Akita Rescue & Welfare UK - ARW - Differences between American Akita and Japanese Akita Inu

American Akita : 

American Akita

The most popular breed in his native Japan, the Akita is a large, upstanding, dignified dog, whose proud head carriage and stance is enhanced by his small, triangular ears and dark eyes. His strong body is balanced by his large, full tail, which curls to meet his back.

The Akita Inu (meaning ‘large dog’) traces its origins back many centuries to the polar regions, from where Spitz-type dogs found their way to the northern mountainous areas of Japan. The largest and most powerful were used for breeding, and the Akita emerged some 300 years ago. He was developed to guard the children of royalty, and to hunt and hold black bear, wild boar and deer.

He comes in a variety of brilliant and clear colours, often set off by a facial mask or blaze. His impressive appearance is matched by his strength and character, which is reserved and quiet but dominant over other dogs. He makes an excellent guard, but would not be the best companion for an audacious terrier. Devoted and protective towards his owners, he is also very affectionate.

Japanese Akita Inu

American Akita

The Japanese Akita Inu was separated from the Akita in the UK in 2006, following the division of the two breeds in most other countries, and is probably closer to the original type of dog bred in Japan than the Akita, which owes some of its development to the USA. The Japanese Akita Inu is neither as heavy nor as substantial as its cousin and is more Oriental in expression. Colour is also an important difference between the two: whilst the Akita can several colours, the Japanese Akita Inu has only four recognised colours and the standard is very specific about the permitted ‘Urajuro’ markings.

Although very loyal and faithful to his family, the Japanese Akita Inu is not the dog for every home, and is perhaps not the breed for a first-time dog owner. He is very independent in character, sometimes to the point of stubbornness, and is not particularly social with other dogs, the males tending to be dominant. However, he is extremely clean, loves his immediate family and, if trained correctly, will respond and learn quickly. When fully mature, he will accept a minimum of half an hour up to as much exercise as you care to give.