By Macy Gen Veterinary AssistantMacy Gen Last updated: 18th October 2022

Akita Inu


Macy Gen Veterinary Assistant Macy Gen
Last updated: 18th October 2022

The Akita Inu, also known as the Japanese Akita, the Great Japanese Dog and the Akita-ken, are found in the mountainous terrains of northern Japan is one of the two varieties of the Akita spitz breed (the other variety of this group being the Akita or American Akita). They are large, strong dogs, having a long, muscular body, a deep broad chest and a fluffy tail that curls over its back. Their bulky triangular-shaped head is characterized by a short muzzle, black nose, brown eyes and teeth closing in a scissors bite. The center of their foreheads is marked with a groove and a well-defined stop.

Akita Inu Pictures

Quick Information

Dog BreedAkita Inu
CoatDense, Water-Repellent
ColorRed, White
Breed TypePurebred
Lifespan9 to 11years
Weight75to 120 pounds (Male); 75 to 110 pounds (Female)
Height24-28 inches
TemperamentAlert, Courageous, Intelligent, Loyal, Aggressive
Good with ChildrenYounger Children: No; Older children: Yes
Competitive RegistrationAPRI, ACA, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, NKC, NZKC, CKC, ACR, ACA, DRA, ACA

Akita Inu Puppy Video


This breed belongs to the Honshu Island in the Akita region of Japan. The modern breed of Akita had been developed in the 17th century by a noble man who was sent to exile in the country’s Akita Prefecture. Being considered the national dog of Japan, it had been officially declared as a ‘Japanese Natural Monument’ in 1931.  The Akita was crossed with the German shepherd dogs during the Second World War to save them from being killed. Though there have been a lot of debates regarding the Japanese and American Akitas, they have been recognized as two different varieties of the same breed by The Canadian Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club.

Temperament and Behavior

This docile and fearless breed is very affectionate to its family and is known to be a first class guard dog.  Although tolerant towards the children of its family, they might turn violent and even end up biting, if teased by other kids or strangers. The Akita Inu is intelligent with a high reasoning power right from its puppy days, and because of this trait they get bored very easily. Mouthing is one more of its distinguished traits. It loves to carry everything in its mouth. They are intolerant and aggressive with other dogs, especially those of the same sex. As they are extremely possessive about their food, children should be kept away from them during meal time. They are also immensely fond of cold and snow.



The Akita Inu, unlike the other large breeds, does not need hours of strenuous exercise. However long walks and a brisk run at times will help it be in shape. They are a moderately active breed and hence, need regular exercise. If they are left alone, they might tend to become destructive. Allowing them to play in an open but secured yard should also meet with its exercise needs.


Proper grooming is essential as this breed has an undercoat and it sheds heavily twice a year. Brushing the coat on a weekly basis with a firm-bristle brush will help clean the old hair, thereby ensuring a healthy coat and skin. It is not advisable to bathe the Akita too often as it will make the skin dry leading to irritation and other hazards. They should be bathed 2 to 4 times a year in lukewarm water and must be wiped off immediately.

Health Problems

They are prone to develop issues like hip and elbow dysplasia, gastric dilation (a condition where the stomach twists on itself), glaucoma, Addison’s disease, Cushing’s disease, VKH syndrome, diabetes and also some auto immune diseases like Pemphigus foliaceus that leads to blisters in the skin.


In order to tame the natural aggression of the Akita Inu, a confident and consistent trainer is essential. Obedience training is required to control their assertive and stubborn nature. Socializing the Akita puppy will make it behave in a friendlier way. Harsh training method is not recommended for them and they should be rewarded and appreciated frequently during the training process. It is not advisable to take it out without a leash.


Their food consumption should be monitored carefully to prevent them from suffering from bloating. An average adult Akita Inu can be fed 2 to 3 cups of proper food twice a day. Dog experts suggest that, letting the adult Akita Inu fast once a week would keep it healthy. During fasting it may be given small amounts of food and vegetables so that its body may be cleansed. However puppies ranging between 8 weeks to 6 months of age should be given at least a light meal on days of fasting.

Differences: Akita Inu Vs. Shiba Inu

Points of DifferenceAkita InuShiba Inu
Common namesGreat Japanese Dog, Japanese AkitaShiba, Doge
CoatDense, Water RepellentShort, fine, thick, corded
ColorRed, WhiteBlack tan, red, white
Height24 to 28 inches14 to 16 inches
Weight75 to 120 pounds17 to 25 pounds
TemperamentAggressive, Alert, Courageous, Intelligent, LoyalIndependent, Loyal
Good with ChildNoYes
Litter Size3-12 puppies2-3puppies
Life Expectancy9-11 years12-15 years

Interesting Facts

  • It was considered to be a symbol of good luck in Japan.
  • Helen Keller had been presented with an Akita Inu, when she visited Japan in 1937.
  • The Akita Dog Museum was built in Japan in 1967 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Akita Dog Preservation Society.
  • Japanese mothers would often leave their children in the family Akita’s care.

One response to “Akita Inu”

  1. mackie says:

    I love when shibas do that cute little thing when they’re angry. ^_^
    They wrinkle their mouth and show their cute little teeth.

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