The American Akita is a relatively young breed. This is a large dog with a serious disposition. Those who find an approach to it will become a loyal friend.
- Brief information
- Breed characteristics
- History of the American Akita
- Features of the American Akita
- Appearance of the breed
- The character of the American Akita
- Training and education
- Care and maintenance
- Health and diseases of the American Akita
- How to choose a puppy
- How much does an American Akita cost
- Breed Name: American Akita
- Country of Origin: Japan, USA
- Birth time of the breed: 1955
- Weight: 32-59 kg
- Height (height at the withers): males 65-70 cm, females 60-65 cm
- Life expectancy: 10-14 years old
- Excellent watchdog qualities are the calling card of the American Akita. With such reliable security, you can feel calm and safe.
- While remaining loyal to the owner and recognizing his leadership, Akita may try to dominate him. Bouts of "arrogance" most often occur during puberty.
- With proper upbringing, a representative of this breed can be "blinded" not only an excellent companion, but also a hunter, guide or guard.
- The American Akita has a very stable psyche. She shows aggression only in the presence of danger.
- Training a breed is hard work. The dog is extremely intelligent and unquestioningly obeys the owner only if he considers him the undisputed leader.
- The American Akita is a well–mannered dog and easily tolerates visual contact. However, if you look into her eyes, it is not recommended to bend over at the same time: she may perceive this as aggression towards herself.
- The breed does not tolerate long separation from the owner. Loneliness can provoke behavioral problems in her and become a source of severe stress.
- Despite her open and sociable nature, Akita is quite cold with strangers until she decides for herself whether she can trust this or that person.
American Akita - a beauty with plush fur and a characteristic dark mask. The breed combines courage, aggression and friendliness. Dogs have excellent hunting qualities and protect the owner's house, fearlessly standing up for the protection of its inhabitants in the event of a threat. At the same time, the American akita is characterized by peacefulness and tolerance, but subject to proper training. Akita is also friendly to children, but you should not count on her as a nanny: being a representative of a large breed, she is potentially dangerous.
History of the American Akita
The word "American" in the name of a breed can be confusing when it comes to its origin. The second name – the big Japanese dog – is more eloquent in this regard: its homeland is the Land of the Rising Sun. But how did it happen that the Akita suddenly became American?
The ancestors of the American Akita are Japanese akita inu , originally used for hunting and security purposes. A few centuries ago, they were called differently: matagi-akita. Later they began to be used in dogfights, which became especially popular at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries. In pursuit of monetary gain, the owners sought to "improve" their dogs, make them bigger and stronger. For this purpose, they were crossed with such breeds imported to the islands as mastiffs and sheepdogs .
However, as a result of these manipulations, the classic features of the breed began to blur, deteriorate, or even get lost altogether. The damage that was caused by Matagi-akita was noticed at a dog show that took place in Tokyo in 1914. Soon, pure representatives of the breed were declared natural monuments, and their crossing with representatives of other species fell under a categorical ban. More work was added to the breeders: they did everything possible to return the matagi-akita to their original characteristics.
No sooner had these magnificent dogs, which have become the subject of national pride of the Japanese, recovered from the blow inflicted on the breed by irrepressible human greed, than the Second World War broke out. At the direction of the government, all breeders handed over their pets to the needs of the front. The end of the war, as you know, was put by the surrender of Japan in 1945. Returning to their homeland, the US military decided to take a few puppies they liked with them. They became the progenitors of a new breed a few years later. And actually there were no more than 20 classic Akita Inu on the Japanese islands after the war.
At the same time, the breed began to gain wide recognition overseas and developed rapidly. At first it was called the big Japanese dog. But in the States, the work on the breed was not synchronized with the Japanese – it went in parallel and, as they say, its own way. Japanese breeders tried to negotiate with American colleagues regarding her common pedigree, but in vain. They did not even allow dogs declared natural monuments on the islands to be exported to the USA. All these measures did not stop the Americans. As a result, over time, the overseas Akita began to differ from the Japanese in both appearance and character. And then it got a new name – American Akita.
In 1956, a newly formed breed club was established, recognized by the American Kennel Club only in 1972. With Japan, the "war of breeds" continued until 1992: for two decades, the kennel clubs of both countries did not recognize each other – only the Japanese Akita Inu was registered in the International Cynological Federation (FCI). The official separation of the breeds occurred only in 2000, when the FCI approved the standard for the overseas Akita.
Video: American Akita
Features of the American Akita
The American akita is a wonderful hunter. If this quality inherent in nature is suppressed in a dog, it will still manifest itself one way or another, and not from the most pleasant side for the owner. For example, your pet on a walk will start to rush at smaller dogs or "bully" a cat living in the same house with her.
The American akita is also called a dog of one owner. It is very difficult to tolerate a change of owner and often cannot adapt to living in another place for the rest of its life. A classic example is the famous Hachiko, a dog of the Akita Inu breed, who became famous throughout Japan in 1932 after the publication in one of the largest Tokyo newspapers of the article "A devoted old dog is waiting for the return of his master, who died seven years ago." Based on this story, which touched the hearts of millions of people around the world, a film was made in 2009 with Richard Gere in the title role.
As we can see, the American akita inherited this quality from its Japanese counterparts – loyalty. It will be especially difficult to find points of contact with an adult dog for those of the new owners who have not had experience with large molossians before.
Appearance of the breed
The American Akita is a very large dog. Strength and power are read in her every movement. Gradually, the hunting skills of these dogs are becoming a thing of the past, which is largely due to their large size, which prevents overseas "Japanese" from remaining fast and agile hunters.
Thanks to the special features of appearance, namely the spectacular color and perfection of lines, the American akita has long been "registered" at dog shows in different countries of the world, including in Russia. Representatives of the breed often lead in the best of the fifth group, often winning entire contests.
It is very difficult to confuse the American akita with another breed – it is almost impossible, even if before the "personal acquaintance" you saw it only in the photo. The first thing that catches your eye, in addition to its impressive size, is a strong body with developed muscles and a massive backbone. The muzzle of the "bear" type with small eyes and a relatively short bridge of the nose will definitely attract attention.
The height and weight of the American akita, as well as the proportions of the body, vary depending on gender. The height of males at the withers varies from 66 to 71 cm, females – from 61 to 66 cm. The weight of adults is usually: males 45-65 kg, females 32-45 kg.
In males, the ratio of height at the withers to the length of the body is 9:10, in females – 9:11. The distance from the foot to the tip of the nose correlates with the distance from the foot to the occipital protuberance in the proportion of 2:3.
The head is the hallmark of the breed. Massive, but at the same time in harmony with the body. There are no skin folds (wrinkles) – provided that your pet is in a calm state. When viewed from above, the shape of the head resembles a blunt triangle.
The skull is wide and flat, with a shallow groove running up the forehead. The transition from the forehead to the nose (stop) is pronounced well, but not sharply.
Wide and voluminous muzzle with powerful, square-shaped jaws. The suspension of the jaws is easy. The ratio of the length of the muzzle to the length of the skull is 2:3.
The bite is characterized as a regular scissor bite. At the same time, the breed standard also allows for a direct bite. The teeth are strong, the dental formula should be fully present.
Akita's eyes are small relative to the size of the head, almost triangular in shape, deep-set. The color is dark brown. The eyelids are black, they fit tightly.
In relation to the rest of the head, the ears are also small. Standing, the shape is triangular. They have a wide base on strong cartilage, slightly rounded at the ends. The setting is not too low. Above the eyes, at the level of the nape of the neck, slightly tilted forward.
When pulling the ear forward, its tip should ideally touch the edge of the upper eyelid. If you look at the akita's ears from the side, then they seem to continue the upper line of the neck.
Nose and lips
Nose lobe is black, wide, nostrils are well open. Liver color is allowed, but only in the American akita of white color. Although the "classic" of the breed is still preferable, that is, the black color of the nose lobe.
Lips are also black, dry, tight. The tongue is pink.
Massive, thick and relatively short, with minimal suspension. Muscular, expands to the shoulders. The nape of the neck has a good bulge, smoothly passes into the base of the skull and merges with it.
The length of the body of the American akita exceeds the height of the dog at the withers. The chest is wide, voluminous and deep.
The depth of the chest is equal to half the height of the animal at the withers. The ribs are sufficiently convex (arched).
The abdomen is moderately selected. The back is straight, the loin is muscular and strong, with a slight bulge. The skin is elastic, fits snugly.
Covered with straight, thick and coarse hair, does not form a suspension. Its base is large and powerful. The tail is planted high, Akita carries it over his back. Or, alternatively, the tail touches the side. The tip necessarily reaches the back or falls below its level.
The tail is bent into a ring, sometimes double, forms three quarters of a circle. The last vertebra, provided it is fully deployed, reaches the hock joints.
The forelimbs have a powerful backbone, when viewed from the side they look straight. The shoulders are moderately tilted back, strong and sturdy. The elbows should look strictly backwards, not be turned outwards or inwards. The pasterns have a slight slope, about 15 degrees to the vertical. Paws are round in shape of the "cat" type, the direction is straight. The pads are thick and elastic, the fingers are arched with strong claws.
The hind limbs are also distinguished by a strong backbone and powerful musculature. Thighs are well developed, strong. The metatarsals have a rather low location, they are not turned outwards or inwards. The knee joints, when viewed from behind, are parallel, characterized by moderately pronounced angles. Paws are straight-pointed, with elastic pads, round (type "cat"). The fingers are convex (arched), equipped with strong claws. The so-called dewclaws, that is, the fifth in a row, are usually removed.
The gait of the American akita is characterized by strong, free movements. They are also distinguished by a moderate lunge and push. The movement of the front and rear limbs is carried out in the same plane.
The coat is double, has a dense undercoat. The outer coat is coarse, straight, while the undercoat is soft and thick and somewhat shorter in comparison with the outer hair.
The hair on the head, ears and limbs is short. Its length on the rump and withers is about 5 cm, which is slightly longer than on the rest of the body, except for the tail. His coat is the longest and most abundant – over 6 cm .
The breed standard here is very democratic, allows for any color options, including white, pale-white, red and brindle. American akitas can even be piebald, that is, spotted (pinto) – with or without a mask. Instead of a mask, there may be a spot on the forehead or a groove on the muzzle. The mask is completely excluded only in individuals of white color. White individuals have black lips, nose and pads.
The colors of the dogs of this breed are clear, pure. The spots have clear contours and are evenly spaced. Pinto spots on a white background are evenly distributed, covering the head and more than one third of the dog's body, a dark-colored mask is allowed.
The color of the undercoat may differ from the color of the wool.
- Absence of any tooth, except for 2 RM-1 and/or M3.
- Short tail.
- Light eyes.
- Males of the bitch type and, accordingly, bitches of the male type.
- The tongue is blue or with black spots.
- The presence of a collar or feathering.
- Eversion of the elbows (inwards or outwards).
- Malice or, conversely, timidity.
- Lightweight backbone.
- Insufficient body weight.
- Partially or completely absent pigmentation of the nose lobe (the so-called butterfly nose).
- Overshot or undershot.
- Semi-erect or completely hanging ears, the presence of folds.
- The tail is straight or crescent-shaped.
- The height of males at the withers is less than 63.5 centimeters, and females are less than 58 cm .
- Aggressiveness or cowardice.
Any pronounced physical abnormalities or problematic behavior is a reason for the disqualification of the American Akita.
Note: males should have two healthy, developed testicles fully lowered into the scrotum.
Photo of an adult American akita
The character of the American Akita
The American Akita is distinguished by an independent and freedom-loving disposition. But at the same time it is a calm dog, affectionate, balanced. Thanks to a mature, stable psyche in any situation, she behaves with dignity and shows restraint.
Representatives of the breed never have causeless reactions to external stimuli. She doesn't bark for nothing, doesn't rush at anything that moves without good reason, just because it moves. Akita – smart, reserved, well–mannered and noble - such behavior is completely unusual.
Keeping your pet in an ordinary city apartment, you can not be afraid that the American akita will cause some inconvenience to the neighbors. There will certainly be no complaints about the constant barking and howling. But if Akita starts to give voice, you can be sure: there is a good reason for that! The barking of your pet is a sure signal that an ill-wisher has encroached on your territory or on your property.
Dogs of this breed, like real samurai, like to keep everything under their control – apparently, this is how the genes inherited from Japanese ancestors manifest themselves. This quality in the American akita can be called one of the fundamental ones, because it helps her in fulfilling the mission inherent in nature – to be an excellent watchman. Take a closer look at your dog when he surveys his possessions: there is something fascinating in his gaze, inaccessible to human understanding.
The American akita is distinguished by boundless devotion to the owner and his family members. Like Cane Corso, she gets along very well with children, often even takes care of them like a nanny. But, unlike the "Italian", our "American" cannot be trusted with too young children. It's not because he's capable of offending them. On the contrary, when he feels threatened, he will not hesitate to rush to the defense of small households. Akita cannot be a full-fledged babysitter because of her size. Leaving the baby alone with her, it is impossible to be completely sure that the dog will not accidentally push him or cause him some kind of injury. For whom of the younger members of the Akita family will become a real friend, so it is for teenage children. They will not find a better companion in active games and various pranks!
At the same time, the breed is absolutely not inherent in such traits as obsession and importunity. Although the akita was specially bred for cohabitation with a person, it still needs a personal space. The "American" will never get in your way, but at the same time you should not impose on him once again.
The peculiarities of the "inner world" of the breed include intolerance to rudeness on the part of the owner and other household members. If you yell at an American akita or punish her unfairly, she is very offended. Never raise your voice at your pet, do not offend him, and even more so do not apply physical punishments to him.
American akita feels great in a country house with a spacious courtyard. A large territory is its element: there is something to guard, and there is where to feel like a master. Keeping a dog in an apartment, in no case do not turn your pet into a "prisoner" of your square meters. A representative of this breed needs not only regular, but also long walks. Moreover, it needs to be walked twice a day for at least 1-2 hours. Walking is just "for show" Akita is not suitable. They should be interesting, intense, active, with elements of play and training. All these points will help to maintain the physical and mental health of the dog at the proper level.
The American akita has a wonderful memory and trusts its owner, so it is very important not to deceive the dog, she does not like it and remembers such moments for the future. That is, if you, for example, lured her with a treat or gave the command "Eat!" or "Walk!", but did not do anything, then you risk losing the pet's trust: he will stop perceiving you as his leader.
Quite often in the behavior of the akita there is such a problem as aggression towards other dogs, which can cause the owner some trouble. It is to dogs: she often shows loyalty to cats, but only to "her own" – there will simply be no outsiders in the territory controlled by her. As for other people's dogs, adult akitas, especially males, almost never accept other dogs into their society. On walks, they often show their character far from the best side, provoking quarrels and fights. From this we make a simple conclusion: once with your pet in dog walking areas, in no case do not let him off the leash.
Training and education
Only an adult with experience, will and a firm hand should be engaged in the upbringing and training of an American akita. The breed is not suitable for weak-willed people, not to mention the elderly and people with disabilities.
Akita training for many, even experienced owners, can turn into hard work. But this is not at all because the dog of this breed is "slow-witted". On the contrary, by nature she has an extraordinary mind, and before executing the command given to her, she will first think about whether it is worth doing it. From the outside, it may look like Akita didn't understand what was wanted from her. It also matters how authoritative the owner is in her eyes. The "American" will obey only the one whom he considers his leader, the leader.
For the most part, American akits are very active, they learn, generally speaking, quickly. But they, like people, can be "stuck" by routine. In the sense that a dog can get bored from performing the same commands, so motivation is very important in the process of training and upbringing. At the initial stage, it will be easy to do only with praise and a treat. In the future, you will have to show imagination, what else to interest your pupil in.
It happens that a puppy begins to show character: he is stubborn, does not want to follow commands. This is where it is necessary to show who is in charge. To do this is quite simple: press the caprice with its back to the floor and hold it in this position until it ceases to resist. Or take the puppy by the withers and press it to the floor – this method is also effective. At first glance, it may seem that by such actions the owner shows violence to the dog. However, in fact, these are effective ways to convey to the dog that he is its leader, and that he is stronger. In the future, Akita will try to take leadership positions more than once, checking through disobedience, and whether the owner has loosened his "grip", whether he will begin to yield to her. Don't fall for such tricks!
The main purpose of the American akita is to protect the owner, and she will try to always be there. In order for such "guardianship" on the part of the pet not to cause inconvenience, in the process of training and raising a puppy, it is necessary to pay special attention to the "Place!" team. Otherwise, the dog will be on duty near the closed door, waiting for you from work, sleeping by your bed and persistently guarding near the locked door to the bathroom.
Care and maintenance
It is not difficult to take care of the American akita, but it must be done. Hygienic procedures will help to maintain your pet's health and beauty. In addition, daily care is the only way to detect various diseases at an early stage in a timely manner and take the necessary measures.
The breed has a thick "fur coat" with a soft undercoat, not prone to falling into tangles. The wool does not need a haircut, but it needs to be regularly washed and combed with a metal comb 1-2 times a week. The coat is subject to molting. The molting process is abundant, it takes place twice a year – in spring and autumn. During this period, the dog needs to be combed daily, using a fluffer or furminator.
The eyes need regular examination. If you notice small gray lumps in the corners of your eyes, then you shouldn't worry too much, they are easily cleaned with a soft, lint-free cloth. Noticing the abundant acidification of the eyes, swelling of the eyelids, constant tear discharge, immediately contact a specialist. Self-medication in such cases is unacceptable.
The ears are subject to a thorough examination once a week. There is no excess of sulfur in a healthy ear, it is a beautiful pink color. The reason for contacting the veterinarian should be an abundance of sulfur, redness of the ear and an unpleasant smell from it, as well as a rash. Only a specialist can determine what the reason is. And there can be many reasons: ear mites, otitis media, allergies to certain components of the diet.
Akita teeth should be cleaned 3-4 times a week using dog paste. You can use a brush or limit yourself to a nozzle on your finger. It is important to prevent the appearance of tartar, so the condition of the dog's oral cavity should be monitored constantly, regularly take your pet to the vet for examination.
After walking, be sure to wipe the American akita paws using wet towels and inspect them for cracks and injuries. It is necessary to rub vegetable oil into the pads of the paws and include it in the diet, one teaspoon per day is enough. Such a simple preventive measure will prevent the appearance of cracks. To trim the claws (this procedure should be carried out once a month), use a claw cutter for large breeds. To avoid chipping and burrs, the sharp ends are smoothed with a nail file.
Health and diseases of the American Akita
The American akita is naturally endowed with good health and good immunity. Her puppies, unlike representatives of some other breeds, are less susceptible to infections. However, there are ailments to which representatives of this breed are genetically predisposed: hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, bloating, inversion and eversion of the eyelids, infertility.
Hip dysplasia can develop primarily due to excessive physical exertion during adulthood and due to improper nutrition. That is, despite the genetic predisposition, this disease may not develop if you provide the akita with a balanced diet and do not overload it during training. Infertility in some dogs can be observed due to hormonal disorders.
In addition, representatives of the breed may suffer from allergic reactions, seborrheic adenitis, hypothyroidism, dermatitis, gastric inversion, pemphigus, intolerance to anesthesia, as well as Cushing's syndrome (also known as hyperadrenocorticism). This disease affects the organs of the endocrine system due to excessive production of adrenocorticotropic hormone by the pituitary gland and cortisol hormone by the adrenal glands.
The average life expectancy of an American akita is 10-14 years.
How to choose a puppy
You should buy an American akita puppy from trusted breeders who have been on the market for several years. It would be useful to find all possible information about the seller on the Internet, read reviews. An experienced breeder who values his reputation will definitely tell you which puppy is best suited for you. Some need a good hunter, others – a potential winner of all possible exhibitions, and the third – just a good and loyal friend for themselves and children, and to guard the house.
Be sure to look at the parents of the future pet. This is very important because the offspring inherits their appearance and behavior. If it turns out that the mother or father is cowardly or, conversely, aggressive, then the puppy you have chosen may very likely be the same.
Be sure to pay attention to the appearance of the American Akita puppy. He should have a shiny coat, soft to the touch. Stroking such a puppy, an association with a plush toy involuntarily arises. If he is too thin, he has a swollen tummy, red and watery eyes or twisted elbows and knees, then it is better not to take risks and do not take. You should not take a puppy that is too young in age, since professionals do not assign dogs to exhibition classes up to 9 months.
Your future pet should be active. Lethargy in behavior is a sign of depression, which in turn may indicate a particular disease. If possible, in order to exclude hidden ailments that may manifest themselves in the future, pay attention to the puppy's feces. Its consistency and color may confuse you. In this case, you should refrain from buying.
Photos of American akita puppies
How much does an American akita cost
The American akita is not widespread in Russia. It is even rarer than its Japanese counterpart Akita Inu. But in large cities you can find nurseries for breeding these majestic beauties. There is a direct relationship between the cost of a puppy and the class to which it belongs.
- A puppy without a pedigree is relatively inexpensive, from $100 to $120. However, such savings are associated with the risk of having a purebred akita or, even worse, a pet with developmental defects.
- You can buy a pet-class puppy, due to any deviations from the breed standard that is not suitable for breeding, but at the same time healthy, for $150.
- From $200 to $300. there are puppies with pedigree and admission to mating, but at the same time having no chance of becoming winners of exhibitions due to some minor deviations.
- Well, if you "swung" at a high-bred akita, the future winner of exhibitions and the owner of a variety of titles, then choose a show–class puppy - a descendant of titled parents. Such a baby can cost $500, and this price is minimal.
Choosing a pet correctly, you can be sure that in the future you will become a strong tandem with him, doomed to successful interaction. And over time, as you grow up, your American Akita will turn into a full–fledged family member - obedient and loyal.