The American Akita is a breed that, despite its Japanese origin, is considered American. How did it happen? It’s simple – after the Second World War, American soldiers returned home and brought several Akita Inus to their homeland, giving rise to a new history for these rather ancient dogs.
If we talk about their Japanese origin and history of existence, the Akita Inu breed has been known to the Japanese since ancient times. These dogs were called matagi ken, and performed a lot of different functions – from guarding estates to bloody entertainment – dog fights and fights with wild animals. In general, translated from Japanese, the name of the breed means “going for the bear”.
At the end of the 17th century, dog fights, and duels between dogs and animals, gained increasing popularity, spreading throughout Japan. Accordingly, there was a need for a variety of breeds. Therefore, matagi ken began to cross with mastiffs, which were already widely known throughout the world for their fighting qualities, size, and fearlessness.
If you trace the images of Japanese dogs over time, you can see how their appearance has changed over the course of several centuries. Mastiffs brought not only the outwardly characteristic features of the breed but also some internal qualities, such as poise, patience, and determination. Dog fights were banned only at the beginning of the 20th century but the breed remained.
During the Second World War, these dogs were practically exterminated, although not purposefully, by the Allied forces. Japanese breeders subsequently tried to cross the Akita with German Shepherds, but quickly abandoned this dubious undertaking, restoring their population in a natural way. The American Akita was officially recognized in 2001.
The American Akita breed has large sizes, erect, triangular-shaped ears with a slight forward tilt, and semi-long, thick hair, like a bear cub. Their muzzle is wedge-shaped, the chest is wide, and the paws are of medium length. Their physique is muscular and strong, and their tail is fluffy and bent up.
Independence, devotion, and fearlessness are the main features of the character of the American Akita breed. Of course, they are not limited to only these characteristics. Over the many centuries of their existence, the breed has developed a lot of valuable qualities.
These include a very sharp and developed intellect, thanks to which the dog perfectly understands everything that happens around it, understands the owner well, recognizes commands, and is able to draw its own conclusions. He literally has his own view of things – remember we mentioned independence? This is it, in all its glory.
Simply breaking this breed’s will and achieving dumb obedience will not work, unless you destroy the psyche of the animal, which is not acceptable. This breed is not recommended for inexperienced owners, as their respect must be earned, and education must be done correctly. With great patience and fairness.
Since they have strong hunting genes – small animals are perceived poorly, rather as prey. They also don’t get along very well with other pets, especially when the sex of the Akita and the other pet is the same. These dogs generally require respect but they are less demanding of attention and understand the desire of their owner to rest. Children are treated well, but, again, a disrespectful attitude is not tolerated. They need walks and training, as well as physical and intellectual activity.
It is quite possible to teach them commands, and most importantly, to win their trust. If a dog loves and respects you, he will do what is necessary and listen to you. Akita is not as easy to train as the German Shepherd but obedience and command execution can be achieved.
The American Akita requires great patience, kindness, and will in education from the owner. Severity is acceptable, cruelty – in no case. You will not earn their respect by being cruel to them. Even the execution of basic commands is no easy task, but with perseverance, everything will work out. And do not forget to praise the dog for success, and scold it for disobedience.
The American Akita breed has a thick coat, and therefore needs regular combing, at least once a week, and preferably twice. Always make sure that the ears and eyes of the animal are clean, bathe your pet once or twice a week, and trim the nails as needed.
The American Akita does not suffer from any complex hereditary diseases and is relatively a healthy dog. The main thing is to provide a variety of activities so that the pet does not gain excess weight. In addition, remember that the difficult nature of this breed cannot be broken through aggression and force, as this will subsequently cause mental problems, and in the future – various neurological problems.