Are you looking for a large dog that radiates a quiet dignity with its strong stature? With the American Akita you have found exactly that representative. Well, he seems a little beefier than the Japanese Akita. He is also a little larger. His bulky head can be a little intimidating.
However, the sight is softened by the ears that are always pointed forward. They give him a mischievous expression. When he is completely relaxed, he seems to be smiling throughout.
The American Akita is a special breed that requires special attention. Let’s take a closer look at him today.
Character of the American Akita
Like his brother, the Japanese Akita, the American Akita is a very independent and at the same time self-confident dog. Submissiveness is a foreign word to him. Even if he remains indifferent to strangers, he is always friendly.
However, he develops a very strong bond with “his” human. Basically, he is more the type of dog who attaches himself to exactly one person. He does not need more. But be careful: “his” master / mistress also has to work for his recognition. He does not give this to just anyone.
Even in hectic situations, the American Akita remains calm and keeps the full overview. No matter when and no matter where: He is always surrounded by an aura of sublimity, of calmness, in order to present his original wildness at the same time. Many breeding lines still possess the dog’s traditional hunting instinct. Many people believe to discover traits of the original dogs in him. The loyalty of these dogs is simply legendary.
The historical background of the American Akita
The Akita is a dog breed that has been known in Japan for centuries. This breed was also very popular in America. However, after the Second World War, it was decided to breed an independent variety. In the meantime, this breed has been officially recognised.
The name Akita comes from the prefecture of the same name, which is located in the northwest of Japan. Specifically, the dog originates from the town of Odate. It was a dog town in the past and is still considered a dog town in Japan today. The original Japanese Akita Inu is one of the largest dog breeds recognised by the FCI in Japan.
In Japan, the Akita has established a very good reputation as a working dog. In addition, it served as a guard dog, sometimes also used as a draught dog. They also used it regularly for hunting. It is said that the Akita was particularly successful in hunting collared bears.
It is also said that the Samurei used it. Unfortunately, at some point the Akita began to be abused for dog fighting. Partly due to this abuse of the breed, the Akita Inu almost became extinct around 1900. Fortunately, the Japanese are very devoted to their dog breeds. Therefore, around 1930, they began to focus more on breeding again. In 1931, the Akita Inu was even given the title “Natural Monument of Japan”.
In total, there are 7 dog breeds that were honoured in this way. Unfortunately, these dogs were nevertheless misused as fur suppliers for the production of military uniforms during the Second World War. And again, the number of dogs decreased rapidly. Without the crossing of other dog breeds, the Akita could not have been saved. Various lines have been established since then.
As early as 1933, the first Akita club was formed in the USA and quickly devoted itself to breeding the American Akita. It is assumed that both the German Shepherd and the Mastiff were crossed with the Akita. However, other dog breeds were probably also crossed with the Akita. At a certain point, the Japanese no longer wanted to accept the American variety, so a new breed was created.
It was not until 1999 that the American Akita was recognised by the FCI as a new and independent breed. Today, both are united in the Akita Club e.V. under the umbrella of the VDH, as two independent breeds.
The colours of the American Akita
The coat of the American Akita is a phenomenon, because it is completely dirt and water repellent. This makes grooming a real breeze. The American Akita has quite a handsome undercoat, which he sheds twice a year. During this time, regular daily combing is a necessary chore. After all, it is a considerable amount that he loses during this time. It is not possible to say exactly how long the shedding lasts. The time span is between 2 and 4 weeks.
The coat is very dense. One could almost call it plushy. In any case, it has the absolute cuddle factor. Actually, all colours are allowed in the American Akita. Pied and brindle colour combinations are also permitted.
In contrast to the Japanese Akitas, the embossing of a mask as well as the Pinto colouring is also welcome. If a multicoloured picture occurs, it is important that the colours are clearly distinguished from each other. Often it is a light ground colour on which several, often evenly arranged, large spots stand out.
What are the demands of the American Akita?
When you get right down to it, the American Akita doesn’t really make any demands at all. However, this only applies if you are really very knowledgeable. It is important to know the dog’s nature well. He wants to be trained and led consistently.
Please remember that the American Akita needs a high individual distance. Even with the best training, it should never be forgotten that he is extremely self-confident and extremely strong.
For the owner of an American Akita, it is important that not only the house is big enough for this dog. The garden should also have enough square metres so that the dog can stretch its legs on its own during the day if it wants to. A garden of 2 x 2 metres is absolutely not enough. Because even this dog can get silly ideas and foolish behaviour if it is not fully occupied. And it really doesn’t have to come to that. Different dog sports can be done with this dog
The American Akita and his health
The American Akita is an extremely robust dog with exceptionally good health. Any hereditary diseases are kept in check or completely eliminated by serious breeding.
Advantages and disadvantages of the American Akita
The health and also the dirt and water repellent coat make it very easy for the owner to come to terms with him, as he shows no signs of problems in these respects.
One thing is important to know: This dog is not for the beginner who does not have much dog experience. Because one thing is for sure: He has such a mind of his own and a strong self-confidence. Also, its strength must not be underestimated. A high individual distance is needed. As long as he does not see the need to show his dominance, he does not care about other dogs, so there should hardly be any problems.
Especially with other male dogs a watchful eye should be kept on him. However, if he is well brought up from an early age and accepts his reference person, this should not cause any difficulties.
Depending on the personality, however, a certain subliminal dominance may be present despite very good training. Therefore, it is generally safer to walk the American Akita on a leash.
The perfect person for an American Akita
- has a spacious house with an equally large garden
- has a lot of dog experience, even a true dog mind
- knows how to be the alpha dog in the home pack
- has no problem being THE main reference person of the American Akita
- prefers to spend his free time outdoors
- loves exercise, because the American Akita loves it too
- is aware that he is dealing with a dominant dog with a strong character, which is relatively rare in UK.
- knows that the American Akita can integrate well into the family, but should not be left alone with small children.
Buying American Akita puppies
The puppies of the American Akita are of course best bought from a breeder who is organised in the Akita Club of the VDH. This ensures that the puppy comes from a “clean”, continuously checked breeding line. This is because it is important to every reputable breeder that both his breeding animals and the puppies are in the best possible state of health.
The serious breeder will be able to present the breeding papers right at the first contact. Furthermore, he will inform the interested parties about the special features of the breed and his breeding animals in particular. Contact with the dogs is a matter of course. This also applies to the puppies when they are released for contact with their “new” owners.
No matter what questions the interested party may have about the breeding line, the adoption of the puppy, the rearing of the little one as well as the basic training, the reputable breeder will gladly answer them and in more than detail. After all, it is important to him that the puppy is accommodated in the best possible way.
First equipment for the American Akita
- Dog collar
- Dog harness
- Dog leash, in addition possibly a drag line
- Water and food bowl, if possible easy to clean
- Dog bed / blanket for lying on
- Long hair brush
- Undercoat brush
- Dog comb / lice comb for dogs
- Possibly clippers (but these should only be used if you really know how to use them).
- Dog food
- possibly toys
- possibly treats
Dog food for the American Akita
Unlike other dog breeds, the American Akita is a little more picky. His diet should indeed be balanced and varied. It is possible to feed this dog a barf diet. However, you should be well versed in this, otherwise deficiency symptoms can quickly develop.
Too high a proportion of grain and soya products as well as too high a proportion of crude protein, as found in energy or high-performance foods, should be avoided at all costs, as they can cause skin or hair disorders.
The American Akita is a wonderful dog, reminiscent of the primitive dogs. A heritage he has received from his ancestor, the Japanese Akita. This gives him an inner calm, a natural grandeur that hardly any other dog possesses.
It is important for the preservation of this wonderful dog breed to always find people who are able to keep him adequately and give him a good and safe home.
How much does an American Akita cost?
Assuming that the American Akita is organised with a breeder of the Akita Club within the VDH, a price of £1,200, ascending, must be expected. This may increase, depending on the breeding line.
Where does the American Akita come from?
The original origin of the American Akita is Japan. The breeding variant of the American Akita was only bred out of breeding animals of the Japanese Akita and further developed after the Second World War.
How old does the American Akita live?
The American Akita can easily live to be 12 years old if it comes from a serious breeding programme.
What is the size and weight of the American Akita?
These dogs have an average height at the withers of 61 to 71 centimetres. It should be noted here that the males are considerably taller than the females.
With regard to weight, the standard does not give a specification. However, an average weight of 40 kilograms (bitches) and 55 kilograms (males) can be expected.
How many puppies does the American Akita have?
The average litter of an American Akita consists of four to six puppies.
Is the American Akita a hunting dog?
In earlier times, the American Akita was also used as a hunting dog. His hunting instinct is quite strong. Even in modern times, an American Akita can be trained as a hunting dog. Because this instinct is deep inside him. With a good basic training, he can be well controlled by any owner. However, as a matter of principle, one should not do without a sturdy leash when walking the dog outdoors. It’s safer for everyone that way.
Is the American Akita a family dog?
The American Akita, which belongs to the point and primitive type dog group, is classified as an absolute family dog. He can integrate very well in the family, of course under the regiment of the main reference person. He can also get along well with children. However, they should never be left alone with him.
It is not unusual for the Akita to develop a special protective instinct towards “his” family. It is important to keep this under control. The animal’s primary caregiver must have the upper hand, must determine when what may be defended and in what way. As a well-trained guard dog, the Akita may strike when the situation requires it – without further permission. Further measures, however, must be approved by the owner.
Can the American Akita be kept in a (city) flat?
Usually a flat, whether in the city or in the country, is not large enough to give this dog a reasonable home. This is of course due to its size. But also his urge to protect and to move around speak against keeping him in a flat.
The hustle and bustle of the city, the restlessness, the many people – the American Akita is actually inwardly stable enough to face this challenge. At least for a short period of time. In the end, however, he is better off in the peace and quiet of a rural environment. Above all, it is important that his intelligence and his urge to move are fulfilled. Without a task, it is too boring for him everywhere.