Patrina Williams

Patrina Williams

Graduate of university of ohio with a master degree in wildlife management


The Akita is a symbol of health and prosperity in their home country of Japan. What else do you know about this fluffy breed?

Breed History

The origins of the Akita are not certain. However, experts believe that the breed originated in the Japanese prefecture of the same name – Akita. This is a mountainous, snowy region of Japan, which explains the thick, full coat of the Akita. Some say this dog may have originated as far back as 1,000 years, when they were used as fighting dogs. Over the years, the Akita fell out of popularity as a fighting dog. Even so, its Owners saw the breed’s potential as guard and hunting dogs. Indeed, the Akita’s independence and fearlessness allowed them to take on large animals like wild boar and the Yezo bear. For much of their history, Akitas were owned exclusively by royal and wealthy families. They were a sign of dignity and royalty. And the moment you see one of these proud-looking animals, you can understand why. The breed stayed mostly in Japan until American activist Helen Keller visited the country in the late 1930s. The Emperor gifted her a puppy and the breed made its way to the United States. Another wave of Akitas went to the United States after WWII. Today, there are two families of Akita – the Japanese Akita and the American Akita. While they are very similar, the American Akita tends to be larger and come in a wider variety of coat patterns.

Grooming and Health

It pays to keep multiple brushes around the house so you can brush your Akita every few days. With their thick double coat, the Akita will shed all the time, and even more so a couple of times a year when they shed their coat completely. When it comes to bathing, you don’t need to be so proactive. Once every two months is just fine, unless you have an Akita that really loves rolling around in the dirt. And how about health? Luckily, Akitas are pretty healthy dogs, generally. That said, their broad chest does put them at risk for bloat. This is a serious condition in which the stomach fills with gas and twists, putting stress on other organs and preventing digestion. To reduce the risk of bloat in your Akita, you can feed them smaller meals and avoid exercise after mealtime.

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