The Akita (秋田犬, Akita-inu, Japanese pronunciation: [akʲita.inɯ]) is a large breed of dog originating from the mountainous regions of northern Japan. There are two separate varieties of Akita: a Japanese strain, commonly called Akita Inu (inu means dog in Japanese) or Japanese Akita, and an American strain, known as the Akita or American Akita. The Japanese strain comes in a narrow palette of colors, with all other colors considered atypical of the breed, while the American strain comes in all dog colors. The Akita has a short double-coat similar to that of many other northern spitz breeds such as the German Shepherd or Siberian Husky, but long-coated dogs can also be found in many litters due to a recessive gene.
The Akita is a powerful, independent and dominant breed, commonly aloof with strangers but affectionate with family members.
The Shiba Inu was bred to hunt and flush small game, such as birds and rabbits. Shiba lived in the mountainous areas of the Chūbu region. During the Meiji Restoration, western dog breeds were imported and crosses between these and native Japanese breeds became popular.
This striking working breed originated from the province of Akita in Japan and dates to the 1600s when, legend says, it was bred to hunt the Yezo bear which overran a small island there. Later given to the Emperor, the breed became a symbol of good luck throughout Japanese culture. This strong and dedicated breed not only protected their royalty, but also was used to hunt large game such as deer and wild boar and bear. Today, it is still considered a symbol of good luck in Japan to own an Akita. These dogs make popular companion dogs and are known for being alert, loyal and fearless, making them excellent watchdogs.
This compact canine is an ancient dog; however, they were not given the name “Shiba Inu” until some time in the 1920s. The Shiba Inu of old was a hardy dog, able to traverse hills and mountainous terrain that men could not travel. They had excellent senses and became a proficient hunter. They were used to flush out birds and small game, but were also used to hunt wild boar.
The Akita is generally healthy but can be prone to hip dysplasia, acquired myasthenia gravis, thyroid issues, progressive retinal atrophy, and some immune system disorders that can affect the hair and skin.
The Akita requires less physical activity than most other breeds its size. These puppies need daily exercise, and a few brisk walks (or about 30 minutes of exercise) a day will keep them happy.