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One of the native Japanese breeds, Akita dogs are known for hunting bear, deer and wild boar.

Akita



Breed Type: Working
Weight: 85 to 130 lbs for Males, 65 to 110 lbs for Females
Height: 25 to 28 inches for Males, 23 to 26 inches for Females
Coat type: Straight coarse coat and soft and dense undercoat

Akita is a breed of large dog that originated in Japan. It is considered as the National Dog of Japan and is also designated as Japan's National Monument. It is even considered as the symbol of health in the country. Small statues of the Akita are often sent to ill people to express a wish for their speedy recovery. And the statues are also presented to the parents of newborn children to symbolize health. This breed is famous for its hunting skills and can also hunt very easily in the snow. Akitas come under the working type breed and are used as guard dogs by police and army. It can also be used for pulling sled and heavy weight.

History
The Akita is native to the island of Honshu in the region of Akita, Japan. During World War II, the Akita dogs greatly diminished due to lack of food. All dogs except German Shepherds were captured at the time of war, in order to use their fur to warm army uniforms. With the efforts of Sawataishi and others, Akita began to flourish again after the war was finished. Akita fanciers in Japan took a step ahead and started gathering and exhibiting the remaining Akitas. It also started a program of producing litters in order to restore the breed. The first Akita was brought to the USA by Helen Keller. After World War II, many American soldiers brought Akitas to the US. According to the recent DNA analysis, the Akita is among the most ancient dog breeds.

Appearance
Akitas are large, sturdy, and muscular in their looks. They are excellent swimmers as their paws are webbed and therefore help them in swimming. The coat of this breed is soft, straight and dense. You can easily recognize Akitas among other breeds as the hair on its head, legs, and ears is short, while the hair on the tail is long and profuse, which makes it look different. The most common colors of Akita's coat include pure white, red, sesame, and brindle. It is seen that they shed their coat twice a year. This is considered as a strong breed and therefore, is used as a guard dog and a police dog in Japan. Even in earlier times, due to its powerful built; Akitas were used to hunt bears in Japan.

Personality
The Akita is one of the most intelligent, fearless, and spontaneous breeds. They love to be in human company. They are extremely loyal to their family, but are not very much comfortable among strangers. They don't like to be with other dogs and pets, and are even sometimes aggressive toward them. They are very well behaved with their families, especially older and children, but can misbehave with the unfamiliar children. Although they are not excessive barkers, they are considered as excellent guard dogs. They do not like to be left alone for a long period of time. Akita is said to be a very well-mannered and dignified breed. They are powerful, alert, responsive and courageous. The Akita is seen as a noble and dominating breed. Their strong hunting instincts, calmness and intelligence make them good watchdogs.

Genetic Disease
Akitas are prone to hip dysplasia. Thyroid, both hypothyroid and autoimmune thyroiditis, is commonly seen in this breed. They also suffer from immune diseases like VKH and Pemphigus. Akitas are also prone to skin problems and eye disease. Most of Akitas are seen facing problems with their knees.

Grooming
The coarse, stiff, short-haired coat of this breed needs significant grooming. Brush with a firm bristle brush on a daily basis. Akitas should be given bath, only when absolutely necessary, with a mild shampoo to prevent stripping the coat of the natural oils, as frequent bathing removes the natural waterproofing of the coat. This breed sheds heavily twice a year. The hair on the bottom of the paws should be regularly trimmed to preserve their special characteristic of webbed feet.