Akita (Working Group)
The Akita is a proud member of the working group. This dog has a bold, independent personality, and is highly devoted to its family. Rated as one of the best watchdogs a man can own, the Akita will protect its family members at all costs, which makes it highly reserved around strangers and other animals.
A Brief History of The Akita
The Akita dog breed has its origins from Japan. In fact, the breed’s roots can be found on ancient Japanese tombs, which show us that today’s Akita is the result of concerted efforts of the 19th century to recreate seven of Japan’s native breeds. The dogs used for these breeding efforts were mostly fighting breeds, some purebred and some mixed.
In time, Japanese breeders worked hard to separate many of the traits from these fighting dogs out of the Akita, specifically the pinto pattern, black mask, and the dog’s incredible size. However, American breeders were enthusiastic about these traits and actually encouraged them. To preserve the original Akita, the Akita-inu Hozankai Society of Japan was formed in 1918. Just over a decade later, in 1931, the Akita was declared an official monument in Japan.
The most recognized story of the Akita breed is about a dog named Hachiko. Hachiko had met his owner each and every day at the train station after work. When the owner died at work one afternoon, Hachiko waited for him to return, at that very spot, until the dog died – 9 years later!
The first Akita dog made its way to the United States in 1937. The famous Helen Keller was the woman who brought this Akita to America when she returned from Japan that year. When World War II was over, many Akita dogs also came back to the U.S. with members of the armed forces when returning home from battle. The AKC officially recognized the breed in 1972.
Upkeep Requirements for The Akita
The Akita dog enjoys living with owners that have an active lifestyle. They need mental and physical exercise on a daily basis, preferably having the chance to run long distances in a safe area or a moderate jog on the leash. So long as they have ample amounts of exercise, Akita dogs remain well-mannered when indoors.
These dogs have an unusual tolerance for cold weather and can live outdoors in colder climates (they do not fare well in hot temperatures). But like all house pets, they are most happy when sleeping inside with the family at night. Grooming requirements call for a thorough brushing about once per week to remove dead hair, especially during shedding season.
Akita dogs have an average life span of ten to twelve years. The two major health problems that run common in the breed are PRA and CHD. Minor Health Concerns include gastric torsion, elbow dysplasia, sebaceous adenitis, hypothyroidism, lymphosarcoma, osteosarcoma, pemphigus, and cruciate ligament rupture. Veterinarians suggest that Akita dogs get tested for potential eye, hip, elbow, and thyroid problems.