The Akita Inu is a noble, dignified animal. These impressive dogs are venerated in Japan where they are thought of as national monuments, and where owning an Akita is said to bring good luck.
The breed takes its name from the Akita Prefecture, the mountainous region where it originated. They were originally hunting dogs, used to track elk, boar and especially the fierce, grizzly-sized, Yezo bear.
The first Akita arrived in America in 1937, after two of these dogs were given to Helen Keller as a gift. In 1956 the Akita Club of America came into being, and in 1973 the breed gained AKC recognition.
These formidable dogs can stand as tall as 27 inches at the withers and weigh anything up to 125 pounds. They have a dense coat that can be brindle, red, fawn. sesame or white. They shed heavily twice a year, but other than that, are medium shedders.
Other standout features of the breed are a large head, small erect ears, and an impressive plumed tail that curls over the back.
The Akita has few health problems, and a life expectancy that ranges from 10-14 years. They are prone to Hypothyroid disease, but this can be easily treated with hormone therapy. Other health problems include impaired night vision, and progressive retinal atrophy. Hip and kidney problems may occur in older dogs.
Only an Akita can be challenging, but they area also a joy to have around. These dogs are extremely loyal, and highly protective of those they love. They bond closely with their human pack and are naturally gentle with children. They also get on well with other pets that they’ve been socialized with. An Akita owner can expect an elaborate greeting when he returns home, as these dogs to to grunt and squirm about when they are happy.
Due to their high intelligence Akitas are quite easy to train, even if they are sometimes stubborn. You will though have to gain their trust and respect before they’ll obey you unquestionably.
Akitas generally have a calm demeanor and are not usually demanding of attention or activity. However, regular exercise is required in order to keep the dog at a healthy weight.
Dogs that become frustrated due to lack of activity almost always develop behavioral problems and in the Akita, this can lead to aggression and destructiveness. It is therefore important to socialize your dog and to provide obedience training and regular exercise.
Don’t let that deter you from considering an Akita as a family pet though, because they are truly wonderful dogs.
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