The Akita Inu is not just a dog, but a true Japanese treasure and the favorite breed of dog lovers all over the world. Thanks to the famous dog Hachiko, who showed unique loyalty, Akita-inu has gained worldwide popularity. The number of people who want to buy a puppy of this breed has increased by 15 times! And so far the interest in it does not fade. What is the secret of this breed of dog?
When did the Akita-inu breed appeared
If you look into history, the Akita-inu is one of the most ancient breeds of dogs. Scientists, having thoroughly studied the origin on numerous archaeological excavations, were able to find out that even in the second millennium BC, the pets of this breed lived on the territory of Japan. In addition, images of dogs very similar to the Akita-inu are present in the drawings of the times of antiquity.
It has been impossible to study the origins of the Akita-inu thoroughly, as its roots are so deeply rooted. There is a theory that these animals are descended from the spitz dog from China and the ancient mastiffs. There is also an opinion that the Akita is a descendant of the Siberian Husky and Mastiff. But despite the external resemblance, the northern dogs and the Akita have nothing in common.
Exotic to our ears name, in fact, is not. The Japanese did not imagine much, “Akita” is the name of a province in Japan, while “inu” translates as dog.
Research has shown that the breed as it exists today, was formed in the XVII century and has not changed so far. Akita-inu are also unique in that they are truly purebred, and selection activities have not touched them.
In those days, Akita-inu were not simple dogs, only the most noble nobles could afford a pet of this breed. In the imperial family representatives were at a special position. But it happened far from immediately.
Initially purebred dogs performed hunting and guarding functions in the homes of ordinary people, but by the XVIII century, the situation has changed, and Akita significantly raised their status. At that time, a new decree appeared, according to which a man who killed or harmed a representative of this breed was subjected to severe punishment. And in a short time, Akita-inu turned out to be an elite breed unavailable to peasants.
Naturally, this could not but affect the development and spread of the breed. According to the Japanese love of ceremonies, caring for a pet became a real ritual. The Akita-inu began to correspond to their owners’ rank. This was proved by special attributes, presence of a personal servant. Looking at the Akita, one could determine the status of its owner.
In 1927, a special Society was formed, whose activities were aimed at preserving the breed. They also monitored the purity of the breed, not allowing crossbreeding with other representatives.
Of course, World War II had a significant impact on the breed since almost all its representatives were at the front. Then the breeding process almost ceased. But still some pets with pure blood managed to keep, they possessed all the qualities inherent in Akita-inu.
In the XIX century representatives of other breeds began to appear in the country. The Japanese have woken up the desire to get on the basis of Akita with the addition of blood of dogs, Saint Bernard, bulldogs, dogs with more aggressive character, to use them for security purposes. Then completely new breeds appeared – Karafuto (Sakhalin Huskies) and Tosa-Inu (a dog from the Tosu Principality).
This somewhat affected the Akita breed as well. Their descendants have acquired a denser build and a bit of aggression in character.
The Akita is a 100% Japanese dog that is native to the northern regions of the country. It originally had two functions – guarding and hunting. Today, however, its range of duties has expanded, but the Akita is most often used as a companion dog.
The height of males ranges from 64 cm at the withers to 75. The minimum weight is 40 kg. As with other breeds, female Akitu have much smaller size.
The standard is confirmed by three possible colors:
- A combination of red and white. At the same time, the light coat may be only on the inner sides of the chest and limbs, as well as to create a “mask” on the muzzle. The professional name of this muzzle coloring is “urazhiro”.
- Tiger coat on the body with a white mask on the muzzle.
- White Akita inu – inclusions of other colors are not allowed.
If the Akita is decorated with a black mask on the muzzle, then we are talking about a representative of the American kind of breed. In the Japanese version, such a thing is considered a marriage.
Purebreds have strong, proportional build, with a heavy skeleton and powerful muscles. The dogs clearly distinguished lumbar girdle.
Characteristic features of the external structure help to distinguish the pets from other canine species:
- The head of the Akita Inu is triangular in shape, slightly blunt, and of medium size relative to the body. Small, slightly slanted eyes, not convex, with a dark brown iris. Ears open, erect. Compared to the size of the head, they are quite small, having the shape of a triangle with slightly rounded edges.
- The forehead is wide, with a cleft between the eyes, which slightly goes on the forehead.
- The tip of the nose is large and black, a slight coloration only possible in animals with white coat.
- The lips are black and are tight to the jaw.
- Theskin does not adhere tightly to the body, but does not hang down. Sometimes the skin forms small folds.
- The tail is high set, quite large, has a curled shape and is thrown on the back. The coat is dense, coarse, of medium length. There is a thick undercoat.
- Thepaws of the Akita-inu are strong, muscular, and end in cat-like soft paws.
In general, looking at the dog of this breed, there is an opinion that it is a harmoniously developed animal, strong and strong, and in fact it is.
Unusual amazing character
The Akita-inu is a whole set of positive characteristics that four-legged friends can possess. No negative traits – only positivity and joy from communicating with this dog.
The fun and mischief that this breed’s puppies are endowed with is not lost throughout the dog’s life. Akitas are well-balanced dogs, with no signs of aggression.
They will not get into a fight without assessing the situation and their own strength. The Akita’s intellectual performance is top notch, and they do have prudence and wisdom that have been accumulated over the centuries.
There is only one negative trait in the character of these dogs – pathological curiosity. Akita must be aware of everything that is happening, and to do this, it will try to explore every corner of the house. Even a slight noise may cause her to tear herself away and rush in search of the source. But this quality wears off as the years go by, making the Akita less curious and more phlegmatic.
The Akita’s character makes it possible to keep the animal both in a large family and as a companion for one person. For parents, such a pet is a real find, which can entertain even the tiniest toddlers for hours.
Do not think that the dog without human intervention will be able to show all its qualities, given by nature. Its education should be definitely engaged, starting from its appearance in the house until its last days. By the way, the Akita-inu has the longest childhood among dogs – it is considered a puppy up to 2.5 years old. Only by constantly communicating with the animal, you can grow an intelligent and loyal family member.
Pedigree pets are very friendly, and towards all family members. But only on condition of full reciprocity. It is worth knowing that the Akita can appreciate a good attitude. Possessing an independent appearance, this dog is submissive and has no tendency to disobedience and foul deeds.
The Akita Inu is wary of strangers, this applies to strangers. They regard other dogs as invaders of their personal territory and may rush to fight. Experienced dog owners attribute this quality to their natural sense of dominance.
How to properly maintain and care for the Akita Inu
If the plan is to buy a puppy of this ancient Japanese breed, you can be sure that the new pet will not cause much trouble. The dog is versatile, it feels good both in the apartment and on the street. For outdoor living, the Akita has a warm coat, equipped with a thick undercoat. But, despite this, it is still worth providing the pet with a warm kennel.
Akitas living in an apartment require two walks a day, which should last at least two hours. Walking alone, the dog behaves calmly until a playful companion appears in your sight, and then it will show its agility.
If Akita Inu doesn’t let its excessive energy out, it can become lazy, gain weight and even lose its obedience.
No special care is needed for its coat, you just need to brush it a couple of times a week and remove the resulting tangles. During periods of moulting, you will of course need to do extra combing to speed up this process.
The Akita should not be bathed often, as this can cause the pet to become ill. Two to three baths per year will be sufficient. Only specialized detergents should be used, and after the coat requires thorough drying, in this case a hair dryer is acceptable.
Akitas have an excellent appetite, so it is necessary to carefully balance the diet, avoiding overeating and subsequent gain of excess weight. It is highly recommended not to feed the pet from your own table. You can pick up a quality ready-made dry food. Feeding an Akita also allows a mixed diet. Several times a week, you can give the dog fresh cottage cheese, sour milk or kefir, a piece of lean meat, vegetable or meat broth. It is imperative that the pet be provided with clean and fresh drinking water.
During seasonal moulting, nurturing and nursing, after diseases, it is possible to supplement the diet with special mineral and vitamin supplements, but it is obligatory to consult the veterinarian.
It is recommended that the dog be vaccinated regularly, the pet should constantly appear at the veterinarian’s office for routine examinations.
Akita inu photos from the movie Hachiko
Akita Inu video
How much do puppies cost
The popularity of representatives of this breed does not decrease, so the cost of puppies of this breed is not low. And of course, prices depend on the quality of the dog itself. On average, the following prices for Akita-inu can be noted:
- A puppy without a pedigree or with an existing pedigree marriage with a further ban to breeding will cost about $600 – $1200.
- The price of standard-class puppies ranges from $1500 – $2500.
- The cost of a puppy show class can go up to $3000.