not require much grooming because they are very clean dogs and groom themselves as a cat does. Brushing them once a week and trimming their nails is recommended but they do not need to be bathed often, except maybe once a month or if they get especially dirty. They are energetic and need exercise daily, so you should be prepared to take them on long walks or for a trip to the park. When it gets cold, your active buddy will have more energy and want to spend hours out in the yard hunting and rolling in the snow.

Purpose
Hunting Game, Dog Fighting
Date of Origin
1600s
Ancestry
Northern Spitz

Akita Inu Health

Sketch of Akita Inu
Average Size
Male Akita Inu size stats
Height: 26-28 inches Weight: 100-130 lbs
Female Akita Inu size stats
Height: 24-26 inches Weight: 70-100 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Von Willebrand's Disease
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis
Minor Concerns
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Pemphigus
  • Sebaceous Adenitis
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Elbow
  • Blood
  • Dna For Vwd
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Akita Inu Breed History

This courageous breed was named after the Akita prefecture on the island of Honshū where the dogs originated in Japan in the 1600s. These dogs were originally found in the snowy mountains and were referred to as snow country dogs by the natives before they were named Akita. There is a debate about the name between the United States, Canada, and the rest of the country. According to the US and Canada, there is only one breed of this dog and there are two types, the American and the Japanese Akita. However, the rest of the world considers these two as separate breeds. The Akita Inu Hozonkai Society of Japan was founded in the late 1920s and the breed was designated as a national treasure to Japan in 1937. The reason for this decision was the loyalty of the famous canine, Haichiko, who met his owner at the train station every day at a certain time. Haichiko continued to go to the train station every day to wait for him for almost a decade after his owner died. The first Akita in the United States was given as a gift to Helen Keller from the Japanese government while she was there visiting. Her name was Kamikaze-Go. However, the American Kennel Club did not officially recognize the breed until 1972, almost 40 years later. This strong dog comes from the Northern Spitz breed. The original purpose of the breed was to hunt large animals such as elk, bear, deer, and wild boar. The hunters had the dog flush out and corner the game until they were able to come and shoot it. Some also trained their canines for fighting by mixing them with a fighting dog breed, called the Tosa. After a fatal outbreak of rabies in the early 1900s where over 3,000 of the dogs died, that tradition was stopped. Several years after Helen Keller received her canine gift, soldiers in World War II smuggled many of these dogs home from war to save them from being killed for food or shot.

Akita Inu Breed Appearance

The Akita has a very powerful and muscular body type with large bones and a powerful appearance. The muzzle is deep, their dark brown eyes are small and alert, and they have pointed ears that are slightly angled. Some say their massive triangular head is bear-like. They look fierce and determined, which fits with their stubborn personality. They have a broad black nose with a lighter (preferably white) mask. Teeth are strong with a scissors or level bite in a powerful jaw. Their paws are huge but cat-like and well-knuckled with thick foot pads. The thick and furry tail is the trademark of the breed, and curls up over the back and no two tails are alike. Some have a double curl. The medium length coat is double-coated. The undercoat is thick and soft with a longer protective hair coat called guard hairs. These are not as soft as the undercoat. It is dense enough to keep them warm and dry in the harshest conditions such as the mountains of Japan where they are from. There are many types of coat colors such as red, gray, black, silver, pinto, white, black brindle, blue brindle, brown brindle, red brindle, fawn, and fawn brindle. Some have a mask that is white or a lighter color than the rest of the coat. Also, the undercoat may be a different color than the outer coat.

Appearance of Akita Inu
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Akita Inu eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Akita Inu nose
Black
brown Akita Inu nose
Brown
Coat Color Possibilities
black Akita Inu coat
Black
brown Akita Inu coat
Brown
brindle Akita Inu coat
Brindle
white Akita Inu coat
White
silver Akita Inu coat
Silver
fawn Akita Inu coat
Fawn
red Akita Inu coat
Red
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Akita Inu straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Akita Inu Breed Maintenance

Although the Akita is a clean dog that grooms regularly, you should brush them at least once a week to keep them from shedding too much. Just a short brushing with a soft brush is sufficient. They do not need to be bathed unless they get unusually dirty since they do most of their own grooming. A shampoo once every few months is suggested. This attractive dog sheds quite heavily a few times per year. Because of this, they are not considered hypoallergenic. It is always a good idea to brush your dog’s teeth once a day but you should ask your veterinary care provider for tips; they will recommend a dog-safe toothpaste. Pay special attention to your pup’s eyes because they are prone to many eye conditions. Call your veterinarian if there is any whiteness, redness, or discharge from the eyes. This vivacious dog needs plenty of exercise and you should plan to take them for a brisk walk or jog daily as well as allow them to run in a large fenced yard. In fact, they can (and prefer to) live outside in colder climates. Provide shelter (like a dog house), shade, and plenty of water for your furry buddy while outside. They like to play and hunt, especially in the winter when it snows. Because they are so large and have a lot of energy, they get hungry fast and tend to eat too quickly. The veterinarian can recommend a special bowl to help with this habit and can prescribe a feeding schedule. It is suggested that you feed your dog twice a day to total about six cups of food per day, depending on their size. A premium commercial dog food with meat as the first ingredient should be fed with fresh food as well. Cubed vegetables such as peas, carrots, potatoes, and yams; hard-boiled eggs, and rice are good fresh foods to feed your companion.

Brushes for Akita Inu
Pin Brush
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Akita Inu requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Akita Inu Temperament

This alert canine can be aggressive to other animals and should not be trusted around smaller animals like cats, chickens, and ducks. Every Akita is a hunter, even if they have never been taught to hunt. Therefore, they will hunt, attack, and eat small animals that they consider to be game. Adult supervision is recommended with children who should be taught not to tease the dog. They are very possessive of their food so leave them to their food at mealtime. Your protective pup will be wary of strangers, so you will need to introduce your dog to friends and relatives. This territorial dog is a loving and loyal companion and will protect the family against anything. They are not a barking dog but will be vocal with owners. Training them can be difficult because they are so determined and stubborn. But, they are very smart and with the right training and a lot of patience from you, your dog can learn to do anything. 

Akita Inu Activity Requirements

The Akita is a very forward, energetic dog who will thrive and be at their best with exercise, attention, mental stimulation, and fresh air all in abundance. The perfect companion for hiking and running, especially in cool or cold weather, this solitary-type prefers human companionship over canine company as the tendency to want to dominate may be a hindrance at the dog park. However, with early socialization and consistent effort, you and your dog can enjoy the company of others while at work or play. Regular intensive activity is a must for this breed, so take advantage and keep both yourself and your dog in tip-top shape.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Akita Inu Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$2.00 - $2.25
Monthly Cost
$60.00 - $67.50

Akita Inu Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Akita Inu at six months
Male Akita Inu size stats at six months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 61 lbs
Female Akita Inu size stats at six months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 52 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Akita Inu at 12 months
Male Akita Inu size stats at 12 months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 77 lbs
Female Akita Inu size stats at 12 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 65 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Akita Inu at 18 months
Male Akita Inu size stats at 18 months
Height: 27 inches Weight: 110 lbs
Female Akita Inu size stats at 18 months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 82 lbs

Top Akita Inu Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Akita Inu breeders of 2019.
Top Akita Inu breeder Avalon Akitas
Avalon Akitas
Hudsonville, Michigan
Top Akita Inu breeder Royal Akitas
Royal Akitas
Chillicothe, Missouri
Top Akita Inu breeder Tenshi Akitas
Tenshi Akitas
Bowie, Maryland
Top Akita Inu breeder Ali'i Alaskan Inu Kennels
Ali'i Alaskan Inu Kennels
Wasilla, Alaska
Top Akita Inu breeder Summit Akitas
Summit Akitas
Grant Park, Illinois
Top Akita Inu breeder Sun Devil Akitas
Sun Devil Akitas
Chandler, Arizona
Top Akita Inu breeder Shinto Akitas
Shinto Akitas
Lavaca, Arkansas
Top Akita Inu breeder Mojo Akitas
Mojo Akitas
Gilroy, California
Top Akita Inu breeder Minda Akitas
Minda Akitas
Mount Shasta, California
Top Akita Inu breeder Red Dawn Akitas
Red Dawn Akitas
Cathedral City, California

Akita Inu Owner Experiences

Snoopy
2 Years
4 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Playing in the snow
Running
Tug-of-war
Walking
Fetch
I miss him, he's a good dog and I loved him.
8 months, 2 weeks ago
gvrcefd
21 Months
3 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
reg rtyhrt hyt rhnh
10 months, 2 weeks ago
1 Year
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
He actively enjoyed physical play, walking/runnin
His name was Kaiko..and the name is fitting first off because he is of Japanese origin. He was beautiful to look at immediately with unique facial features. I boarded him for eleven days and got to know him well. He was very active and very aware of his environment but was surpassingly quiet when people passed by my home. He has a "prey like" instinct about him but was very sweet and he loved to stay around me all the time and would follow me. He often self-groomed and was very alert, all the time. But he didn't seem anxious. He had a big personality for a little guy who was still growing and continued to take in his surroundings throughout the visit. On walks and feeding, he always seemed to be on a mission but was a great walker. Barely any pulling and would walk right along side me. What I found funny was his resistance to come back up a flight of stairs but no issues going down them.He also liked taking photos that I frequently sent to the owners and he seemed to be aware that photos were being taken. He was very attentive to the environment (our home) when anything was going on. For example, when my husband would leave, he would whimper a little bit and come by me to remain comforted. He is very sensitive, again, to surroundings. It seems that this breed also has high-energy, active and playful but also likes to relax and rest..but is waiting again, for when it was time to play!! Again, very playful, attentive, aware, alert (and I loved the fact that he wouldn't bark when people were walking by our home) yet, quiet and waiting. He was a delight to board and has huge personality. Very cute!
1 year, 8 months ago
8 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walk
Explore the city
The akita that I walk was not particularly interested in me the first time we strolled together, but he seems to be growing more attached each time I visit. He is, however, more than happy to be going on a stroll. His focus lies in the environment around us and has a clear desire to get as much distance into our walk as possible. He walks with great posture: his head up and face forward and rarely stops to sniff the ground. Though he isn't too personable with strangers, he is more than happy to let them interact with him., albeit, he prefers the interactions to be brief. Although I've attempted with many different toys, they hold little to no interest to him—perhaps I haven't found the right one? Perhaps he's just too cool for school. I do like this preferential and focused nature that he has and am happy to comply with his preferences, particularly since he's such a good walker. We tend to put in more distance together than I do with any other dog clocking in well over 1.25 miles per hour.
1 year, 8 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
I want the cutest pup named Gia Santana. When we left the apartment and started to walk she immediately went P and that was great. And then she snapped around a little bit and then she kind of stopped and gave me her belly. Of course I obliged and gave her a good belly rub and then I was like OK let’s go on a walk. But she really wasn’t into Dad and her mom told me that she probably wouldn’t want to walk that she’s probably just gonna want to stop and have you ever belly. So we did would walk a little way I tried to get her to show me like we’re all the good spots where are all the good smells were but she was just more interested in like going back to her home and getting a belly rub. Her mom even mentioned if she’s not really wanting to walk you can go back in the work early and just sit on the floor with there and rub her belly and just hang out and for the last 10 minutes of the work we did that and it was great. I even tried to like squeaker toys and like get her to like play a little bit but she was not really into it was never that she was like here’s my belly where is your hand let’s make the connection. I was more than happy to oblige
1 year, 9 months ago
6 Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Frisbee
Play
Swim
sniff
Chase
Akita Inus are fluffy, friendly, and fast. My experience was regarding a 6 month old, Luna. Luna was very particular about individuals she met. I made an emphasis on developing a trustworthy bond which would be essential during our time together. She needed constant stimulation. If not provided, it would develop from boredom to stubbornness. Sweet tones did wonders in terms of leash training. Luna loved to cool of by stepping in her kiddy pool. I had to be mindful of her coat soaking up water by always having a towel on hand! She was very adventurous and loving.
1 year, 9 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
They were both calm and friendly. They were great on the leash plus very good at coming back to me when called.
1 year, 9 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Strong willed charismatic and independent breed. Doesn’t like to be confined a
1 year, 9 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Lots of energy very focused love the walks Could Walk and Walk and Walk and Walk very well trained and loving and affectionate was like a big baby. Super sweet!
1 year, 9 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Frisbee
Run
The Akita is a very intelligent breed, with sharp sensory and analysis. It is eager to please, and very energetic when outdoors.
1 year, 9 months ago
7 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Dolce was absolutely Amazing. She was a little skirmish around other dogs when I first started walking her, but really began to come out of her shell when I began to walk her a little more. She loved playing with her chew toys when I arrived. I think the greatest thing I really enjoyed about her was that she was very protective of me, and made me feel comfortable. I think as a walker all you want to know is that the dog will be just as good as their owner, and she is.
1 year, 9 months ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
I walked two Akita’s in the past. One is a very memorable experience. Big strong puppy Striker was. I don’t believe he got the walks and proper stimulation he needed especially a dog of this breed being strong and powerful. He needed a lot of leash training and obedience. He wasn’t really interested in other dogs even given his size. He was about as tall as I am (6’4”) when he stood up.
1 year, 9 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
He was such a sweet boy but a great guard dog too. He walked but sometimes stopped- he like to control the pace seeing as that bred is very independent.
1 year, 9 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd