The Akita Inu is the national dog of Japan, being honoured as a national treasure, and is the country's symbol of happiness and good health.
Originating in the northernmost province of Honshu Island, ownership was restricted to members of the nobility who bred the dog as a hunter of large game such as wild boar, deer and black bear. A strong swimmer, the Akita has webbed feet and was also used to retrieve waterfowl. At one time the Akita almost disappeared as numbers were so heavily depleted when the Akita was used in the now illegal blood sport of dogfighting.
Used as a military guard dog during World War II, the Akita is still highly regarded as a guard dog today and is also used in police work.
The owner of an Akita will be rewarded with an impressive, proud, alert watchdog and a loyal companion, but it is advised that the owner of the Akita should have an assertive nature, capable of handling a strong willed animal.
The Akita is an intelligent dog with a courageous, good natured, docile character, which makes the Akita an ideal watchdog and loyal companion. Whilst being dignified, alert, bold and extremely faithful to its owner, the Akita can be aggressive towards other dogs, particularly males. It is reserved with strangers who can be greeted with a somewhat distrusting gaze.
The Akita can adapt easily to different living environments and should be exposed to different people and situations when still a puppy to ensure its constant temperament. The Akita is usually not tolerant of other animals, however if brought up with other animals it will usually live in harmony with them. The Akita may be slightly stubborn and strong willed, but firm training from an early age will overcome this.
An impressive looking dog of great distinction, the Akita has a massive broad head in balance with its body. The Akita moves with a vigorous gait and the tail is thick and full, carried over the back slightly or wholly curled. The Akita is heavy boned and muscular, which tends to accentuate the powerful build of this strong dog. The Akita has small, dark, deep set eyes and erect triangular ears and the coat may be any colour and does not need to be the same colour as the undercoat.
Because of its heritage, the Akita can be strong willed and sometimes aggressive towards other dogs, particularly males. The Akita therefore requires an assertive owner and firm obedience training when a puppy. The Akita can be trained from a very early age and despite being somewhat wilful and stubborn, the Akita is eager to please. Exposure to different situations and people from an early age is recommended.
The Akita has a double coat consisting of a soft, dense undercoat and a straight, slightly harsh outercoat of short to medium length that stands out from the body. A thorough brush, at least once a week is usually adequate to maintain an Akita's helathy coat.
The Akita is a hardy dog not prone to illness. At times it may develop skin allergies, which are easily treated.
The Akita is a remarkable breed but is not for everyone.
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AKITAS and SHIBAS in Australia