Dog Breeds > Akita Inu

Akita Inu

Akita Inu

Alternate Names
GroupSpitz and Primitive Type
SectionAsian Spitz and Related Breeds

Akita Inu Profile

Robust (Health)
Supports Loneliness
Need Exercise
Easy To Maintain
Easy to Train
Nice Child
Agreement with Animals
First Dog
Able to Guard

Physical Characteristics

The Akita Inu looks like a big, well proportioned Asian Spitz with a strong build and bones. Its head is large with a marked stop. Its eyes are quite small and almost a triangle shape, like its thick, slightly rounded ears, which are forward-inclined and aligned with the neck. The thick and full tail is set high and carried rolled up over the back. The dog gives an impression of great nobility and great dignity, but also great simplicity.

Fur: short and abundant.

Color: red, fawn, sesame, white, or brindle are permitted. All colors except white must be present in the “urajiro” which sports a whitish coat on the sides of the snout, on the cheeks, on the underside of the jaw, neck, chest, body and tail and on the inside of the legs.

Size : 64 to 70 cm for the males 58 to 64 cm for the females.

Weight : 30 to 50 kg.

Origins and History

The Akita Inu is a very ancient dog originally from the Akita county in Japan. Born as a hunter, it then turned into a guard and fighting dog. The breed is on the list of Japanese traditions to preserve. In other words, it is considered a “national treasure” in Japan. Two main bloodlines existed in Japan: the Dewa, and the Ichinoseki. The former, which showed clear traces of inter-breeding with molossers, was selected in America to create the American Akita, today called the “big Japanese dog”. The latter, which is much closer to the original type, was selected by Japanese as the ideal breed and is today the true “Akita Inu”.

Character and Abilities

The Akita Inu is a majestic, proud and reserved dog. Wary of strangers it is, however, very sweet with family members. Its affection is always expressed calmly. It usually is a good guard dog. It likes the family’s children but avoids others, as it can be a bit of a snob. It fights a lot with other dogs of the same sex, especially if it is a male. If someone approaches it too roughly, it will react, especially if it doesn’t know the person. After all, it is a samurai!

Living Conditions

The Akita Inu can live outside in all seasons and at all temperatures, but it prefers to live by the side of humans. At home, it barely barks. It can easily live in an apartment as it is a very quiet dog.


Although the Akita Inu is a primitive dog and, therefore rustic, it can be affected by two diseases: sebaceous adenitis (skin disease, hair loss) and VKH (inflammation of the brain and iris, skin and nose depigmentation). These are two auto-immune diseases: the dog’s immune system reacts against its own body, which means that it attacks as many healthy cells as sick cells. The mode of transmission is not clear, but these are hereditary diseases.

Average life expectancy: about 11 years.

Information and Tips

The breed almost disappeared twice: the first time because of a rabies outbreak in Japan and the second time during WWII, because the dogs were killed to feed the population.

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