All Dog Breed Information

GCS Step 1

Akita





Breed Group: Working



The Akita (秋田犬 Akita-inu?) is a large breed of dog originating from the mountainous northern regions of Japan. There are two separate varieties of Akita: a Japanese strain, known as the "Akita Inu" ("inu" just means "dog" in Japanese) or "Japanese Akita"; and anAmerican strain, known as the "Akita" or "American Akita". The Japanese strain comes in a narrow palette of colors, with all other colors considered atypical of the breed, while the American strain comes in all dog colors. The Akita has a short double coat, similar to that of many other northern spitz breeds such as the Siberian Husky, but long coated dogs can be found in many litters due to a recessive gene.

The Akita is a powerful, independent and dominant breed, commonly aloof with strangers but affectionate with family members. As a breed, Akitas are generally hardy, but they have been known to suffer from various genetic conditions and be sensitive to certain drugs.

In most countries, the American strain of Akita is now considered a separate breed. In the United States and Canada, however, the two strains are considered a single breed with differences in type. For a while, the American strain of Akita was known in some countries as the "Great Japanese Dog". Both forms of Akita are probably best known worldwide from the true story of Hachikō, a loyal Akita who lived in Japan before World War II.


Appearance

As a spitz breed, the appearance of the Akita reflects cold weather adaptations essential to their original function. The Akita is a substantial breed for its height with heavy bones. Characteristic physical traits of the breed include a large, bear-like head with erect, triangular ears set at a slight angle following the arch of the neck. Additionally, the eyes of the Akita are small, dark, deeply set and triangular in shape. Akitas have thick double coats, and tight, well knuckled cat-like feet. Their tails are carried over the top of the back in a gentle or double curl down the loin.

Mature American type males measure typically 26–28 inches (66–71 cm) at the withers and weigh between 100–130 lb (45–59 kg). Mature females typically measure 24–26 inches (61–66 cm) and weigh between 70–100 lb (32–45 kg). The Japanese type, as stated in the breed standards, are a little smaller and lighter.

Breed standards state that all dog breed coat colors are allowable in the American Akita, including pinto, all types of brindle, solid white, black mask, white mask, self-colored mask, even differing colors of under coat and overlay (guard hairs). This includes the common Shiba Inu coloring pattern known as Urajiro. The Japanese Akitas, as per the breed standards, are restricted to red, fawn, sesame, brindle, pure white, all with "Urajiro" markings i.e., whitish coat on the sides of the muzzle, on the cheeks, on the underside of jaw, neck, chest, body and tail and on the inside of the legs.

Coat types

There are two coat types in the Akita, the standard coat length and the long coat. The long coat is considered a fault in the show ring, however, they still make good pets. The long coat, also known as 'Moku' is the result of an autosomal recessive gene and may only occurphenotypically if both sire and dam are carriers. They have longer (about 3–4 inches in length) and softer coats and are known to have sweeter temperaments. It is believed that this gene comes from the now extinct Karafuto-Ken 樺太犬.

Grooming needs

American Akitas are a low maintenance dog breed. Grooming them should be an easy process, is a fairly heavy shedder and it can go heavier than normal two to three times per year. Daily brushing could be a good way to reduce this problem. This breed needs to bathe every few months, although it can be more often, depending on the needs of each owner. Toenails should be trimmed every month, and their ears should be cleaned once a week.


Temperament


The akita is generally seen as territorial about its property, and can be reserved with strangers. It is sometimes described as feline in its actions; it is not unusual for an Akita to clean its face after eating, to preen its kennel mate, and to be fastidious in the house. They are known to be intolerant of other dogs of the same sex, as stated in the AKC breed standard.

Since it is a large, powerful dog, the Akita is not considered a breed for a first time dog owner. The breed has been targeted by some countries' breed-specific legislationas a dangerous dog. The Akita is a large, strong, independent and dominant dog. A dog with the correct Akita temperament should be accepting of non-threatening strangers, yet protective of their family when faced with a threatening situation. They are usually docile, aloof and calm in new situations. As a breed they should be good with children; it is said that the breed has an affinity for children. Not all Akitas, nor all dogs, will necessarily have the same temperament.

The Akita was never bred to live or work in groups like many hound and sporting breeds. Instead, they lived and worked alone or in pairs, a preference reflected today. Akitas tend to take a socially dominant role with other dogs, and thus caution must be used in situations when Akitas are likely to be around other dogs, especially unfamiliar ones. In particular, Akitas tend to be less tolerant of dogs of the same sex. For this reason, Akitas, unless highly socialized, are not generally well-suited for off-leash dog parks. The Akita is said to be careful, courageous, fearless, and intelligent. Sometimes spontaneous, it needs a confident, consistent handler, without which the dog will be very wilful and may become very aggressive to other dogs and animals.


Working life


Predecessors of the modern Akita were used for hunting bear, wild boar and deer in Japan as late as 1957. They would be used to flush out the bear and keep it at bay until the hunter could come and kill it. Today, the breed is used primarily as a companion dog. However, the breed is currently also known to be used as therapy dogs, and compete in all dog competitions including: conformation showing, obedience trials, canine good citizen program, tracking trials and agility competition, as well as weight pulling, hunting andschutzhund (i.e., personal protection dogs).

source : wikipedia

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