Akita: Dog Breed Description, Temperament & Facts

Country of origin: Japan
Shoulder height: 61 – 67 cm
Weight: 30 – 45 kg
Age: 10 – 12 years
Colour: fawn, sesame, brindle, and white
Use: Companion dog, guard dog

The Akita ( Akita Inu) comes from Japan and belongs to the group of pointed and primeval dogs. With its distinctive sense of hunting, its strong sense of territory, and its dominant nature, this dog breed requires an experienced hand and is not suitable for dog beginners.

Origin and history

The Akita comes from Japan and was originally a rather small to a medium-sized dog that was used for bear hunting. After crossing with the Mastiff and the Tosa, the breed increased in size and was bred specifically for dog fighting. With the ban on dog fighting, the breed began to be crossed with the German shepherd. Only after the Second World War did the breeders try to rebuild the characteristics of the original Spitz breed.

The most legendary Akita dog, considered the epitome of loyalty in Japan, is undoubtedly Hachiko. A dog that, after the death of its master, went to the train station every day for nine years at a fixed time to wait – in vain – for its master to return.


The Akita is a large, imposing, well-proportioned dog with a strong build and robust constitution. Its broad forehead with the typical forehead furrow is striking. The ears are small, triangular, rather thick, erect, and tilted forward. The fur is hard, the top coat is coarse, and the thick undercoat is soft. The Akita’s coat color ranges from reddish-fawn, through sesame (reddish-fawn hair tipped with black), brindle to white. The tail is carried tightly curled on the back. Due to the dense undercoat, the Akita needs to be brushed regularly, especially during the shedding season. The fur is generally easy to care for but sheds heavily.


The Akita is an intelligent, calm, robust, and strong dog with a pronounced hunting and protective instinct. Because of its hunting instinct and stubbornness, it is not an easy dog. It is very territorial and rank-conscious, only reluctantly tolerates strange dogs next to it, and clearly shows its dominance.

The Akita is not a dog for beginners and it is not a dog for everyone. Iy needs family connection and an early imprint on strangers, other dogs, and their environment. It only subordinates itself to a very clear leadership, which responds to his strong and dominant nature with a lot of “dog sense” and empathy. Even with consistent training and good leadership, it will never obey every word, but will always retain its independent personality.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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