American Akita: Dog Breed Information, Characteristics & Facts

Country of origin: Japan / USA
Shoulder height: 61 – 71 cm
Weight: 35 – 55 kg
Age: 10 – 12 years
Colour: red, fawn, white, including brindle and piebald
Use: Companion dog

The American Akita originally comes from Japan and has been bred into its breed type in the USA since the 1950s. The large dog has a distinct personality, a strong hunting instinct, and is extremely territorial – it is therefore not suitable for dog beginners or as a companion dog in a city apartment.

Origin and history

The original history of the American Akita essentially coincides with the history of the Japanese Akita ( Akita Inu ). The American Akita goes back to imports of the Japanese Akita from Japan to the United States. In the USA, the impressive, large Mastiff-Tosa Shepherd-blooded dogs of Japanese origin were bred further. Since the 1950s, this American branch has developed into its breed type without importing Japanese Akitas. The dog breed was first recognized in 1998 as the Japanese Large Hound, then as the American Akita.


With a shoulder height of up to 71 cm, the American Akita is slightly larger than the Japanese Akita. He is a large, strong, harmoniously built dog with a heavy bone structure. The American Akita is stock haired and has a plentiful undercoat. All colors and color combinations are possible for the coat, including brindle or piebald. The dense fur is easy to care for but sheds profusely.

Although there is little evidence of Spitz heritage, the ears show origin: they are taut, set forward, triangular and small. The tail is carried curled up on the back or leaning against the side and is covered with thick hair. The eyes are dark brown, and the rims of the lids are black.


The American Akita – like its Japanese “cousin” – is a strong, self-confident, and willful dog. He has a strong sense of territory and is incompatible with other dogs in his territory. He also has a strong hunting instinct.

Therefore, the American Akita is also not a dog for beginners. Puppies must be socialized and shaped early on by other dogs, people, and their environment ( socialize puppies ). Males in particular show strong dominant behavior. With a competent upbringing and clear guidance, they will learn the right manners, but they will not completely subordinate themselves.

The robust American Akita loves and needs to be in the great outdoors – which is why it is not an apartment dog.

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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