Skip to main content

The American Akita is a descendant of the Japanese Akita. These two types did not diverge until the end of World War II.

Even before World War II, there were Akitas in America. But these dogs remained very similar to their Japanese counterparts.

It is believed that Helen Keller brought the first Akitas to America after the Japanese government presented her with a pair.

Several dog shows of this breed have been held. But then World War II began.

During this time, US military personnel began serving with the occupation forces in Japan. Some of these soldiers met the Akita and were impressed.

So when they returned to the US, they brought these Japanese dogs with them.

Typically, US military personnel were more attracted to the larger bearish Akita than those with smaller bodies. The dogs they brought to America reflected this opinion.

While Japanese Akita breeders were concerned with keeping the breed as close to the original as possible, American breeders worked to make the breed larger and more impressive.

Американская акита

This difference in breeding priorities led to a discrepancy between the two types.

Akita was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1955 and was placed in the Miscellaneous class. However, the Akita breed standard was approved only in 1972.

The breed was then transferred to the working class.

However, imported Akitas from Japan were still commonplace. Thus, the types did not diverge too much due to crossing.

In 1974, the Kennel Club of America stopped registering further imports from Japan. This caused the American Akita to develop their own unique ancestry and personality traits.

Interesting Facts

The first American Akita brought to the UK was not from America at all. Instead, he was a Canadian importer owned by Mrs Jenson.

The American Akita practically did not develop. The breed nearly died out during World War II when strict rationing prevented many owners from feeding their dogs.

American Akitas are cleanliness freaks. They groom themselves and are commonly described as felines.

Appearance

The American Akita is similar in many ways to the Japanese.

These dogs are very strong and muscular. They have large bones and can be very impressive.

They weigh over 100 pounds. Males are usually much larger than females.

Males are usually 26-28 inches tall and females 24-26 inches tall.

The muzzle is set deep. Their dark brown eyes are small. And their ears are tilted slightly forward.

Many describe their massive head as bearish. This is in contrast to the Japanese Akita, which usually has more fox-like features.

Their coat is of medium length and consists of two layers. The undercoat is thick and soft, while the outer coat is thinner and more even.

American Akita comes in a variety of colors, including

  • red
  • grey
  • the black
  • Silver
  • pinto
  • white
  • black brindle
  • blue brindle
  • brown brindle
  • red brindle
  • fawn, and fawn brindle.

All Akitas have masks, but American Akitas can have masks in different colors. The most common color is white, but black and piebald masks are also possible.

Американская акита

Temperament

The American Akita is known for being aggressive. They have strong guarding instincts and are very loyal to their families.

They are suspicious of strangers and can be aggressive towards those they do not know if they are not properly socialized and trained.

A well-trained Akita accepts non-threatening strangers. But those who are not trained will respond with aggression.

They have hunting instincts and can mistake small pets and livestock for game. Even if they are not taught to hunt, they will chase and kill small animals.

They say that Akita gets along well with children in the family. They are loyal and protective. However, the same cannot be said for children who do not belong to the family.

These dogs are described as feline in nature. They have a tendency to look after themselves and family members. They are very clean.

The American Akita does not get along well with other dogs, especially dogs of the same sex. This is not a dog that you take to a dog park.

Training

The American Akita is difficult to train.

They are very stubborn and resist commands.

They need a strict, experienced owner. These dogs are not suitable for new owners or those who are not used to having independent dogs.

You should start your workout as early as possible. It is not uncommon for Akitas to begin training even before they leave the breeder.

Socialization is above all for these dogs. If they are not socialized and trained, they will assume that every stranger is an enemy and react accordingly.

They are very territorial in relation to their property and family members.

Aggression is not uncommon for an unprepared Akita. But with proper training, the Akita must learn to accept strangers.

Socializing with other dogs is also important. But it should be noted that not all Akitas will accept other dogs, even if they are highly socialized.

Training is extremely important to the American Akita due to its large size, powerful stature, and protective instincts. This is not a breed of dog worth getting if you don't have time for daily training.

Potty training is usually pretty easy. They are naturally clean and reportedly potty trained themselves.

Cage training is vital due to the alertness and aggressive behavior of these dogs. The box can provide them with a safe place while visitors come and help them learn to tolerate the presence of strangers.

Health

Like any breed, the American Akita has several health issues to look out for.

They are prone to vision problems such as progressive retinal atrophy, which can cause blindness.

Dysplasia and bloating of the hip are also common due to their large size. Hip dysplasia can seriously reduce your dog's quality of life, while bloating can be life-threatening.

Autoimmune thyroiditis is also not uncommon. This disease is characterized by an attack by the immune system on the thyroid gland and often causes hypothyroidism.

Von Willebrand disease has also been reported in Akitas. This disease is genetic and interferes with normal blood clotting.

It is important to make sure that the parents of the Akita you have adopted have passed the appropriate genetic screening.

Hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and von Willebrand disease have genetic components.

When leaving, Akitas usually live for 10 to 15 years.

Американская акита

They require minimal maintenance and often keep clean. They do shed a lot a couple of times a year and will need to be cleaned during these periods.

Do American Akitas make good family dogs?

We do not recommend this dog to most families. Most families can find it difficult to cope with their high learning and socialization needs, coupled with their strong protective instincts.

However, under certain circumstances, these dogs can make good pets. Just make sure you have time to devote yourself to them before taking them.

Pros and cons of the breed

American Akitas have strong protective instincts and can be aggressive if not properly socialized. They need a lot of training and socialization.

They dislike other dogs and are very wary of strangers. These dogs really should be in a single dog house.

However, these dogs make excellent guard dogs and are very attached to their family members. They get along well with children.

Based on the materials of the resource